Phone enthusiasts will tell you there are two ‘kinds’ of phones; The Android and The iPhone. Even though they’re basically just operating systems.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re both amazing phones, with features, users from both sides tend to enjoy. But why the never-ending battle between the two for superiority?
As far as this goes, this is more or less, what I think about these phones and their clashes that may never end.
When it comes to hardware, that’s when the difference between these titans becomes clear.
At first glance, the two operating systems are quite similar, as far as the GUI is concerned. And while the roots of both can be traced back to Unix, iOS and Android are very different in one key respect.
Apple alone makes the iPhone, so both the hardware and OS, together with its functionality are all under their tight and complete control.
On the other hand, Google makes and distributes the software to many phone makers, including Sony, Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC. Android OS is an open-source OS based on the Linux kernel.
What this means is that anyone is free to improve, change, and adapt it as they see fit, leading to Android being much more widespread and implemented in a wide variety of different devices.
However, this flexibility comes at the cost of optimization and security that iOS is known for. Because of that, Android phones vary widely in size, weight, features, and quality.
Premium-priced Android phones tend to be as good as the iPhone in terms of hardware quality, but cheaper Android options are more prone to problems. Why, of course iPhones can have hardware issues, too! But they’re generally higher quality.
If you’re buying an iPhone, you just need to pick a model. Because many companies make Android devices, you have to pick both a brand and a model, which can be a bit confusing.
Some may prefer the greater choice Android offers, but others appreciate Apple’s simplicity and quality.
Then there comes the soul of a phone—The Operating System.
What is an entity without a soul? Let’s not say the answer out loud, but your guess is as good as mine.
Android makers are slow at updating their phones to the latest version of the Android OS version, and sometimes don’t update their phones at all.
Apple’s iOS have a timely consistency with updates and security patches. If you were to want such experience on an Android, then you must get one of Google’s Pixel phones.
This is how iOS version shares break down according to the official Apple Developer website:
• iOS 13: 50%
• iOS 12: 41%
• Earlier: 9%
Over 50% of all iOS devices are now running the latest version. By contrast, only around 10% of Android devices are running the latest Android 9.0 Pie. This is how Android breaks down according to the official Android Developer website:
• Android 9.0 Pie: 10.4%
• Android 8.1 Oreo: 15.4%
• Android 8.0 Oreo: 12.9%
• Android 7.1 Nougat: 7.8%
• Android 7.0 Nougat: 11.4%
• Android 6.0 Marshmallow: 16.9%
• Android 5.1 Lollipop: 11.5%
• Android 5.0 Lollipop: 3%
• Android 4.4 KitKat: 6.9%
• Older: 3.8%
If you are big on cash, and would rather be on top of the game of OS updates, bug fixes, and security, then an iPhone should be your best bet. But what if you can’t afford the iPhone 11x or whatever ascending number model there is to come in the future?
Stick to your old iPhone, really.
Customization & Cost
Everyone will tell you that getting an Apple phone burst a hole through their pockets. And that is in no way a lie.
No, really. Do you know the price of the latest iPhone?
Affordability has always been one of Android’s core strengths. It offers great flexibility for changing the interface via widgets and launchers, plus they are affordable.
Apple on the other hand, offers little to no flexibility to changes whatsoever on their interface and it is way pricey.
It is not uncommon to see someone claiming that iPhones have “bad hardware”. And at face value, that does seem true: lower-resolution screens, smaller amounts of RAM than competing Android models… So what’s the deal with that?
One word: optimization.
iPhones don’t require much RAM to run its apps and with its resolution that may seem low, it’s pixel density is more than adequate to get the work done with less battery drain.
Android may boast superb core speed, but it’s still unmatched with the iPhone due to its OS optimization.
All in all, while Android phones almost always have superior hardware specs on paper, iPhones offer better performance in the vast majority of cases.
There is no debate about this.
Older iPhones always required constant charging because of its high battery usage until the advent of the newer models which last a day without been charged.
But newer versions of the OS always seemed to cut the battery life and until they’re optimized in later releases, this will still be a problem facing the iPhone.
The Android is more complex due to the large variety of hardware options. Some Android models have 7-inch screens and other features which burn through much more battery life.
But, thanks to the wide variety of Android models, there are also some that offer ultra-high capacity batteries.
If you don’t mind the extra bulk, and really need a long-lasting battery, Android can deliver a device that works much longer than an iPhone on a single charge.
Apple emphasizes elegance and simplicity in the iPhone above all else. That’s a major reason that users can’t upgrade the storage or replace the batteries on their iPhones (it’s possible to get replacement iPhone batteries, but they have to be installed by a skilled repair person).
Android, on the other hand, lets users change the phone’s battery and expand its storage capacity.
Short answer being, with Android phones, you can usually find exactly the hardware you need; with iOS devices, Apple’s choices are your only choices.
Owning a smartphone usually means owning some accessories for it, such as speakers, battery cases, or simply extra charging cables.
Android phones offer the widest choice of accessories. That’s because Android uses USB ports to connect to other devices, and USB ports are available practically everywhere.
Apple, on the other hand, uses its proprietary Lightning port to connect to accessories.
There are some advantages to Lightning, like that it gives Apple more control over the quality of the accessories that work with the iPhone, but it’s less widely compatible.
Android is not only flexible, and accessible, but it is ‘people friendly.’ Imagine being stranded, and wanting to charge your phone. Which type of charger would you likely see with an average Joe?
There you have it.
Apple is still lagging when it comes to cloud storage and automatic backups.
Google offers 15GB for free and has cross-platform support. You only get 5GB with iCloud, and it only works with Windows, Mac, and iOS.
If you needed additional space, Google Drive used to be the cheapest at $2 per month for 100GB ($24 for the year), but Apple dropped its prices to match. Apple charges $1 per month for 50GB or $4 per month for 200GB.
Apple’s price for 1TB jumps up to $10 per month, whereas Google will give you 2TB for that price.
Android’s cloud storage is easier to use and more effective than iCloud. You can also use Google Drive on an iPhone, whereas iCloud is iOS only.
Security is where the iPhone really shines.
With every piece of data encrypted, including messages, Apple highly prioritizes privacy giving it a tight security. If you really care about privacy and security, then there’s only one choice; the iPhone.
Speedy updates which Apple are known to give consistently are delayed on an Android and these updates are really important due to the growing security breaches. That said, even though the Android is behind in the update world, it’s not less secure either.
Malware threats are everywhere, and for the Android it’s been exaggerated. The chances of getting an attack on an Android are hard, as long as the user only gets their app from the Play Store.
However, it’s important to note that these stats don’t mean iPhone is immune to malware. It is not. It’s just less likely to be targeted than Android-based phones.
So in a nutshell…
Neither operating system is necessarily better than the other, as they both have areas where they excel and areas where they have some shortcomings.
The question of which one is better, is mostly subjective and depends entirely on user needs and preferences.