Considering that Android phones of late have caught up with the powerhouse that iPhone has always been, the line dividing the two smartphone OS’s is now thinner than ever.
Pit the Galaxy S9 and iPhone X against each other and you won’t find many difference other than the different layouts, user interface, and hardware design that gives it away.
However, this lack of difference can give you a false perception of equality, and you may have been led to believe that choosing between the two isn’t important anymore. But more than a decade after the iPhone’s release and Android’s subsequent challenge to its throne, deciding between iOS or Android is still as relevant in 2018 as it was 5 years ago.
To understand, you’d have to dig a little deeper into both the OS, but since we’ve done that for you, let us guide you on why you have to make an informed decision and not simply buy the smartphone that fancies you.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’d know that privacy (or lack thereof) has been all the rage and many big name companies have come under the radar for invading people’s privacy. Facebook and Google top the list of companies that have been accused of harvesting their user’s data and taking advantage of their trust.
“Whatever data is sent to Apple is anonymized and gets scrambled so that individuals cannot be identified.”
Apple, unlike the aforementioned companies, has been highly vocal about how it respects the privacy of the user and never stores their data in the cloud or on their servers. Rather, Apple stores all the data securely on your device, and whatever data is sent to Apple is anonymized and gets scrambled so that individuals cannot be identified.
Google, the mother of Android, is known for keeping as much personal information about you as possible to provide you personalized ads and services. In fact, it probably knows more about than your close friends, and that’s saying something. And while you can read Google’s policies here,don’t miss out on the fact that you’d have to consider the handset maker’s policies as well before buying an Android device. Since there are tons of Android handset makers, like Samsung, LG, Huawei, HTC, OnePlus, Nokia, Google itself, Sony, and the list goes on, you’d also have to keep their policies in mind.
Meanwhile Apple even stood up to the FBI to defend its stance on privacy, so if you care about or don’t want your OS snooping on your personal data, iOS is the way to go.
Winner = iOS
As is the case with macOS compared to Windows, yet the security margin is greater on the iOS front than Android. It’s not exactly a secret that malware is usually aimed at Android phones, and there’s a high probability that it goes through. Even when you take security updates into account, Android devices are the slowest to receive them since Google has to work with a gazillion manufacturers.
Android may not be a complete bug store it used to be and if you were to stick to stock Android and not mess around a lot, you’d be fine. But you’d still need to guard your Android device to make it completely secure. However, if you do stick to stock Android and not mess with customizations and tinker with the OS, then what’s the point of using Android, eh?
“Apple achieves this level of security by limiting a lot of what apps can do and how you control your device”
iOS, on the other hand, although not completely immune to hackings, is a tightly locked software and therefore, security is never that big of a concern. Apple achieves this level of security by limiting a lot of what apps can do and how you can control your device. Developers have to get their apps signed off and approved by Apple before deploying them on the App Store, and that ensures there’s minimum hanky panky that you often find in Android apps. But, hey, if all that leads to more security and less time figuring out why my apps are crashing, then I’ll take it. And I have a hunch that you’d too.
So while Android is trying to catch up with iOS by flagging down malicious apps on the Google Play Store, it’s still got to run miles before it can do that. Till then, you’re better off using iPhone as your daily driver if you don’t want your experience compromised.
Winner = iOS
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Apps are better on iPhone. They work better, they are subtly designed better, and the big names are usually released on iOS before they are made available to the Android market. So yes, Apple’s iOS does have a slight advantage here, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and when it comes to proper Apps integration, Android is miles ahead.
“Not only do the apps on Android allow deep access, you can pretty much control how you want the apps to interact with the OS.”
Odds are stacked heavily in Android’s favor here, thanks to the open nature of the Google owned smartphone OS. While you can’t change the default messaging app on the iPhone, Android users can laugh off at this limitation. Not only do the apps on Android allow deep access, you can pretty much control how you want the apps to interact with the OS.
You can reskin your Android device, customize the lock screen if you wish, and arrange your apps in other ways than initially presented, something you can’t do on iOS. Better app integration also allows you to track app usage and utilize certain type of apps banned from App Store, like Tasker, which allows automation of some OS functions.
While it’s not really important to have this level of deep control over your apps fro everyone, many of you do feel the need to control things your way, and if that’s the case, Android wins hands down. So while Apple sticks to more stability and security, Android can give you the freedom you desire.
Winner = Android
Compatibility, Or the Ecosystem
Apple is often accused of having created a wall around its ecosystem that people find hard to escape. While that argument carries a little weight, we all know that most companies try to do that around their products, take Google and Samsung, for example. They’re all in this game to make money after all.
However, when it comes to creating an ecosystem that actually thrives and works cohesively, no one does it better than Apple. If you’re okay with being in the ecosystem and can afford paying high prices for your products but in return want them to work as intended, you don’t have to look further than Apple. With the iPhone at its center, Apple products work so seamlessly that it’s hard to look at alternatives. The MacBook, iPhone, iPad, the newly introduced HomePod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch for instance, are all meant to give you a cumulative experience no other tech company can promise.
“You can get an Android Wear that works with the iPhone, but you can’t get an Android phone that works with the Apple Watch.”
Granted that it’s a rather tightly knit ecosystem and you’d find it hard to get out, it’s something Apple fans don’t usually care about because it’s so well done. And since Apple devices are everywhere, most manufacturers make sure that their devices are compatible with the iPhone and iPad for example. Hence, you can get a non-Apple smartwatch that works with the iPhone, but you can’t get an Android phone that works with the Apple Watch.
If you own an Apple TV, a MacBook, and the HomeKit, then sticking with iOS is the best choice and you’d find ‘lack of compatibility’ to be a non-existent issue in this case.
Winner = iOS
This is a no-brainer. If you want a smartphone that receives timely updates and is supported for a good number of years, looking beyond iOS is plain fallacy. But wait, let’s take a look at the Android side of the argument to make things clearer.
Android phones aren’t prompt in getting OS updates. Even flagships in the Android world are sometimes deprived of the new OS love. It’s common knowledge that Google prefers to launch the updates for their prefered handsets first (like the Nexus devices and now it’s own Android champion, Pixel) and then looks at the others.
“By the time some Android phones even get to sniff the ‘new’ Android version, Google’s already moved onto the newer version.”
But is that really Google’s fault? Nope. It’s just that the multitude of Android smartphone manufacturers have to work simultaneously with Google to ensure their handsets receive updates, but on top of that there are a gazillion handsets that need to be signed off, and that’s just not possible within a limited time. Hence, by the time some Android phones even get to sniff the ‘new’ Android version, Google’s already moved onto the newer version. And that’s just frustrating. I’ve been at the receiving end of it, and there’s nothing I could do about it.
And if Google Pixel is the solution to it all, isn’t that as pricey as the iPhone and defeats the purpose of choice and affordability? It does.
Coming back to iOS, iPhone software cycle has improved so drastically that the iPhone 5s that was released in 2013 received the iOS 11 update 4 years later and sitting here in 2018, you can still find people running iOS 11 on iPhone 5s like anything. But apart from supporting old devices, every iPhone from the oldest supported to the newest gets the update on the first day of release.
This chart from Statista will shed more light on Apple’s OS update promises:
If OS updates are your concern, the argument just ends here. Get an iPhone and be done with it.
Winner = iOS
While there are many other factors that can count towards what’s ‘the’ smartphone choice for you in 2018, these represent the top components that will define your experience. Bad experiences don’t just mean loss of dollars, but many times it can lead to mental frustration. Hence, it’s important that you make the right decision and stick to an option that doesn’t compromise on your security, privacy, and overall is meant to work cohesively to make your life easier. And as it is apparent from the long discussion above, we recommend that you go with iOS! iPhone, even after more than a decade, is an epitome of what a smartphone should be.
Overall Winner = iOS
So what are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below and let’s get talking