The war between Android and iOS has been going for a very long time, and it is not cooling down anytime soon. With more features coming out for both Operating Systems, more controversy appears and makes sure that the war is going heated.
Let’s take a deep, unbiased look at what each of the Operating Systems has to offer, and where each excels over the other. Please note that this will be an unbiased review, free of opinions. My opinion will be present at the end if that is of your interest.
But first, why?
The debate on which is the better software continues. It has been going for years, and it only seems to be getting more and more heated. Why is that though?
The main reason is that both have their very dedicated communities. Android has its fans, which know every bit about it and it’s tricks and features, while iOS has its own community. Both are very intensely attached to them for their individual reasons. We also cannot forget the vast difference between the 2, and cannot ignore the reasons that make them different.
The vast majority of phones sold last year were Android devices, over 80%, to be more precise. There must be a reason for this, and there is. There are plenty, so let us dive in!
The most obvious reason for this insane proportion of iOS and Android devices is the number of Android devices in comparison. This is a huge advantage for people looking for a phone for like specific price, no more no less.
Yes, there are used iPhones out there on the market, but sometimes, you do not want to buy a used handset. There is always the comfort and reassurance of having a new phone, with a warranty. Even certified pre-owned devices from Apple can be defective or damaged.
Some people, such as myself would rather have a new phone and know that it will last 2 to 3 years with us. This provides the comfort of mind that you just do not get with a used phone.
We also cannot forget that there are Android phones out there at all price points. You can get a phone for as little as $40, or as much as $9000. There are also phones that pack the best values and the worst values.
This is the beauty of it. Your Android phone is never like that guy you saw across the street. There is always going to be a difference, whether it is the software skin, or the material and color. This is a far cry from iPhones, which all look the same, inside and out. This does come with a problem though, but I will talk about that later.
You probably saw this one coming, and it is indeed very obvious. With Android, you have endless customizability. Everything from the wallpaper to the icons to the whole firmware can be tweaked to your liking. Some might think that it is too complicated or too hard to do, but it is the complete opposite.
If you do not like the way your home screen looks out of the box, then you are just one App download away from changing it completely. Simply downloading a launcher and applying it to your phone completely changes the way it looks and feels. A launcher can change the icons, animations, wallpapers, and sometimes even add widgets, more on that soon.
With Android 7.0 Nougat, you can add tiles to your quick settings menu. This includes different tools, such as starting a timer or creating an alarm, and also shortcuts for your favorite app or game. This can also be done through one app download from the Play Store. Many options are available, and most have the same functionality, some more than others. Feel free to explore the Play Store for those apps, and try them out!
Home Screen Widgets
A big part of Android is it’s home screen widgets. You can customize the home screen, not only with launchers and icon packs but also with widgets. There are plenty of stock widgets that come with Android phones. Some to control the flashlight, others to control the music and media playback.
However, the functionality of home screen widgets does not end here. Many 3rd party applications give you the ability to add widgets to make the most of the app. Some might be chats, such as WhatsApp and Gmail. Other apps can give you news and articles and show you a short part of it.
The widgets can be moved around the home screen resized and sometimes even customized. The problem with iPhones in this regard is that they only provide widgets in the notification tray, and they cannot be changed or customized. That is definitely a point scored by Android.
It is no secret that Android is a more productive ecosystem. With Android 7.0 Nougat, we got the chance to use Split-screen Multi-tasking on all Android devices. With Samsung devices, you can also use floating windows. This turns the phone into something very similar to a Windows PC.
There are plenty of ways you can use those features, and make the most out of your device, especially if it has a big display. We saw that come to iOS 11 earlier this year, but it is only for iPads, and not available for iPhones. This does not quite make sense to me, as the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus are of a size that would suit such feature.
The Android community is simply amazing. There are millions of people out there that love Android and live for it. Everyone from ROM creators and Module designers to the most basic Android fans plays a role. There always seems to be a connection between you and the developers, from the smallest to the largest.
This is something that you just do not get with iOS. The community is not bad by any means, it just feels a bit vague. You never feel that connection and unity with the developers. You do not feel that your review or comment on a feature is going to be taken into consideration.
It’s a DIYer’s Dream!
Just think about it. If you want to make a head unit for your car, what would you use? I am sure that an iPad would not be your first choice, for many reasons. The first and most obvious is the price. If you were to use an iPad as a head unit, it would be cheaper for you to get an actual head unit designed for your car.
It is not only for cars. What if you were just feeling creative? A $40 tablet can do you wonders and can be used to make something much more useful. The sky is the limit, and the best part is that you will not even feel bad if you destroy this tablet. Instead, you would laugh it off and go get another one.
That is the beauty of having a cheap Android. You can toss it around, use it as a testing subject, and you still could not care less. Imagine breaking your iPad. That would be a very expensive mistake, and unless money is no object for you, a huge regret.
You also have to get back to the fact that they are available in all sizes, shapes, form factors and price ranges. All from different manufacturers, and all widely available.
More features. Much more features
This is a quick and obvious one. Android is the more feature rich Operating System, and also the one that is more ready to accept new features. We have seen many features, such as Edge Sense from HTC and Google roll out this year. This did not require much work, as it pretty much acts as a number of buttons, depending on the intensity of the squeeze.
This is just one example. Samsung also did it with their Edge display, which is an overlay in all screens. It adds shortcuts to the side of the display, which can include contact shortcuts, as well as app shortcuts.
USB OTG Capabilities
USB OTG is now available on all new phones, and it opens the door to numerous ways of using your phone. With an OTG adapter, which is also called On-the-Go, you can connect any device that can connect to your computer to your phone.
This means connecting a Hard disk, USB mouse and/or keyboard or even a Joystick. Some optimization needs to be made for PlayStation 4 Controllers, but it is all on YouTube, and fairly easy to use. For a mouse or keyboard, you can control your whole phone with either.
This also means that you can connect an SD card reader, and transfer pictures from a DSLR camera on the go, without a laptop. Another thing that can be done is backward charging. By connecting a charging cable and phone, you can not only see the files on the other device but also charge it.
In short, a cheap OTG adapter can do wonders. Some manufacturers include an officially branded adapter in the box. It makes it convenient to use in a DIY Project.
While Android is known for all of its features, iOS stands out in other areas. It is very hard for me to talk about these, as I am strictly an Android guy, but I will do my best to keep it fair and unbiased. Here we go.
You cannot argue with the fact that iOS is simpler than Android. It is easy to navigate, and most icons are clear and easy to understand. It also avoids the complexity of the App Drawer in favor of having all the app icons on the home screen. Some will like it, some will hate it, but it has its value for iPhone users.
Long story short, you do not have to memorize how every phone works. When you hold an iPhone, you know exactly what you are doing if you have ever held an iPhone before. This is what I pointed to earlier, as with Android phones, each has it’s own launcher and other skin variations.
This is another huge reason which gives it fans and lovers. The fact that all apps follow the same design and many 3rd party apps do the same style gives a feeling of substantial consistency. Apps like Snapchat are a huge reason for the younger generations to pick iPhones rather than Androids
The consistency is because of an obvious reason. When a developer develops an app for Android, it has to be compatible with various sizes and orientations of devices. They also have no specific theme to follow in design, as Google’s Material Design theme is only used by a minority of manufacturers.
Google’s Material Design still had its effect on the overall feel of its ecosystem. It finally united the Operating System with its apps and other Google Services. Now, phones with bone-stock Android feel very coherent and well designed, and it pays off.
It might not be obvious why, but iOS as an Operating System is more secure than Android. However, the difference is not nearly as big of a gap as it used to be in the past. Google is working hard to improve its operating system and it’s security, and it is paying off.
However, the thing holding it back from being as secure as iOS is its open source nature. The AOSP is available for anyone to download from the internet and thus makes it easier to modify and make bugs and other malware for it. It has always been like that, and it always will be like that.
This is because everyone loves it. You can essentially create your own version of Android with a few simple code lines, and then apply it to your phone. You can also publish it and make downloadable for other people without getting in any legal issues with Google, or even other developers.
Easy to Backup and Restore
iPhones have always been very easy to backup and restore through iTunes on a Windows or iMac. By plugging your phone into your computer, and connecting it via iTunes, you can transfer all your data and contacts to your computer and synchronize it with your account.
This makes it super easy to upgrade to a new phone, and also makes sure that your data is never completely lost. It is always nice to know that your photos and media are saved and that you have instant access to them.
What Android gains in Community, iOS gains back with its ecosystem. Apple has created a complete ecosystem to join all their devices with each other. If you live in your own Apple ecosystem, you are in bliss. Your iPad, iPhone, iMac, MacBook, iPod and even your Apple Watch are connected to each other.
The magic is all done via Software devices. Within minutes, you can get your whole music library on all your Apple iTunes supported devices. I am not saying Android is all over the place, but iOS simply does it better.
There are also the apps and services that are exclusive to iOS devices. The likes of iMessage and FaceTime have been keeping iOS users from leaving their ecosystem. While they might seem trivial, if most people you know use iPhones, it becomes a matter of great significance to you and to your family.
The problem with Android in that regard is the sheer number of manufacturers. Samsung, for example, has created their own, fairly well-made ecosystem. With one account, you can store all your apps, contacts, photos, and pretty much everything.
This makes it super easy for Samsung users to move from any phone to a Galaxy. However, it is not like that for all phones. Google does have its own small ecosystem, but it is not as seamless or easy to use, and many people do not mind knowing how it works.
iOS devices always seem to be underpowered on paper. They have much less RAM than everyone else, and a smaller battery. That seems to be the trend with iPhones since the beginning. However, iOS is designed in conjunction with the devices it runs on. This provides plenty of benefits.
Battery life is one of them. Up until recently, iPhones were mediocre in the battery department, but considering the sizes of their batteries, they were excellent. This is because iOS knows how to manage the power consumption, and does all its tasks with the battery size in mind.
Another example of this is the hardware specs. iPhones always have less RAM than others, yet never seem to have problems with multi-tasking. The iPhone X is the most powerful phone in 2017, and yet it still has 3GB of RAM, which is half of what the Note 8.
What we at Mr. Phone Think
I asked everyone in the Mr. Phone team to give us their opinion on which is better, Here is what we got!
I personally think that Android is better as an Operating System. This is because I am the kind of person that wants to tweak every bit of my phone. I am not only with Android, I am against iOS, because of the lack of innovation with its devices. That also is because it seems to be enclosed, not opened for developers as much,
Android is simply the Operating System designed for people like me, those who want to control their phone. Root and custom ROMs have become a huge part of my life, and how I use my phone. I find it frustrating that iOS is so limited, and for this, an iPhone would never be my phone of choice.
As far as a user opinion is concerned, I think that Apple is a master of trends, However, more often than not, the trends actually backfire and people like me suffer under the alleged greatness of iPhone. Yes, it is great. Yes, it is private. But the amount of freedom Android provides is unmatched. You can even say that iPhone is a distant vacation and Android is something which makes you feel at home!
Though it is my duty as a phone geek to love all platforms equally, I can’t help having personal preferences. I love android! It is as my strict daily driver because it makes the most sense to me. I feel a smartphone should be “smart” enough to give you the amount of personalization to make the phone look and feel the way you want it to.
After all, you paid money for it, so you should be in charge of it. The phone should adapt to your preferences and not the other way around! There is no other OS out there that allows you to swap out icons, themes and entire launchers for custom ones from the app store, so, I’m Team Android!
I would pick Android on iOS as of now just because of the amount of customizability it offers. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by using custom ROMs for a long time, but in my opinion, Android is more versatile and to be frank, iOS feels a bit restricted.
I won’t say iOS is bad by any means. In fact, I actually love certain aspects of iOS. Especially the apps on iOS seems more polished and consistent, seamless integration with Apple’s Mac ecosystem is unmatched and the backup and restore functionality on iOS is far better. I would definitely love to have these features on Android too. With that said both Operating Systems are evolving constantly and at a certain point even I (sort of an Android fanboy) might change my opinion.
While Apple’s iOS has improved massively over the past few years, I am still fully devoted to Android for a couple of reasons. I’m a power user and the multitasking options available on Android devices are simply unmatchable, I can use my device to carry out many tasks of varying complexity at once which is absolutely essential in my books. All iOS devices are exactly the same while Android offers deep customisation options that ensure the phone is tailored to exactly how you like it allowing for a more user-friendly experience.
There are Android devices for everyone, not the 2 or 3 yearly iOS devices which means Android innovation is always at a very high level. Finally, Android has always been the way to go with multimedia, featuring a very wide variety of apps and games and with easier access to music iOS simply cannot hold their ground Android’s multimedia capabilities.
Now that you know what all of us think, we want to know what you think and why! We would love to know your opinion!
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