So youve decided youre ready for a smartphone or other mobile device. Or, youre ready for your next one. Apple is far from the only store in town anymore. When the iPod and then the iPhone first came on the market, they turned the world on its ear, much like the Macintosh did back in the 80s.
And, like then, it wasnt long before the competition began to surface. In the 80s Microsoft introduced Windows to offer an even competition for other PC manufacturers and Apple. Now, the major competition to the iPhone and its iOS operating system is Googles Android platform. Other options are offered by Microsoft, Blackberry and others, but we wont be discussing them here.
Just as there always have been, and always will be, die-hard Mac and Windows fanatics; there are those who stand by either iOS or Android, regardless of the argument you present. However, here are some standard arguments between iOS vs Android for and against both platforms.
Android is more flexible. Many users feel that the Android platform offers a much more customizable experience, where Apple tends to tie your hands, and dictates many things for you. For some people this is an advantage, while for others its actually a hindrance. If you have the skill and time to make a lot of adjustments to your phone, so it can run exactly the way you want, Android allows you that flexibility.
iOS is more intuitive. The flip side of that argument is what Apple has always used as a basis for their design models. Essentially, most people dont want to see how the sausage is made, or know how a computer works. Apple strives to make products that anyone can understand, with little to no instruction. It has been shown that four year olds and younger in developing nations can use an iPad intuitively.
Of course, Android devotees will argue that youll be more familiar with whatever platform you learn first.
Android offers an open platform. As part of their business model, Apple doesnt make it easy for people to download apps outside of the iTunes Store. Its not impossible, but not easy. Many Android users again point this out as one of iOSs major flaws that the company knows better what you want then you do.
In the same way, you can make many changes to an Android device after you buy it like changing the start, screen, web browser, etc. With an Apple device, most of this is built and locked into the operating system.
iOS is more fluid. Apple has always been hard-nosed about only releasing quality products. This is the reason they demand such tight control over their devices and software. They want to ensure a hassle free experience to their users.
Android, like Windows, is just an operating system sold by Google, and comes loaded on several different types of hardware. Everything Apple puts out, Apple makes. Sometimes the quality of the hardware for Android products can be sub-par, though some newer products are arguable competitive with the iPhone. Some people will argue that Android lags at times, while iOS offers a smoother overall performance, though this may have to do with the hardware as well.
Android has update issues. Again, Apple has customer satisfaction in mind, and regularly sends updates to all of its users and their products. Because Android is available on so many different devices, the updates can be late to the point of being useless by the time they arrive.
Also, because Android is a mostly open platform, some companies add complicated functionality that not only eats up memory, but causes more upgrade issues.
There are work-arounds to this as well, such as buying a Google Nexus or other stock Android item that will receive regular updates.
Android lets you tinker, iOS does not. And to summarize, the argument is similar to the old Mac/Windows debate. Android is good for those who want to go in and play around with their phone, and change it to their liking. Apple allows some customization, but within strict guidelines.
Android allows you to get into the operating system and make changes, which is nice, if you know what you are doing. Apple keeps this shut off to most people so they dont break anything unintentionally.
These are all general arguments, and all are subject to attack from both sides. Essentially, most of the problems can be overcome with a little bit of knowledge on the users part, and ultimately it will come down to personal preference.