• Aniket Chakraborty

Clash of Titans: Android vs iOS

No matter how fast the hardware may appear on paper, the operating system forms the spinal cord of the smartphone. The flawless implementation of the software which complements the hardware is what makes the device a paradise. Android and iOS have been in the market for a long time now, with things between them, perfectly balanced (Psst, Thanos would be proud) with their own shares of pros and cons. Let us delve a little deeper and find out who reigns supreme.










Let the battle begin!

Covering all the aspects would mean that I would have to take away a considerable amount of time from your lifespan. Let me break down some of the important nuances so that it's a little easier on your eyes too. 



User Experience

Clean User Interface

iOS has, over the years, provided a phenomenal user experience compared to what Android has. No matter how hard they try with bigger specs on paper, Android has been lagging quite a bit till now when it comes to providing a seamless experience. The majority of that has to do with Android being an open sourced operating system. iOS is developed solely by Apple with some of its components being open source, but not the software as a whole. As a result, Apple has always manged to seamlessly integrate their hardware with the software even with meagre specs on paper. An iPhone with a 4GB RAM is actaully superior to a Samsung with 12 gigs of RAM. The processor is another factor which powers the iPhones to shatter old and create new records with respect to the Geekbench scores. Since Android is distributed to quite a few smartphone manufacturers, they tweak the software in their own way, which proves to be a bane in most of the cases. 


Verdict: iOS




Customization

This is one gray area that is completely down to the preferences of the user. Android has been known to provide superior customizable options for the user. Starting from widgets screen, to customizable icon themes with wallpapers, this operating system is definitely for people who wishes to transform their phone into something else. iOS, on the other hand, offers a much cleaner, but restricted user experience. There are not many widgets that you can customize other than the ones offered by default. The dock is something unique for the iOS, which enables the user to customize the apps that they would often use, bringing them at their finger tips. Of course you can download third party launchers and replicate the same 'dock experience' with Android; that's the beauty of it. Since the user will be primarily interacting with the screen and its experience, people might just prefer Android to iOS, primarily because of the ton of options that you get to fiddle with. 


Verdict: Android



Speed and Stability

The department of speed and stability has always been of prime importance to every user - be that for a heavy user or your average Joe. The apps in the iOS ecosystem has been designed to keep the premium price-tag in mind, as a result of which iOS gets more stable and well designed apps. They also lead the market in the number of apps available at their App Store. However, this does not take away the fact that there are quite a few exclusive apps built for Android like Steam Link, Flynx, Nova Launcher to name a few. However, it is extremely rare to see apps crash on iOS platform unless you are running a beta software. When it comes to the speed, I have observed that the animations in iOS are a tad bit longer, which makes it lag a milli-second behind the top android counterparts. However, this does not take away the fact that iOS offers a smoother experience which in turn, is appealing to the users' eyes. 


Verdict: iOS (marginally)



Security and Privacy


This has to be a no-brainer at all. iOS has always protected the privacy and security of the user data better than anything else on Planet Earth. From regular bug fixes to critical fixes, the software updates are instant. The fragmented nature of the Android ecosystem is what gives iOS the advantage here. Unless you are one of those vanilla Android users (phones like Nexus and Pixel), you need to wait for a bug or a critical fix to arrive on your phone. With iOS 13, Apple has taken security a step above the rest by introducing 'Sign in with Apple' , which masks your actual email address with a temporary one. Pretty cool, stuff, right? While Android continues to enhance the security on their phones, it remains to be seen if and when they will implement a scintillating and a unique security measure on their phone. 

In 2016, the FBI wanted Apple to create a backdoor for iPhone in order to unlock the phones of two suspects. Apple refused, which led FBI to file a lawsuit against them! Guess what, Apple won! Honestly, I would not mind living in a country whose security lies with Apple. 


Verdict: iOS



Software Updates


The Vanilla Android experience is quite similar to that of an iOS. As a result, Google rolls out the updates first on the Pixel and subsequently to the other brands. If you are not one of those stock Android users, it might take some time for you to enjoy the perks of the latest software. With iOS, there are only a handful of devices to roll out the updates for. As a result, the iOS users get to enjoy the latest software from Day 1 of the public release. The fact that Android brings a ton of different features on one software update compared to iOS is entirely a different matter. 


Verdict: iOS



Battle of Assistants


This battle, to the majority of us, is as important as the comparison between the two operating systems. Let's face it. You come home tired from work and you need your assistant to perform some computing tasks for you. Having used both the assistants for a prolonged period of time, I can vouch for Google assistant here. She takes a few seconds more and gets the job done, but unlike Siri, you can keep the conversation going. With more extra-curricular capabilities than Siri, like having a genuine conversation going, Google assistant proves its dominance here. Siri is a no-slacker at all, but once she has carried out your command, she becomes her oneself - well, just another virtual assistant. If you had told me in the 90s that I can converse freely with a virtual assistant, I would have called you a madman, but here we are.


Verdict: Android



Miscellaneous Features

I am sure this is the tab that you have all been waiting for. This is where things get pretty interesting for both the parties. The stock apps for both of these operating systems have been thoroughly optimized to work flawlessly. iMessage and FaceTime is something that you need to use in order to believe how unreal and seamless that experience is. But Apple has become a little selfish and kept it solely for their platform. That makes sense when you think of the Apple ecosystem in general. On the other hand, Gmail, Google maps and a host of other applications by Google is right on top compared to the iOS counterparts like Mail or Maps. One good thing is that the stock Google apps are not only restricted to their platform but work great with iOS. Great job Google! 


Verdict: Android (marginally)



TL;DR

The ongoing battle between Android and iOS is a never ending one, unless someone else steps up their game (looking at you, Windows and Huawei). Let me make this short and clear to you all. If you wish to own the operating system like an admin, Android is for you. If you want a flawless integration between your phone and the operating system with a few restrictions (not much in iOS 13), iOS is the one you should be looking at. While Android offers a plethora of devices to choose from, you can use your iOS devices for a ton more years than the Android counterparts. Go figure!




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