Smartphones have come a long way in the past 3 or 4 years. Pretty much every smartphone company is coming up with new phones every month. Some companies have run out of numbers to assign to their phones. In 2018 alone, around 1400 Million phones were shipped worldwide. There are dozens of smartphone makers churning out new designs everyday to keep up with the competition. People have so many choices. It is a very big pool to choose from. Out of this pool, around 75% of market share belongs to Android, 23% to iOS, and the remaining is for the rest. Some people like Android and hate iOS. Some love iOS and hate Android. Some can’t form an opinion about which one they should buy. Being a user of both of these OSs, I thought of sharing my inputs that may help people decide which one to go for.
Android vs iOS : Which One is Better and Why
Android is much better than shitty iCrap – An android fan will say.
iOS is much better than Lag-droid – An iOS fan will say.
It depends on what you are expecting from your phone – I say.
See, you are comparing Apples and Not-Apples? Oranges? You want to force your opinion on others without considering the fact that different people have different expectations from a piece of technology. Just like you can not forcefully make anyone like the brand you like, you can’t forcefully make anyone use the OS of your choice. There are toxic fans on both sides who think they own some part of the company and yelling out their opinions on Public forums will somehow help them. Well, it does not. They need to realize that not everybody is into a restricted system and not everybody is into wasting a hell lot of time in getting the perfect theme or icons.
I have used Android for a good 3 years and have been using iOS for 2.5 years now. Presently, I am using an iPhone 6S which is three generations old now. So I can give my two cents about the whole debate.
Things Android Does Better
If you like customising your phone a lot and can not sacrifice it, get an Android without a second thought. Maybe you love trying out new launchers, icon-packs, themes, fonts, and millions of other things. Android gives you freedom to personalise your device. You can do pretty much anything you want. You can root your phone if you want more freedom but that comes with a cost – it voids your warranty.
iOS on the other hand is not very customisable. The most you can do is change your Lock-screen and Home-Screen wallpaper, nothing else. Apple does not let you change icons, themes, fonts etc. You can set your favourite song as your ringtone but only with the help of either GarageBand or iTunes. Do not buy an iOS device, if you are into customisation because you will regret it. You can jailbreak your iOS device and have the freedom to do some extra things but that comes with the cost of warranty. Jailbreaking is to iOS what rooting is to Android and Apple has been making it difficult every year.
Free Stuff and Piracy:
Again, Android is the way to go. You can download anything on your Android device ranging from apps to movies. Torrent clients are available on Android. This means you can get more out of your device. Your device becomes your preferred medium to consume multi-media. You can download thousands of apps that are not available on Play Store and add more functionality to your device. There is an app for pretty much everything on Android and that too for free. You can even download paid apps for free.
On iOS, you can not do that. You can not download from third-parties unless they are custom Enterprise. The only way you can download apps is App Store. The only way you can download movies is with paid apps such as Prime Video, Netflix, Hot-star etc. You have to use the right way to get what you want. You can download torrents using sites like ZigZ and tools such as Documents or iDownloader but honestly, it takes a lot of time and energy to do that. So if you love free stuff, get an Android without a second thought.
It is a no brainer. You can get an Android device for $100 or $1000. There is an Android device for everyone. Apple devices on the other hand are freaking costly. A maxed out iPhone XS costs around $2K. If you want to get more for less money, get an Android. Apple are a bunch of greedy people who want more from you. They did not touch the Trillion Dollar mark for no reason.
File System :
Android has a file system that lets the user access everything. Users can share anything they want to with other users. They have the complete freedom. They can also use their device as a storage by connecting it to a PC and transferring files. There are many file explorers available on Play Store and user can choose whatever he wants. If you want that functionality, get an Android.
Expandable Storage Support :
Some Android phones support microSD card. You can expand your storage by adding a microSD card. This is really useful if you consume a lot of media and are low on internal storage. But it is not a big deal nowadays since most of the phones come with 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 GB internal storage. So if you are the kind of guy who keeps GBs of movies on his phone, get an Android.
There are some Android devices that use micro-USB charger. So you will not find it difficult to borrow chargers from others. But now devices are moving to USB-C chargers and they are really fast. Some of the high end Androids come with a Fast-Charger in the box. Apple has never been kind enough to ship one with the phone. The USB-C to lightening charger is the fast-charger and you will have to buy it separately.
Things iOS Does Better :
Okay, enough Apple bashing. Now, let’s talk about some things Apple does better than Android.
Numbers vs Performance / Gaming :
Ever wondered why people say iPhone runs butter smooth? Well, it’s because it does. If Android has numbers, iOS has performance. The latest iPhones are powered by A12 Bionic, a 7nm chip which is the most powerful mobile processor in existence. Snapdragon’s latest offering is 855. It is newer and yet almost a generation behind A12 Bionic. It is also a 7nm processor and powers most of the new Android devices. But by September, Apple will have launched A13 and widened the gap even more. Apple’s processors are no match for Snapdragon.
There is another thing that needs to be discussed – RAM management in Android and iOS. Android phones come with upto 12GB of RAM which is freaking insane for a phone. My Windows laptop has 8GM RAM and my MacBook has 4GB of RAM. Apple on the other hand ships phones with at most 4GB of RAM. On paper, it looks like Android blows iOS out of the water when it comes to numbers. But the reality is different.
Android does not ship more RAM because it wants to. It ships more RAM because it needs to. Android apps are written in Java. Apps written in Java run in a Virtual Machine which translates the code at runtime. Therefore it needs to handle a lot of things along with the original Java code and the translated code.
iOS apps are built using Swift or Objective-C. The hardware and software are both made by the same company. Therefore Apple’s devices run the native machine code directly onto the hardware. It does not need a Virtual Machine.
Android also uses Garbage collection which gives free-reign to the apps to use as much RAM as possible. There is no control over it. That is why most of the Android users have those RAM cleaner apps installed on their phones. The OS keeps collecting garbage with time. iOS uses ARC instead of Garbage collection which results in a better management of RAM. The apps which are in background remain in a suspended state and do not take much RAM.
All these things combined make iOS a lot smoother than Android. Gaming on iOS is a much much better experience due to the more powerful CPU and GPU. If you want a proof of iPhone’s processing power, watch the following video – A 4GB iPhone crushing a 10GB OnePlus in speed-test.
So, if flawless performance is what you need and you can live without customisation, fancy designs, and freedom then iOS should be your OS of choice.
Sure, Android is giving you the freedom to download whatever you want from anywhere. But this comes with a risk. See, anyone can build an android app using Android Studio and host it on free sites. What you download is an APK package, you don’t see the code that is getting executed. The developer of the app might have some bad intentions. You download the app, you run the risk. This is the price that you pay for freedom. Same is the case with Torrents and other platforms that provide paid stuff for free. There is always a risk associated with using free stuff from unknown sites. I am not saying every free app is dangerous. I am saying there is a possibility since hosting an Android app anywhere is free and the OS lets you install such apps.
iOS on the other hand is pretty secure. You can’t install apps from Internet. So the risk is gone. Apple is a control freak and has strict guidelines. Every app is approved manually before it goes live. So if your app is not following the guidelines, it will be discarded. This results in a safe and secure store. Also, Apple Developers program is $99 a year whereas Google charges a one time fee of $25. So, people who build apps for iOS are usually serious about what they do. Nobody wants to waste their money for no reason. That is why you will never hear that somebody’s iPhone got a virus. Apple also gives you full control over how apps behave and what they can do. So if privacy and security is your top most concern, get an iOS device.
Support and Stability :
Android has upped its game a lot with the recent updates but it is still not as stable as iOS. Both of my flagship Android devices ($700 each) were broken after the update. The reason is that there are thousands of devices running different screen resolutions and OS versions. This results in fragmentation. This is the reasons only 10-15% of devices are running the latest version of Android. When you have thousands of devices running different versions of the same OS, it is impossible to provide stable updates to each one of them. Some of them don’t even get updates. Most of the Android flagships get updates but they are not fixed and there is no timeline.
Apple on the other hand makes only handful of phones. All of those phones are made by Apple themselves and they know every single thing about those devices including Hardware and Software. Therefore it is easy to push stable updates within timelines. All of Apple devices get a major OS update during September and multiple updates throughout the year. Also, the updates are not pushed region or country-wise like some Android devices. The updates are pushed worldwide at once. You can download it as soon as it is released.
Also, Apple provides support for a very long time. iPhone 6S, which was released in 2015 will be getting the next version of iOS – iOS 13. So if you want long term support and stable software, go for iOS.
No Bloatware :
Android phones come with a lot of bloatware that slow-down the device and can not be uninstalled. Even if you get a Vanilla Android device, you will have to live with those Google Apps you don’t use. Some of the Chinese manufacturers even put ads on home-screen. You can get rid of it by rooting the device but it voids the warranty and sometimes results in bricked devices. Why should someone root their device to uninstall apps they don’t need?
There is no such issue on iOS. You can uninstall all the Apple apps that come with your phone. There is zero bloat on iOS. If you don’t like a system app, you can uninstall it.
The Apple Ecosystem :
If you have other Apple devices, you may want to get an iPhone. Apple devices work seamlessly with one another. You can do some work on your iPhone and continue it on your Mac. You can copy something on one device and paste it on another. You can share files without any hassles using AirDrop. It works flawlessly.
App Development / For Developers :
If you have tried developing Android apps, you will understand the pain. You download Android Studio and open it thinking it is great but it starts downloading the other components. Once that is done, it downloads something else. Then after a lot of downloading, you finally get to see the workspace. You write the app and want to test it. You have to download the Simulator. If you close the Studio and open it again, it downloads something else and starts checking for random updates. There is a lot of downloading involved. Once you are done with the app, you decide to build it, and it takes forever to build. Once you have resolved everything, it will throw a random error in your face. Android Studio is an embarrassment. It is so annoying that I left Android Development after developing 4-5 apps for my personal use. Even if you are able to build apps, you will have to test it for dozens of screen-resolutions and hardware. It is a very cumbersome process.
iOS apps can only be developed on Xcode which you can use only on Apple devices. So if you want to build apps for MacOS or iOS, you will have to buy a Mac. Xcode is around 10-12 GB in size but it has every freaking thing. You download it, open it and start using it. It is fast, fluid and throws no random errors in your face. It has an in-built simulator. It also has something called – Playground, a feature that lets you test your piece of code before adding it to your app. This is great for people who are not Pros. Also, If you want to test the app on your iPhone instead of Simulator, you don’t need to connect your iPhone to Mac via the lightening cable. You can do it wirelessly which is amazing.
Why I PERSONALLY Prefer iOS Over Android
Now that I have talked in detail about the Pros and Cons of both OS, I would like to tell you why I prefer iOS over Android.
When I had an Android, I used to customise it a lot. I would download new themes and launchers every week. Since there were so many choices, I used to change things a lot. After a while, I would go back to the stock launcher. Then I upgraded to a flagship Android. But after an OS update, my phone started having battery issues and I had to sell it. I bought a new Android again. Same story followed. One day, I stopped changing the themes, icons, and launchers because it was an overkill. There were so many choices that I was spending too much time customising my phone and not doing anything productive. I decided to stick with the stock UI. That phone worked for a year and 2 months before an update ruined the battery, again. I was tired. I used to be an Apple hater because I had never used an Apple product and wanted to join the hate-Apple bandwagon. But that incident changed me. By that time I had spent around $2K on Android devices and I had used them for hardly 3 years.
Once I earned some money, I decided to give iPhone a shot. I was bored of Android because I could not stick to one thing as there were so many options and also they were not durable. So I got a 6S for $600. That 6S is still my primary device. It is still getting all the updates and working pretty well. The battery is showing the age but apart from that, it is still pretty solid. It can last for at least another 3-4 years easily if I change the battery. But I will upgrade next year.
I am not using it because I am an iSheep or something. If that was the case, I would have bought the 7 or 8 or X or XS. I did not because I think they are too costly at that price. I would gladly pay a premium over an Android device but not that much. I am using it because I know what I need and I made a decision. After going through all the hassles, I wanted a phone that would work well. This phone is just that. A phone that just works. I love iOS for its simplicity and ease of use. Sure, there are some things Android has that I want iOS to have but I won’t switch to Android just to get that functionality as overall I am pleased with iOS.
I do not share my pics with friends so I do not need that functionality (You can share pics using ShareIt or Xender though). I only transfer photos to my computer and that works smoothly between iOS and Mac. I do not like to watch movies on my phone so I do not need torrent apps on my phone. If I still want to watch movies, I can transfer them using AirDrop instead of downloading them on my Phone. I have all the apps on App Store that are useful to me. The only thing I truly miss is a File System. The Files app is a mess. Apart from that I am much more happy using iOS than I ever was with Android. I get fluid performance, a robust OS, an amazing laptop-phone integration, timely updates, and no crashes. These things are worth the tradeoffs. So why would I use an OS that gives me millions of options even if I know I am not going to use them much? It does not make any sense for me to switch just because Android is giving me more options. Talking about price, it looks like Android is cheaper but you also have to consider the fact that iPhones last longer than droids and have a much better resale value.
Like me, instead of being toxic, you can choose the OS that ticks most of the boxes in your list. There is no point in abusing the fans of other OS. Instead we can appreciate the good things the other OS does better. I have tried both OSs for a long time and then formed an opinion. You can do the same. The day Android fixes its RAM management and support, I will be glad to give it another try. But I know that is not going to happen in near future as Google is going to kill Android soon. Let’s hope Fuchsia improves these things. Because a good competition is healthy.
I am the Editor-in-Chief here because I am the only person managing it. That gives me the right to put that fancy title with my name.
On a serious note, I have created and sold many blogs till date; for monetary purposes, of course. I mean, it is not that hard, right?