iPhone Vs Android
While you can turn to a number of companies if you’re shopping for one of the best smartphones, no matter what you buy, it’s guaranteed to be running one of the two prominent mobile operating systems iOS (if you pick an iPhone) or Android (if you opt for anything else).
Both platforms are quite mature at this stage, having existed for more than a decade. That means both have amassed comprehensive feature sets, and there’s very little one can do that the other cannot. Still, however, each has its advantages, and there are reasons you might want to choose one over the other.
Want to start an argument? Just say, “There’s no question Android phones are the best,” “iPhones are worth every penny,” “Only a dolt would use an iPhone,” or, “Android sucks,” and then stand back.
Got that out of your system? Good. The truth is both iPhones running iOS and smartphones running Android have their good and bad points.
And make no mistake: The fight is between these two mobile operating systems. All the alternatives are pretty much dead and buried. Microsoft, for example, recently admitted, “We had no material Phone revenue this quarter.” Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has given up on smartphones. BlackBerry exists only as a brand name, and the manufacturer making “BlackBerry” phones is now using Android.
Pitting iPhone vs. Android, we take a look at the respective strengths of each mobile platform, so you can pick the right one for you the next time you buy a smartphone.
You’re invested in Apple’s ecosystem. This might seem like a shallow reason, but Apple obviously makes a wide breadth of tech products, and if you already own a Mac, iPad or Apple Watch, getting an iPhone makes a lot of sense.
Only a handful of Android phone makers have hardware ecosystems that approach Apple’s, and even for some that come close, like Samsung, you won’t get the depth of integration possible between the iPhone and other Apple-built devices. Microsoft is helping Google close the gap somewhat with its new Your Phone app for Windows, which allows Android users to respond to texts and notifications on their PCs, though the experience is a little clunky and there is still work to be done.
There are many other great examples of continuity across iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS — and the iPhone is a critical component in that puzzle, especially now that iPhone apps can be seamlessly ported to macOS. Power users already immersed in Apple’s ecosystem can stand to gain a lot by adding an iPhone to their repertoire. And that’s to say nothing of friends and family members who prefer to use iMessage and FaceTime to keep in touch, especially these days during the pandemic.
Also read: Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto
iPhone Vs Android – Ease of use
People love to say Apple products just work. It’s certainly true that the iOS interface is easy to use. But so is the Android interface. Frankly, if you can use one, you won’t have much trouble using the other.
Sure, a decade ago, when the iPhone first appeared and Windows Mobile and Nokia Symbian phones were the competition, the iPhone blew them away. It was just so much easier to use.
But that was 10 years ago. Today, there’s really not a lot that differentiates the two leading phone Operating System when it comes to ease of use.
If we put appearance and home-screen setup into this category, though, things tip toward Android. Android smartphones give you more control over your system and its applications.
iPhone Vs Android – Bloatware
There’s no bloatware. No matter how you buy your iPhone, where you buy it from or what iPhone you buy, you won’t see any bloatware preinstalled when you boot it up for the first time. That means it’s clean from the very start, with no power- or data-siphoning apps you didn’t ask for sabotaging things behind the scenes.
That’s a relief if you’ve ever seen the way a new Android phone arrives out of the box — particularly one that you’ve bought through a carrier. Even spending $1,980 on a Galaxy Fold doesn’t spare AT&T customers from the affront of seeing software like CNN and DirecTV Now cluttering their app drawers. And it can be even worse if you buy a budget handset that has been heavily subsidized by a discount carrier.
Android buyers who purchase one of the best unlocked phones without a service agreement will have better luck avoiding bloatware. It also depends on the company. For example, unlocked Pixel phones aren’t mired down by any third-party apps; on the other hand, it’s not totally unheard of for some unlocked handsets to come with the odd unwelcome sponsored software.
Fit, finish and price
Some, such as the Samsung S7 and the Google Pixel, are every bit as attractive as the iPhone 7 Plus. True, by controlling every step of the manufacturing process, Apple makes sure iPhones have great fit and finish, but so do the big Android phone manufacturers. That said, some Android phones are just plain ugly.
Part of the reason for this is that Apple makes nothing but luxury phones. There will never be a “cheap” iPhone. If you don’t want to pay top dollar for an iPhone, your only choice is to get a used one.
Decent Android phones can go for as little as $100. Are they good looking? Not really, but they do the job at a fraction of the price of an iPhone.
iPhone Vs Android – Software Update
You get quicker software updates. Android phones get fewer updates than iPhones, and when they do, they happen less frequently and are often delayed.
The number of updates an Android phone sees over the course of its lifetime depends largely on how expensive it is, what carrier you buy it from (or if it’s even purchased from a carrier at all) and what the phone maker’s software support policy is.
That’s a far cry from iPhones, which are supported with major software updates for many years, no matter what. Take the iPhone 6S, for example, it received iOS 14 update when it lanched, even though it originally launched with iOS 9 back in 2015. For comparison, consider Samsung’s Galaxy S6, which launched the same year and started with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Not only does it lack the latest Android software, but it stopped getting updates years ago. It only made it as far as 7.0 Nougat when Samsung pulled the plug on support — and when the S6 did get Nougat, it arrived in March 2017, eight months after Google unveiled the update.
A.I. and voice assistants
When it comes to Google Assistant vs. Siri, there’s no question of the winner: Google Assistant by a country mile.
Google Assistant is more than an excellent voice interface to Google search. If you use Google applications, such as Google Calendar and Google Maps, Google Assistant can make life simpler. Say you’re meeting someone for lunch downtown and traffic is awful. Google Assistant will work out that you need to leave early to make your appointment, and it will notify you beforehand. Now, that is cool.
Siri may have been first to market, but it’s still pretty basic. It’s fine for answering questions, but it’s not really that much of an assistant.
If you’re looking for a clear reason to choose one OS over another, though, Google Assistant isn’t it. It’s also available for iPhones.
iPhone Vs Android – Security
It’s not so much that Android has security problems; it’s that Google is more lax than Apple about what applications it will let into its app store. True, the best way to keep malware off your Android gadget is to only get apps from the Google Play store; even so, Google reports that 0.16% of all apps contain malware.
If you’re an iPhone user, don’t get too cocky. There is iPhone malware out there just waiting for an overconfident user to download a dodgy program.
USB-C is universal. Android phones largely rely on USB-C ports for charging and data transfer these days, which is super convenient if you’re one of those people who really likes to pack light and carry only one cable. USB-C is also on many PCs these days, as well as on the Nintendo Switch.
Whereas Apple’s Lightning cable is a relic of the days when every tech company felt compelled to develop its own proprietary connector, USB-C represents the ideal single-port solution the industry is working toward. It also opens doors to faster charging technologies, like OnePlus’ Warp Charge 30T, which can get one of that company’s smartphones from completely dead to 70% capacity in just a half hour.
iPhone Vs Android – Camera
Another one of our favorites is Continuity Camera, which allows you to take pictures and scan documents using your iPhone’s camera, and then view and edit them on your Mac. You can even complete purchases on your Mac by using biometric authentication features on your iPhone via Apple Pay.
Closed Vs. Open Systems
The iPhone remains as proprietary as ever. If you don’t want anything that you can’t get through Apple, fine. On the other hand, if you’re an iPhone user who wants to buy an Amazon e-book from the Kindle app or watch a Google Play movie using Play Movies, you’re out of luck.
Android is both open source and far more open to alternative applications. Keep in mind, Apple hasn’t ported any of its applications to Android and never will. So, if your music library is based on iTunes, then you’re locked into iPhones.
For most users, this is a difference that makes no difference. But if you prefer open systems to closed ones, it’s an important differentiator.
So then, iPhone or Android Which should you choose Both platforms have pros and cons, and, as with many purchase decisions, your choice will depend on what you value most.
Owning an iPhone is a simpler, more convenient experience. There’s less to think about, and because Apple’s iPhone represents the single most popular brand of smartphone, there’s an abundance of support everywhere you go — whether you need your battery replaced or you’re just trying to pick up a new case. That’s especially true in the United States, where iPhones accounted for 39% of all smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2019 — the largest share of any manufacturer — according to Counterpoint.
Android-device ownership is a bit harder in those respects. Yet it’s simultaneously more freeing, because it offers more choice — choice of how much you want to spend, choice of hardware and software features, and choice in how you organize and personalize your experience. If you’re extremely particular about the technology you use, you might find Android more liberating — dare I say, fun — though you’ll also likely lament the relative lack of high-quality apps and accessories.