iPhone vs. Android – which one is better?
That’s a matter that’s long been debated ever since Samsung rose to prominence as a competent alternative to Apple in the last decade. But when you have people on both sides saying their product of choice is the best, it’s safe to say that it’s all a matter of preference. But you have to ask: what predisposes some people to choose the iPhone over Android, and vice versa?
Our theory is, it has to do with individual user preferences and the features and services found on either platform. Curious about whether are you an iPhone person or an Android person? Read on and find out!
Hardware: Liberty or Quality?
One of the biggest reasons users go for iPhones over Androids is that there is simply better integration between hardware and software there. The iOS is made specifically for iPhones, and as such, offers better stability and guarantees better functionality overall. On the other hand, Android phones are not nearly as polished, granted that their OS is outsourced from Google, and it’s generally up to manufacturers to make their phones work with the Android OS.
But it’s not all downsides here. The sheer amount of Android phone options out there in the market give users more liberty on which phone to choose, with some phones coming in with better parts, better make, and better integration with Google’s OS than others. Bottom-line: if you want more stability and overall quality on your phone, go with Apple. But if you want more flexibility on your phone options, go Android.
Security: Impregnable or Flexible?
The sheer number of Android phones out there guarantees that there will be more options for customisation for Android out there, just going by the sheer number of corresponding users. This allows Android phone owners to personalise their user experience to a great degree; from changing the look and feel of their home screens to using features they normally wouldn’t have access to, Android gives users more control over their smartphone – more so than iPhone users get.
But don’t go thinking Android is better in this respect just yet. Apple is very stringent with their security for the iPhone for a very good reason: it keeps users’ secure. Sure, you don’t get to customise your home screen, but you do get to avoid unnecessary risks of hackers gaining access to your files or sensitive info on your phone. Not to mention, the majority of malware is developed by hackers for Android phones.
So in short, iPhones give you more security at the expense of customisation, while Android phones give you more personalisation at the expense of protection. No clear winners in this department either.
Apps: Better Apps or Free Apps?
Apple takes security seriously, and not just with hardware or software. To date, it takes great pains to remove suspicious or less-than-reputable apps from its App Store (and iTunes) in order to undermine efforts from hackers to inject malware into users’ iPhones. What’s more, granted that all iPhones technically use the same OS across the board, there’s app developers have no problem creating and optimizing games for the iOS – the primary reasons why the iOS version of some apps appear more polished and just run smoother than their Android counterparts.
Meanwhile, app devs typically struggle with Android releases, considering the great variety of phones out there. Whenever you press “Install” on the Google Playstore, the app will have to consider your phone’s OS version as well as your Android phone’s type and manufacturer, and give you a compatible APK file in the process. But the one advantage the Playstore has over the App Store is a significant one: the majority of the apps on it are free, and Google incentivises developers to create free apps with in-app purchase options.
That’s great news for all users, but not so much for devs who rely on the income to produce apps with better quality. So again, it’s a tie.
User Experience: More Features or Greater Stability
Your choice in this part has a great impact on whether you’re better suited for Android or iPhone. From what we’ve covered so far, Android phones have an open system and allows for greater flexibility on the part of the user. This openness lends to some pretty awesome customisations, as well as greater liberties on the part of manufacturers to add hardware or software components to their Android products. Thanks to that, we have Samsung’s Infinity Display and LG’s modular add-ons, as well as several other features that recent iPhone iterations are only starting to broach.
In contrast, iPhones are primarily closed systems which prioritise user security with an emphasis on quality. We’ve learned that that has some downsides, but at the end of the day, users are given a better experience overall. Let’s face it: many users aren’t all that interested in fiddling with their phones until they get their customisations down. Most are content with a phone that works well, has intuitive features, and runs their apps without a hitch. In that front, iPhones perform better.
Price: Reasonable vs. Luxurious
iPhones are known for two things: 1) they’re high-quality; and 2) they’re high-priced. The record-holder for the iPhone with the lowest price tag on its release date was the iPhone SE for £300 (or AU$ 500). It’s been rumoured that the latest iPhone to be released – the iPhone 8 – will sell for £700 and above. Needless to say, that’s quite an investment if you’re a middle class chap.
But considering the level of detail and security that goes into the iPhone, you can sort of justify why it has the price it has. In comparison, you can find Android phones that are much, much cheaper, but the same standard applies to these as well: cheaper usually means substandard materials, cheaper production value, etc. But there are reasonably priced Android phones that do strike a great balance between value and price, and they are great for your pockets if you’re on a tight budget.
Simply put, you get what you pay for at the end of the day – it’s more a matter of how deep your pockets are than anything else.
Still undecided on whether you’re an Android person or an iPhone chap? Below are more considerations that could help you decide:
- Assistant: Google Assistant is far more helpful, but Siri can be more entertaining.
- Battery Life: Apple has non-removable batteries that are long lasting, but Android phones typically have removable and/or larger capacity batteries.
- Support: Apple has licensed distributors nearly everywhere where users can have their iPhones checked/fixed/replaced. No dedicated “Android Stores” that anyone can identify.
- Device Integration: If you own a Mac or Other Apple devices, go for an iPhone since it provides better device integration. If you don’t, or if you own non-Apple PCs, or just encounter USB-compatible devices on a more regular basis, go for an Android.
- Resale Value: Since they’re so common, Android phones tend to have low resale value. In contrast, iPhones can be sold second-hand for a significantly higher value than most other smartphones.
- Screen Size: Android phones take more liberties when it comes to screen size, so it’s easier for users to find a size they’re comfortable with. Apple tends to be more conservative when it comes to size, which, to be fair, makes the iPhone easy to hold and pocket.
- Gaming: iPhones have become very decent gaming machines as of late, especially with all the strides made with Apple’s patented A-chip series. However, Android phones tend to incorporate newer versions of graphics cards and chipsets, and take more liberties with the RAM and number of processors.
- Trash Apps: Most Android phones tend to come with garbage stock apps that nobody ever uses but fill up valuable space anyway. iPhone users don’t have this problem, which streamlines user experience.