Image of Android vs iOS showing the pros and cons of the homescreen

Android vs iOS Pros and Cons (Explained!)

When choosing a smartphone, you must first decide one thing… 

Android or iOS?

This decision will affect the way you interact with your device and connect to the world.

There are pros and cons to both android and iphone. Neither option is better, it’s a matter of preference. Each system has amazing features and a few drawbacks. After reviewing the pros and cons of each operating system, you should be able to decide on which system to go for. Your work environment or personal lifestyle may dictate the best system for you.  

The reality is that this is a completely personal decision as to which one you chose to purchase. You’ll probably spend more time using your phone than any other device you own. Who you are and what you do with your device is what should decide which operating system you work with. This is your decision. We’ll just guide you a bit so you’ll know what questions to be asking when choosing how to proceed.

So let’s get started!

Overall, Apple’s lineup of smartphones are pretty much straightforward. On Apple’s iPhone comparison page, you have a budget tier, a mid-range tier, and high end tier. They all generally do and perform the same when it comes to everyday tasks. Android on the other hand is more diverse. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Cameras

Apple’s camera system, for the most part, is the same across all models of iPhones. For example, their cameras can record video at 4K and 1080p video, record videos in slow-motion, use optical image stabilization, render images in HDR, use selfie mode, take pictures in night mode, and the list goes on and on. Where they differ is in the amount of camera lenses. At the time of this post, the base model iPhone 11 camera only comes with a 12 megapixel wide and ultra wide camera lens unlike the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max that come with a 12 megapixel ultra wide, wide, and telephoto cameras lenses. 

When it comes to Android phones, they may come with 12 megapixel wide camera lens, but some smartphones like the Samsung S20 Plus also comes with a 64 megapixel telephoto lens or the Google Pixel 4a which sports an 16 megapixel telephoto lens. 

Internal Specs

Earlier I mentioned Apple’s lineup of smartphones are relatively similar across the board. They have the same processor, RAM, water resistance ratings, video recording specs, and more. While that’s true, the differences mainly lie in the components and specs.

If you’re considering a budget tier iPhone, keep in mind that the battery may not last long, the screen resolution will be lower than the higher models, and the amount of camera lenses will be less. 

On the flipside, with high end models, you’ll have longer battery life, a bright crisp display, multiple lenses, and a more powerful processor to run powerful gaming apps and AR (augmented reality) related apps.

When it comes to Android smartphones, not only do you have different brands of  smartphones running Android’s operating system, but a good chunk of these smartphones will have their own modified version of said operating system, meaning, the system will have some different quirks and the phones won’t get the same updates at the same time. 

What’s more, the specs for these smartphones differ from smartphone to smartphone. You potentially end up with various screen resolutions, RAM amounts, processor chips, camera lenses, build qualities, and more. 

Storage

Almost every android device has a micro SD card slot. This means that the purchaser is able to expand their storage. Back in the early days, having expandable storage was a benefit if your phone was 32 GB and you needed more space. Now, this not only expands your storage from the standard 128GB to 256GB or even 512GB, but it may also save you money from having to buy a smartphone with 256GB or even 512GB storage.

With cards getting cheaper and cheaper every day, this is a far better option for one who’s going to use their phone’s storage to the maximum. 

If considering an iPhone, storage capacities are the same across their line of phones. Unlike Android phones, iPhones don’t have micro SD card slots so you’ll have to decide beforehand what capacity will be right for you.

Android vs iOS: Software

This is the part in the conversation where we really need to focus on the user. Who are they? How do they use their phone and how tech savvy are they?

One key difference between Android’s devices and their iOS counterparts is the software operating system. Overall, iPhones are simpler phones to use making the iPhone the superior system to use for anyone who isn’t tech savvy. Things are simpler because the operating system gives less overwhelming customization options as opposed to Android smartphones. And on top of that, the phone just works. 

If a person is not tech savvy they can really make a mess of an Android phone because of its widgets, screen options, file management system, optional screen layouts, etc.

With iOS, you’re getting an ecosystem. Users can naturally airdrop files, web pages, and pictures to one another as long as they have apple devices. What’s more, your iPhone and iPad will sync perfectly with other apple products such as Macbooks, iMacs, Apple Watches, Mac Pros, Apple CarPlay, and the list goes on and on. 

Android really lets you run your phone like a PC. For example, on Android, you can download files from browsing the internet and attachments from emails directly to your Android device. This flexibility is something Apple tends to struggle with. Recently Apple has updated their operating system to include a file management system on their mobile devices, however Android’s software can handle this a bit better.

This can be a benefit for computer and techy people, but not ideal for people who are not computer savvy or just need a smartphone without all the bells and whistles.

Android vs iOS: Apps

Android phones use the Google Play store to get apps and iOS devices use the “App Store”. They are both great marketplaces where you can find virtually anything you’re looking for, with a few exceptions.

On Apple’s platform, a person is given a set of free, highly effective apps for many uses. For instance, Garage Band is a fully functioning DAW (digital audio workstation) that is included with purchase of a new iPhone. Apple gives you things like, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Facetime, and more right out of the box that you may find yourself using today, tomorrow and a year from now.

Apple’s App Store is a platform that’s highly restrictive and all apps are approved by Apple before they can be sold on the platform. Apple can limit what’s allowed to be sold in the app store. For example, you’ll have a terrible time trying to get an emulator on an Iphone so that you can play old Nintendo games.

Android’s Google Play Store is more or less the wild west when it comes to apps in their app store. Anyone can upload an app to the Google Play Store and start distributing and selling it. This allows for more black-market apps which can be nice for anyone trying to trick their phone’s location to watch a game if they live in a blackout market. It also means a person can accidentally get malicious spyware. Be careful and do research before downloading any apps from the Google Play Store.

Android vs iOS: Security and Privacy

Both devices are equally secure, however it’s far easier to operate insecurely on an Android. 

Because of the App Store’s restrictive manner, spyware and malicious software is pretty rare. This is not the case on Android. The last time I was shopping for a new phone, I was told by a store manager that almost every day, multiple senior citizens came into the store because their phones kept making weird noises, getting hot, or even calling people on its own. Almost every single time, this was the result of spyware that they’d downloaded on their phone. 

Now this isn’t to say that you can’t be safe on Android. 

However, If a person has Android, they should be more diligent with their Play Store app installs. 

Some quick advice. Don’t be afraid to dig into the reviews on an app’s download page in the Play Store. They can be helpful in letting you know if the app is functioning properly or if it’s spammy. On iOS, pretty much feel free to download anything you see.

Android vs iOS: Customization

When it comes to customization options, there’s no debate. Android far exceeds iOS in its ability to be customized and personalized to your individual preferences. 

The questions you need to ask yourself are, do I want a smartphone with a lot of customization? Or do I prefer the piece of mind that can come from not having that many customization features?

The Verge explains that with Android, you can choose the layouts of your own screens. You also have apps such as Nova Launcher and Action Launcher that allow you to arrange your app drawer to your liking as well as manage your icons, layouts, and even animations on your home screen. These apps run in the background and you can choose whether or not to display them on your home screen.

You are in complete control of the design of your screen. You can choose how the grid is set up and how many icons you want, how many screens you need, and if you need any widgets (live apps that update while sitting on home screens). No two people’s Android phones will look the same. 

On the iPhone, you can put apps into folders and rearrange the icons on your dock.You can also assign wallpapers on the lock and home screens however, you can’t change the layout of the home screen and you don’t have an app drawer to manage all of your apps.

If you’re a person prone to messing things up on your phone and accidentally deleting or losing apps, Android can be daunting and the simplistic iOS system might be the best for you.

What’s the best System? iOS or Android?

There’s no real answer to this because it depends on personal preference.  Now that you know some of the pros and cons for both phone types, following are a few questions to help you determine what you need.

Ask yourself these questions:  

    • How tech literate am I? 
    • Am I really good at troubleshooting tech problems or do I tend to get myself into confusing situations? 
    • Am I prone to getting computer viruses and spyware and can I get myself out of it?
    • Do I need to be able to customize my phone?
    • Is there any particular software I need on my phone for work or personal use?
    • How much storage will I need? 
    • If I choose a smaller storage size now and find that I need more later, are there any options to help down the road?

I hope this post helped you in deciding which smartphone operating system is right for you. If it did please share this post with a friend!