Android vs. iOS

Android vs. iOS

Android vs. iOS
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Android vs. iOS

Google's Android and Apple's iOS are operating systems used primarily in mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets. Android, which is Linux-based and partly open source, is more PC-like than iOS, in that its interface and basic features are generally more customizable from top to bottom. However, iOS' uniform design elements are sometimes seen as being more user-friendly.

You should choose your smartphone and tablet systems carefully, as switching from iOS to Android or vice versa will require you to buy apps again in the Google Play or Apple App Store. Android is now the world’s most commonly used smartphone platform and is used by many different phone manufacturers. iOS is only used on Apple devices, such as the iPhone.

Comparison chart

                          Android

                        iOS

Source model

Open source

Closed, with open source components.

OS family

Linux

OS X, UNIX

Initial release

September 23, 2008

July 29, 2007

Customizability

A lot. Can change almost anything.

Limited unless jailbroken

Developer

Google, Open Handset Alliance

Apple Inc.

Widgets

Yes, except on lockscreen

No, except in Notification Center

Available language(s)

100+ Languages

34 Languages

File transfer

Easier than iOS. Using USB port and Android File Transfer desktop app. Photos can be transferred via USB without apps.

More difficult. Media files can be transferred using iTunes desktop app. Photos can be transferred out via USB without apps.

Available on

Many phones and tablets. Major manufacturers such as Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, Honor and Xiaomi. Android One devices are pure Android. Pixel line of devices is made by Google, using a almost pure version of Android

iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)

Calls and messaging

Google Messages. 3rd party apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Duo, Discord and Skype all work on Android and iOS both.

iMessage, FaceTime (with other Apple devices only). 3rd party apps like Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Duo, Discord and Skype all work on Android and iOS both.

Internet browsing

Google Chrome (other browsers are available). Any browser app can be set as default.

Safari (Other browsers are available but not as default)

App store , Affordability and interface

Google Play Store – 1,000,000+ apps. Other app stores like Amazon and Apptoid also distribute Android apps. (".APKs"). Apps containing virus rare, but existing.

Apple App Store – 1,000,000+ apps. Apps containing virus very rare or inexistent.

Video chat

Google Duo and other 3rd party apps

FaceTime (Apple devices only) and other 3rd party apps

Voice commands

Google Assistant

Siri

Working state

Current

Current

Maps

Google Maps

Apple Maps (Google Maps also available via a separate app download, but not as default)

Latest stable release and Updates

Android 8.1.0 (May 06, 2019)

iOS 12.3.1 (May 24, 2019)

Alternative app stores and side loading

Several alternative app stores other than the official Google Play Store. (e.g. Aptoide, Galaxy Apps)

Apple blocks 3rd party app stores. The phone needs to be jailbroken if you want to download apps from other stores.

Battery life and management

Many Android phone manufacturers equip their devices with large batteries with a longer life.

Apple batteries are generally not as big as the largest Android batteries. However, Apple is able to squeeze decent battery life via hardware/software optimizations.

     

Open source

Kernel, UI, and some standard apps

The iOS kernel is not open source but is based on the open-source Darwin OS.

File manager

Yes. (Stock Android File Manager included on devices running Android 7.1.1)

Files app, limited and less useful (iOS 12).

Photos & Videos backup

Apps available for automatic backup of photos and videos. Google Photos allows unlimited backup of photos. OneDrive, Amazon Photos and Dropbox are other alternatives.

Up to 5 GB of photos and videos can be automatically back up with iCloud. All other vendors like Google, Amazon, Dropbox, Flickr and Microsoft have auto-backup apps for both iOS and Android.

Security

Monthly security updates. Android software patches are available soonest to Pixel device users. Manufacturers tend to lag behind in pushing out these updates. So at any given time a vast majority of Android devices are running outdated OS software.

Occasional security updates. Security threats rare, because iOS is locked and downloading apps out of the App Store is complicated.

Rooting, bootloaders, and jailbreaking

Access and complete control over your device is available and you can unlock the bootloader.

Complete control over your device is not available.

Cloud services

Native integration with Google Drive storage. 15GB free, $2/mo for 100GB, 1TB for $10. Apps available for Amazon Photos, OneDrive and Dropbox.

Native integration with iCloud. 5GB free, 50GB for $1/mo, 200GB for $3/mo, 1TB for $10/mo. Apps available for Google Drive and Google Photos, Amazon Photos, OneDrive and Dropbox.

Interface

Touch Screen

Touch Screen

First version

Android 1.0, Alpha

iOS 1.0

       

Contents: Android vs iOS

https://static.diffen.com/uploadz/thumb/4/40/iOS-vs-Android.jpg/300px-iOS-vs-Android.jpg

Interface

iOS and Android both use touch interfaces that have a lot in common - swiping, tapping and pinch-and-zoom. Both operating systems boot to a homescreen, which is similar to a computer desktop. While an iOS home screen only contains rows of app icons, Android allows the use of widgets, which display auto-updating information such as weather and email. The iOS user interface features a dock where users can pin their most frequently used applications.

A status bar runs across the top on both iOS and Android, offering information such the time, WiFi or cell signal, and battery life; on Android the status bar also shows the number of newly received emails, messages and reminders.

A comparison of some of the features of the upcoming Android N (Nougat) and iOS 10 is here. Android N highlights include:

  • split screen (even on phones that aren't large)
  • display size setting to not only zoom in but also zoom out to make the most of the screen real estate
  • customize which buttons/settings are available in the quick settings launcher
  • support for Google Daydream, a virtual reality platform

To see how the current versions — Android Marshmallow and iOS 9 — compare, watch the video below:

For a similar comparison of Android Lollipop and iOS 8, watch this video. Many different manufacturers make Android phones and they often include some customization over the vanilla Android experience. e.g. HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz. Depending upon your device and carrier, there may be pre-installed apps that are bundled with your Android device.

User experience

Pfeiffer Report released in September 2013 rates iOS significantly better than Android on cognitive load and user friction.

The overall rating of user experience of mobile operating systems, Pfeiffer Report

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The overall rating of user experience of mobile operating systems, Pfeiffer Report

Apps Available on iOS vs. Android

Android gets apps from Google Play, which currently has 600,000 apps available, most of which will run on tablets. However, some Android devices, such as the Kindle Fire, use separate app stores that have a smaller selection of apps available. Many originally iOS-only apps are now available for Android, including Instagram and Pinterest, and Google’s more open app-store means other exclusive apps are also available, including Adobe Flash Player and BitTorrent. Android also offers access to Google-based apps, such as Youtube and Google Docs.

The Apple app store currently offers 700,000 apps, 250,000 of which are available for the iPad. Most developers prefer to develop games for iOS before they develop for Android. Since a recent update, the Youtube app has become unavailable on iOS, but iOS still offers some exclusive apps, including the popular game Infinity Blade and Twitter client Tweetbot.

The bottomline when comparing Google and Apple's app stores is that most popular apps are available for both platforms. But for tablets, there are more apps designed specifically for the iPad while Android tablet apps are often scaled up versions of Android smartphone apps. Developers at startups often focus on one platform (usually iOS) when they first launch their smartphone app because they do not have resources to serve multiple platforms from the get go. For example, the popular Instagram app started with iOS and their Android app came much later.

Stability of Apps and the Operating System

The Crittercism Mobile Experience Report published in March 2014 ranked Android KitKat as more stable than iOS 7.1. Other findings from the report include:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread has the highest total crash rate, at 1.7%. Other versions of Android — Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and KitKat — have a crash rate of 0.7%.
  • iOs 7.1 has a crash rate of 1.6%., and the rates for iOS 7.0 and iOS 5 are 2.1% and 2.5% respectively.
  • Phone versions of both Android and iOS are more stable than their tablet versions.
  • Crash rates for apps vary by category — games are most likely to crash (4.4% crash rate) and e-commerce apps have the lowest crash rate of 0.4%.

Speed

An iPhone 6s handily beat a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in on speed test that involved opening several apps one by one, cycling through a set of apps twice. The same set of apps were used for both devices. The iPhone was able to complete two laps in 1m21s while it took the Galaxy Note 2m4s to finish the same task. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 boasts better hardware specs and is a much newer phone compared with the iPhone 6s.

However, it should be noted that the difference could be in how app publishers develop their apps for Android vs. iOS. Just because the same apps are on both platforms does not mean their internal workings are the same.

Software upgrades

Although Google does update Android frequently, some users may find that they do not receive the updates on their phone, or even purchase phones with out-of-date software. Phone manufacturers decide whether and when to offer software upgrades. They may not offer an upgrade to the latest version of Android for all the phones and tablets in their product line. Even when an upgrade is offered, it is usually several months after the new version of Android has been released.

This is one area where iOS users have an advantage. iOS upgrades are generally available to all iOS devices. There could be exceptions for devices older than three years, or for certain features like Siri, which was available for iPhone 4S users but not for older versions of iPhone. Apple cites hardware capability as the reason some older devices may not receive all new features in an upgrade.

Device Selection

A wide variety of Android devices are available at many different price points, sizes and hardware capabilities.

iOS is only available on Apple devices: the iPhone as a phone, the iPad as a tablet, and the iPod Touch as an MP3 player. These tend to be more expensive than equivalent hardware using Android.

Call Features

Android allows the user to send one of a number of self-composed texts as autoreplies when declining a call.

iOS’s phone app has many abilities, including the ability to reply to a phonecall with a canned text message instead of answering, or to set a callback reminder. It also has a Do Not Disturb mode.

Messaging

Android allows users to log onto GTalk for instant messages. iOS does not offer a native way to chat to non-Apple users. Users can message over Apple users using iMessage or use apps from Google for GTalk and Microsoft for Skype.

Video Chat

Google Hangouts on Android can also be used for video chat, allowing users to chat over either 3G or Wi-Fi. iOS uses Facetime, which can place video calls over both 3Gand WiFi. However, it only allows users to communicate with other Apple devices.

Voice Commands on Android vs. iOS

iOS uses Siri, a voice-based virtual assistant, to understand and respond to both dictation as well as spoken commands. Siri includes many features, such as reading sports scores and standings, making reservations at restaurants and finding movie times at the local theater. You can also dictate texts and emails, schedule calendar events, and interface with car audio and navigation.

Android offers a similar assistant, Google Now, which features the above abilities, plus can keep track of your calendar and give verbal reminders when it is time to leave. It allows for voice search and dictation.

The video below gives a quick demo of Google Now vs Siri:

Maps

Apps like Google Maps, Waze and Bing are available for both iOS and Android. When Google released its maps app for iOS in December 2012, the iOS version surpassed the version available for Android in terms of features, design and ease of use. The Android version is not expected to stay behind. Apple's own mapping app, which is bundled with every iOS device, was widely panned when it was launched with iOS 6.

Web Browsing

Android uses Google Chrome as its web-browser, while iOS uses Safari. Both Internetbrowsers are similar in quality and abilities and Google Chrome is also available for iOS. Safari is not available for Android.

Words With Friends app on Android (L) & iOS (R)

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Words With Friends app on Android (L) & iOS (R)

Facebook integration

Android is integrated with Facebook, allowing users to update their statuses or upload pictures from many apps, and to pull contact data from their Facebook friends.

iOS is also fully integrated with Facebook, allowing users to update their status and upload images from various apps, sync their contacts with Facebook, and have their Facebook events automatically added to their iOS Calendar. iOS now offers much deeper integration with Facebook and Twitter because of how tightly it is weaved into core apps on iOS.

Mobile payments

Android uses Google Wallet, an app that allows for mobile payments. Some Android phones are equipped with an NFC chip (near-field communication) that is used for making wireless payments simply by tapping the phone at the checkout counter. This service integrates with Google Wallet but is not available on all Android phones or wireless carriers. Mobile payments are supported on devices that have an NFC chip (such as Samsung's Galaxy S4 and S5) as long as they are running a version of Android newer that 4.4 KitKat.

The iOS mobile payment system is called Apple Pay. While Apple Pay was launched over a year after tap-to-pay features on some Android phones, its integration with fingerprint identification arguably makes Apple Pay easier to use. Usage of Apple Pay has certainly been significantly higher. In fact, Apple Pay has kindled interest in mobile payments and prompted Android users to discover the feature on their phones, leading to an increase in use of Google Wallet over NFC.[1] iOS offers Passbook, an app that collects in one place tickets, reward cards, and credit/debit cards.

Security

Android’s applications are isolated from the rest of the system’s resources, unless a user specifically grants an application access to other features. This makes the system less vulnerable to bugs, but developer confusion means that many apps ask for unnecessary permissions. The most wides