Controversy – Which is better – Android or iOS? – Editorial

Before I start, I want to make something quite clear. This is not a platform bashing editorial, it is a more down to earth look at how I now perceive the two largest mobile operating systems.

I am certain some of you will disagree, rage, cry, smile or weep. But whatever you do, if you leave a comment keep it constructive and factual. As the moderator, I will use my powers if necessary. Hopefully this won’t be necessary.

The background behind this article. To support iOS, I am using the iPhone 6S Plus, Apple TV 4th Gen, Apple Watch, iPad Air and Macbook. To support android, I am using the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Gear S2, Gear VR, Level One Pro Bluetooth headphones and Macbook.

So lets look at iOS first. My observations are tighter integration within the hardware and software across all Apple devices. Apps on the iPhone look better and there is a much wider range of apps across many categories. iMessage and FaceTime are integrated across all Apple devices. Receive a SMS on your phone, reply on your MAC. You get the picture. Seamless. Handoff is another nicety. Viewing a website on your iPad, move to your MAC and continue reading the same page. Other aspects of iOS is Apple Pay. In the UK there is still no other option. 3D Touch is handy on the iPhone.

So now lets look at android. Google services are better integrated as expected. Hardware is leap years ahead. QHD screens, curved screens, ultra battery saving modes, wireless and fast charging, fast wireless charging and much more. No special cables needed for connecting to the phone. Eg for USB On The Go. Connecting cameras, USB sticks and more is standard. Miracast, DNLA and bluetooth and more are not restricted in capabilities as on iOS. iOS will often need apps or workarounds. Background services actually work on android without being stopped after 10 minutes e.g. uploading to flickr or Google Photos. Android flagship phones now take the lead with camera quality especially LG G4 and Samsung S7. Bluetooth audio includes APT-X on phones. This produces a better quality music playback via compatible headphones. Apple include this on the macbook but not iPhone. But then APT-X High Definition is now available. So music playback via headphones is ahead. Virtual Reality has arrived. Where is Apple? The Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch is so fantastic to use. The mode of operation is a breeze and far more logical than the Apple Watch. However the Apple Watch is streaks ahead in developer support and apps. So that means with the Gear S2, so long as it does what you want from day 1 you will be fine. However, neither watch is perfect.

And now lets cover off the subject of apps. I have come to the conclusion if you live on iOS you tend to have more apps. On android you don’t need as many apps. The app gap on popular apps has gone. Speciality apps are still king on iOS. But there are apps on android that don’t exist on iOS and offer more functionality. I was surprised to find that Flickr on android is better than the iOS version. You can add your photo to as many groups on android at once, on iOS it only allows one group at a time.

Gaming. iOS has a better selection of games. BUT you can’t play game emulators on iOS but you can on android. I have bluetooth game controllers for both iOS and android. iOS support is lacklustre at best, whereas on android it is way ahead. This is mainly due to the fact android has better support for bluetooth profiles.

Cloud services goes to android. Even Apple knows how good Google are at the cloud, to the point where Apple are going to start using Google’s cloud service.

So you could say if you want varied hardware designs, want to listen to music in higher quality, experience virtual reality, view everything on the best phone displays in the world, take photos with the best camera, game like a gamer with proper support for game controllers, then use an android flagship phone.

Or if you want polished apps, lots of apps, Apple Pay (UK), 3D Touch, speciality apps, universal use of iMessage and other integrated Apple Services, then use iOS.

At the end of the day it does boil down to personal preference. And sometimes, even if its not the best choice, it might be you’re using a phone that you know how to use and are comfortable with its operation.

There is one last point that for many is really important and that is after sales support and service. This is a one horse race that goes to iOS. Nobody currently beats the Apple after sales support and simultaneous software updates.

So that’s my viewpoint. As to which is better? Depends…

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6 thoughts on “Controversy – Which is better – Android or iOS? – Editorial

  1. We stopped using IOS when I realised I was tied to iTunes for managing my content and in app purchases were not allowed. Finally Apple didn’t have stylus input until recently and still not available on the iPhone.

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  2. this pretty much sums up everything about the two platforms in medium-heavy user’s perspective. thanks mate, now i’m sure that my next phone will not be an iphone.

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  3. I started to use iOS only a couple of years back. Back then my primary reason was security. So when Apple released the larger iPhones I was in.
    I already had an iMac 27″ knitted out to the max and was loving that experience over my PC desktop and Fujitsu Siemens TabletPC.
    Within six months I had accumulated an iMac, 9.7″ iPad, iPhone 6s Plus and Apple TV.
    Now I have the same plus an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch and a couple more of the new variety Apple TV’s.
    Later this year I will add an MacBook, iPad Pro 9.7″ another Watch and an iPhone 7 Plus.
    All in all I have now completely embraced Apple.
    That security concern I had was the seed that planted my tree which now bares Apple fruit in abundance.

    For day to day running with every device so tightly linked together I could not find that with Android.
    Then there is the Pencil ~ wow, what a device that is. For an artist or illustrator let me say that single small device has stood head shoulders worts and all above all my other creative devices.
    Finally the apps ~ iOS apps are much deeper and professionally supported. You only have to look at Adobe to start the role of developer after developer all charging in with app after app, each providing a level normally found on desktop devices.

    I still use Android phones as a pastime as I can not dismiss something that gave me a lot of support and pleasure and still love to pick up and hold whatever Android comes to hand, but for all that Apple gives me it saddens me to think Android will remain just for tinkering.

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  4. I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    Does it matter which platform you use, as long as your satisfied with your choice.
    Regards. Gordon.

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  5. Oh what an impossible question to answer !!

    Can come up with an arbitrary list of criteria that conclusively proves either is better.

    Now how do you get that across to teenagers. Who for the large part believe it’s either iPhone or nothing.

    Steve’s nephew being happy with a 2011 era iPhone in 2016 over something more modern, no contest by an overwhelming margin winner, just because it makes him fit in (!)

    What could you say to someone like that.

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