Android vs iOS, this is the more than decade-old clash that fires up all technology enthusiasts. In particular of the mobile one. On the other hand, when we talk about smartphones and tablets we can only think of the two operating systems of Google and Apple, in fact two different philosophies of thought applied to the sector. When we bought a new mobile device, we all found ourselves having to choose between one or the other: this is because the operating system determines the performance, the features and the peculiarities of the device we'll choose and that we'll probably keep for the next years.
In this guide we want to analyze in detail all the peculiar characteristics of iOS and Android, so as to understand which is the OS that suits us best. And which one could meet our needs. In fact, we cannot establish if one is better than the other, but certainly outlining a profile made of advantages and limitations can help especially those who are completely unfamiliar with the subject.
Better Android or iPhone?
The world is full of rivalries, and the reality of smartphones, after the failure of Windows Mobile, is characterized by that Android vs iOS. Rivalry that has led the public to ask at each new generational transition if Android or iPhone is better. As already mentioned, it is not possible to give an unequivocal answer to the question: both are very valid, the two mobile OSes offer their own features and exclusive options, which are well suited to the needs of a wide and particularly varied user base. The very nature of an operating system explains why those developed by the Cupertino giant and Mountain View respond so differently to consumer demands: as with computers, it is a basic application that allows us to issue commands, perform various operations, and use the functions of the device, using a graphic interface that is as intuitive and interactive as possible.
Before investigating the similarities and differences between Android and iOS, it's good to clarify a few myths that have been created and spread over the years about the two rival mobile operating systems. You may have heard that iOS is a completely closed system and does not allow you to download anything outside of the AppStore, that Android is full of viruses, or that Android is for the cheapest devices and iOS for those who have too much money to spend. Well, these are completely wrong ideas, often driven by a few too many "fanboysmo" and distorted communication.
The features of Android
Android is currently the most widely used operating system in the world, due to its open source origin. Before being purchased by Google, it was in fact a completely open project, a software not protected by copyright and therefore absolutely modifiable by the users themselves. Today, despite the fact that there is no longer the possibility to freely edit the main code, Big G's OS is compatible with devices and platforms that are very different from each other. The company allows the use of Android to several smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung, Xiaomi, HTC, Asus or Sony, who can use it in compatibility on their devices, both modifying its appearance and customizing it, in some occasions even with exclusive accessory features.
It is precisely the customization that is one of the strengths of this operating system, often used by supporters of the Google ecosystem just in the comparison Android vs iOS. Anyone, including end customers, can adapt Android to their smartphone or tablet with a personal touch, perhaps by changing the graphics, purchasing apps from digital stores other than the Google Play Store, and even going as far as installing modified versions of Android, known as Custom ROMs. Consequence of such freedom, is the presence in the Google Play Store of a disproportionate number of applications, suitable for any budget, many are free, and need.
An open source operating system, in itself open, however, also exposes itself to some risks, which could alienate a certain group of potential buyers. Among these, first of all we have protection disadvantages, considering that there is a higher exposure to viruses and malware, linked to the higher diffusion and to the many customizations that can be made. Critical issues also concern possible drops in the performance of the devices, especially for the cheaper ones. If you don't have a sufficiently advanced hardware, in the long run Android can be heavy, and particularly prone to bugs and slowdowns of any kind, depending in any case on the brand under consideration.
To close the list of cons, a mention on system updates: when a new version of the operating system is released, the brands that use it for their smartphones must necessarily adapt its features based on specific needs; a process, this, which can take time and lead to malfunctions or compatibility errors.
The iOS features
iOS is Apple's proprietary mobile operating system, which Tim Cook's company uses on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch,
with a dedicated and customized version for the wearable range. Considering the exclusive use, unlike Android, it is the second most used OS in the world, demonstrating how much the articles of the bitten apple are appreciated both by the geek audience and by the more casual one. Hardware items, on the other hand, made hand in hand with the software, creating a harmonious and in tune coupling. If Android must necessarily adapt to a myriad of devices with different performances, on the contrary, Apple's operating system was born with and for its devices, making it more performing on a practical level.
This also translates into apps that are always optimized, since developers can easily adapt them to the "closed system" of iOS, with updates that are solid and long-lasting. The differences with Android are also felt in terms of security, since iPhone apps can only be downloaded from the App Store, and before publication they are all checked. So it's virtually impossible to run into a virus or download malicious apps to your phone using iOS. In addition, the updates are instant, without having to wait for the period of "adaptation" typical of the Android universe that we were talking about earlier.
The Apple operating system is actually easier and more intuitive to use, even for those who are not exactly a "geek". The privacy issue has always been at the center of the attention of the star and stripes company: thanks to the uniqueness and exclusivity of the operating system and hardware on which iPhones and iPads work, it is possible to resort to powerful technicalities able to combine software and hardware ensuring a huge security standard on several fronts. At the same time, the iPhone philosophy is also appreciated for its efficiency, speed and fluidity, with bugs and slowdowns reduced to a minimum. Apple's is now a compact ecosystem in which devices can be instantly synchronized and data can be shared in real time. On the other hand, there are many disadvantages, from the minimal customization to the tools and accessories compatible only if they are Apple branded, passing through the prices that are not exactly within everyone's reach.
Android vs iOS: which one to choose?
The Android vs iOS challenge cannot then close with a definitive winner. There are several factors to take into account, and very often they depend on the price range and exquisitely technological hardware under consideration. Let's think, for example, to the design or to the screen, to the battery and to the construction materials, or even to the ease of use, to the performance and to the price. If we want to make a judgement, we could say that iOS is notoriously appreciated for its simplicity, while Android can be a bit more cumbersome for those who are not familiar with technology.
Being that the choice is subjective, in principle you should opt for Apple's operating system if you are approaching a smartphone for the first time and are not very familiar with electronics. In this way, you'll find yourself part of a secure and intuitive ecosystem, unparalleled from a practical point of view. On the other hand, given its open source nature, Android is a more suitable OS for those who want to use their cell phone to do everything they could have done at home with a PC. A smartphone equipped with the robot's operating system offers users hundreds of apps more than iOS, as well as an extreme flexibility with files and folders and a greater ability to customize more than one aspect. Not only that, thanks to the continuous expansion of the Chinese smartphone market, there is more access to low cost technology, and you can take home a terminal with decent features starting from a hundred euros. On the other hand, performance will suffer: those of Apple products are usually superior to almost all the mid-range offered by the various brands in circulation.