Disclaimer: The information below is purely my own personal opinion and research. You're most welcome to share your opinion in the comments at the end of the article.
There are a lot of reasons why Android is still better than iOS, even in 2019.
Some of you might ask:
Is Android really better than iOS?
What are the main differences between Android and iOS?
Which one should I pick to develop mobile apps?
Time for an analysis.
The feud Android vs iOS has been around ever since the beginning. It's really the classic battle: Coca-cola vs Pepsi, McDonalds vs Burger King or Canon vs Nikon.
As we all know, the competition doesn't just stop on business level between those companies. The actual debate evolves when it comes down to the fan groups. It's exactly the fact that these two large companies rapidly and continually advance each day and passing the other what brought them to the top.
But, is Android really better than iOS? Let's find out
When it comes to these kinds of competition, it's only valid to start the analysis of their history.
The iOS, a system developed by Apple and is purely developed only for Apple's own devices in 2007, for iPhone and iPad. The earliest iOS was originally designed for Apples first generation of products (mobile phones a.k.a iPhones). It exactly this tremendously good system that made a revolution in the industry. And this particular fact also led Apple to surpass the dominant handset industry and created the most brilliant phones in the world.
Although users constantly complain that Apple lacks innovation less and less with each product, it can't be denied that iOS is an artwork with a collection of fine qualities.
On the other hand, Android was developed by Andy Rubin in 2003 only to be acquired by Google in 2005. Ever since than there have been tremendous improvements, making it famous worldwide. Today, Android's development is purely based on Linux. The early version of the interface is way too simple, and some of the details are modeled on iOS, such as the “Slide to unlock” function. Steve Jobs is known to repeatedly sue Google for this, but failed every time.
The evolution of Android can be dubbed to be a rags-to-riches story. If the iOS can be called the biggest contribution of bringin a shocking revolution, than Android is a trend that has driven the overall advancement of smart phones.
The usage of Android is growing each day, and more and more devices in the market are using Android. I personally believe that this is a result of a wide range of achievements and attainments that Android brings
The open source advantage
Time to take the yellow legal pad – it's pros and cons time.
The judgement on the pros and cons between the two is really a comprehensive comparison between the issues on hardware and software.
The biggest and main difference between them is the closed source system, and the open one. iOS is well known for having a closed source system. In case you're not familiar with the term, it means that only Apple can use it privately, and that is the only official version of the system. This bugs a lot of developers who want to improve or change their devices to fit them.
On the other hand, Android has an open source system, that means that anyone who wants can use and modify it to fit them best.
A this point, Android wins. Just because of this, Android gets tons of good revisions like the CM, MIUI etc.
Let's visualize the difference between open and closed source.
Imagine a room with a skylight only. That is a closed source system. You can't change anything, and that's all there is.
Now, imagine a room with doors on all sides, and you can open each one. That is a open source system. You can use any door that you want, and modify it.
The difference in hardware is also an interesting issue between Android and iOS.
The chassis of a traditional PC can easily be dissembled and self-upgraded with the parts you want to install. However, the Mac has special screws that makes it impossible for a simple user to open the device. This leaves them with the only option to go to the nearest shop and ask for help from the staff.
The iPhone, MacBook and other Apple's devices can't be opened either. Also, you can't change the battery on your own, unless you go to their shops. Of course.
This is also known as Steve Jobs's “control desire”.
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages for each of them.
Let's start with what iPhone has better than Android
You will get familiar with the environment right away, as it doesn't have a very spacious room. This allows you to easily learn the system and operate naturally.
Because the system is built for high optimization, it has high fluency and is very comfortable.
Because of the sound copyright protection, the resolution of the software has only a few fixed kinds. This allows it to be developed more easily. Also, there tends to be only good and original apps in the App store.
If there's no Jailbreak, the iOS system is tremendously secure with low chances of being hacked.
If you want to put a picture, upload music or a video inside your phone, Android can be as simple as a U disk. However, with iPhone you have to connect it to iTunes first.
Interestingly enough, iTunes is dubbed as one of the worst products Apple has ever launched. This comes from the hardness to use it and it took people too long to adapt to it.
What bugs users while using iTunes is the “sync” process. If you've mastered using it, it's an awesome tool. But if not, it's a real pain to deal with it.
Most people also talk about iOS' background function. This is because iOS doesn't run in the background. Most users worship this feature, for it makes iPhone run smoothly. Because they're not in the background, they're not occupying any hardware resource. The reason why I listed this under disadvantages is because if an app is downloading something and you press home, it will stop the download.
In order to use iOS to download software, you need to go to the App Store. The disadvantage: not all software of developers can show up in the store. On android you can download apps from any other app stores to install in your phone.
There is also only one theme in iOS, and there is really no home page, just the application bar. On Android, there are thousands of Android systems you can choose from.
And, last but not least: versions. You can only upgrade the iOS and never downgrade. If you don't like the new system, you're really stuck with it. It's very, very hard to downgrade and it requires using some unconventional ways.
Comparing the new versions
Currently, Apple's latest version is iOS 11, and google has Android O. These two support, well almost all mobile phones currently in use. But who wins at this stage?
You can zoom out video or Google maps to floating thumbnails. This helps you to keep doing other things while looking at them. This is also known as Picture-in-Picture.
You can automatically select names, phone numbers and other information to copy and paste.
Also, new app notification feature enables you to press and hold the app icon to expand the information.
You can pay your friends with Apple Pay in iMessage.
You can play multiple indoors speakers, and you can browse all the new features.
In my opinion: point Android. Just by implementing the “Picture-in-picture” it's enough said. Along with the auto-fill, the features can make the daily usage of phones more convenient.
2. Voice assistants
Apple has Siri, and Android has Android Assistant (not to forget to mention Google Voice search with Google now as well). Some of the new features make Siri look better, such as the addition of the male voice, and guessing what you want to know next.
While this was happening at Apple, Google Assistant Google Lens was improved by having a recognizable object more, and a keyboard input as well. This it to remove the limitation of just using speech to search.
In my opinion: point Android. Even though there are a lot of new features, there is really nothing new. Comparing these two, Google Assistant is way more accurate than Siri.
3. Design improvements
Apple redesigned the whole lock screen, control center and the Siri interface. Even though Android O also made some adjustments, it can in no way compare with the beauty of the iOS 11.
The design for iPhone X brings a lot of new challenges, but also great design opportunities.
In my opinion: point iOS (by a mile).
4. AR and VR
Android has been ahead of Apple in AR and VR for quite some years now.
Android has Google Daydream's support when it comes to VR and Tango for AR. Additionally, it recently announced the launch of the stand-alone helmet.
While this is happening, Apple has just set foot in the field of the AR. Despite this, Apple claims that it has the world's largest AR platform and ARKit developer platform will be available this year.
In my opinion: point Android in VR. No result in the AR war, really. If the process of the Tango project keeps going slowly, iPhone will overcome Google in this. This stands only if the iPhone camera can support AR. But, it's still to early to tell.
In essence, Android is better than iPhone in many cases.
I will list my personal reasons why I think that Android rules over iPhone:
- Having a lot more choices in the Android hardware
- I can plug in my headphones any time – no need for extra hardware
- Settings are never been more than a swipe away
- I can replace the launcher
- Icons that I pin are actually very helpful
- The usage of widgets on the home page is very helpful
- There's a back button close to your thumb
- I can change the default browser (Safari sucks)
- The volume control is more flexible (I can keep the volume of the call at the highest, while lowering it just for music)
John Marx is a native of Nebraska, and graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College in 2014 with a B.A. in French. Continuing his studies at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy.