Comparing Android and iOS: Which is Better?

best smartphone operating systems

Today’s popular smartphones are either running on Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. According to IDC, these two platforms accounted for virtually all smartphones shipped in recent years. Fortunately for us, both smartphone operating systems, can be categorized as excellent. They have many similarities, but there are also some significant differences you’ll want to note.

In this article, we are going to compare Android and iOS in several categories and pick our winner for each one. The answer to the question of which the two popular platforms are the best depends on the things that matter most to you.

Affordability

The most affordable iPhone variation as of this writing is the iPhone 11, which starts at $700. If you have more budget, you can opt for the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which starts at $1,100.

Meanwhile, nothing competes with Android for sheer scale and variety. Budget-conscious consumers are served with a wide selection of good, low-cost handsets that are optimized to run on low-end hardware. Consumers with a higher budget can spend more on the likes of Google’s Pixel 4 XL and Samsung Galaxy Note line.

For this category, Android is a clear winner.

Apps

Google Play Store has roughly 2.7 million Android apps, while the iOS app has 2.2 million. Based on the numbers, Android wins. However, numbers are not the best metric as most users only use a few apps, and the popular ones are available on both platforms. In the US, iOS has been a more lucrative platform for developers, but it’s the other way around outside the country. While the Play Store has more free apps than the App Store, the best mobile games still made available first on iOS.

The iOS is the winner under this category since quality beats quantity.

App Store

Both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store provide a good browsing experience, but the latter does a better job with curated recommendations. Questionable apps are present in both stores, but Apple is generally better in blocking certain types of apps.

IOS has a slight edge with its usability and curated content.

Sideloading

Since Apple is opposed to third-party app stores, sideloading is virtually not possible in iOS. Meanwhile, Android makes it easy for you to sideload apps. Tick a box in the settings to allow the third-party app, download an APK, and you’re done. However, doing so can make your phone prone to malware.

The clear winner is Android for a more extensive choice of apps and easy sideloading.

Maps

Apple Maps may not have a favorable start, but it has improved significantly. Apple Maps and Google Maps provide users the ability to download maps for offline use, find detailed directions for driving and walking, and get accurate estimates based on traffic conditions.

One fantastic feature of Google Maps that is not in Apple Maps is cycling directions. Overall, Google Maps has more points of interest and generally more detailed than Apple Maps.

The winner is Android.

Battery life and charging

Both Android and iOS let you see the battery usage at a glance, but only Android shows the estimated battery life. Both have wireless charging and fast charging capabilities. However, you need to buy a separate fast-charging adapter for some iPhone models, while Android phones with such capability already have the fast-charging adapter in the box. Android phones tend to have a longer battery life with fast chargers included in the box.

This category is hard to decide, but we pick Android as the winner.

Security

Both Android and iOS provide necessary updates for security purposes. However, if your Android device does not have a stock Android operating system, you’ll be behind in the updated world. Millions of Android phones are still running versions that are years old, making them vulnerable to serious hacks. Apple, meanwhile, is known for its tight security measures and can immediately send necessary updates even to their years’ old models.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the one who can decide which is better among the two operating systems is you. If security and privacy are important to you, you can choose the iPhone. If you put weight on battery life, then choose Android. Both Android and iOS are mature platforms with more similarities than differences.