What’s better for you? An Android or iPhone?
This is one of the most difficult question you’ll ever have while choosing a smartphone.
Also, it’s a topic on which there’s an ongoing debate from several years – Android vs iPhone.
Why Android vs iPhone?
Android is an Operating System (OS) while iPhone is a Smartphone which is developed on iOS.
Android and iOS are both operating systems for cellular phones and tablets. Android runs on a variety of phones and tablets, while iOS runs exclusively on Apple iPhones and iPads.
So, what’s the reason behind comparing an Operating System with a Phone?
Here, Android is considered as a smartphone which makes it convenient for the comparison.
Before we begin…
Before we begin, let me clear one thing:
Comparisons can contain hundreds (if not thousands) of factors considering different categories.
Hence, a single comparison can never be the complete one.
A comparison can be taken from many different angles, taking different categories into consideration.
This comparison aims on taking on 16 Important features and then weighing out which one performs the best in it; whether Android or iPhone.
Also, this comparison doesn’t contains any debate related to price. If that was being considered, than Android would’ve been your obvious choice. It comprises of only practical features.
If you want to comparison from other angle (considering other factors), here’s a list of comparisons on the web taking in different angles:
- Daily used features comparison by CNN
- Hardware-centric comparison by Gizmodo
- User-centric comparison by cNet
- Verdict-centric comparison by Ricombu
Android vs iPhone: 16 Important Features Compared!
Let’s begin with the 16 Important Factors to decide between Android vs iPhone and choose the one that best suits your needs.
#1 – Customer Support
When you have a problem with your Android phone, you can contact your manufacturer with their provided options or try online forums.
But with iPhone, you can you can schedule an appointment at an Apple Store Genius Bar, get help via live chat or dive into a vast database of useful help articles on Apple’s website
This level of customer support isn’t always possible with all the Android Manufacturers and Google doesn’t have this kind of direct relationship with its customers.
So, generally, with Android, you’re left on your own to deal with the problem.
#2 – Camera Quality
iPhone is specifically known for it’s cameras!
An iPhone camera can produce pleasing photos with accurate color; and this technology only gets better and better after it’s successor launches in the market.
Now, even 4K quality of photo and video capture is possible with very minute details being visible clearly, thanks to it’s awesome homegrown camera technology.
This isn’t with all the Android phones. Although most of the Android phones ships itself with higher pixels, both front and back, the quality doesn’t seem to match to that of iPhone.
The FaceTime HD has a new Retina Flash feature that boosts the brightness of the screen to double as a flash.
Various tests of iPhone camera quality proves that it has the best possible smartphone cams.
In a face-off between the older iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy S6, Samsung’s camera produced better results in low light, but the iPhone delivered warmer shots outdoors, especially in direct sunlight. The photos from the S6 looked blown out under these conditions.
Considering the major Android manufacturers, iPhone still has a cutting edge over them when it comes to camera quality.
#3 – Multitasking
The next gen believes in working faster, smarter and more efficient.
This proves the need of the possibility of multitasking in smartphones to quickly hop between different stuff and get your things done faster (or atleast feel so).
With the release of Android M, multitasking is now a reality for smartphones. With iOS 9, this is still limited to only tablets.
Although both of the operating systems are yet to fully integrate it, there are still some workarounds to incorporate Multitasking (multiwindow) support in Android.
That’s a Tie!
#4 – Advance Tech Integration
How many times do you feel the need to have specific gadget controls right from your phone?
Many a times, right?
With iPhone, you can control almost everything from your in-house LED lights to Wall Switches to high-tech thermostats to Pool-Pumps, Water Heaters and other high voltage appliances right from your phone with it’s Smart Home Controller technology!
It’s recently released 3D Touch display is smart enough to sense pressure, allowing you to take quick actions from the home screen just by long pressing on an app icon. Or you could peek at that email just by lightly tapping on it in your inbox.
Although Android phones have offered haptic feedback for ages, the Taptic engine in the new iPhones promises to be super efficient. Only Apple ties hardware and software together like this.
How about Siri, your personal assistant?
You can even set yourself “Bed Time” or “Dinner Time” and automate the gadgets in your house to start and stop on their own with just a tap on your iPhone !
On the other hand, only a little part of these has been possible with Android.
#5 – Hardware Options
If you’re a big fan of getting latest hardware for your phone, you’ll need this:
With lots of manufacturers releasing Android phones, you can have any combination of hardware possible!
Want a phone with 2 GB RAM, 2.5 GHz Octa Core Processor, 5.5 Inch Long Screen, 5 MP Rear Camera?
No problem. You can find one.
What if your requirement is 4.5 Inch Screen with 1 GB RAM and 13 MP Rear Camera? You can have that too!
While with iPhone, all you have is 4-5 choices: an iPhone 6s Plus, a midsized iPhone 6s and three-old models, all almost similarly sized.
#6 – Simplicity
iPhone still remains the easiest phone to use by far.
There’s no separate app drawer for your apps and no annoying overlay to get in the way.
Some may curse the lack of change in the look and feel of iOS over the years, but, that promotes simplicity. Even if your harder is updated, you still have the same interface.
A complete zero learning curve with iPhone.
While this greatly varies with Android.
Many of the manufacturers now have their own interfaces skinned over the default Android’s. Whatever it may be, it still takes time to get fully acquainted with it.
#7 – Customization
Here’s the beast:
Customization is something which power-users always die for! They need complete control over their phone.
And this is possible with Android.
Android gives you almost complete customization ability. Even if you’re limited to customizing a specific task in Android, you always have some sort of workarounds to make that magic happen.
You can make your phone look completely different or as whatever you want. Thousands of widgets, special gestures, look and feel of your music players, have note-taking apps directly on your home screen. All of this is easily possible with Android.
iPhone still wants to decide themselves for what you want.
With it’s simple UI, it aims on keeping things super-simple, that even a grandma can use without having any major issues.
This level of simplicity kills customization power in iPhone.
#8 – Universal Sharing
This one’s different from the above. Universal Sharing takes “Social Sharing” into account, meaning sharing stuff easily with social media or with apps.
Even if you want to share a navigation map on social media or with any apps, it’s super simple with Android.
Google doesn’t need to bless an app for it to show up in the sharing menu, nor does the browser maker, the navigation app publisher or drawing app developer.
Unfortunately, on the iPhone, you can share only to the apps that the browser, photo gallery or other app specifically support.
Therefore, unless Apple builds support for a specific app to share, it isn’t possible with iPhone.
#9 – File Manager
Want to copy files from your iPhone to your computer?
You’ll need to install iTunes and set up an account, and even then, you can move only media files, such as photos, back and forth.
Plug an Android phone into your PC, and it instantly mounts as an external drive filled with folders you can drag and drop.
You can also navigate through the file system on the phone using apps such as Astro File Manager or ES File Manager.
Apple apparently doesn’t trust you to see the file system on your iPhone!
#10 – Integrated Pay System
Whenever you want to transfer your money back and forth, both the Operating Systems have a “Pay” system integrated that will do all the hard work on the backstage and transfer your money with a click to your required destination.
Apple Pay has been having this system from long back. Also, it’s dead simple to use.
On the other hand, Google Wallet is still on the development stage and promising to be available with greater number of platforms in future.
#11 – Quick Navigation
Whatever you may think of, a back button is really essential!
Android’s back button provides a super simple way to return to your previous screen no matter where you are. It even works across apps.
For eg: If you hit a link in Facebook and get transported to the Chrome browser, you can return to the social media app when you hit the back button.
On the iPhone, you can use only app-specific navigation or hit the home button to end up back on the home screen.
That’s a lot more swipes and taps that waste your time and tire your fingers!
#12 – Updates
Both Android and iOS are getting updated at an increasing pace!
But the problem with Android is, it doesn’t have app-like updates that are compulsory.
Just like you’ve the choice to choose whether Windows 8 or Windows 10 (although Win 8 will soon be discontinued), in the same way, you’ve the choice to choose between versions of Android that ships with the phone, either K or L or M.
And after you’ve installed one, the only way to get updates is to visit the manufacturers customer support team and request them for an OS upgrade.
With iPhone, this is way better.
All you need to do is, connect to your iTunes account on your PC, and click on “Check for updates”. Just like you can do with apps!
#13 – High Screen Resolution
iPhone 6 Plus got the first 1080p after 2 years of Android phones with that resolution.
The maximum possible resolution of iPhone today is 1920 x 1080 while some of the Android phones has got 4K display (3840 x 2160).
Such higher resolution screens makes the view a lot sharper and crystal clear for high-res video viewing, reading and gaming.
#14 – Freedom
With Android, you’ve the freedom to get your apps from anywhere and then install it.
Although this is the main reason for piracy of apps, it still is a major factor that provides freedom to install 3rd party apps.
Also, heavy customization of feature is possible because of this level of freedom. If you’re unable to get a specific task done, there’s surely some sort of third party app which can do it.
While that’s completely impossible with Apple. All you have is your iStore to dig into.
#15 – Bloatware
This is the biggie.
The performance of a smartphone greatly depends on the quality and quantity of apps installed.
Why do you need bloatware removal guides? Just because it’s present in your Android phones.
All the manufacturers preinstall lots of software (where some are needed and some aren’t) which makes it a bloatware for the person who doesn’t wants them. Also, it isn’t that easy as to remove a user-installed app. This makes it worse.
On the other hand, you won’t find a single piece of carrier software pre-loaded on an iPhone, making for a clean out-of-box experience.
Now, Apple does include some apps you might not want or need, like Apple Watch, but it has much more restraint than other manufacturers when it comes to bundling its own stuff.
#16 – NFC – Near Field Communication Support
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a distance of 4cm or less to initiate a connection. NFC allows you to share small payloads of data between an NFC tag and an Android-powered device, or between two Android-powered devices.
For several years now, all Android phones have come with NFC (near field communication) chips built in.
With NFC on board, you can tap to pair with gadgets, tap another phone to exchange files or contacts, tap information tags, tap to unlock a door and even tap to pay using Google Wallet.
Apple has incorporated NFC into the iPhone 6s series, but you can only use it for Apple Pay.
Which one’s for you? An Android or an iPhone?
Here’s a nice Gag to help you determine whether to go for an Android or an iPhone:
Android and iPhone are both great devices, but are designed for 2 seperate user groups.
Android based phones are all about choice. You’ve got the freedom to take your phone and customize it as much as you want.
iOS is all about design. Less features, but slicker experience, easier to use.
If you want the latest features and ability to modify your experience infinitely, get a phone that runs Android. If you want a phone that’s simple to use and will ‘Just Work’, then get an iPhone.
It’s time to clear something up.
The war between Android and Apple fan boys has been going on for too long and here’s my attempt to bring some clearance to the subject.
iPhone is a device for people who want things to work when they need them and to get quick access to the necessities in their life.
SIMPLE is the keyword and they are built to provide a full experience to anyone, regardless of the user’s technical abilities. It is a smartphone.
Android is made for people who wants a device that works in a specific way to match user’s habits.
CUSTOMIZATION is the keyword and they are built to give each user the experience that they want; the more technical abilities you have, the further you can go.
It’s a portable computer.
So, that’s why you can’t say that one device is better than the other, some people like to have it one way and some like it the other way.
Yes, the consistent experience of an iPhone makes the UI the same whether you or your grandmother is using it.
And yes, you can harm your Android phone my messing with settings you have no knowledge about.
But this is what gives each side their strength.
So, you can’t compare the devices to each other because they are not made for the same purpose or for the same clientele.
What’s your verdict? Which one would you choose – Android or iPhone? Why?