The debate between iOS and Android has been around for decades and will still last for decades. This is because, these two are the most used operating system you’ll see in a smartphone. Well, Huawei is bringing the Harmony OS to compete too.
So many people have different criteria of choosing which is better between the Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. To be honest, there is no one answer to the question as to which is better. It’s actually more complicated than you think.
In this article, we’ll try and make it simple by comparing these two mobile phone operating systems. This will help you decide which cell phone you’ll buy next – Android based or iOS based. Before we begin, it’s good you know somethings about both OS.
iOS is a mobile phone operating system designed and owned by Apple. It’s strictly meant to operate in iPhones and iPads. You won’t see iOS working in any device that is not from Apple. In other words, this OS is restricted to just Apple products.
What Android OS?
Android OS is a mobile phone operating system originally designed and owned by Google. Unlike iOS, Android OS is open source. This means that other smartphone companies have access to Android OS source code, modify, and use the OS in their devices. Which is why you can see multiple phone companies using Android.
So, between the Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS which one is better? Well, this comparison should help you with find answer to the question above.
Note that our comparison is based on user experience and we skipped most of the technical grammars. We translate the technical terms into usability to better help you understand both OS.
We’re comparing these OS based on 6 categories ranging from, User interface to security and privacy. Let’s get started.
Apple’s iOS vs Google’s Android
1. User Interface
When you turn on your device, you’re first greeted by the user interface. The arrangement of the icons, the sizes, the widgets, clock etc. are all part of what you see. In most part, the interface of iOS has more vibes to it.
From the look of the icons, to its widgets and icon arrangement is just so beautiful. Even Google App interface looks more beautiful on iOS. Android interface looks good too but it’s not consistent across all device using the Android OS.
Take for example, the user interface on Samsung phones is different than those you’ll see on OnePlus or Tecno phones. Even the user interface on flagship Android phone is different from those in low budget Android phones.
But that is not the case with iOS. You’ll get just about same user interface using the highest iPhone as with using the more budget iPhone SE 2020.
However, the user interface on iOS has one major setback – Customization. Customizing the user interface on iOS is not as easy as on Android OS. In fact, on Android OS, you can download a third party app (UI) for your preferred customization.
You can even decide to download an app that will customize the user interface of you Android to look like iOS. As far as user interface goes, iOS is still top of the game but if you need more flexibility, you just got to love the options Android OS brings.
2. Chipset and Performance (Speed)
Let’s face it, you like your phone when it runs smoothly and not crawling. You need your device to always respond when you need it to. Playing games, using your camera, watching movies, and surfing the internet shouldn’t be like grandma crossing the road.
In this category, iOS seems to be on top in most areas. The Apple’s Bionic chipset paired with iOS is so good that it requires less RAM to run. This is because both the Bionic chip and iOS from Apple integrate perfectly.
Truth is, Apple designs both hence the architecture of both the chipset and OS works well perfectly. In contrast, Android OS rely on chipset from other manufacturers and this makes things a little complicated.
We have companies like Qualcomm, MediaTek, Hilisicon, Huawei, and Samsung making their own chipsets for different Android phones. This is perhaps one of the many reasons why Android phones in same categories have different level of performance.
To put things into perspective, the highest most premium Android phone with top chipset uses 16GB of RAM. On the other hand, the highest most premium iOS phone uses 6GB of RAM.
But when it comes to gaming, graphics work and multi-tasking, the iOS phone with 6GB is neck to neck with the Android phone with 16GB of RAM (in some cases, the iOS phone is faster).
With iOS, again you get consistent performance across Apple’s devices thanks to the good partnership between the chipset and iOS. That is not the case with Android. For you to truly enjoy using Android phones, you’ll have to be using good mid-range phones and even at that, the performance may differ depending on the chipset inside the Android phone.
3. User Experience
You’ll probably find the Android interface more user friendly compared to iOS. It’s not like the iOS interface is very complicated like the relationship between Russia and the USA, but it’s just there.
With Android OS, users can easily change things to what they feel more comfortable with. But that is not the case with iOS. Take for example, Android gives you the option to use fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone.
The fingerprint scanner hardware is placed at the rear, side or in-display. This is much easier compared to the Face ID Unlock you get with the iOS. Face ID is a great feature but sometimes members of our team have unlocked their iPhones unknowingly.
Also, if you need an app outside the Apple App Store, you might want to go for three years tech training before you can do that. Android on the other hand allows you to download apk files of apps from other sources and install. We’ll address the Security risk of this feature below.
Point is, tweaking your phone interface, using third party app for UI etc. is much easier in Android. So, if you need something easy, then Android user experience is what you need.
Apple’s iOS is definitely top of the game when it comes to security with its Android counterpart trailing behind and trying to catch up. The iOS is so secure that it’s very difficult for you to do something outside the Apple ecosystem.
Take for example, Android OS allows you to download apk files from external source – which is a good thing. But what if you downloaded an apk file with a malware? Or virus, at best you might end up bricking your phone or worse suffer severe financial loss.
Point is, chances of installing a malware in iOS is close to Zero (0). Also the newly released AirTag helps to keep track of your iPhone and other iOS based gadgets. Even the tracking system in iOS is still rock solid compare to what Android is offering.
Overall, if you are security conscious you just can’t help but fall in love with iOS. But this also means you’ll have to live within some boundaries and be restricted. If you ask me, I’d rather be secure within a confined space than cry in an open space.
Privacy is a major issue in the tech space right now. And Apple raised the privacy bar in the iOS14. The privacy update in the iOS made Facebook seem like a crying baby and even threw ads to complain.
While you also get to enjoy some level of privacy on Android, it’s currently not as exclusive as the ones you get with the iOS. With iOS, you see and get to choose the data apps can access and how often they access these data. You can even decide to revoke these apps from accessing the data.
This is something rumored that Android is working on with the Android 12 set to be available by August 2021. Apple’s iOS is winning the privacy segment with Google’s Android playing catch up once again.
This comparison won’t be complete without poking our nose on camera and photo qualities of iOS and Android. Thankfully, operating system has little or nothing to do with cameras and photo qualities of phones.
Camera sensors and ISP are more responsible for photo qualities. So, we suggest you see this iPhone vs Samsung comparison for a balance camera and photo quality decision.
Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android
So, between the Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android which one is better? It actually depends on what you need a device for. Both gives you different user experience, user interface, security level, privacy, chipset and performance.
But the catch is, if you don’t mind been confined in a single space and one ecosystem, then by all means go for an iOS based device. However, if you need to explore and interact more with other things then Android based device is for you.
Performance on devices based on iOS are consistent but you will get different performance level based on the type of Android device. To level up to premium iOS devices, then buy premium Android devices.
Which do you like most? iOS or Android? Leave us a comment in the section below.
Photos Via: In Depth Tech Reviews