Four Differences Between Android and iOS

DevToolsGuy / Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Android and iOS users are both fiercely loyalty to their phones of choice. Ask a dedicated iOS user to consider Android and you will often be greeted with a look of bewilderment. Similarly, many Android users can’t understand why anyone would choose to use an Apple device. We have a lot of time for both platforms here at Infragistics, but we do understand users have strong preferences and we recognize the differences between them. In this blog post we will look at four ways the two operating systems differ strongly. Which is better? That is a tough question to answer. Have a look at each of the points below, and see if you can make up your own mind.

1. Open Source Software
Android is open source software, released by Google under the Apache license, whereas iOS is proprietary software created and owned by Apple. It is not available to anyone else, and this isn’t likely to change. Developers are free to create and distribute their own versions of Android, and many do. Apple is the only one who releases new versions of iOS.

Undoubtedly the development community would cite the open source model used by Android as a positive thing, while Apple fans would point to the number of Android variants available to users as being confusing.

2. Customizing Your Device
Closely following the first point, Android devices are infinitely more customizable than their Apple equivalents. Apple devices are very much locked down, and operate in only the way Apple intends. Installing a new ‘app launcher’ on an Apple phone simply isn’t possible; on Android, Facebook has done just that very recently.

Proponents of Android love the way almost every aspect of the OS can be nipped, tucked, and tweaked. Those in the Apple corner cite superior usability and ease of use of iOS as the exact reason why they don’t want to customize their devices in this way.

3. App Ecosystems
Google operates the ‘Play’ store, the official destination to find and download apps, but Android apps can also be installed from websites, file downloads, and memory cards. Apple’s app store is the sole proprietor of apps that can be sourced for their platform. If it isn’t in Apple’s app store, and Apple also operates much stricter review guidelines for submissions than Google (just ask AppGratis), then it isn’t going to appear on your phone.

Apple users argue that their apps are largely superior - better looking, smoother in operation, with less stability issues. Android users, while disagreeing with those points, would additionally content that choice trumps everything else.

4. Hardware Options
Android runs on many different types of phones and tablets. Want a high end phone? Samsung and HTC have that covered. Want a low end tablet? There are many, many examples. Choice of hardware is something Android has covered.

Apple, on the other hand, has a much more limited set of options, though these devices are are said to be more refined than many of their Android counterparts - the latest iPhone and iPad are both leading class devices. Android has struggled for years to have players on the same level, and in the last year their offerings have become more and more competitive.

So which is better? iOS or Android? The choice is truly yours. Are you looking for an open platform, with plenty of options to customize and hardware to choose from? A more refined controlled experience, where the experience is tightly controlled at every step? Let us know what you think in the comments below.