The Apple iPhone v. Android debate continues especially as Apple and Google gear up in a major announcement with iOS 15 and Android 12. Both platform exist for a relatively long time, although their current age has not fully risen yet. However each has its advantages and you may be looking for a good reason to decide between one or the other. We’ve been playing with both before and can see the progress in our hands on of iOS 15. We also examine the surface to see whose OS is most impressive for this particular year. You should see our current smartphone flagships for iPhone and Android for iOS.
- 1 Which is the best smartphone platform? Android or iOS?
- 1.0.1 Which platform sells the most smartphones?
- 1.0.2 Which platform sells the most tablets?
- 1.0.3 Which company sells the most smartphones?
- 1.0.4 Which company makes the most money selling smartphones?
- 1.0.5 Which platform has the most applications?
- 1.0.6 Which platform has the most specific applications for tablets?
- 1.0.7 Which platform presents the best applications?
- 1.0.8 Which platform concentrates the largest download of applications?
- 1.0.9 Which platform generates the most revenue from downloads?
- 1.0.10 What is the most used platform on the Internet?
- 1.0.11 What platform is the most used in the company?
- 1.0.12 Ok, but… which one is better?
- 2 Which is better: Android or iOS?
- 2.1 Why is iPhone better than Android?
- 2.2 Included apps
- 2.2.1 Differences in Development
- 2.2.2 Cost of Creating Mobile Apps: iOS vs Android
- 2.2.3 App Design Differences
- 2.2.4 Google Play Market vs App Store
- 2.2.5 Monetization and Return on Investment
- 2.2.6 Conclusion
- 2.3 Security
- 2.4 Cases and accessories
- 2.5 Google Android 11
- 2.5.1 Conversation notifications
- 2.5.2 Notification history
- 2.5.3 Chat bubbles in Android 11
- 2.5.4 Android 11 screen recorder
- 2.5.5 Media controls
- 2.5.6 Smart device controls
- 2.5.7 One-time permissions and auto-reset
- 2.5.8 Dark theme scheduling
- 2.5.9 Android 11 updates via Play Store
- 2.5.10 App suggestions (Android 11 for Pixels only)
- 2.5.11 App-pinning to the share sheet
- 2.5.12 Wireless Android Auto
- 2.5.13 Voice Access becomes more context-aware
- 2.5.14 Privacy for Enterprise users
- 2.6 Battery life and charging
- 2.7 Voice Assistant
- 2.8 Gaming, VR and AR
- 2.8.1 What is Virtual Reality
- 2.8.2 How to Start Developing in Virtual Reality
- 2.8.3 1. VR Hardware
- 2.8.4 4. Platforms and Software Development Kits (SDKs)
- 2.8.5 What is Augmented Reality?
- 2.8.6 How to Start Developing in Augmented Reality
- 2.8.7 Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality: What to Choose?
- 2.8.8 Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality: You Can’t Lose
- 2.9 Parental Controls
- 2.10 IOS 15 vs. Android 12
- 2.11 Camera and photos
- 2.11.1 Comparing The Best Against The Best
- 2.11.2 SOFTWARE CAMERA SOLUTIONS
- 2.11.3 NUMBER OF CAMERAS
- 2.11.4 Android Vs IPhone For Multiple Uses
- 2.11.5 ANDROID VS IPHONE: PROFESSIONAL USE
- 2.11.6 ANDROID VS IPHONE: BUSINESS USE
- 2.11.7 ANDROID VS IPHONE: EDITING PHOTOS
- 2.11.8 It’s An Ongoing War
- 2.12 Affordability
- 2.13 Security and Privacy
- 2.14 Hardware Choices
- 2.15 Updates
- 2.16 Calls and messages
- 2.17 Accessibility
- 2.18 Camera
- 2.19 Maps
- 2.20 Interface and Usability
- 2.20.1 PLATFORM CHOICE: ANDROID VS IOS
- 2.20.2 WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
- 2.20.3 SHARED ELEMENTS
- 2.20.4 SUMMARY
- 2.21 Technology Support
- 2.22 Integration with desktop and other devices
- 2.23 App ecosystem
- 2.24 Apps
- 2.24.1 1 Our audience prefers Apple devices.
- 2.24.2 2. Americans are more likely to have an Apple device.
- 2.24.3 3. Families are much more likely to have an Apple device than an Android device
- 2.24.4 4. Shoppers are more likely to have an iOS device
- 2.24.5 5. iOS apps are easier to review and recommend
- 2.24.6 6. Developers prefer the iOS platform
- 2.24.7 7. Android apps are more likely to include ads
- 2.24.8 8. Android apps are more likely to include bugs, malware, or…other things you don’t want.
- 2.24.9 9. We want to be safe, too
- 2.25 App Store
- 2.26 Business Features
- 2.27 The final count
Which is the best smartphone platform? Android or iOS?
Asking what is better, iOS or Android , is more or less like asking who you love more, mom or dad. There are many factors that influence when deciding on one system or another, and even the definition of “what is better?” it is something very personal. But Harry McCracken , from Techland (Time group), has been commissioned to carry out an analysis comparing a multitude of figures related to both platforms. The battle is served.
First of all, it must be clarified that the Harry McCracken analysis that we bring you today does not attempt to go into detail about why the results are as they are, or how they will be in the future. They simply try to give us an image of how the market is behaving (with the most up-to-date data found, which is sometimes from the end of 2012), through some very interesting indicators, some specific for the United States, and others more global. We started!
Which platform sells the most smartphones?
To begin the analysis, the sales of smartphones are compared based on their operating systems. Actually, here two different graphs emerge, since one (the one from the Kantar analysis ) responds more to the most recent sales at a specific moment (when the data is analyzed, in a more “instantaneous” way, let’s say), while the other ( to Comscore ) takes into account the type of operating system used by over 13 years . In the United States, Android takes more than half of the sales in both scenarios, while iOS would stay with 43.5% in Kantar’s analysis, and falls to 37.8%in Comscore’s. The rest would correspond to the other systems (Windows Phone, Blackberry …), which are not part of the detailed study.
This predominance of Android that we find in the United States, becomes even greater when we leave its borders. Globally , according to IDC , manufacturers that bet on Android take 70% of sales , and the iPhone remains in 21% of the market. A clear supremacy of the android system, although let’s not forget that there are many manufacturers developing Android smartphones of all kinds, while iOS is available (in terms of smartphone) only on the iPhone, a single smartphone (in its different versions, of course) created by a single company.
Which platform sells the most tablets?
The analysis regarding tablets is based on data from 2012, and in this segment Apple is leading , since iOS devices represent 53.8% of sales, compared to 42.7% for Android . It seems that the iPad continues to dominate when it comes to tablets, and Apple has managed to cope with the 7-inch devices of the competition, thanks to the iPad Mini .
Which company sells the most smartphones?
In this sense, data from the last quarter of 2012. According to IDC , globally the sale of smartphones is led by Samsung, with 29% of sales, followed by Apple, which registers 21.8% . The rest of the manufacturers together therefore do not reach half of the market share, remaining at 49.2%. However, if we focus on the United States through the analysis of Strategy Analytics , the apple company takes 34% of sales, and Samsung follows closely with 32.3%. It is important to note at this point that Samsung manufactures, in addition to terminals for Android, devices for other systems such as Windows Phone .
Which company makes the most money selling smartphones?
In this sense, the data is quite clear. According to Canaccord Genuity , Apple took 72% of the industry’s profits in the last quarter of 2012, compared to 29% for Samsung (mostly due to Android smartphones), which comes in second. The rest of the manufacturers as a whole, according to these data, lost money (that is why the sum of the data from Apple and Samsung is greater than 100%).
Which platform has the most applications?
Today, this aspect is tremendously equal in both operating systems. Thus, more than 800,000 applications can be found , both on iOS and Android, so there is no clear winner.
Which platform has the most specific applications for tablets?
This data cannot be easily compared, since although it is known that, according to Apple, there are more than 300,000 applications optimized for iPad , the data of those that are destined for Android tablets is not known.
Which platform presents the best applications?
Well, this is a messy topic. Considering an application better or worse depends on a myriad of factors (its graphic appearance, how well or badly it works, its usefulness, its price …). But, despite the difficulty of measuring this objectively, a company called uTest has created a system ( Applause ) that analyzes the scores and reviews of iOS and Android applications, assigning them a score from 1 to 100, and calculating the average score for each operating system. According to data published in January, in this sense iOS would win, with a score of 68.5 , although it would be closely followed by Android, with 63.3. A very little difference, if we think that iOS applications are optimized for a specific smartphone, while Android has to do with all kinds of different terminals.
Which platform concentrates the largest download of applications?
According to Canalys data for the first quarter of 2013, practically half of all downloads (51%) correspond to Android , while iOS would keep 40% , and the rest of the systems take the remaining 9%.
Which platform generates the most revenue from downloads?
Well, this is one of the graphs that most attract the attention of the study, and that is that, despite the fact that iOS has 11% fewer application downloads than Android, this generates 74% of the total income from downloads (data of the first quarter of 2013), compared to the 20% generated by Android .
What is the most used platform on the Internet?
Here we find two very disparate results. On the one hand, the NetMarketShare study (from March 2013) indicates that iOS is positioned as the most used operating system in terms of mobile devices with 61.4% , compared to 24.9% for Android , which would indicate that iOS users are much more active than Android users, if we take into account that the number of Apple smartphones is less.
However, as we say, we find a very different result if we look at the StatCounter analysis (also from March 2013), which points to Android as the most used operating system on the network, with 37.2% , leaving iOS with a 27.1% . This disparity is possibly due to the fact that some of the studies include the iPad in their results, which would tip the balance in Apple’s favor, but in any case it is difficult to draw conclusions from two such disparate results.
What platform is the most used in the company?
According to Citrix, iOS has served to add mobility and cloud capabilities to companies to a greater extent than its competitors, specifically with 62% use as a mobile platform for business use, compared to 35% for Android .
Ok, but… which one is better?
Well, after all the results obtained, the conclusion is that … it depends! The answer that Harry McCracken gives is that, if we talk about market share , the winner would be Android but, if we talk about economic success , the balance tips in favor of iOS .
We have found different aspects in which one or the other system “wins”, obtaining higher sales, or higher income from terminals, or applications, or greater number of downloads … But, in the end, behind each platform there is a whole business plan , a multitude of participating agents, and different conceptions that do not allow us to be able to say which is the best mobile operating system, or, rather, allow each of us to be able to say which is our preferred mobile system, with as many opinions as there are people
Which is better: Android or iOS?
Choosing between the two main players in mobile depends on what features and specs are most important to you. Here’s what you need to know to make the right decision.
More than 99% of the world’s smartphones are operated by either iOS (Apple) or Android (Google). But which operating system is the ultimate cell phone winner? Both are smart, both are sleek – and both have their drawbacks. Below, we’ll explore three reasons for choosing iOS for your communication needs, and three reasons to opt for Android.
“Macs don’t get viruses,” was the common trope paraded around when Apple first introduced their distinguished computers – and this statement extended to iPhones. iOS products are far less susceptible to viruses than Android, because of Apple’s level of exclusivity. iPhone apps can only be installed from the Apple Mac Store, providing a level of control over the malware that gets through. This seems to work effectively, as a much higher percentage of mobile malware targets Android than iOS; one study found that 97% of all malware written in 2015 was geared towards Android, and another estimated that just 0.7% of threats were aimed at iOS. So, to answer whether iOS or Android, when choosing the right phone for you, it seems that iOS is the safer choice.
Need for speed
Despite the 2017 controversy surrounding slowed iPhones, subsequent iPhones, like the iPhone 8 plus and the iPhone X, utilized an A11 Bionic chip, providing unparalleled speed and power to iOS devices. The chip led to a 25% increase in speed when compared to its predecessors. For example, where it took a Samsung Galaxy S9 two minutes and 32 seconds to transcode a two-minute, 4K video, the iPhone X only required 42 seconds to get the job done. Apple’s 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max phones now include the A13 Bionic chip, which is the company’s most power efficient chip yet. So, in addition to speed, the phones also have 4-5 extra hours of battery life and a 20% performance boost. It’s no wonder, then that gamers also appreciate the steep speed difference between iPhones and Androids, as iPhones facilitate a smoother experience when playing augmented-reality (and other intensive) games.
In the iOS or Android debate, the former far outshines the latter when it comes to updating devices with the newest operating system, and it has proven to have better support for older phone models than does Android. For example, iOS 11 – which was released in the end of 2017 – was installed on 66% of compatible devices within six weeks, and had full support for the iPhone 5S (a four-year-old phone). In contrast, Android’s Oreo (released around the same time) had only made it onto 0.2% of Android devices more than eight weeks after its release, and Android 7 was only running on 18% of phones after an entire year.
Where Android severely lags in giving its users the best possible version of their phones, iOS is full speed ahead. As of Dec 2019, an estimated 50% of all iOS phones were running the latest version, a figure that will be lower for Android. Not counting Android 10, only about 10% of Android devices ran the previous version, Android 9.0 Pie.
Variety and compatibility
The Android platform is an open-source system, which means you can have access to any apps you want, regardless of the maker – over a million more than iOS provides. Additionally, any phone carrier can create devices for Android, and users can download any available Android system. In contrast, as mentioned above, iOS is exclusive, mainly because it’s a closed-source system. This locks you in to using everything Apple once you commit to iOS; your devices will only be compatible with other Apple products, you can only troubleshoot technical issues in an Apple Store, and your available apps are limited to whatever Apple decides you should have.
When contemplating iOS or Android, both have what to offer in terms of quality, but Android provides the quality at lower cost. For developers, publishing an unlimited number of apps through the Android marketplace is affordable at $25 – where iOS costs $99 for the same – and there is a higher percentage of free apps in Google Play Store than in the iOS App Store. This, combined with the fact that Android provides low-cost, quality handsets that are hundreds of dollars cheaper than iPhone’s newer models, makes the choice a simple one. The proof is in the numbers: Android holds almost 75% of market share around the world.
Android is the future, holding court when it comes to voice interfaces and AI. Google Assistant (GA) far surpasses Siri as a virtual assistant, with more accurate responses to questions and tailor-made service; for example, GA can read text on images and convert it into meaningful calendar updates, notes, etc., while Siri is still trying to piece together the answers to basic questions. Not to mention that Google, basically the infrastructure of the web, has a much bigger fountain of data from which to draw when perfecting their services. There doesn’t seem to be much to consider when asking iOS or Android.
Not to mention, Android is coming out with phones that cater to both individual consumers and various industries, which feature removable batteries and walkie-talkies. The company’s focus on varied users’ needs offer more variety and function.
The Bottom Line: The tight-knit hardware/software combination of iOS clearly provides users with quality mobile devices, while Android’s overall compatibility makes it cheaper and more easily customizable. So, iOS or Android? What kind of phone are you going to buy next?
Why is iPhone better than Android?
There’s a genuine love and demand for android phones by many users around the world. But many can’t help to compare this type of smartphone to those of their rivals, iPhones. Many people want to find out the answer to the question; Which is better, Android or IOS? – to make a smarter purchase decision. To find out all you can on this subject, continue reading.
The iPhone outclasses Android devices due to several reasons. Android devices have been known to enjoy a long list of hardware and software customization options. Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Google Pixel 3 are designed to have high-quality cameras and stellar outer frames. But you don’t tend to find many people recommending this type of phone.
A great reason to go with Apple devices such as the iPhone 12 series, iPhone 11 series, iPhone X series, and so on, is based on hardware and software integration. An up-to-date iPhone would connect seamlessly to different Apple gadgets namely, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and MacBooks. Why is IOS better than Android? It’s because the platform has been able to create an enabling ecosystem for its devices.
Below are some of the reasons why the iPhone does better than Android.
iPhones Have Faster Processing Speed
iPhones have come a long way now with the inclusion of the A14 Bionic Chip in its latest product. The latest Apple titular smartphone release, the iPhone 12, has processing speeds that beat anything in the Android camp. For some time now, Apple has constantly shelled out devices with impressive processing capabilities. While there’s no doubt that the Android devices also boast high processing capabilities such as the Samsung Exynos 990 that’s used in the Samsung Galaxy S20, they still can’t keep up with their iOS-enabled counterparts.
It was also identified that the latest iPhones had impressive video editing capabilities. If you tried the same video editing processes on Android phones, it would take a considerably longer period.
Impressive Hardware and Software Integration Capabilities
For some time now, there have been numerous instances of when Apple has shown the whole world that it is the frontrunner in software and hardware integration. They have been the only ones able to pull off certain things or at least they did it before other manufacturers.
A good example of their software capabilities is Face ID which logs you into your device by taking a 3D scan of your face with the phone’s TrueDepth Sensor. Many other companies have adopted Face ID but not with the same level of success as what you find on iPhones. Animoji and Memoji are also other examples of Apple’s hardware and software integration.
Despite all of the promises from Android manufacturers to streamline their skins and improve the ease of use of their phones, iPhone continues to be the easiest phone to use to date. Many people may complain about any notable change in the look and feel of the iOS for some time now, but it can also be considered to be a positive way of maintaining consistency. The iOS looks almost the same way as it did way back in 2010.
There’s no doubt that the already impressive interface has gotten some enhancements over the years including Siri and Control Center. With the creation of iOS 11, Apple provided the ability to edit live Photos, a better Files app, and an improved messages app. The iOS 12 came with Siri shortcuts and suggestions, smoother performance, group facetime, and other new features. Also, the iOS 14 comes with new features designed to improve the overall experience of users with enhanced widgets, a new and improved App Library, a compact design for making calls, and a smoother Siri interface.
Iphones Enjoy The Best Apps First
The iOS and Android have millions of apps in their respective stores, but is the race for pole position over? Not quite. The iPhone is still the first choice for developers interested in launching their latest apps.
Google Playstore is a large hub of apps and is considered to be the Netflix of app stores, but it usually gets hits after they are introduced on iOS. A popular example is Fornite which ran for several months on iOS before being available for Android. Even then, it has been designed as a Samsung exclusive. Other apps that were released on iOS first include Super Mario Run, Snapchat, Affinity Photo, Monument Valley, and HQ Trivia.
Samsung and other top android manufacturers have improved at reducing the pain for users by creating a single folder of carrier bloatware, but at the end of the day this app turns out to be useless and just takes up space on your device.
It’s difficult to find any carrier software that is preloaded on an iPhone. This helps to provide users with a fresher experience. Apple does include some redundant files that you may not end up using such as Apple Watch, but it shows far more restraint to other manufacturers when it comes to bundling its app. What’s even better is that as from iOS 12, users can disable any in-built apps they do not want to make use of.
Seamless connection with Macs
If you haven’t tried connecting your MacBook to your smartphone in while, you may be stunned at how well both devices integrate. For example, the continuity feature of the macOS means that users can use their MacBook to send and receive phone calls and text messages.
A favorite feature of many users is AirDrop which lets you automatically transfer photos and videos using a Wi-Fi connection between your iPhone and MacBook. And thanks to iCloud, it’s possible to have access the photos, notes, or documents on your phone through a MacBook.
There’s no doubt that Android phones are designed with their unique features and advantages but Apple’s iPhones continue to possess the best features on the market. This makes them an ideal choice and widely accepted device for many users.
When choosing between Android or iOS development, software engineers are often puzzled. Both systems, despite having architectural similarities, still have different development and maintenance approaches.
Two systems are different from one another not just on the development level but even in terms of design and marketing strategy.
In this post, we’ll cover the differences between iOS and Android. We will thoroughly evaluate the risks of choosing either OS and calculate the price of a sample app. By the end of the post, you will know if iOS or Android is a better fit your project.
Differences in Development
The biggest dissimilarities between Android development vs iOS development are the technical ones. Platforms have different programming languages, testing approaches, and so on. The most common differences in iOS and Android app development on the technical side go as follows:
iOS vs Android programming use different technology stacks. The first one heavily relies on Java or Kotlin as an alternative, while the second one has a proprietary language designed for app development – Swift.
Which stack is faster and easier to master? Most mobile app developers find an iOS app is easier to create than the Android one. Coding in Swift requires less time than getting around Java since this language has high readability.
In the future, however, as Kotlin develops further, the tables may turn once again. The language is considered a soon-to-be Java replacement – it’s intuitive, modern, and easy to read.
Programming languages used for iOS development have a shorter learning curve than those for Android and are, thus, easier to master.
Another major difference between iOS and Android development lies in the integrated environment.
Android developers utilize Android Studio, a proprietary tool introduced by Google in 2013 and sporting an expanded range of available features. This integrated development environment has cross-platform support, high readability, a wide range of development and debugging features.
iOS developers, on the other hand, rely on the proprietary XCode tool. The Apple-backed solution provides a variety of bug fixing tools, supports the entire range of iOS devices, and is easy to get around.
Which IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is better?
Exploring the differences between Android Studio and XCode, you won’t decide which is definitely better than the other: both have their pros and cons.
Android Studio helps quickly generate multiple versions of your app for various devices and offers a flexible Gradle-based build system. Xcode, on the other hand, has a decent source editor and assistant editor. But that’s only if want to touch the surface.
Developers make personal preferences based on their individual habits and likings. Those who prefer XCode like it for easy setup, but bigger projects make the IDE too complicated. And Android Studio fans like it for an advanced code editor and layout designer, though sometimes it consumes too much memory.
However, you can rarely find developers specializing both in Android and iOS development. So once the platform choice is made, most of them don’t have a need to compare the above-mentioned IDEs.
Having these things considered, Android Studio and XCode are both good enough; their differences shouldn’t be a reason for preferring one platform over another.
System-specific design differences
Both designed for mobile app development, iOS and Android share the founding principles of software design. Due to the fact that both touch and a stylus don’t have a 100% clicking precision, the smallest clickable areas are 44px for iOS and 48px for Android.
The main difference between iOS and Android design philosophies lies in navigation and architecture organization.
Android apps are developed using partition – a coding team will have to break the app down to fragments and activities. An activity is equivalent to one app screen – in case a developer has a project with multiple screens, he’ll end up managing dozens of activities.
Each activity contains fragments – parts of a user interface often used to navigate between activities, enter a value, open a new app screen.
iOS application architecture relies on view controllers. There are a few types of such used for app development – page view, tab, split view controllers, and so on. A view controller can control an entire screen or one of its parts.
There are several ways to manage controllers – a developer can write them in code or organize images in a storyboard and store it as an XML file. This way, the development pace increases while the risk of errors reduces.
The iOS architecture is more manageable and not so error-prone as that of Android apps. By system design, an iOS app is easier to develop.
When it comes to iOS vs Android app development complexity, Android loses by big numbers. It has a lot to with device fragmentation – while Apple releases a limited range of devices – thus, there’s a small range of screen dimensions to account for, it’s not the case with Android. There are dozens of screen styles based on the screen size, density, and the version of the OS.
Apart from having to adjust the graphics to the whole range of devices, a developer will have to use dozens of device simulators during testing to ensure the app is displayed equally for all users. As a result, both testing and development require countless reviews and iterations, are resource- and time-consuming.
By development complexity, iOS is easier to handle.
According to StatCounter, Android is dominating the market share. Where iOS holds only 16% of worldwide smartphone users, Android devices are popular among over 80% of the population. When it comes to market share by regions, here’s what the statistics have to say:
- US – 52.59% – iOS, 46.98% – Android;
- Europe – 22.23% – iOS, 72.71% – Android;
- Asia – 13.85% – iOS, 83.09% – Android;
Even a common misconception about the iPhone-dominated America didn’t prove to be all that true – the margin of difference between the market shares of Android vs iPhone development is fairly small.
In case a developer aims at the worldwide audience, choosing Android is the best alternative.
Is There Any Way to Dominate Both Platforms?
In order to cash out on both Android and iOS markets, developers often go for creating a single cross-platform app instead of two native products. While such an approach seems a jack-all-trades, developers should be conscious of all the pros and cons of cross-platform solution.
Pros of cross-platform apps:
- Reduced development costs as opposed to building separate native apps;
- Speed increase;
- Reusable code;
- Unified interface for both platforms;
- Higher audience reach.
On the other hand, cross-platform product will lack in terms of flexibility and rich features compared to a native app.
Cons of cross-platform apps:
- User experience limitations;
- More complex code design;
- Longer wait time for bringing new features to the market;
- Maintenance challenges.
Cost of Creating Mobile Apps: iOS vs Android
There’s a common opinion around the web that iOS apps are more expensive than the Android ones. To check if this is true or false, we calculated the cost of Android app development vs iOS app development. Here’s an average number of hours needed to develop a basic, medium, and complex mobile app according to Cleveroad:
- Basic app – 300 hours;
- Medium complexity app – 600 hours;
- Complex app – 800 hours.
Here are the Android and iOS developers’ rates for US and Eastern Europe according to the same source.
By multiplying team hourly rate by the number of working hours we get the total cost for iOS and Android app development correspondingly.
When it comes to budgeting, the difference comes with Android OS – that’s because developers will need more resources to adapt app to a different screen sizes, which is not that big issue in case of iOS app development.
App Design Differences
Android app development vs iOS is determined by design guideline systems that determine the look and feel of apps. While designing for Android, you’ll have to adhere to Material Design, the iOS’ developer guide book will be the Human Interface Guidelines.
For Apple, the content of the app has priority over design. As a result, clarity and the broad use of white space are advisable. The most common tools used by UI designers are shadows and gradients. All in all, the application’s design should convey a feeling of depth and be multi-layered.
Android designs come from real-world inspiration. As a result, color and motion are two defining factors. Android designers usually operate with a broader range of tools – light, motions, color changes.
Needless to say, it’s up to a designer to choose a look-and-feel for the app. However, there are certain system-specific differences that influence the design of iOS and Android apps.
The navigation bar placement is a noteworthy detail. On iOS devices, it’s centered while, on Android phones, the bar is aligned to the left. App developers usually use the navigation bar to write the name of the screen.
Android devices extensively support widgets on its home screen (except for the lock screen). iOS is fairly new to the trend of widgets – as a result, it provides limited widget support. A user will only be able to access widgets in the Notification Center.
By widget support, Android devices win over iOS as they have fully adopted the feature and use its benefits much more extensively.
We have already covered the implications of Android device fragmentation when it comes to testing and development. As a result, designers have to withhold from creating detailed application interfaces as they will be extremely slow on low-end Android devices. The difference in screen dimensions makes setting proportions and layout elements optimization more challenging and time-consuming as well.
Device fragmentation makes designing for Android a pain in the neck. That’s why the interface of an Android app will cost more and take a longer while to make compared to iOS designs.
Google Play Market vs App Store
The interfaces of Google Play Market and App Store are similar – both have a home page with application listings, filters that help users to navigate and search for apps. The app description page has similar layouts – there’s a text description, a gallery, a block with app ratings and user reviews, and a download button that allows users to download an application.
Apart from releasing apps for public download, iOS offers developers an enterprise distribution model. This way, companies can distribute tools between the team’s employees or a selected group of individuals. You will be able to distribute apps under a private license and get access to a whole set of beta-testing tools, advanced development and testing utilities.
In case you want to create an iOS apps for education, there’s a dedicated iOS University program to help college or school administration securely introduce an application to the curriculum.
Android, on the other hand, has more than Google Play to offer for app distribution. A developer can also release an app on Amazon App Store – a marketplace for Android applications that has been running since 2011 and is available in over 200 countries. Its user base is almost as impressive as that of Google Play – as a result, a develop can attract more potential users.
Android app distribution models provide developers with an opportunity to reach out to a wider public audience. iOS, on the other hand, has convenient developer programs for releasing proprietary technologies.
Revenue per platform
According to the report issued by App Annie, India and China will be dominant forces in app downloads and spend in the next 5 years – both regions are currently dominated by Android.
Generally, Android app marketplaces have surpassed iOS by sales – having said that, the App Store is expected to remain the most lucrative single store all the way up to 2021. The marketplace is expected to generate over $60 billion in gross consumer spend in the next 5 years.
In a nutshell, Android is a promising operating system to choose as a long-term investment. In terms of immediate revenue, iOS still has the lead.
Number of free/paid apps hosted
Due to the fact that iOS main user base is located in the US, the audience is more willing to pay for a mobile app. Android, on the contrary, dominates in the markets where paid content is not thought of as a norm. When it comes to revenue percentage a developer has to share with Apple and Google respectively, both have a standard 30%-fee.
If you expect an app user to pay right before downloading your product, AppStore users will be more engaged than Google Play visitors.
Both Google and Apple do their best to help users not only navigate through apps according to their categories, but also find new potentially interesting titles. In the Play Market, you can find apps and games organized into groups like Recommended, Spotlight, or even Offline. In the App Store, there’s more to editorial content, so the apps and games might get highlighted by appearing on the main screen as a part of a listicle or an exclusive material.
As both platforms offer robust navigation systems, it’s a draw between Google Play and App Store.
Friendliness to developers
App Store is stricter in terms of app moderation – thus, there’s a risk that your app will never be published. Google Play, on the other hand, is much less demanding when it comes to quality assurance. As a result, there’s a tougher crowd for app creators to stand out from but the development is practically risk-free.
As a rule, Google Play is more developer-friendly than AppStore as it takes less time to approve an app and is not as strict during reviews.
Due to the complex process of application uploading and moderation, App Store is a safer source of apps than Google Play. There’s less risk to get tricked by a malware distributor. In case your app passed the App Store moderation, you can be fairly confident in its security.
However, it might take a couple of days for Apple to approve your app, while with Google you’ll wait only for a few hours. Although in both cases the app is reviewed manually, Apple has so many requirements and peculiarities regarding submitted apps that most probably you will initially spend quite a lot of time getting to know them and adopting your code.
By security, iOS raises the bar to a higher level than Android. By approval time, Google still works faster than Apple.
Monetization and Return on Investment
Last but not least, app monetization is another matter worth consideration when choosing between Android and iOS. There are three main ways to get profit from running a mobile app – in-app purchases, a paid application and ad-based model. And here’s a brief break down of all three approaches and their performance characteristics according to Appromoters (for both iOS and Android):
- In-app purchases. Android apps lead in terms of the number of purchases with 22% against 17%. However, the average cost of a transaction is higher for iOS – $30, for Android $10.
- Paid applications. iOS is a leader in terms of releasing paid apps straight to the application marketplace. Out of all iOS game apps, 11% are paid. For Android, the value is 7%.
- Ad-based monetization. Most iOS apps don’t use ads – the percentage of non-gaming apps that do is only 22%. Android apps, on the other hand, are ad-heavy. 63% of Android apps have implemented advertising SDKs.
Overall, iOS apps prove to have a higher return on investment than Android apps.
A few months ago, Google Play came up with a new way to drive monetization forth. Using the ‘Rewarded Products’ feature, developers will be able to increase the app’s revenue by having visitors watch sponsored videos in exchange for in-game currency. It takes nothing but a few clicks to add a rewarded product to an app – a developer can do it using the Google Play Billing Library.
On Google Play, a subscription-based payment model is available as well. This is highly convenient for on-demand music and video streaming apps. The list of subscription features includes:
- flexible billing;
- free trial;
- ranging subscription plans;
- grace periods.
For App Store, a subscription model is active as well – developers can enable both auto-renewable and non-renewable subscriptions. Both platforms take 15% of a developer’s revenue instead of a standard 30% commission common for other monetization models. This decision leads mobile app enthusiasts to believe that in-app subscriptions will surpass other monetization models by 2021.
Making a choice between iOS and Android application development is not easy as both come with advantages and drawbacks.
Calculating the amount of time and workforce needed to create apps for either OS as well as calculating maintenance risks is crucial for the project’s success.
In a nutshell, in case you don’t feel limited in budget and aim at narrow premium segments, iOS is a better choice. In case you want to test out the application market, aim at the worldwide audience, or are bootstrapped in the budget, prefer going with Android.
Developing an app on your own is challenging – that’s why it’s better to have a professional team to rely on. At Ego CMS, we have created dozens of mobile apps (both iOS and Android) for business, entertainment, and other purposes.
There are big differences between iOS and Android mobile platforms, especially in how they attempt to mitigate cybersecurity threats. For years, iOS has enjoyed the reputation as the most secure mobile operating system; however, recent changes are allowing Android to make some headway and close the gap between the two.
You can never be completely secure on a mobile device, or any device for that matter, and regardless of which platform you use, you can still be vulnerable to threats. However, is there a more secure option? Should security-conscious phone users be using one over the other?
The Threats To Your Mobile Security
Before we begin to compare the two operating systems, it is important that we understand the threats present to mobile phone users. As the use of mobile phones continues to rise exponentially, the array of threats presented to users is also increasing.
The following are some of the most common threats to mobile phone users:
- Malware attacks
- Phishing or social engineering attacks
- Data breaches
- Security weaknesses in software or hardware
Similar to your computer, the easiest way to keep your mobile device secured is to regularly and consistently update your OS. Simply keeping your software up to date can stop entire waves of malware. When it comes to updates, Apple and iOS is the clear winner. Apple maintains an unprecedented control over the iPhone and iOS experience, resulting in most users receiving and being prompted to install software updates and security fixes quickly. This is a big difference compared to Android.
Google, on the other hand, has a big problem with delayed OS updates. manufacturers and carrier networks simply release their own customised OS updates on their own schedule, which often leaves users either updating their Android phones rarely or not at all. With more mobile malware appearing in the Google Play Store, this can leave Android phones vulnerable.
Fortunately for security-conscious Android users, in 2019 Google announced that Android security updates were finally going to be automated. This process will be happening in the background, similar to how Google already updates its apps, and will no longer require users to reboot their phones. While this doesn’t solve Google’s OS update issue, the move to push security updates is a step in the right direction.
Next to vulnerabilities in your OS, the biggest threat to your mobile device’s security comes from apps that gather your personal data and then leak it, either intentionally or accidentally. Apps that demand excessive permissions to access your data are obvious threats to your mobile security.
iOS 13 boasts a mandatory privacy tool, called Sign In, that helps prevent apps from accessing any of your data. The security feature uses your Apple ID, not your email address, to verify your details when logging into any of your apps. In addition, iPhone users will no longer have to worry about creating fake email addresses when trying new services as Sign In will create and provide a throwaway email address for you to use.
However, Android 10 also boasts a new, dedicated Privacy section in its Settings that allows users to monitor and block any permission requests from any of the apps they use. Before, managing app permissions on Android was frustratingly difficult. But now, a one-click reject button for each app in an easy to use list is much more convenient for users, giving them greater control in Google’s open-source playground.
While having control over your app’s permissions is an improvement for both iOS and Android users, malware apps that don’t have permissions are still able to piggyback on your other apps to gain access to users data. This raises the question; what use are permission controls if malware apps are still making it onto the App Store or the Google Play Store?
Apple’s tight control over the App Store has largely prevented iPhone users from falling victim to the malware that affects Android users in disproportionate amounts. Apple’s “whatever it takes” approach to security has led to some apps being rejected from the App Store for arbitrary reasons. However, this has been argued to be worth it to keep the App Store mostly malware-free.
Android, on the other hand, has proven itself to be traditionally more vulnerable to malicious apps. Google has long taken the “secure enough” approach to its security. While it didn’t catch every single malicious app that was uploaded to Google Play, only a small percentage of users were likely to ever encounter anything malicious. However, thanks to Android’s huge global popularity even 1% of users affected by malware could be the equivalent of millions of users.
Security-conscious users of both operating systems stand to benefit from new location-blocking options available on both platforms. Android has made strides to join Apple in providing you with a more granular approach to geolocation control. Previous versions of Android only allowed users to say yes or no to app’s location requests. Now users will have three options; Accept, Deny or let your app access your location information while you are using the app.
iOS provides iPhone users with the option of sharing their photos without having to share their location data. This means each picture will no longer leave a data trail across messages, emails or social media. The process is simple and can be accessed from the Photos app. Android also allows users to remove location data from photos from their Android phone’s Photos app.
What Both Can Do Better
When it comes to picking one OS over another, it is important to remember that there is a big difference between how Apple and Google approach mobile security. Both companies have different goals and business models and address any potential security concerns with that in mind. Apple has a strict “whatever it takes” approach while Google approaches its mobile security with a “good enough” style.
The truth is both Google and Apple are succeeding at mobile security, especially if you measure it through the lens of their respective business models. Google has to maintain a massive alliance of hardware and software developers to ensure they can continue to provide the most popular OS on the planet. Their security limitations are required to keep that uneasy alliance going.
Apple, on the other hand, knows that their reputation is everything so they go the extra mile to ensure users feel safe on iPhones. Not only does this mean they can charge more for their products, but it also makes users feel comfortable spending money with their iPhones.
Rather than choosing a straight winner, it is important that users continue to hold both Apple and Google accountable for their mistakes and shortcomings. Mobile security is a big issue with users storing a lot of personal information on their device, so it is vital both of these tech giants continue to innovate and improve their mobile security. Subscribe to our monthly cybersecurity newsletter
Cases and accessories
If Android Dominates, Why Are There So Many iPhone and iPad Accessories?
Yes, Android is the top selling mobile platform around the world. Yes, Android dominates the low end of the smartphone and tablet markets. So why do you see so many iPhone and iPad cases and accessories when you go shopping?
While shopping for a docking station for your Android device you have probably seen that the market of Android accessories such as docks is smaller than one for iOS devices. This would not be such a surprise unless Android was dominating the worldwide smartphone market and there were over 7 times more Android devices shipped in Q3 of 2014 than iOS devices. We have looked at various aspects that impact the choice of many companies that produce and sell smartphone and tablet accessories to make their business around iOS and not Android accessories market. When comparing the Android and iOS accessories market we put a lot more attention to the docking station market and much less to the market of other Android and iOS accessories. Here’s the summary of the information we could gather.
There is also a presentation with the summary of information found in this article a the bottom of the page.
Too many different Android devices
This is the main problem with Android devices when talking about accessories. For iOS devices everything is simple, there was a single iPhone release each year (until the iPhone 5) and manufacturing of accessories for these phones is pretty simple. This is not the case with android market. As we know, android market consists of many manufacturers and each of these manufacturers are producing multiple different devices each year, which makes the Android smartphone and tablet market grow quite rapidly.
For example, if a company wants to make a docking station for iPhones and iPods they can make a single product that will fit almost all devices before 8-pin lightning connector and another product that will fit devices with a Lightning connector. This means that two pretty similar docking stations with a minor difference in connector types can be used by practically all iPhone models. From the other side, if a company wants to make a docking station for Android device market, it’s going to be much more difficult and they basically have three options:
- Produce various types of docking stations for different Android smartphones (which more likely will not pay off because, for example, even the largest Android smartphone manufacturer Samsung ships a lot of different products each year);
- Make a single, adjustable docking station that fits all (or at least most) android smartphones. This is the most common approach that most companies choose to do;
- Make a product specific docking station. For example, a docking station just for Samsung Galaxy S5 or Google Nexus 6 smartphones. However, this approach will be successful only for the most popular smartphone models year with the largest market share in a given year, and will probably need a product redesign for next year’s models.
There aren’t any docking station manufacturers that have tried the first approach, at least from those that we know, as it would simply be impossible with the rapid growth of the Android smartphone market. But many manufacturers are using the second approach to produce a “one fits all” type of docking station. For example, Hale and iLuv are producing stations that can dock most Android smartphones. The third approach is also quite common and can mostly be seen for smaller charging docks. Because these docks usually are cheap and easy to manufacture, many companies are making different models for flagship android devices such as Samsung Galaxy S series, Google Nexus, Motorola Moto X, HTC One, Sony Xperia, LG G series and others.
Different locations of Micro USB and Auxiliary ports and Micro USB insert direction
Again, these two problems follows from the fact that there are so many different Android devices and each manufacturer can place a Micro USB port somewhere else on the phone, as well as position the Micro USB port in different direction. As you may know, 30-pin or Lightning port allows docking the cable in any direction, while Micro USB port accepts the docking cable only in a certain direction. Also the charging port of all iPhone or iPod touch models is located in the middle on the bottom of the phone. Because of this, iPhone docking station manufacturers have much easier time planning and implementing a successful design that works with all models. On the Android side things are much less smoother.
Unfortunately each Android smartphone manufacturer has different vision where it would be best to place the Micro USB charging port. For example, on some HTC smartphones you will find the charging port to be on the bottom part on the right side of the phone, while some Samsung models have Micro USB port on the top and others on the bottom of the phone. All those different port placements give manufacturers of android accessories a lot of problems designing a docking station that will fit most of these phones. A universal android docking station must have a Micro USB dock that will fit smartphones in both landscape and portrait orientations with a Micro USB socket placed in the middle or closer to the side of the phone, and at the same time taking into account many different sizes and weights of those phones. From the other side, manufacturers making docking stations for iOS devices have much simpler task to design their products to fit devices with 30-pin or Lightning connector that is located on the bottom of the device of all iPhones, iPads and iPods.
Disadvantages of Micro USB
Micro USB (most of the time) is not capable of transmitting audio and is used just for charging and data transfer functions, while Apple 30-pin connector allows transferring audio, data and charging functions with the same cable. There are also an adapter that transfers 30-pin connector to 8-pin so the same audio transfer function can be used with all iOS devices. Also, most iOS docking station come compatible with devices with either a 30-pin or 8-pin connection ports and provide high quality audio transmission form an iPhone or iPod to the docking station through the Lightning connector.
As Micro USB is not capable of transmitting audio, android docking stations are equipped with either an Auxiliary port, which means using an addition cable for audio streaming, or provide a wireless audio streaming using a Bluetooth technology, which in some way eliminates the purpose of a docking station itself.
The average iOS user VS the average Android user
If we want to have a full picture of both markets we need to go further away from the hardware side and inspect the characteristics of both iOS and Android smartphone users. Based on the data of appannie.com in Q3 of 2014 the total number of downloads on Google Play store was 60% higher than on iOS App Store, which can be easily explained as there are a lot times more Android devices than iOS devices. However the interesting part is that the total revenue from iOS App Store is approx. 60% higher than the revenue from Google Play Store. What this tells us is that the average iOS user is likely to spend a lot more money for additional features (premium applications in this case) for their devices than the average Android user. Also, you can get a new and cheap Android smartphone, but you cannot buy a new and cheap iPhone, so not everyone can or want to pay the high price for an iOS device. And this case somewhat applies also to the smartphone accessories market.
Most Android users have no interest spending more money for high priced accessories for their devices, which is the reason why sites like eBay are filled with low quality accessories for practically all Android smartphones. In opposite, a person that owns an iOS device, which itself cost more than most midrange and even some high-end Android devices will more likely choose a higher quality and at the same time more expensive accessories for his iPhone or iPad. By the way, I am not trying to say that iOS devices are better than Android devices by any means, as this is an article about topic regarding accessories market for devices powered by both platforms
And this situation can be also been seen in the docking station market. Most iOS docking stations have better build quality, more functions, better reviews and, of course, a higher price. Although I must note that some manufacturers such as Samsung and LG have made docking stations compatible with both Android and iOS devices that have successfully entered the docking station market.
The behavior and mindset of the average Android user as well as many different Android devices from lots of manufacturers with varying sizes, weights and port placements and a lack of an audio transmitting feature of Micro USB connector are making it difficult for android docking station manufacturers to make a device that suits everyone’s taste and at the same time is affordable for most Android smartphone users. The good part of this is that Android market is changing from a doubtful open source platform used by few manufacturers some years ago to the most popular platform for mobile devices, which has become a lot more mature, beautiful, faster, safer and in other ways batter with each version of Android. Smartphones and tablets using the Android platform are also improving and users are willing to spend more for a quality device as well as for useful applications and also accessories for their devices. This certainly helps those manufacturers that are making docking stations for android devices to continue designing and producing new products, as we will definitely continue to see a growth in Android smartphone market in the following years, which means growth of potential customers in the docking station market.
Google Android 11
The 2020 iteration of the Android operating system — known as Android 11 — is the latest stable version. It launched in the summer of 2020 on Google Pixel smartphones and has made its way to flagships from other companies, such as Samsung, OnePlus, and more.
For better or worse, Android 11 looks and feels very similar to Android 10. As such, you might not notice many differences when you first boot it up. That’s where this helpful guide comes in! Below, you’ll find over a dozen new features that make this latest version of the operating system the best yet.
Keep in mind that this list doesn’t cover every new feature. There are plenty of smaller updates as well as new features geared more towards developers instead of the general user. What’s listed here are the biggest changes that every user should know about.
In Android 10, the notification drawer contains all your notifications in a seemingly-haphazard list. Certain apps tend to get prioritized and shot to the top of the list, but there doesn’t appear to be any specific reason why. Meanwhile, lower-priority notifications get moved down to the silent section, which doesn’t send out any alerts.
In Android 11, that system changes. There are now three notification categories: Conversations, Alerting, and Silent. The Conversations section, quite obviously, houses all your conversations. This would mean any app where you are directly communicating with someone else, including text messages and chat apps. It would also apply to direct messages within other apps, such as Instagram.
You can also prioritize conversations and apps within this section. This would allow you to give a higher priority to messages from your mom than messages from your distant cousin, for example. The whole point is to make sure that you never miss notifications related to your important daily interactions.
Meanwhile, the Alerting and Silent sections act as they have before in Android 10. You can also easily silence notifications from certain apps, which would push all future notifications to the Silent section. With Android 11, you now have more control over notifications than you ever had previously.
We’ve all done it: a notification comes through and you instinctively swipe it away. Later on, you think, “Hey, I probably shouldn’t have done that,” but by then it’s too late. The notification is gone.
Not so in Android 11! A new feature gives you the option of saving every single notification that landed on your phone over the past 24 hours. You can check the running list, find the notification you accidentally swiped, and see what you missed.
Now you can find that notification you accidentally swiped away when you woke up.
Unfortunately, this new notification history feature is not on by default. You need to go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > Notification history. Once you’re there, you can toggle the feature on. If it’s already on, you can view your notification history in that same section. Keep in mind, though, that it won’t start saving notifications until the feature is on, so you can’t turn it on and find notifications you swiped away earlier that day.
An interesting side-effect of this Android 11 feature is that the history will show you every single notification that goes through your phone, even totally silent ones that never make it to the shade. This is a great tool to see if there are apps you don’t use much hogging up system resources.
Chat bubbles in Android 11
Are you sensing a theme here? Google has designed Android 11 to be all about communication, so the biggest new features all relate to notifications, chat apps, and other conversation-related systems.
Chat bubbles actually first appeared in Android 10. However, for whatever reason, Google didn’t prioritize them and they faded into the background when the stable version of the operating system launched. Now, though, chat bubbles are here in Android 11 and taking center stage.
If you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger on Android, you already know how chat bubbles work. With Messenger, a “chat head” appears on your phone that overlays on top of pretty much every other app. A quick tap of the icon launches the chat and then you can minimize the chat back to an icon. Done with the conversation? You can remove the chat head until the next conversation starts.
This is exactly how the system-wide bubble feature works, with the only major difference being that it can work for any chat app, not just Messenger or other apps that have a similar design.
Android 11 screen recorder
There are plenty of apps on the Google Play Store that will record your phone’s screen. With that in mind, a native screen recorder within Android 11 might seem a bit late to the party, but it’s still exciting. After all, this is now one less app you’ll need to download.
It’s a bit late to the party, but this new screen recording feature is a welcome addition.
The screen recorder function lives in the Quick Settings tiles. You tap the Screen Record feature which gives you a few options before you start recording. For example, you can choose whether or not your screen-taps should also be recorded and whether the phone should capture audio, too.
The whole thing is very simplistic, but it gets the job done. If you need a more fully-featured screen recorder, you can always stick with your favorite third-party app. For most people, though, this native app should be just fine.
If you are playing music on your Android 10 phone, a music player appears at the top of your notifications drawer. Of course, with Android 11, that section of the drawer is now reserved for conversations, so the media player needed to move. Google decided to move it one rung up to the Quick Settings section.
This makes way more sense since the media controller isn’t really a notification — it’s a tool or even a mini-app.
When you swipe down your notification drawer, the media controller will be pretty small. It will show you the app it’s related to, cover art, basic controls, and on which system the media is playing. If you pull down again on the drawer, the alert expands and shows the information you see in the image above.
In a nice touch, you can tap on the playback system (“Phone speaker” in the image above) and quickly push the audio or video out to a different system. This will make it incredibly easy to switch from your phone speaker to your Bluetooth headphones, for example.
Don’t want the player up there anymore? You can swipe it away just like you used to. You can also tweak Android 11’s settings so that the player automatically vanishes when you have stopped listening to music (or stay there all the time, it’s up to you!).
Smart device controls
More and more people are incorporating some form of smart home tech in their lives. In response to this growing trend, Google added a new section in Android 11 that allows you to easily control your various devices without needing to open an app.
You can hold down the power button to launch the new tool. At the top, you’ll find the usual power features, but underneath, you’ll see a lot more options. There’s a Google Pay shortcut that allows you to quickly choose which payment method you want your next contactless transaction to use. Under that, you’ll see a bunch of buttons connected to your various smart home products.
Android 11 will pre-populate this field with six of your devices, but you can add/remove devices as you see fit. Whichever devices you settle on, you can tap them to turn lights on or off, check your security cameras, unlock your front door, etc. No more opening three separate apps to do all those things!
Unfortunately, some OEMs aren’t adopting this feature. Samsung, for example, still has the usual power buttons on this page with no smart home controls. Other companies are moving the controls to other sections of the OS. Incidentally, Google is giving you the option to remove the long-press of the power button shortcut in Android 12, so this whole feature is going to change soon.
One-time permissions and auto-reset
It’s no secret that Google has faced some hefty accusations of negligence over the past few years related to the privacy and security of its users. Thankfully, Android 11 now gives more control over privacy and security to users than ever before.
The star feature of this new initiative is one-time permissions. When you first install an app, Android 10 will ask you if you want to grant the app permissions all the time, only when you’re using the app, or not at all. This was a big step forward, but Android 11 gives the user even more control by allowing them to give permissions only for that specific session.
Android 11 gives a ton of control to the user when it comes to privacy and security.
If a user gives permission for the session, once they close the app, Android will revoke that permission. If a user wants to grant permission every time they use the app, that option is still there, but an option to grant permission all the time won’t be available for a lot of apps. This will make things much safer for users and make it much more difficult for sneaky apps to collect the information you might not want them to collect.
Similarly, Android 11 will now “auto-reset” apps you haven’t used in a while. If you granted location data permissions to an app that you haven’t opened up in a long time, Android will now revoke all permissions. Next time you open the app, you’ll need to approve those permissions again. If you never open the app, though, your data is safe.
Dark theme scheduling
It was pretty exciting when Google finally introduced a native dark mode to Android 10. However, it was fairly simplistic: it was either on or off. Meanwhile, Android skins from other manufacturers allow users to control when and why dark mode should be activated.
With Android 11, users can now schedule the dark theme using one of two different metrics. You can schedule a dark theme to turn on or off when the sun sets or rises. You can also set up a custom schedule for dark mode activation if you wish.
Google actually rolled out the sunset/sunrise setting to Pixel phones running Android 10 earlier in 2020, but Android 11 will bring both that and the timing feature to all.
Android 11 updates via Play Store
Each year, Google releases the latest version of Android. Each month, it pushes out the latest Android security patch. Both of these updates get funneled to your phone either by your carrier or equipment manufacturer. Because of this, some phones get many updates very quickly, while others either get them much slower or not at all.
To counteract this, Android 11 gives more power related to updates over to the Google Play Store. This allows Google to bypass carriers and OEMs entirely and push out updates to everyone. Of course, it still can’t issue the latest version of Android in this fashion or even the latest security patches. However, it can fix some security holes with this method and even update specific aspects of the Android system, too.
This is universally a good thing as it will keep Android phones safer and more up-to-date, even if the OEM has abandoned the phone. Obviously, it would be much better if that didn’t happen, but at least Google is doing what it can to address this issue.
App suggestions (Android 11 for Pixels only)
This feature is actually really cool, but it unfortunately only works on Pixel phones for now. It’s possible Google could eventually offer the feature to other phones, but since it needs the Pixel Launcher to work, it’s not likely to make its way to other OEMs in its current form.
You can let Android control the icons that appear on your dock.
If you own a Pixel device running Android 11, you can now let Google’s AI smarts control the apps that appear in your dock. Android will use various factors to determine which five apps it thinks should be in your dock at any given time of day. The apps will constantly change, with the end goal being that the app you’ll want to open will be at the ready even before you know you want to open it.
Of course, Google allows you to tell Android to skip certain apps. You can also turn the feature off if you don’t want it. Still, it’s a really interesting addition to Android 11 that should make people’s lives just a tiny bit easier!
At one point, even one of the top leads of Android admitted that Android’s sharing system was a mess. Thankfully, it’s gotten a lot better over the past year and is about to get even more useful with Android 11.
You can now pin apps to your share sheet in order to easily access them whenever you want to share something. In the image above, you can see the option to pin Chrome’s printing feature to the share sheet or even pin Chrome’s ability to send URLs to other devices.
This feature allows you, the user, to control which apps appear at the top of the list when you want to share something. Android’s current system of presenting apps in an order that it determines is confusing and makes power users pretty frustrated, so this is a welcome change!
Wireless Android Auto
Android Auto is an incredibly useful system, but it annoyingly requires your phone to be plugged in. Some specific phones — namely Pixels — can communicate with Android Auto wirelessly, but not everyone owns one of those phones.
Thankfully, in Android 11, every smartphone running the operating system can take advantage of wireless Android Auto connections. The only limitation will be that the head unit in your car will need to support the feature. Obviously, this will still be a hefty limitation for folks who own cars that are a few years old, but it will start the transition towards every Android Auto experience eventually being totally wireless.
Voice Access becomes more context-aware
Users with mobility impairments have a nifty feature within Android called Voice Access. By turning this on, you can simply tell your Android phone what to do using the power of Google Assistant.
With Android 10, though, certain functions required you to voice-activate numbered on-screen elements. For example, you would say “Tap 4” while using the Twitter app to compose a new tweet (every link on the page would have a small number next to it). Now, though, you could say, “Open Twitter, compose tweet,” making your interactions with the phone much more fluid and natural.
While this will only be helpful for a minority of users, it shows how Google is taking accessibility within Android very seriously.
Privacy for Enterprise users
If you use an Android phone provided by your workplace, it’s probably a part of the Android Enterprise program. This allows your company’s IT department to monitor the phone, make changes, issue updates, etc., since it’s company property.
However, this usually pushes people to carry a separate phone for their personal use. With Android 11, though, you can have a personal profile and a work profile, with neither one having any effect on the other. This will allow users to swap from their work profile to their personal profile with confidence that their company’s IT department isn’t monitoring what they do there.
Of course, there will still be lots of folks who will feel more comfortable carrying around that second smartphone. At least this new feature might sway some users to avoid that, though!
Battery life and charging
When comparing Android and iOS devices, battery life plays a major role. However, it’s difficult — maybe impossible — to say unconditionally whether one mobile OS has an edge over the other. This is partly because of sheer variety of devices, all with different batteries and capabilities. Apple offers different versions of the iPhone and iPad, and there are dozens of Android phones and tablets from a variety of manufacturers. By comparing battery ratings and tests, the most you can say is that the battery life of iOS and Android devices are largely comparable, but there is plenty that you can do to get the most out of any mobile device’s battery.
Understanding Battery Specs
When you look at a phone or tablet’s specifications, you’ll see milliamp hours — abbreviated as “mAh” — in other words, how many hours the battery will last with a given flow of current. If a phone’s battery has a 1,000-mAh rating, you can expect your phone to be drained in 10 hours if you’re doing something with it that draws 100 mA of current. All else being equal, the iPhone 5’s 1440-mAh battery will give you significantly more battery life than the LG Vu, which has a 1,000-mAh battery, but considerably less total time than the 2,530-mAh battery of the Droid Razr Maxx. In fact, most Android smartphones have batteries with higher mAh ratings than the iPhone, so you’d be tempted to conclude that Android battery life is always better than iOS battery life. But there are more variables to consider.
The important distinction in the mAh equation is the draw, which is why detailed reviews of phones usually mention talk time and standby time — two common activities that draw very different amounts of current from the battery. Clearly, standby mode should drain the battery much slower than any other use, while talk time is much more demanding. Many reviewers will test the battery life even more rigorously, such as by surfing the Web or playing high-definition audio and video. This gives you more of an idea what to expect from the batteries in the real world because different apps, hardware, and OS processes will drain the battery at different rates.
Mobile device reviewers regularly test phones and tablets to see if the real-world battery life matches the manufacturers’ promises, and to compare results from competing devices. Although reviews are subjective, you can find widespread agreement on certain things. For example, older iPhones were criticized for running out of juice more quickly than the average Android phone, but the iPhone 5 has been shown to be more competitive. Still, the longest out-of-the-box batteries have been found on Android phones such as the Droid Razr Maxx, while Android tablets generally struggle to match the battery life of iPads. However, how you use your device could be far more important to battery life than its make and model.
Whether you’re an Android or iOS user, your battery life can increase or decrease depending upon simple settings such as brightness, volume and vibration. The use of wireless radio functions, such as Wi-Fi, cellular, Bluetooth and GPS have an even greater impact. You’ll also drain your battery more quickly by using apps that frequently poll wireless connections for syncing and updates — including the OS itself, as well as email, messaging apps and social media notifications. Other apps and utilities may start up by default or continue running after you exit their screens; these may not drain the battery quite as much, but they’ll whittle away at it constantly without giving you much benefit, other than possibly starting up quicker if you need them again later.
Both Siri and Google Assistant are popular voice assistants, keen to help you in your everyday life through multiple different methods. All you need to do in either case is to have a compatible device and simply speak to it, asking it your questions or commanding the voice assistant to do whatever you need doing around your smart home.
Ever wondered which is better though? Is Siri better than Google, for instance? While both assistants offer many of the same features, each have their own advantages and disadvantages with Google Assistant working out better at answering trivia questions while Siri is a smarter option if you want to communicate with others hands-free.
- Available through all iOS and Mac devices.
- Support for 17 languages.
- Choice of different genders for voice.
- Best for basic guidance.
- Primarily Android devices but also available in app form and Google Home.
- Support for 30 languages.
- Choice of celebrity voices.
- Works as a genuine assistant and organizer for you.
In the battle of Siri vs Google Assistant, both are fairly competent. While Google Assistant has the edge in a few fields, Siri also has the advantage elsewhere. It all comes down to what you’re most comfortable using and what you’re looking for from a virtual assistant.
Both options are entirely free to use with the only distinction being the devices you purchase to gain access to them. Google Assistant can be made available for iOS users via its app while Siri is solely for iOS and Mac users (along with Apple HomePod owners), but the latter means it tends to work a little more smoothly as it’s baked into the operating system it’s made for.
Ultimately, what you choose will probably come down to what devices you own in your home. We’ve taken a closer look at what both offer in the debate of Google Assistant vs Siri.
Platform Compatibility: More Options for Google Assistant
- Available for iOS devices such as iPads and iPhones.
- Also available on MacOS and Apple CarPlay.
- Has a dedicated speaker in the form of Apple HomePod.
- Available on Android phones and tablets.
- Available through the Google Assistant app for iOS and Android.
- Works through Android Auto as well as multiple smart devices.
When it comes to compatibility, Google Assistant has the advantage. It’s primarily aimed at Android phones and tablets, but you can also use it through your iOS device thanks to the relevant app. Siri doesn’t have that bonus. Instead, Siri only works on Apple related devices, meaning you’re a bit more restricted in how you use it.
With a growing number of smart devices from speakers to TVs including Google Assistant, Siri can seem like it’s a little behind here, relying on the loyalty that Apple owners already have to its products.
Ability to Communicate: An Equal Battle
- Best at taking calls and composing messages.
- Best at directions.
- Best at specializing in recognizing one voice.
- Best at general knowledge.
- Best at traffic alerts.
- Best at understanding the whole family.
It’s good to talk and when it comes to both Siri and Google Assistant, both have slightly different strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you want to be able to ask your voice assistant a simple trivia question, you can’t beat Google Assistant. It’s as smart as you would expect for a Google product, soon figuring out your query.
However, if you want to be able to make calls and compose emails or text messages hands-free, Siri is generally smarter and more streamlined, making it simple to read or send messages. It even works with third-party apps such as WhatsApp.
Crucially, Google Assistant is aimed at the whole family so it picks up different voices well, while Siri is focused on the individual who is using the device. That can make a difference depending on what you’re looking for.
Smart Home Integration: Depends What You’re Looking For
- Apple HomePod is only smart speaker option.
- Apple TV support.
- Not quite as much smart home compatibility as Google Assistant.
- Built into many third-party smart speakers and other devices.
- Extensive support for almost every smart home gadget you can think of.
- Best integration with IFTTT.
Being able to use voice assistants without having to press all the buttons is what these assistants are all about. Google Assistant offers more third-party alternatives with many smart speakers and other devices offering integration. Alternatively, Siri’s only smart speaker option is the HomePod.
Google Assistant also tends to offer better compatibility with certain popular devices like the Logitech Harmony Hub and Nest thermostats not working with Apple’s HomeKit and therefore Siri, without a bit of tweaking and adaptation.
Ultimately, what works best for you depends on how your smart home is set up. When it comes to simpler things like music playback, Siri has the edge with a better understanding of if you’re looking for music or a specific podcast.
Final Verdict: Google Assistant Is Better but Siri’s Still a Good Option
The smart assistant you end up favoring is mostly going to depend on your phone and computer choice. Are you an iOS owner and a MacOS lover? Then Siri will do you just fine. You could install the Google Assistant app, but unless you happen to have a smart home device that’s not compatible with Siri, there’s not much need. It’s great being able to compose messages accurately with your voice too.
However, Google Assistant is generally a little smarter than Siri. Baked into more third-party devices and able to understand the whole family a bit clearer, it works better as a smart home voice assistant than Siri. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Keen to have a personal assistant who listens to your voice and not much else? Siri is just fine, but if you want a household solution then Google Assistant is just a little more useful.
Either way, you’re going to be happy with whatever you end up with, with both services offering plenty of useful features that will save you tapping buttons.
Gaming, VR and AR
Augmented reality vs virtual reality is a battle that many new and aspiring software developers face today in the real world.
Advances in these immersive and interactive technologies have not gone unnoticed. As they go mainstream, more people want to get a job working with AR and VR.
The question is:
Which is the best choice?
In this article, we’ll find out by looking at use cases for both technologies. We’ll also show you what you need to consider to land your dream job in either medium.
Okay, it’s time to get into VR vs AR.
What is Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a computer technology that creates a simulated environment where users can interact with three-dimensional (3D) space. VR hardware shuts off the outside world, and the technology simulates human senses and provides haptic-feedback to immerse people in a completely artificial environment.
For years, VR was little more than a gimmick in movies or video games. Today, VR is finding its place as an integral aspect of many industries.
The Volvo Reality app allows you to take the XC90 SUV for a test drive, and Walmart uses a VR training app to help managers learn in a stress-free environment. And then, of course, there are VR games, which is a multi-billion dollar marketplace.
How to Start Developing in Virtual Reality
Here are four fundamental areas to explore when you want to create a VR project:
- VR hardware
- Design and prototype tools
- Game engines
- Platforms and Software Development Kits (SDKs)
1. VR Hardware
To develop VR (or AR) you will need a performance hardware that is capable of running advanced graphics and complex computations. If you don’t have a computer or a laptop, check our guide on VR hardware.
Secondly, you will need a VR device. There’s a variety of VR headsets out there with different performances and price points. If you want to create a believable, engaging, virtual world, here are the best VR devices to work with now:
- Oculus Rift – Oculus is the undisputed VR leader, and the Rift is their crown jewel. The tetherless headset uses Oculus Link to connect to computers, and the device utilizes hand tracking for a more intuitive VR experience.
- Oculus Quest 2 – A cost-effective alternative to the Rift. The Quest is the first model with standalone six degrees of freedom (6DOF).
- HTC Vive – The rival to Oculus, boasting room-scale technology that enables you to move around and use motion-tracked handheld controllers to interact with the 3D virtual environment.
- Valve Index — Index has a superior refresh rate and better precision thank Oculus and Vive however, the performance does reflect on the price tag.
- HP Reverb G2 — HP’s Reverb G2 was the latest arrival in the VR headset marketplace and based on performance it offers one of the best value for your money. You can also choose an enterprise Omnicept edition which tracks your heartbeat and pupillary response among other things.
- Google Cardboard – A budget-friendly, cardboard frame that you can put your smartphone in for easy VR experiences. The cardboard is more of a gimmick but it’s a good learning tool if you’re looking to create something fast.
- Samsung GearVR / Google Daydream / Oculus Go – These devices are more like mobile accessories that uses your phone’s capabilities for main hardware. Unfortunately their lack of computational power and use puts it only slightly above Google Cardboard. They were mainly used for 360-video apps that never saw a popularity due to lack of immersive experience. All companies stopped the production and support for this kind of devices.
Other high-end headset manufactures such as Varjo and Pimax have top-spec headset with real-life or over human-eye high resolution. With prices starting at $3,000 and more, these headsets are mostly reserved for enterprise business solutions.
2. Design and prototype tools
You can use pen and paper to get basic ideas out of your head, but if you’re serious, you should start playing around with some professional digital tools, like these:
- Sketch or Figma – design user flows and mobile interface screens. Includes a plug-in to transform your Sketches to a 360-degree view.
- Blender – create custom 3D models to import to your game engine. Includes free online tutorials.
- 3ds Max and Maya – The gold standard in the industry. Use these for modeling, sculpting, animation, lighting, and visual effects. Beware, they come with high price tags and steep learning curves.
- Cinema 4D – A user-friendly alternative to Maya, used by many individual artists and small teams.
- A-Frame – An open-source Mozilla project for creating VR experiences in HTML. Compatible with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Daydream.
These design-oriented applications are powerful tools to get you prototype, envision and plan out possible user workflows and experiences. XR Design is an important if not crucial process for developing AR or VR products. Without the basic understanding of your users and their behaviors, it’s almost impossible to build an experience that is enjoyable from the first iteration.
3. Game engines
The game engine is crucial, as it comprises the essential framework and software development kits (SDKs) required to develop VR applications for a computer or mobile device.
Here are the top contenders:
- Unity – The king of VR game engines, and preferred choice of 45% of developers. This engine uses C# to write commands, and it supports all major VR devices and formats, including 3D Max, Maya, and Cinema4D.
- Unreal Engine – The closest rival to Unity supports most platforms, including HoloLens 2, Magic Leap, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Unreal uses the more difficult C++, but many claim it offers more realistic visuals.
- CryEngine – A free tool with incredible weather and water effects, like volumetric fog, ocean physics, and full 3D cloud rendering. CryEngine uses C++, but only supports Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and OSVR.
The market leaders of game engines are undoubtedly Unreal and Unity. In practice they are neck and neck.
4. Platforms and Software Development Kits (SDKs)
An SDK is a plug-in with engine- and platform-specific assets, content, and special design techniques that effectively shape the overall native VR experience.
Here are some of the best SDKs for VR development:
- Oculus SDK is a developer software that includes various engine-specific kits, assets, samples, and audio packages that you can use to build your VR apps. Best for Oculus Rift.
- SteamVR SDK gives access to controllers, models, and enables content preview in Unity play mode. Best option for HTC Vive.
- Oculus Mobile SDK has all the tools and libraries for C/C++ development for Samsung GearVR and Oculus. Best option for GearVR.
- Google VR SDK is a collection of specific dev kits, tools, APIs, and design frameworks. Best option for Google Cardboard and Google Daydream headset.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that changes the perception of the physical world to make it more interactive. AR achieves this by superimposing digital information onto a view of the real-world environment.
AR is best suited to enterprise tooling. In manufacturing, workers can use AR smart glasses to access text, stats, and graphical representations while working on a task.
While VR is better for gaming, AR is the technology behind the crazy success of Pokémon Go, which Forbes once called ‘the world’s most important game.
How to Start Developing in Augmented Reality
There are several critical steps involved to start developing AR experiences:
- AR Hardware
- Get Unity
- Install development applications
1. AR Hardware
When you consider the hardware between augmented reality vs virtual reality, you’ll discover that AR medium offers substantially less options for development than VR. But here’s the thing – your mobile phone is already powerful enough to run mobile AR applications.
Do you remember mega-successful Pokemon Go AR game? Everyone went crazy when it was released back in 2016. You can try and recreate the app by yourself.
A lot of early XR developers start developing for AR since most of the modern smartphones offer the AR feature. You only need phone’s camera and one of the free version of 3d game engines. To make your first AR apps try recreating an augmented version of your T-shirt and you’re blast through the fear before AR technology :).
As for AR headsets, there are few that offer an open SDK and are available for development.
- Microsoft HoloLens 2 – A holographic computer in a headset that offers a hands-free experience where you use voice and hand gestures to interact with holograms.
- Google Glass 2 – An enterprise tool built on Android, which primarily targets the manufacturing, medical, and construction markets.
- Magic Leap – the first ground-breaking AR device fell from the popularity throughout the years but it is still very much alive especially in the enterprise solutions sector.
You’ll also find a lot of augmented reality glasses devices on the market however, most of them have closed software. The others, such as Snap’s Spectacles offer dedicated content production software such as Lens Studio.
2. Get Unity
While you can use Unreal or another game engine, there’s little doubt that Unity is the way to go for augmented reality developers. Not only is it the best for the medium, but it has free documentation, tutorials, and live training.
3. Install development applications
Download these applications before you start:
HoloLens Emulator – With this, you can run Windows Holographic without the HoloLens device. You also need to get Hyper-V for this to work.
Visual Studio – An Integrated Development Environment where you write code and run the HoloLens Emulator. Install both Visual Studio 2015 with Update 3 and Visual Studio 2017, or it won’t work correctly.
Here are a few SDKs for developing in AR:
- HoloToolkit – A collection of scripts and components to accelerate project development on the HoloLens. Check this GitHub guide for installation instructions and toolkit tips.
- Vuforia – Use this to create Holographic applications that can recognize objects in the environment.
- ARKit – Apple tools to help developers create AR applications for iOS devices.
You can learn more from Circuit Stream’s comparison guide for augmented reality SDKs.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality: What to Choose?
Augmented reality and virtual reality offer two very unique paths for developers. Augmented reality changes our perception of the real world, and virtual reality transports you to an entirely different world.
Augmented reality is the best choice for developers if you want to create apps and experiences for:
- Manufacturing, construction, or design – If you want to build an enterprise-focused tool for factory workers, AR is the way to go.
- Game-based education – AR makes it possible to create a digital learning narrative and embed contextually relevant information.
- Retail – People naturally want to try things on when shopping for clothes or makeup. AR has already been adopted by furniture, beauty, and clothes brands.
Virtual reality is the best choice for developers if you want to create apps and experiences for:
- Computer games. Virtual reality may or may not be the future of gaming. What’s not in doubt is its potential, with global revenue for VR games in 2020 soaring to $22.9B. VR is the best choice for gaming now. Period.
- Military, manufacturing or medical training. Whether it’s a battlefield simulation or brain surgery, the immersive technology gives people a learning platform to develop their skills and confidence, without any risks.
- Mental health. VR can create powerful simulations of scenarios that may pose psychological difficulties for some people. Research suggests it can help with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and paranoia.
- E-Commerce — Snap’s Global Consumer Report is showing big growth in AR use for retail and e-commerce.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality: You Can’t Lose
The rise of AR and VR has been a slow burn, but now the technologies have finally moved beyond gaming and entertainment to show promise in many industries.
Now is the time to get involved. By starting small, you can build your knowledge and skills with the essential software and grow your developer portfolio.
When it comes to deciding between augmented reality vs virtual reality, you can’t lose.
It’s an unfortunate and frightening fact: if your child has a smartphone, chances are they’ll experience cyberbullying. Predators can easily get to kids through a screen. A single mistake can go viral. Our children face so many dangers that parents need to be able to monitor their smartphones. Even tech giants Samsung and Apple acknowledge the importance of restrictions and monitoring. They created built-in settings on their devices to protect kids. With the dangers they face in mind, which smartphone keeps your child safe?
Android phones don’t feature built-in settings for monitoring a kid’s smartphone. To do so, parents can perform periodic phone checks or install a parental control app. However, Androids do have built-in restrictions to block certain content and apps. For instance, you can set your child’s phone to restrict content from Google Play and third party vendors.
Restrict Google Play
Androids allow you to password protect Google Play. That means that before your kid downloads anything from the Play store, they’ll need your permission. This allows you to review apps and make sure they’re safe. Plus, it’ll keep your kids from spending money on apps. Androids also allow you to set age restrictions in Google Play. When setting up your parental controls, you can choose the highest content rating you want to allow for downloading. Also, these ratings are customizable by category, which means you can set a higher age rating for books and lower rating for apps and games.
Block Third-Party Vendors
Google Play is not the only way your child can download an app. Now, users can buy and download apps from third-party vendors. But using apps from third-party vendors may expose your child to malware, stolen personal information and predators. To prevent this, go to the smartphone’s settings. Then go to security and find “allow installation of apps from unknown sources.” Make sure it’s turned off.
Like its competitor, iPhones have built-in restrictions that can block certain content through restricting the App Store and turning on parental controls. However, the phone takes it up a notch by having built-in monitoring options through iCloud sharing as well.
Restrict the App Store
Like Androids, iPhones allow you to make the app store password protected. Both smartphones allow you to check apps before they’re downloaded, preventing accidental app purchases. The iPhone App Store and Google Play also share similarities when it comes to parental controls. iPhones allow you to customize content by category and set higher or lower age ratings as well.
Turn on Parental Controls
iPhones have built-in restrictions that can be turned on your child’s phone. Yet parents have the option of only restricting certain apps. These restrictions range from using FaceTime to allowing only specific websites on Safari. This is a great option for blocking inappropriate content on various apps.
Apple’s iCloud function is a great tool for monitoring your child’s cell phone activity. You’ll be able to view your child’s emails, contacts, photos, and notes. If everyone in your family has an iPhone, you can even opt for Apple’s Family Sharing. You and up to five other family members will share iTunes, iBooks, App Store purchases and an iCloud sharing plan.
Whether you’re Team Android or Team iPhone, the most important part is protecting kids from the dangers smartphones can bring. Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each smartphone and decide what’s best for your child and family.
IOS 15 vs. Android 12
Following their respective developer conferences, Google and Apple have shown us what’s coming with the updated versions of their phone software this year. Both Android 12 and iOS 15 are major updates to not only the look and feel of each operating system, but also to how you’ll interact with your smartphone.
From Android 12’s new Material You design language to iOS 15’s modified notifications and new Focus mode, rest assured that whichever device you use, you can expect great things later this year.
We’ll have to wait a few more months for the final versions of both updates. Android 12 is arriving toward the end of summer, while Apple says iOS 15 will come out in the fall. But we’ve seen enough from the respective previews to stat making some initial judgments about these software updates. In some ways, Android and iOS are closer than they’ve ever been, but on others, they’re still incredibly distinct.
But which one has impressed us more? That’s a great question that comes down to how we think each new version will impact you the user the most. As usual, the iPhone vs. Android debate hinges on your preference, but it’s exciting that this year, whichever camp you fall into, you have plenty to look forward to when the updates hit your phone.
Here’s how the iOS 15 vs. Android 12 battle is shaping up.
Android 12: Material You and privacy dashboard
Google dropped a bombshell on the Android community May’s Google I/O conference when it unveiled Android 12 and the new Material You design language. Material you takes customization to a new level for Android — something that Google’s OS has always lorded over iOS — and it’s altogether a huge shift for Android’s look and feel.
The last time Google did something this drastic when it moved from the Tron-inspired Holo design language to Material Design. It was a huge change and it slowly spread across all of Google’s products, not just Android. Material You is an evolution of that, a core re-imagining of how you interact with Google’s massive suite of software and hardware offerings.
Android 12 is all about smoothing out your interactions with the OS. From making notifications more responsive to the incredibly suave animations and transitions, Android 12 looks and feels incredible. (We’ve had our hands on the beta since Google released a developer preview earlier this year, and we really like it.)
Google is also shifting how Android handles privacy in Android 12. Though it’s not quite on the level of Apple’s privacy push with iOS, it’s still a step in the right direction.
Google and Apple take very different approaches to monetization and data collection (even though both are invasive in their own ways), but Android 12 introduces a new privacy dashboard. It’s not only easy on the eyes, but it’s also insightful.
iOS 15: Notifications, Focus, and core app updates
Although Android 12 has a host of new features to be excited, Apple has arguably more in store for iOS 15. We have a great breakdown of the top 15 iOS 15 features if you want to check that for more details. I won’t tread old ground here.Advertisement
What gets me excited for iOS 15 is that Apple took a look at the notification problem that keeps me from really enjoying iOS. I wish Apple would just acknowledge that Google is on the right track and just mimic its betters, but at least iOS 15 gives notifications a needed face lift, with bigger app icons and contact photos for conversation notifications.
Apple also wants to help address fatigue with a notifications summary, which gathers your less important notifications into a little digest for you to deal with later. Conversation-style notifications will still always surface so that you don’t miss an important message, but news headlines, Reddit alerts, and the like will get tucked away so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
Along with this new approach to notifications is Focus, which is basically an intelligent Do Not Disturb. It allows you to customize profiles for work, personal, and other things (like gaming). You determine which notifications come through and how your home screen is laid out. It could be a huge boon for work-life balance.Volume 0% PLAY SOUND
iOS 15 adds sweeping changes for many of the core apps. FaceTime, for example, will see more options to make conversations feel more natural. Safari is getting an overhaul to be more in line with the macOS version. Weather has a new design with more animations and infographics.Advertisement
iOS 15’s Maps is getting a ton of new features that offer a serious competitor to Google Maps and Waze. Even Wallet didn’t escape, with it getting support for digital car keys, smart locks, and hotel keys (where applicable and supported). You’ll even be able to store your driver’s license in Wallet, assuming you live in a supported state.
iOS 15 vs. Android 12: Which OS update stands out?
There is no simple answer to this question. My own personal bias leans toward Android 12 because of how big of a change Material You is. I like the look of iOS 15’s new changes, including the notifications, but iOS still looks the same as it has for a few years now. Apple’s iPhone software needs its own Material You moment.
That said, iOS 15 is a huge update. We couldn’t even list the whole suite of changes here, but a huge number of the operating system’s core parts are getting at least a touch up. In the case of others, like Maps and FaceTime, Apple will introduce new features later this year.Advertisement
From looks alone, Android 12 is the most impressive. It’s a total overhaul and places more customization options in the user’s hands, something that iOS cannot (and probably never will) match. How your Android 12 phone looks will differ greatly from mine. That’s a beautiful thing.
But if we look at the amount of core feature updates, iOS 15 is the more impressive OS this year. Apple is leaving no stone unturned, which means that your iPhone will become more powerful this fall. Trying to process everything that’s new in iOS 15 is daunting task, whereas many of Android 12’s updates beyond Material You are to the underlying OS itself. And Google updates its apps outside of platform updates, so it doesn’t need OS version updates to change most of the core suite. The teams responsible for each app usually introduce new features separately.
Both iOS 15 and Android 12 are incredibly impressive and we can’t wait to play with more both as the months progress toward the final releases. That said, I think the combination of iOS 15’s sweeping changes to its core apps and services and the fact that even something as old as the iPhone 6s will can run the update makes it the most impressive. Android 12 looks way better and continues with giving the user more choice, but Apple didn’t pull any punches with iOS 15.
Stay tuned for more on both operating systems in the coming months, including our final assessment of both Android 12 and iOS 15 as the full releases take shape.
Camera and photos
“Battery life!” you best friend shouts.
“User interface1” you reply. And the war between Android versus iOS continues to wage.
You can even see a ton of people on social media constantly bickering between both operating systems and phone designs.
What I care about is the camera.
As someone who has used both Android and iPhones, I’m here with a technical and unbiased look at the difference between Android and iPhone photography.
The ultimate Android vs iPhone photography showdown is about to commence.
We’re going to go over everything from camera specs to third-party apps, manual controls, settings adjustments, software and everything in between.
Comparing The Best Against The Best
Since iPhones are the only phones running iOS, and you have hundreds of phone manufacturer’s running Android, it wouldn’t be fair to put Apple up against Alcatel or HTC (if you’ve never used one of their phones, consider yourself spared).
Continually performing alongside Apple’s camera specs and overall quality, Samsung would be the Android equivalent of the iPhone.
For this, we’re going to compare the two biggest phones on the market right now, and those are the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+. Let’s get into it.
First up is camera quality, which is a broad way of combining megapixels, resolutions and video settings all into one.
We’ll also look at the physical hardware on the lenses to see which one is the most scratch-resistant.
Since most smartphones these days come with an optical zoom, the cameras will slightly protrude from the physical body of the phone, making lenses one of the most important aspects.
Megapixels are how one million pixels, contained within a square, are measured to manufacturers and the public.
Sensors in smartphone cameras allow for megapixels to be registered by the optics of your lens, which then transmit to the photos you can see on your screen.
In short, the more megapixels, the better.
If we’re just comparing the iPhone 11 Pro Max to the Samsung Galaxy Note10+, they both have the exact same amount of megapixels on their cameras: 12 MP.
12 megapixels is a pretty healthy amount that still hasn’t been pushed to its limits yet, which is why it’s been the megapixel count for many phone generations of the last five years.
They’re still trying to find ways to push it further.
I would say that as far as the MP rating is concerned—which is not the only tracker of a good camera—Apple and Android come to a tie finish.
This is simply how the internal lens of the camera is manufactured and what it can do, and they seem to be on pace with one another for the foreseeable future as well.
Now that we have megapixels out of the way, let’s talk about the physical build of the lenses.
Not what they can do, but strictly how durable and reliable they are.
Since the introduction of optical zoom on new-gen smartphones, which makes the camera slightly protrude from the smartphone body, developers have realized one fatal flaw: the camera is way easier to scratch now.
With that in mind, they went to higher quality lenses that can resist scratches.
We’re all prone to leaving our phone on the counter or coffee table, and previously that could have really messed up our cameras.
Now, iPhones and Android phones are made with sapphire crystal lenses.
These lenses use the same material that Rolex watches use for their dial windows, so basically, the lens is equivalent to a $20,000 executive watch in terms of durability.
But with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple did something different.
They have a proprietary lens construction which is simply referred to as a six-element lens.
As far as I’ve seen, read, and used this phone myself, the lens seems like it’s perfectly durable just like sapphire crystal.
It just gives Apple this competitive edge, but both are solid options that anyone could be happy with.
For some context, they used sapphire crystal lenses in a lot of the iPhone 7, 8, and X models, so you know they’re good.
STILL IMAGE RESOLUTION
Still images command more focus from the camera, and as a result, they end up being larger than what your video recording capabilities will be.
Still images on the iPhone and Note10+ are the same, so it’s a total toss-up.
That resolution is like 4K, but boosted: it’s 4096 x 2160 pixels when you use the ultra wide lens, which both phones come with.
Curiously enough, the iPhone’s max lens FOV is 120°, but the Note10+ has a maximum angle of 123°, yet still keeps the same maximum size. I assume that it’s to have some room for error.
FRONT-FACING CAMERA RESOLUTION
This is also where we see an improvement for the iPhone 11 Pro Max over the Samsung Galaxy Note10+.
While selfies weren’t popularized on iPhones per se, people were really getting into them when iPhones were at their peak and Androids weren’t really competing.
The user-facing camera on the Note10+ is only 10 MP, which is still good, but not as good as the 12 MP for the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
While the Note10+ has its own set of benefits, they also don’t have the power of Portrait Mode, which you may have remembered in some iPhone 11 ads a little while back.
Unless you’re using a selfie stick and you have the phone switched around, you’re going to get superior selfies on an iPhone.
The resolution here is stunning 4K across the board. Samsung, Apple: they both make tantalizing displays that look gorgeous.
The reason that 4K video is such a must-have feature if you’re a photographer is because you will encounter certain scenes that just need to be filmed, or you might take on paid work and have specific clients that also want videos taken.
Either way, it’s an important feature to have.
One thing that Samsung has going for it over the iPhone is that they included a slo-mo effect to your videos, which take 960 frames per second.
That means 0.4 seconds of footage will actually run for 12 seconds, so you can make awesome slow-mo videos.
Unless you’re The Slow Mo Guys, this isn’t really going to be your most-used feature. It’s nice to mess around with though.
Optical lenses are the future when it comes to smartphones, and it’s impossible to tell me otherwise.
Optical lenses offer actual zoom (not digital zoom, which is generally terrible), and a crystal clear photo that just looks crisp and refreshing.
Thankfully, you get an optical camera on both the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Note10+, because it’s becoming the standard.
It’s what people want to see, and it’s what my fellow photographers need to use.
I truly think that in the next few years, we’ll be able to see 3x optical zooms, and that iPhone photography will finally get some more recognition.
They tie when it comes to the optics.
SOFTWARE CAMERA SOLUTIONS
If you have a fantastic camera and no way to access all of its benefits, then it’s completely wasted.
Software is next up, because as you use your iPhones or Android phones, you’re going to be limited by the stock software if it isn’t granting access to every feature.
OVERLAYS AND FILTERS
I’m going to have to give this round to the iPhone.
While Samsung offers a good amount of filters, most of them aren’t really usable for anything outside of goofing around.
They have some very polarizing filters that make a picture look cool and all, but it strips away a lot of the artistic vision because you end up focusing on the funky colors.
iPhones come with a good blend of filters that aren’t too harsh.
They actually add decent color balance and contrast to certain photos, so the filter pack is just better in general.
However, I will say that third-party apps definitely have a better grip on good filters, for both the Samsung and iPhone.
We’ll get more into third-party camera apps in a second.
THIRD-PARTY CAMERA APPS
This category is a bit unfair to both teams, because this depends on the market of developers in each store, and if the apps that they design are cross-platform to iOS and Android devices alike.
The stock camera app that you get with any phone is usually decent enough to get the job done, but it’s designed for the everyday user, for the millions of phone users who just want to take some decent-looking photos of their meals, or their family on vacation.
Third-party apps unlock all of the potential that your camera has to offer.
I’ve found that iOS users have fewer apps to choose from, but with a higher quality and more features.
That being said, they can also cost upwards of $23.99 (yes, for an app) with in-app purchases to enhance the base model.
Android comes with more apps, but some low-hanging fruit, so it’s a little harder to sift through all of them.
They also have paid-for third-party camera apps, but they don’t charge as much as the App Store developers do.
MANUAL VS. AUTOMATIC CONTROLS
The whole reason I went off on that tangent about third-party camera apps is because of the control they give you, namely by putting your camera into manual mode.
Manual mode gives you the option to change exposure in a fine-tuned way (whereas stock camera apps are very rigid with what they allow you to do), they offer better ISO setting changes, HDR command, focus, and night vision modes.
NUMBER OF CAMERAS
Last but not least, now that we know the hardware of the cameras and the software used to access them, let’s talk about the number of cameras.
It feels like we’re just one smartphone generation away from unveiling a spider-eye phone with tons of cameras on the back, so let’s clear the air about why they’re important and what the differences are.
Samsung may take the cake here, because they’re the only ones offering a quad-cam for better panoramic photos and wide angles.
They feature an additional 3° of FOV (total of 123°) more than the iPhone, as well as features like tracking AF, 10x digital zoom, HDR10+ recordings, and dual OIS.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has three camera lenses, which include the wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses.
These all operate at 12 MP, which is a bump up from Samsung’s resolution per camera.
However, some of the capabilities here don’t match up to the Note10+.
Android Vs IPhone For Multiple Uses
ANDROID VS IPHONE: PROFESSIONAL USE
I signify professional use as when a photographer wants to be taken seriously, and charge for their services.
You want to provide quality photos that clients absolutely love and want to purchase the rights to, and since none of us are made of money and can drop $5K+ on a DSLR camera to achieve this, we turn to our smartphones.
iPhones offer some of the best filters, as we mentioned before, and plenty of their third-party apps allow you to lock filters on your camera.
This means that by default, you’ll shoot photos with this filter attached.
If you have a specific style or you’re trying to capture certain moods, this can be a big bonus because your photos will be ready for client review faster.
Android also have a pretty good case to make here.
They offer the same MP rating on their cameras as Apple does, but they lack some of the features that are integral to taking professional photos.
However, since there are more Android users than Apple users, chances are that for professional use, you’ll be better connected on an Android and be able to collaborate more effectively.
ANDROID VS IPHONE: BUSINESS USE
You’re a photographer who’s running a business.
How is this different from professional use?
Because you want the camera to be fantastic, but you also want the phone itself to be functional so you can manage your photography business on-the-go.
This one has to be a tiebreaker, because comparing apples and oranges across over 40 unique markers would take ages just to come to the same result.
In terms of being able to connect with people, and manage payments for invoicing, storing and sending photos, and having access to third-party apps that make running a business easier, they both come in pretty strong.
The professional use column appeals more to freelancers, while business owners who are trying to sell stock photos, manage licensing and just run things for their photography business would constitute as business use.
ANDROID VS IPHONE: EDITING PHOTOS
Editing photos isn’t always an easy task.
There are more apps and pieces of software available than ever before, and plenty of online education tools to learn how to use them, but the developers that control the app market (so to speak) kind of dictate which phone is better based on the apps that they provide.
That’s why I want to break this section up and just focus on the stock apps for each phone so we’re judging them accordingly.
The stock editing methods on the iPhone work well for cropping, as well as multiple lighting effects.
This can either be brilliance, sharpness, color balancing, light balancing, or filtering to add an effect over the entire photograph.
You’re also able to straighten out photos that were taken at a slight angle without reducing the resolution all too much.
With Android, you have the option to crop, highlight, and fix red-eye, but it starts feeling limited after there.
There are a good amount of filters available from Android, but based on a lot of professional smartphone photography needs, it doesn’t do everything that you need it to.
Some of the filters won’t be usable for serious projects. The highlighting tool is good, but the pen tool is questionable at best.
For in-phone editing using the stock apps that come with your phone, the iPhone definitely has an advantage in the long haul.
You can do a decent amount with both phone operating systems, but if you’re trying to make a fantastic impression on a client or a mentor, iPhones take the cake on editing.
It’s An Ongoing War
While Apple is ahead of the curve when it comes to cameras, Android splits their focus into other phone features.
Some brands, like Samsung, will focus on higher quality cameras (since Galaxy models are the iPhone equivalent in the Android world), but not all brands do.
Because there’s a lot of brands working with the Android operating system, we’ve yet to see the best of the best that Android has to offer.
Based on the last ten years and the way that Apple funnels their development, it’s safe to assume that iPhones will still be on top for some time to come.
Affordability is the key factor in Android adoption
I’ve read comments from readers, on my blog and others, that Android’s superiority is the main reason that its popularity is growing worldwide. I have evidence to the contrary. It comes down to affordability and nothing else. If it weren’t for the huge price difference in the two, Apple would be the clear winner. At worldwide sales of an estimated 244 million, the iPhone is a major force in the mobile market. Android phones might or might not have the same or greater marketshare but the bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter which one has the greater share at those numbers. Mobile device users generally prefer Apple over anything else but if it doesn’t make economic sense, then consumers have to choose second or third best for the money.
In the US, iPhones typically retail for around $400 but discounts, known as instant savings, are available that bring down that cost to $200. A $200 phone is fairly affordable for Americans. However, it’s the $100 per month fee for phone service and data that really bites us on the backsides. These numbers are based on my experience with the five iPhones that I have in my house plus a few others that I’ve asked about from my in-laws and friends.
The Samsung Galaxy SIII is also $200 after instant savings with similarly priced unlimited talk, text and data usage plans. There are phones, even smartphones, available at US retailers for as little as one cent. It’s really the monthly fees that make the largest difference for us.
Unfortunately, some US buyers don’t opt for the unlimited plans due to the price but end up paying more each month when they exceed their plan limits. Those users inevitably upgrade to the unlimited plans after exhorbitant bills hit their mailboxes.
AT&T, my iPhone carrier, doesn’t offer unlimited data plans, therefore we have to watch our usages very carefully. In my opinion, we pay for unlimited but we just aren’t getting it. In the end, it’s the carriers that really win in the phone battles. Sorry, I digress.
If you don’t believe me about economics playing a major role in iPhone vs. Android adoptions, consider the following numbers.
In India, an iPhone 4S costs about $880 to purchase but the monthly fee is approximately $20 per month for a standard phone and data plan. The average tech salary in India is approximately $1,200. In Argentina, the iPhone costs a cool $750 and the monthly fees are a comfortable $45. The problem is that the average salary in Argentina is $900.
Those numbers, hopefully, will surprise you and educate you on the major reason why the iPhone hasn’t quite caught on in certain countries. But, if you believe that I’m prejudicing my illustration with low wage countries, let me point out that the iPhone costs over $1,000 in US currency. Canada’s iPhone price comes in at just over $800.
Price is a big factor in making a decision about a mobile phone.
By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy SIII cost ranges from $625 to over $700 in India. It sells for around $550 in Argentina. In the UK, the SIII price for an outright purchase is $800 and a mere $150 in Canada with a two year contract.
It seems to me that the choice, based purely on price, is easy in each case.
Neither phone is particularly inexpensive in any country but you have to admit that a 20 to 30 percent savings is significant enough to sway one’s opinion and purchase decision toward the less expensive phone.
So, no matter where you are, you really want an iPhone. The reality is that you might not be able to afford one, so you choose to use the next best thing for the money. And, that’s OK but don’t assume or postulate that popularity equals quality or desire. It does not.
I don’t have anything personal against Android phones. If you’ve kept up with my column, you know that I have a Samsung Galaxy SII and an iPhone 4. I like them both but for me, the iPhone is my choice for a personal phone and until I see something better, I’ll always own an iPhone of some generation for personal use. It might not be the latest version but it will be an iPhone.
And, for me the choice wasn’t so easy. In the US, the Galaxy phones and iPhones are very close in price, service and capacity. The primary factor that swayed my opinion to the iPhone was the Apps. Apple has the best Apps. The iPhone has a lot of third-party hardware and software support.
Secondarily, I chose the iPhone because of its ease of navigation, its stability, its long battery life and its recommendations by friends and colleagues. For me, the iPhone is the best choice–even if I had to pay a higher price. That’s not the case for everyone and I understand that. But, I also understand that people have to make choices based on economics and not just features.
The heart says, “iPhone” but the bank account says, “Not an iPhone.”
What do you think? Do you think that Android phones are popular because they’re so great or because they’re cheaper? Talk back and let me know.
Security and Privacy
Having a smartphone in the modern era is a privilege and a curse. It always transmits data to its respective companies, and hacking is always a threat in this digital age. Now, a research claims that Android transmits 20 times more information to Google compared to the data iOS sends to Apple.
Android Privacy vs iOS: Which is Better?
Ars Technica reported that a researcher named Douglas Leith from Trinity College in Ireland performed a test to see which OS transmits more data from the user’s smartphone to its database. The researcher used a Google Pixel 2, which runs with Android 10 and an iPhone 8 powered by iOS 13.6.1. The iPhone was jailbroken with the use of Checm8, while the Pixel had pre-installed Google Play services.
Leith collected his finding and stated that even when the user has newly opened its smartphone device, it automatically sends telemetry data to their respective motherships. Not only that, Leith noted that the device sends data to their databases even when a device is idle or even when users are just browsing configuration settings on the screen.
In a further experiment, Leith found out that both Apple and Google’s pre-installed apps also send data to their database. However, the iOS device only sends data from Siri, Safari, and iCloud. In contrast, Google sends data from Chrome, YouTube, Google Docs, Safetyhub, Google Messenger, the device clock, and the Google search bar. It is almost twice as Apple is sending to their respective company database.
Leith continued that Google devices stand out in this experiment, as they collect data upon booting up with a whopping 1MB of information. In contrast, the Apple device only collects 42KB of data. Leigh further stated that the Google device collects 1MB of data every 12 hours, while the Apple device only collects 52KB of data at the same period.
Leith stated his concern that collecting data from user’s private accounts is alarming since the data is linked to the user’s basic information such as email, name, address, credit card information, and more of the user’s identification. The researcher also addressed that the constant connections to back-end servers can reveal the user’s IP address of the device, and by extension, the user’s geographic location.
Google Denies Research Findings
Although the findings have been proven, a spokesperson from Google has disagreed with the tests and stated that the research is based on faulty methods for measuring data collected by each OS. The tech giant further contested that data collection is a base function for any internet-connected device. Google added that these findings are off by order of magnitude, all while sharing their methodology concerns with the researcher before publication.
Google continued that the experiment outlines how a smartphone work: cars can send primary data to their car manufacturers, and mobile phones are the same. It is also a method to keep the devices up to date, and its services are working as it should.
Even if people are using Apple or a Google device, there is no difference in it as everyone is using the internet to browse, view, and use the different benefits of the web. However, users can stop this by clicking on the video below. It is a YouTube video that makes Apple and Google stop spying on user’s accounts and disables the data sharing from the phone to the device’s respective database.
When you’re in the market for a new smartphone, Apple offers three hardware choices (unless you’re willing to buy last year’s model for a minuscule discount). The current iPhone lineup comes in two sizes, big and bigger, and two price ranges, expensive and really expensive. And those devices are rarely discounted.
By contrast, your Android choices cover a wide range of sizes, shapes, feature sets, and price points. Some high-end Android devices (I’m looking at you, Samsung) have price tags that are comparable to those of a new iPhone, but the real sweet spot is in the midrange, where devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro ($669) and the Pixel 3 ($799) compete head to head with flagship phones costing up to twice as much.
We all know that Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are the two popular operating systems for mobiles right now. In fact these two occupy more than 85% of the mobile OS market. I am not here to talk about iOS versus Android comparison but instead here in this article I would like to compare both in terms of software updates.
Why Software Update is Important?
Every developer recommends upgrading to the latest version of a particular software because it contains bug fix, improvements and latest additional features. Normally this is pushed to users through a software upgrade and every device has a provision for this. The smartphones are programmed to include software updates too.
iOS vs Android in terms of Software Updates?
Both Apple and Google carry out software updates to bring out the latest features, bug fixes and improvements. Google every year releases a new version of Android and they have their own way of naming it by starting letter of dessert names in English alphabetical manner.
Like Android 5 is Key Lime, Android 6 is Marshmallow, Android 7 is Nougat and similarly, Android 8 is Oreo. Likewise, Android 9 version was named as Pie but they broke the tradition by naming the Android Q version as Android 10. Whereas Apple follows the number system for iOS versions. The Cupertino tech giant also releases an iOS version for Apple iPhone every year too.
That was all about the mobile OS versions naming but what software update delivery? Are all the devices getting update to the latest software version?
Let’s check out.
Apple’s iOS is run on devices that are owned by the company and they are right on top when it comes to upgrading iPhones to the latest Android versions. One of the reasons behind this is that they launch only a limited number of devices a year and this makes things easy for developers. Whereas in the case of Android, the penetration is extremely slow.
Apple devices are updated almost within a month or two after the release of a major iOS version where for Android, the penetration is very very slow.
Why Android Software Update Penetration is Slow?
Android is an open-source operating system and it’s used by many OEMs. If I start naming them, it will be more than 100 of such OEMs. But only a limited number of OEMs carry out regular Android upgrades. Most OEMs don’t have a software development team to carry out the delivery of these updates.
Another thing – while Apple iPhones are priced at nothing less than $500, the Android phones are available from $30 to $1000. $1000 phones get updated regularly, both in terms of major Android releases and monthly Android security patch fixes while it’s an obvious reason for $30 or even $100 phones not being updated. Further, it’s left to the OEM to carry out the software updates or not for a particular device.
Google is close to releasing the Android 11 version and still, we see only 15% of total Android devices running on the Android 10 version. That’s sad! Google should do something related to this but they are helpless in this regard because it’s left on OEM whether to carry out the update or not.
So the Cupertino tech giant leads here because of the following reasons –
- Apple has a limited number of models to deal with the software upgrade process. This makes it easier.
- Apple’s iOS is only used by their products, they don’t sell their mobile OS version to anyone.
- Apple’s iOS beta testing is a continuous effort to improve the software. The iOS public beta testing makes the process of testing faster before global release.
- Android is used by many OEM’s, they don’t carry out updates except for Pixel devices.
- Most Android phone manufacturing companies don’t have a software development team.
- Most Android phones are in the budget or low-end devices.
So I hope your have understood what’s the scenario in terms of software updates currently.
Calls and messages
Google rolled out a long overdue update for Android Messages to bring it on par with Apple iMessage. As a matter of fact, now Messages also catches up with other popular alternatives for Android phones.
Today, we are comparing Android Messages with iOS iMessage. It may seem like iMessage leads the battle with features like support for location and file sharing. However, Messages is catching up quickly.
Interestingly, Apple limits iMessage to its ecosystem while Google aims to cover most platforms with the web support.
Let’s see how both fare against each other. It might be like comparing apples with oranges but I will do my best.
Apple is known to take the security seriously as much as Google. That’s why iMessage is no different and comes with end-to-end encryption enabled by default on all iOS devices. It means that no one can read your messages unless they have physical access to your device.
Surprisingly, Android Messages is not end-to-end encrypted which makes it vulnerable. Add to the fact that there are hordes of apps on the Play Store seeking access to messages, your phone is one bad app permission away from being compromised.NOTE: Encryption on iMessage only works if you are exchanging messages between the platform.
When you send a message from iMessage to Android Messages, encryption won’t work because your messages are then stored on Google servers.
2. INDIVIDUAL CONTACT SETTINGS
We all have that one friend/relative/sibling who likes to nag consistently over messages. The sad part is that blocking is not always an alternative, and you don’t want to check your phone frequently to see their texts.
While both iMessage and Messages offer ways to tackle this, Android has more options.
On iPhone, open the chat window of the person and tap on the ‘i’ icon.
You will see an option to Hide Alerts. Enabling this will add a half-moon icon in front of the message.
Android offers a similar function but with more controls. Open the message window of the person, tap on menu, and select People & options.
Tap on Notifications.
Inside Importance, you can choose to receive both sound and visual pop-up, just sound, no sound, or no sound and visual pop-up.
Under the Advanced section, you can also control notification light and whether the message appears on the lock screen or not. Convenient when your phone is not silent but you will want to silent someone’s message notification.
3. VIDEO CALLS
Both Apple and Google have video calling apps called FaceTime and Duo respectively. Google also offers Hangouts but it is being marketed to business users lately. While Duo is set to be a FaceTime rival, it is not integrated into Messages for some reason.
iMessage allows you to make video calls using FaceTime from the message window itself. That is convenient and reduces the number of steps you have to go through just to make video call.
NOTE: Android Messages allows making audio calls from inside the app and so does iMessage.
4. THIRD-PARTY APP INTEGRATION
This is where iMessage really takes the lead leaving Messages behind. Sorry Android lovers, but it’s true. When you open a chat window, you will notice a bunch of icons at the bottom of the screen.
The icons may vary based on the apps that you have installed on your iPhone. As you begin to scroll through the icons horizontally, you will see a More option where you can configure app shortcuts.
You can attach files from Dropbox, share favorite music from Apple Music, share photos directly from Google Photos, and so on.
This is amazing as it changes the way you can use iMessage. It becomes a productivity tool and something more than a way to exchange message and emojis.
5. COMMON GROUND
Let’s take a look at the similar features present in iMessage and Messages. Both allow users to send emojis, share images from the Gallery/Photos app, and share a selfie.
In case of Messages, all the options are included inside one handy pop-up screen. Just tap on the ‘+’ icon to reveal it, and that’s how you can send emojis, access the Gallery app, take a selfie, share your location, and record audio notes.
iMessage also allows you to do all that albeit with a slightly different layout. Options are a little scattered and make you tap a couple of times. Sending photos or taking selfies is easy using the camera icon.
To send emojis, you will have to tap the globe icon on your default iOS keyboard. I don’t reckon this is really important because you can use third-party keyboards too and they all support emojis.
To record an audio note, tap on the icon next to the typing area. To share your current location, tap on the ‘i’ icon at the top of the screen and select Share My Current Location.
Apart from this, Messages for Web allows you to read and send messages using any browser. To set it up, scan a QR code and you are in.NOTE: Messages must be connected with your Apple ID to send and receive the iMessages.
iMessage works with Messages for Mac, a dedicated app which also supports other texting services.
ANDROID MESSAGES VS. IMESSAGE
Google has done a decent job with Messages and brought it on par with iMessage. But there are still some glaring issues. First is the lack of end-to-end encryption.
Second is no integration of other Google apps by default. Considering the number of apps Google has developed over the years, Messages could be a productivity hub.
iMessage supports a handful of third-party apps and the number keeps growing gradually. I would certainly side with iMessage with all the security and features integrated. But since most of my friends have Android phones, I use Android Messages too.
One aspect of modern technological life that might help us to keep some faith in humanity are the comprehensive assistive technologies that are built into, or free to download for mobile computing devices. Accessibility features, as they are loosely called, are a range of tools designed to support non-standard users of the technology. If you can’t see the screen very well you can magnify text and icons (1) or use high contrast (2). If you can’t see the screen at all you can have the content read back to you using a screen-reader (3). There are options to support touch input (4, 5) and options to use devices hands free (6). Finally there also some supports for deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) people like the ability to switch to mono audio or visual of haptic alternatives to audio based information.
With their mobile operating system iOS Apple do accessibility REALLY well and this is reflected in the numbers. In the 2018 WebAim Survey of Low Vision users there were over 3 times as many iOS users as Android users. That is almost the exact reverse of the general population (3 to 1 in favour of Android). For those with Motor Difficulties it was less significant but iOS was still favoured.
So what are Apple doing right? Well obviously, first and foremost, the credit would have to go to their developers and designers for producing such innovative and well implemented tools. But Google and other Android developers are also producing some great AT, often highlighting some noticeable gaps in iOS accessibility. Voice Access, EVA Facial Mouse and basic pointing device support are some examples, although these are gaps that will soon be filled if reports of coming features to iOS 13 are to be believed.
What’s in Android Accessibility Suite?
Use this large on-screen menu to control gestures, hardware buttons, navigation, and more. A similar idea to Assistive Touch on iOS. If you are a Samsung Android user it is similar (but not as good in my opinion) as the Assistant Menu already built in.
Select something on your screen or point your camera at an image to hear text spoken. This is a great feature for people with low vision or a literacy difficulty. It will read the text on screen when required without being always on like a screen reader. A similar feature was available inbuilt in Samsung devices before inexplicably disappearing with the last Android update. The “point your camera at an image to hear text spoken” claim had me intrigued. Optical Character Recognition like that found in Office Lens or SeeingAI built into the regular camera could be extremely useful. Unfortunately I have been unable to get this feature to work on my Samsung Galaxy A8. Even when selecting a headline in a newspaper I’m told “no text found at that location”.
Interact with your Android device using one or more switches or a keyboard instead of the touch screen. Switch Access on Android has always been the poor cousin to Switch Control on iOS but is improving all the time.
TalkBack Screen Reader
Get spoken, audible, and vibration feedback as you use your device. Googles mobile screen reader has been around for a while, while apparently, like Switch Access it’s improving, I’ve yet to meet anybody who actually uses it full time.
So to summarise, as well as adding features that may have been missing on your particular “flavour” of Android, this suite standardises the accessibility experience and makes it more visible. Also another exciting aspect of these features being bundled in this way is their availability for media boxes. Android is a hugely popular OS for TV and entertainment but what is true of mobile device manufacturer is doubly so of Android Box manufacturers where it is still very much the Wild West. If you are in the market for an Android Box and Accessibility is important make sure it’s running Android Version 6 or later so you can install this suite and take advantage of these features.
I rate iPhone very highly as it lives up to the mark adorably on all the aspects. Whether it’s commendable performance or the ability to capture stunning shots, Apple’s smartphone has been ruling the roost for long. However, I don’t agree with the fact that rivals are not catching up with the iPhone or not giving it a strong fight. Not at all!
Last year, when Google launched Pixel and Pixel XL, I was really amazed to see the top notch functionality of the smartphones. The Pixel phone even defeated iPhone 7/7 Plus fair and square in camera quality. That’s not all, even LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are equipped to capture better shots.
iPhone vs. Android Photography Slugfest
The iPhone vs. Android debate has suddenly caught a lot of fire recently; with former Google SVP Vic Gundotra criticizing the search giant saying Android is years behind iPhone as far as photography is concerned. He even went on to say that he would never buy an Android phone again if I cared about photography. Take a quick look at what he said,
“The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived,” Gundotra wrote while sharing two Portrait mode photos of his kids at a restaurant. “I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography (portrait mode as Apple calls it). Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning. Great job Apple.”
“Here is the problem: It’s Android, Gundotra writes. “Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung Gallery or Google Photos?”
“It’s because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera), they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS.”
“Apple doesn’t have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.”
Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don’t mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.
By the way, I ran all of Google’s mobile efforts from 2007-2010, Gundotra continues in a separate comment. “I was SVP of engineering. So I understand this topic reasonably well. I would NEVER buy an Android phone again if I cared about photography.”
How Much Do I Agree with Gundotra?
Do I completely agree with what Gundotra has said? No. Though I do find iPhone better—on overall fronts, I’m really impressed by the progress that some of the higher-end Android smartphones have made.
Apple’s smartphone has the significant advantage of providing consistent camera experience. Besides, the photos and videos captured by iPhone look quite natural. The other notable advantage that the iOS device has got is the availability of wide range of powerful photo/video editor apps designed to allow iPhone users to fine tune their snaps like a pro.
“Is photography on Android “years” behind the iPhone? In the sense that Google lacks unified camera experience across all devices, yes. However, Google’s own devices, as well as Samsung’s prove that Android is right on par and ahead in a few key ways.” – Tech Radar.
“Google’s own Pixel phones have knocked down the walls of conventional mobile photography. Despite having camera sensors that are inferior to competing phones, the Pixel often manages to take better photos (especially in low light) by using smarter software to take multiple photos and then stack them together for a perfectly-exposed final photo.”
“It’s debatable which phone (iPhone or Android’s 2017 flagship phones) takes the best photo. Gundotra’s right that the iPhone 7 takes amazing photos, but he’s also wrong that Android phones are a few years behind. They’re a lot closer than he realizes.” – Mashable
Having said that, I find Pixel smartphones at par with the iPhone as far as photography is concerned. I would even prefer to use the former in low-lit environments as the latter still has plenty of work to do to be able to capture high-quality photos in low light.
Without mincing my words, I would say Google Photos” is better than its iOS counterpart. It provides free unlimited photo and video storage. With the use of AI, it completely transforms photos. By comparison, Apple’s Photos is still not so intuitive. Even though it’s got better in the latest iOS version, I haven’t yet found anything striking in it.
To Me: It’s Never the Case of Be-All-And-End-All
If I were to pick one smartphone to have a more reliable and unified experience, I wouldn’t hesitate to go with iPhone. But if there is an instant demand to capture magnificent shots that would set social media on a blitzkrieg, I would love to pick out a premium Android device like Pixel XL. That’s for sure!
Google Maps for mobile provides detailed mapping information over a phone’s data connection. Android platforms have access to all of Google Maps’ features because Google Maps and the Android platform are both developed by Google. Google Maps, which is the iPhone’s default mapping program, also provides a number of useful features on the iPhone, but the iPhone lacks the complete Google Maps feature set that Android-powered phones enjoy.
Google Maps draws on the same map source for both platforms. It also uses the same data repository for place names and business information. Both versions are capable of using an internal GPS unit or network information to display your current location on a map. You can overlay real-time traffic data on the map in either program to avoid traffic jams. In addition to displaying road maps, both programs can display satellite imagery and Street View images. Both versions can also give you driving, public transit or walking directions from one location to another.
App Store Features
You can enhance the functionality of Google Maps on an iPhone by downloading Google Places and Google Latitude from the App Store. Google Places allows you to search for or browse restaurants, bars, ATMs, gas stations, hotels and other places near your current location. Google Latitude automatically shares your location with approved contacts and allows you to view your contacts locations – and even get directions to them. Both of these features are automatically included on Android phones.
The Android version of Google Maps’ most notable feature is real-time turn-by-turn navigation with voice. Google Maps temporarily stores route data on Android smartphones while navigating so that you can continue to navigate or return to your course even if you lose your phone’s data connection during a drive. On Android you can search for locations or begin navigation using voice commands. Android also provides additional layers including 3D imagery and a terrain layer. On Android you can save and load maps or locations. You can load the same maps and locations in Google Maps on your computer if you are logged in with your Google account. Finally, Google Maps on Android can also provide biking directions in addition to public transit, driving or walking directions.
Each platform’s version of Google Maps is styled to match the platform’s interface. On Android, Google Maps’ navigation features link into the phone’s notifications bar to provide updates on your route even when the phone is not in the foreground. The iPhone 4’s retina display provides one of the highest resolution ways to view Google Maps on a portable device.
Interface and Usability
The mobile app market is divided between two leading platforms that currently set the trends in mobile application design. They are, of course, Google’s Android and Apple, both consistently working on creating their own design style that defines all the aspects of how applications work and look.
One of the very first questions you face when developing a mobile app is the choice of the platform for which you are creating your app. It is not an easy or obvious choice and it depends greatly on many different aspects such as the branch of industry your business is in, your target users profile or the way your app works.
PLATFORM CHOICE: ANDROID VS IOS
iPhone users are proven to be more satisfied and engaged in using their devices. And this data translates into profits – most of the mobile platforms’ revenue is generated by Apple and its users spend even 5 times more time using apps. In addition, Apple users on average have a higher income and a higher education level than the users of other platforms.
iOS has also dominated the segment of business users thanks to the higher level of security provided and the prestige of the Apple brand.
The main advantage of Android is the huge target market this platform has, which is why Android is currently the most popular mobile platform with a market share of 85%. This trend also translates into more app downloads.
Google’s major pro is also the application verification stage – the process is much faster and simpler than in case of Apple.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
The design rules for Android devices are determined by Material Design, and for Apple – by Human Interface Guidelines. Both these design schemes have their origins in flat-design, but each has developed its own set of rules that determine the look and feel of the application.
iOS is based on 3 main principles – deference (content first), clarity, and depth. The content of the application is its most important part and it can be obtained by using the white space, fonts, and colors properly. To attract user’s attention, one can use the effects of transparency, blurring as well as gradients or shadows. And while moving around the application, the design should suggest a sense of depth and existence of layers that put up the application hierarchy.
Android’s Material Design is based on observations of the real world and studying paper as a layer that creates the structure of the whole system. With realistic shadows, light, motion, and layers divisions you can create an intuitive UI for the application. Especially, motion and color play an important role, drawing attention of a user and enlivening the static interface.
What’s important here is that Apple always wants to have a full control over the development of its products, intending to offer consistent experiences for all its users. It can be easily seen in the design, UX and performance of its products. On the other hand, Google created a platform that targets all available mobile devices on the market. That’s why the products of these two companies have several essential differences, which are described below.
Although Android devices have 3 buttons – back, home, and overview – which enable users to do most things on the phone, iPhones have (or used to have) only one button – the home button. That’s why when designing for iOS systems, UI designers must ensure a proper navigation within the application, keeping in mind the need to provide a way to return to the previous screen.
Home button in iPhones is the only button allowing for global navigation and coming back to the main screen.
Android system has 3 buttons which helps to navigate throughout the system.
One of the standard elements for both platforms is the navigation bar, which contains a name of an application or a logo, and a status bar that displays system information such as a network, time, battery level, etc. On iOS, the bar is centered, while on Android, the content is shifted to the left.
METHODS OF NAVIGATION
The major difference between the two platforms is the way users navigate through the app. The basic element in Android UI is the Drawer menu, which is a drop-down list of elements, situated at one side of the screen. iOS uses the tab bar – its navigation is located in the bar at the bottom of the screen.
These solutions are currently available both on Apple and Android (‘bottom navigation’) and depend on how the application is used. However, the use of navigation in the lower bar is getting more and more common as it is more intuitive and easier to use. Such a solution is also presented in Android documentation from March 2016.
FLOATING ACTION BUTTON
One of the very distinct differences between the two systems is the FAB button, which is a highly recognizable component of Android. It is used to display the most commonly used options on the certain screen and, thanks to its location, can be used in different parts of the interface. The equivalent of the FAB button for iOS is just another ‘Call To Action’ button located in the upper right corner.
Floating Action Button is one of the most distinctive elements of Android Material Design.
Both systems recommend using their own system fonts – Roboto for Android and San Francisco for iOS. The basic sizes of the text are similar, but Material Design uses a larger difference in font sizes and their layout, while iOS builds the text hierarchy mainly by using bold type. Another characteristic of Android is also that in this platform more white space is used between texts.
The newest version of Instagram app seems exactly the same at first glance. However, certain app design details were designed in a very different way.
The extensive sets of guidelines in each platform have also many shared components, so designers and developers can create native solutions within a single project, ensuring that all users are satisfied. Let’s try to list the most popular ones:
This is a basic component of the interface on both platforms. In iOS, they have a more flat-design look – there are no shadows and capital letters on the buttons. In Android the situation is opposite – the buttons get depth and capital letters are used.
They’re called Action Sheet in iOS and Bottom Sheet in Android. In case of Android, the layer with options has is fully filled with color and has a strong shadow, while in iOS the entire layer is a little transparent, without any shadow and with the cancel button clearly marked.
Segment Control (iOS) or Tabs (Android) is the switching of views located within a single screen. This is a very commonly used element – in iOS, they look like buttons, but in Android, their design has been reduced to the name itself.
They are very widely used in both systems, and in both of them icons are based on the 8dp grid. Android uses filled icons, while iOS has a distinctive feature – its icons are created from a single line. Recent trends, however, show that these rules are often overlooked on both platforms.
Both systems use 8dp grid to build the screen structure, while the most common margins are 16dp.
On both platforms, cards are commonly used interface elements used to present content, in a variety of formats (text, images), that often requires a specific action. Each platform displays them in a different way – Material Design uses a card structure, with sharply defined shadows and margins, while iOS uses a more flat look, with only a slight shadow.
The choice between iOS and Android depends on the product we want to offer to our customers. As you can see, each of them has its own design language, which allows UI designers to create the same functionality for users of both platforms. It is hard to choose any of them because each has its advantages and in a specific group of users, it will be the best choice.
New wireless tech standards appear every year like the spring bird migration, and in the last few years, Android has been first to welcome these new specs, almost always preceding their iOS support. Android is the first with 5G network support; previously it beat Apple with support for wireless charging, 4G LTE, and touchless voice commands. That said, Apple tends to wait until the new technology is useful and reliable: For example, 5G service and promised speeds still aren’t ubiquitous. Yes, you can buy a handset that connects to 5G—but can you find any 5G service to connect it to?
Android has also added support for foldable and dual-screen phones, and since it’s open-source, third parties like Microsoft can add functionality to support devices like the upcoming Surface Duo, an Android phone that features two-screens, each displaying tailored content, rather than just being a single screen that spans the two. Again, these technologies haven’t always proven to be robust (to say the least) but there’s no doubt that Android handsets are pioneering them.
Integration with desktop and other devices
Apple’s Continuity features are hard to beat, but thanks to Windows 10’s Your Phone app, Android can now connect with PCs just as effectively as iPhones connects with Macs. That even includes making calls, and when Windows 10 20H2 launches, running apps! Those capabilities depend on your phone model, with Samsung units getting preference. Of course, maybe we shouldn’t give Android full points for Microsoft’s work, but one convenient Google feature that Android enables is SMS messaging via the web.
Apple’s device ecosystem includes far more than just laptops and phones, though: iOS ties in neatly with Apple Watch, Apple TV, the HomePod smart speaker, and iPads (which now run their own iPadOS operating system). Google has the Wear Watch OS that’s far less prevalent than the Apple Watch, and Android tablets trail iPads substantially. The Google Nest family of smart speakers and screens, however, generally exceed Apple’s Siri-powered devices in PCMag’s ratings, and third-party Google Assistant speakers are available from the likes of Bose and Sonos.
Apple’s annual WWDC Conference is its time to showcase the next year of its smartphone, tablet, and Mac operating systems. As with everything Apple does, it is always a pretty big deal in the tech world.
This year’s event, held back in June, was a historic one — and not just because it was held entirely online. It’s barely been a hot minute since WWDC and already Apple has changed the conversation around tech in more ways than one.
Amongst the expected and not-so-expected updates, there was one major takeaway: by transitioning full-blown MacBooks to Apple’s own silicon, we can finally see the culmination of a decade’s work to synergize an ecosystem that other companies can only dream of.
I’ve been a Mac user for over a decade and have always been impressed by how well Apple’s products integrate with the operating system, going all the way back to the venerable iPod. Seeing the company continue to put the same level of care into every product in its ecosystem only exposes how dire the situation is elsewhere. I’m talking about Google, of course.
Apple’s singular vision is driving it forward in ways Google just can’t compete with at the moment.
Google’s approach towards hardware has at best been lackadaisical and at worst lacked any overarching vision or direction. The result has been individually brilliant products that don’t always work together in any meaningful way. In the face of Apple’s latest power play and with several new Made by Google products seemingly on the horizon, that needs to change.
It’s all about the ecosystem and customer lock-in
It is no secret that Apple has been building towards a completely unified ecosystem; a broader gamut of products that are aimed to reduce friction for a consumer. It irks Android die-hards and has flamed many a fan war, but there is no doubt that Apple’s heavy-handed focus on a consumer-first experience has resulted in a walled garden of apps, services, and products that just work and, crucially, work together.
There is no first-party equivalent for the synergy between Apple’s different product lines.
Features like Continuity ensure a seamless transition between Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Sidecar increases productivity by making the iPad a powerful second screen. The ability to quickly scribble a signature on your iPad and immediately insert it into a document on your Mac is the kind of stuff that simply isn’t possible across Google’s products. This year the iPad will even get the extremely powerful Spotlight search feature from macOS.
Tablets are another telling point of comparison. The iPad app store is full of high-quality apps that often have no equivalent at all on Android. From music creation to games to code editors, the reality is that the iPad is powerful and versatile enough to become a true laptop replacement for a large customer subset.
Meanwhile, Google’s efforts to support the Android tablet market are non-existent. The number of tablet-optimized apps on the Play Store is woeful and more often than not users are left with blown-up phone apps. Samsung has tried its best finagle the most it can out of Android on its Galaxy Tab series, but it is still a sub-optimal experience and not one that is consistent across the broader portfolio of Samsung devices.
Five years of Wear OS and it’s still too messy to recommend
The lack of cohesion between Android tablets and the broader Google-designed ecosystem is reflected across other products too. Wear OS has languished in more ways than one. Be it the lack of general refinement, minimal enhancements, woeful battery life even on the latest hardware, or simply the lack of a flagship product from Google itself, Wear OS pales in comparison to the feature-set of Watch OS for the Apple Watch or even Samsung’s Tizen-based Galaxy Watch lineup.
The same can be said for the iPhone and even the AirPods. While Fast Pairing is making strides to improve the Bluetooth pairing experience, it is still not a reality on most modern headphones. Meanwhile, with the latest version of Apple’s software, AirPods can detect exactly where audio is being piped in from and switch between sources. This is something that can only be done with the kind of vertical integration Apple has built over the years.
After WWDC, we now have the final piece of the puzzle. With the transition away from Intel, Apple is finally in a position to bring the Mac into that same fold. The ability to run iPhone and iPad apps is a tremendous opportunity for customers and developers. Yes, Chromebooks have been able to run Android apps for a while now. However, Chrome OS devices suffer from the same app optimization issues that have plagued Android tablets. The Mac, however, will be able to bypass this by taking advantage of the enviable iPad app ecosystem.
It’s not just apps and software, though. To take an obvious example, there’s little about the Pixelbook that actually ties it to Pixel phones aside from branding. As Android Authority’s Oliver Cragg put it, you can count the ways Pixel phones integrate with Chromebooks on one hand. That’s telling of just how fragmented Google’s hardware efforts are.
Google is its own worst enemy
It could be argued that by licensing out its software and operating system Google is just an enabler for a broader ecosystem running on its platform, and that’s fair enough but you don’t invest a fortune, buy two smartphone companies, and a wearable manufacturer without having serious hardware ambitions. Between the Chrome OS running Pixelbooks, the Pixel series of phones, and Nest hardware, Google has been trying to create a semblance of an alternative to Apple’s hegemony, and with it comes the responsibility to do it right.
However, operating in silos with each product acting as a distinct vertical just hasn’t worked to Google’s advantage. This lack of a unified focus and unwillingness to listen to what the market demands was epitomized by the launch of the flawed Pixel 4 and the subsequent departure of key executives. This is all the more astonishing in a time when even the notoriously stubborn Apple is willing to budge and add widgets to iPhones and iPad.
Look, I get that Google can’t or doesn’t want to miff its partner relations. That doesn’t mean gimping your own hardware is acceptable, however.
It isn’t just Google’s own ecosystem that suffers either. The Mountain View company’s lack of focus has forced many manufacturers to create their own mini-fiefdoms — some more successfully than others — that may or may not play well with Google’s pure and secure version of platforms.
Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi are just some of the Android-associated brands that have moved to create their own brand-specific ecosystems, further diluting Google’s own vision of a unified experience across diverse hardware.
The best smartwatches you can buy (July 2021): Apple, Samsung, and more
To return to wearables example again, instead of pushing Wear OS as a platform that can truly rival the Apple Watch with a flagship Google wearable, it is instead chugging along on the back of fashion brands launching derivative hardware. Samsung, for one, has so little faith in the platform that it ended up making its own, dare I say, superior smartwatch OS based on Tizen.
Google has the ability to create incredible products, but if it wants to be taken as a credible alternative to Apple’s ecosystem it should start treating its hardware as first-class citizens rather than a conduit to onboard users to its cloud and platform services.
Arguably the brightest star in Google’s hardware portfolio has been the Google Nest ecosystem of products that has been carrying the torch forward. Yet even there, Google hasn’t really committed to expanding use cases. You just have to take a quick look at the diversity of Amazon’s first-party portfolio of Alexa-powered products to see just how far behind Google is in establishing itself as a leading-edge hardware player.
It’s encouraging that there is at least a degree of cohesion between the Pixel and Nest teams. There’s a semblance of uniformity to design languages and Google building-in direct access controls for smart home equipment on Android 11 shows that the company is willing to create synergy between its verticals.
Nearby Sharing is shaping up to be a viable alternative to Apple’s Airdrop which would finally allow you to easily share files between any platform running the Chrome browser and an Android phone. Of course, it remains to be seen if it eventually ends up in the Google Graveyard just like Android Beam before it.
Apple’s ecosystem play has developed slowly, all the while maintaining a clear, linear focus. At WWDC, Apple demonstrated what the next 10 years of computing across devices might be like, and it has me excited and concerned about what lies ahead for Google’s ecosystem ambitions.
As we rush headlong into the post-PC world, Google needs to double down on its platform and ecosystem play, be it through first-party hardware or enabling partner ecosystems, or it simply risks being left too far behind. Thankfully, there are early signs that Google may feel the same.
Rumors suggest that Google is getting ready to introduce a new dongle — with a remote, finally — that unifies the convenience of the Chromecast’s dongle design while running the superior Android TV operating system (that actually also supports Chromecast anyway). This would objectively a better consumer experience that moves the ecosystem forward.
Another positive sign is Google’s continued investment and support for Google Assistant, which now forms the backbone of so many interesting Google services — including the upcoming Google Home successor. From powering searches on the Nest Hub to loading up your favorite movie on Android TV, Google Assistant showcases the very best of Google’s cross-product software chops. But calling up videos from your smart speaker to the TV just isn’t enough. How about sending and replying to text messages from a Nest Mini? Or getting call notifications in my Chrome browser window? This is the kind of integration that sells Apple’s ecosystem and its high time Google followed through.
There are great products in the Google ecosystem, but the lack of a singular vision is holding it back.
Now is not the time to throw ideas at the wall and see what sticks. As these individual product lines mature, Google needs to think long and hard about how it brings together a collective vision for the future of seamless computing between different product categories. Four generations of phones, three generations of laptops, and umpteen experiments later, the company now needs to recognize what works and make sure it champions the Google vision of a connected future.
When Apple commits to something, it goes the whole hog. Google could stand to learn a lesson or two from the Cupertino brand.
Every so often, a commenter gets frustrated that we have reviewed an iOS-only app, and asks why we don’t review more Android apps. We feel you. So every so often, we offer a response as to why iOS apps tend to be better than Android apps, and why iOS apps are easier for us to find, try, and review than Android apps.
This may be more detail than you want to know! But hopefully it helps those of you on Android devices see that there’s no great conspiracy against you, and we’re not intentionally trying to leave you out. In fact, we hope for nothing more than the best apps for all families!
Until that day, here the reasons we review iOS apps more frequently:
1 Our audience prefers Apple devices.
A look at our analytics is pretty amazing: 15 of the top 20 devices used by our mobile audience are Apple devices, including all of the top 13 devices. You all sure like your iPhones and iPads!
Numbers 14-16 by the way are Samsung Galaxy devices — which in total account for under 3% of our mobile audience’s total usage.
2. Americans are more likely to have an Apple device.
A CNBC study in October of last year indicates that the average US household has 2.6 Apple devices, and that 64% of Americans own at least one Apple device, which is up from 50% in 2012. Apple device ownership transcends age, income, race, sex, and location, which is kind of amazing.
3. Families are much more likely to have an Apple device than an Android device
Hey, we write for families. (Though you all are welcome here!) In part, high Apple ownership among families is due to quite a few factors:
-Apple phones are just easy to use. Pick it up, and the UX (user experience) is entirely intuitive. Even for kids.
-Apple offers more app options (more on that below)
-iOS apps are more beautifully designed, easy to use, and easy to find and evaluate
-Apple offers excellent parental controls
-Families enjoy the very good Apple Family Sharing functionality, which launched two full years before Google Play Family Library
-There’s the the hand-me-down factor: Apple mobile devices last long enough that parents are handing down older iOS phones and tablets to their kids as they upgrade their own devices.
In fact, it’s only recently that my daughter’s hand-me-down 5S that I purchased in 2013 is starting to lose functionality and app support. That’s pretty great.
4. Shoppers are more likely to have an iOS device
Years of research show that iOS users are more likely to shop, bank, and generally manage their lives from their phones. They are younger, have higher education, and higher incomes — both in the US and abroad. (This is also why the budget iPhone 5C didn’t do so great.) They also spend a lot more time on their mobile device.
In fact, while Apply only has about a 40% smartphone share in the US, iOS users accounted for 77% of total mobile sales over the holidays in 2017.
So it makes sense that if you are developing a shopping app or a life management app — some of the kinds of apps we review here — you will start by developing for Apple device users.
Android phones are more often considered “disposable phones,” traded in quickly for a new one each year, and used mostly to check social media and email, or for free gaming apps.
5. iOS apps are easier to review and recommend
Android apps have to work across so many different devices, brands, screen sizes and resolutions — let alone different operating systems. This is known to developers as fragmentation. That’s why you may notice on Google Play app reviews, that a Motorola user may have a different experience than a Samsung Galaxy user, than an ASUS user, than an LG user, than an HTC user — and that even the Galaxy user experience can be different from device to device.
When we recommend an app, we want to feel good about our recommendation and not offer lots of caveats for app versions that we haven’t yet tested or that have spotty reviews by other users.
When we recommend an iOS app, there aren’t too many times we have to add a caveat like like “it’s not yet optimized for iOSX.” In fact, those app updates come pretty quickly after iOS updates. Once in a while we do say, “it’s available on iPad but not yet for iPhone” or vice versa, however you can still use iPhone apps on iPads, even if it’s not optimized for size/resolution.
6. Developers prefer the iOS platform
We always try to include Android-only apps in our best app roundups, so we can help out Android families too. But the truth is, you’re just going to find more and better apps available for iOS for a number of reasons on the development end, and I know that sucks if you’re an Android-only family.
Bigger app developers who develop across platforms may develop for iOS first, while smaller developers may skip Android altogether. Take children’s beloved game developer Toca Boca for example (above), which took years until their catalog was available on Android. Today 42 of their apps are available for iPhone in iTunes, while 23 are available for Android in Google Play. (Still, big improvement!)
Even Instagram was iOS-only for a full two years before it added an Android version — and six years before it added Windows, yikes.
Here are just some of the (less technical) reasons that developers prefer iOS:
-It’s easier to make an iOS app look better, since design is a key part of Apple’s DNA. The Verge even reports that Google’s own apps are better on iOS than on Android.
-iOS users are more likely to pay for apps. That means more profit for the developer, hopefully.
-Android users are more likely to use a pirated free versions of apps over the original. So, less profit.
-Developing for Android is more complex because of fragmentation (explained above in #3). Not just across brands and devices, but different operating systems. Currently, only 4.6% of Android users are on OS 8.0/8.1 Oreo, which was released in summer of 2017, with a lot of users still using Nougat or Marshmallow OS. In comparison, around 80% of iOS users are now on iOS 11, which was released last September.
-Fragmentation makes Android app development and testing more expensive ,and even prohibitive for small developers. One study indicated that developing Android apps required as much as 189% more lines of code and up to 156% more time spent coding.
-Android apps require more resources to support them after launch, for every new device or OS that’s launched, especially if there are consistent bugs with specific devices.
7. Android apps are more likely to include ads
We prefer ad-free experiences, especially when we’re reviewing apps our kids will be using. Take this story about one of our own favorite apps, Alto’s Adventures. The Verge reported that when Snowman, the app developer, decided to add an Android OS version of their popular game, they had to include in-app advertising to be able to make money, since Android users (as mentioned above) prefer not to pay for ads.
8. Android apps are more likely to include bugs, malware, or…other things you don’t want.
To be clear, this is not to say that your Android app is likely to be infected with malware! Just that the approval process for developers is quicker and less thorough than from Apple meaning apps with trackers or malware from malicious actors can slip through, and even accidental bugs that can impact performance or even privacy.
IT security company Sophos released a 2018 Malware Report indicating a steady rise in malicious Android apps created by cybercriminals each month. Sean O’Brien and Michael Kwet of Yale Privacy Lab have reported in Wired about a “polluted ocean of apps plaguing Android.” TheNextWeb has described “an epidemic of malicious cryptocurrency apps on The Play Store” (though we don’t think our audience are big cryptocurrency app users).
To be fair however, in March, Google’s Head of Security for Android stated that changes have made Android as safe as “the competition” (which presumably means Apple). We’re rooting for them!
9. We want to be safe, too
To be honest, if we are testing a new iOS app from an unknown or new developer, we are simply less worried about our own privacy or malware concerns on our own personal devices that we use for app reviews on Cool Mom Tech.
This isn’t to say that Apple users are entirely immune from malware issues, just that it’s “extremely rare,” according to MacWorld UK. If anything, iOS users are more likely to be phished than Android users, through sources like text messages and messaging apps, email or social media. Which is why we share news about things like the Netflix phishing email scam and tips to help you identify scams.
However, phishing is not an issue built into an iOS app to begin with; it’s a problem that stems from users taking advantages of the apps’ own capabilities.
I know some of this can sound disappointing for Android users, or even make you feel frustrated or defensive. There are a lot of fantastic benefits and features offered by all kinds of Android devices, from the Galaxy’s excellent camera, to picture-in-picture mode on the Oreo OS, to some terrific new UX and shortcuts across devices — not to mention a generally more affordable price than with Apple iPhones.
So we’re not digging on Android devices here at all.
Really, we’re just looking out for you all. All of you. Whatever device you choose to use. And the more we find awesome Android apps — and even better, awesome apps for all mobile users, whatever your mobile device — the more you’ll see us sharing them.
Apple or Google? That’s the root of many debates in tech. Which has better phones, computers, apps, app stores, virtual assistants, VR/AR technology? The list goes on. With Google’s developer conference in May and Apple hosting its developer conference in early June, the debate is only going to be heightened, particularly around apps and the app store.
Currently Google is winning the “App Store Race” – no one can deny that. The Apple App Store and Google Play Store – two of largest app stores – look similar on the surface, but their technology and processes behind the scenes are completely different. While Apple has created an exceptionally smooth and clean operating system, Google is more attractive and supports a wider range of smartphones than Apple.
Ahead of Apple’s developer conference, I’ve taken the liberty of addressing seven ways the Apple Store can emerge stronger than the Google Play Store.
One of the reasons why a lot of people choose Android over iOS is its “openness,” in terms of private distribution of apps via their website which bypasses the Google Play Store all together. Apple, on the other hand, does not allow users to do that, unless its enterprise level distribution for in-house staff. To surpass Google, Apple will need make their app store more open.
2) App distribution
In terms of apps getting approved for distribution on Apple, they have strict App Store guidelines, and every title is tested by a human before going live. In comparison, Google is happy to let most things fly as long as it’s not offensive or harmful. Moreover, it takes between three to six days for an app to get approved on Apple, while Google only takes 24 hours for approving the app – three days tops for a few complex cases. If Apple wants to emerge as the superior app marketplace, it will need to improve its app distribution process and make it faster.
3) App search
Apps on Google Play Store are easily discoverable in comparison to that on Apple App Store. You simply enter a phrase or keyword, and Google Play Store scans all the app descriptions to display top results, whereas Apple App Store displays the result based on the keywords manually entered by developer in keywords section, specific for this purpose. Apple, if I can’t find it, how am I supposed to download it?
4) Developer friendly
Google Play Store is developer-friendly and allows developers to change metadata, including screenshots, instantly at any time. Conversely, Apple requires developers to submit a whole new app update even for changing the screenshots.
5) App preview
A complex app requires longer videos of certain length to help adequately explain. Google gets it – they allow developers to create app previews of any length. However, the Apple App Store only features app previews between 15 and 30 seconds. I get the importance of brevity, but for complex apps, you need ample time to explain it. Hopefully Apple will realize this and address it as soon as possible.
Apps presently on Google Play Store are largely compatible with Android powered smartphones and tablets, however, there’s a bit more complication when it comes to iOS. Though many apps presently on Apple App Store are available for both iPads and iPhones, the capability of iPads to run an app is totally dependent on the adaptability of the app to be used for iPad’s larger display.
Last, but not the least, Android apps are less expensive than iOS apps. Though Apple App Store has become flexible, there are still many iOS apps that need to be downloaded for a fixed price. Here, Google Play Store provides apps for free or at a less cost than Apple App Store.
It’s clear that the rivalry between Google Play Store and Apple Play Store will go on, but by addressing the ideas shared here, Apple App Store can emerge stronger than Google Play Store in future and become the leader of this vibrant mobile app era.
Do you use Android or iOS? Like it or not, that choice may mean something for your business.
- There were 3.2 billion global smartphone users in 2019. That number is expected to become nearly 4 billion in 2021.
- Since 2012, Android has had a consistent lead in market share versus Apple, according to Statista.
- As of last September, 51.8% of American smartphone owners had an Android device, while 47.4% owned an Apple device. Just 0.2% still had a Blackberry.
Since 2007, Apple and Google have been in a constant struggle to get in your pocket. Since the introduction of the smartphone operating systems Android and iOS, both companies have tried to leverage their international multi-billion-dollar brands to not only sell more devices but also to be the one that helps people organize their professional and personal lives.
More than a decade of competition may have brought about similarities between the two platforms, but enough differences still exist to leave business consumers asking one question: “Which is better for my small business: Android or iOS?”
While it’s impossible to empirically determine which operating system is better, given the highly subjective nature of brand loyalties and other extenuating factors, we’re going to break down some of the security, hardware, cost, and software differences that can help you decide for yourself what you need in a new mobile business companion.
Android vs. IOS = PC vs. Mac
When comparing iOS and Android devices, it’s easy to liken the decision points to another, much longer comparison between owning a PC or a Mac. Both decisions depend on a wide range of factors, and unless you’re dead set on performing a certain kind of task, it can be hard to decide on one over the other. And while it may seem like that’s where the similarities between the two comparisons end, that would be wrong.
One of the main reasons why people choose between iOS and Android often stems from their relationship to one of the operating system’s “ecosystem,” meaning if they’ve already established their online presence either with Apple’s iCloud or Google’s suite of programs. Since iOS and Android are branches of Apple and Google, respectively, if you have a Gmail account, sync your calendars on Google Calendar, and rely on Google Play Music to get your tunes, you’re more than likely going to go with an Android device. Similarly, if you store all your images on the iCloud and have an Apple Watch, you should probably just get an iPhone.
How you intend to use your smartphone also factors into which style of device to get. If you’re a freelance videographer who purchased a high-end iMac to render videos, you’re likely to get an iPhone, since its cameras are usually better than its Android counterparts. Likewise, if you need an affordable, yet highly customizable device that facilitates your constant multitasking, you’re likely going to own a PC and will likely be interested in getting an Android phone.
If you’re someone who bases purchases on the popularity of the item you’re purchasing, nearly 52% of American smartphone owners had an Android device compared to the 47% that use an iOS device on a regular basis. Android dominates the market with 87% of the global market share, while Apple’s iOS operating system controls 13%.
When Apple and Google first started putting out phones, the hardware designs were just as different as their companies were, with iPhones looking as sleek as possible, and the HTC G1 sporting a more functionality-driven look.
These days, however, most smartphones look nearly identical to each other, barring some major differences and flashy outliers. Gone are the days where small smartphones were king. Today, most smartphones have screens that land within the 6-inch range. That’s not to say that there aren’t small screens available, but modern trends have phones sporting larger, high-definition screens.
While you may have had to decide between having a large screen or decent battery life, recent advancements in batteries have allowed for plus-sized phones to last a whole day between charges, thanks to batteries that sport 2,000 milliamp hours (mAh) and up.
If you want a flagship device that comes with all the bells and whistles, you’ll want the new Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, released last September. Sporting 4GB of RAM, a 3,500-mAh battery, 6.5-inch OLED screen, and three 12-megapixel rear cameras, this phone runs on the latest version of iOS 13.
Over in the Android camp, it’s a little harder to pick out a flagship, since the Android OS is used by so many companies. If you want to go with Google’s top device, that would be the Pixel 4 XL. The Pixel 4 XL runs Android 10 on a 6.3-inch OLED screen. The Pixel 4 has 6GB of RAM, two rear cameras at 12.2 and 16 megapixels, and a 3,700-mAh battery.
One thing that Android phones have over their iPhone counterparts is the potential to expand storage. While many new devices come with hard drives that start at 64GB, some Android smartphones allow users to increase the phone’s storage through the addition of micro SD cards. While not a hugely predominant feature, it’s still a noteworthy option in 2020.
Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and the fact that parts have gotten cheaper over time, even midlevel phones can handle today’s games. With Snapdragon 855 CPUs in the Google’s Pixel line and the A13 Bionic chip in the iPhone 11, those devices represent the top of the line when it comes to sheer processing power.
Strong security is crucial for keeping your work phone locked down. So which platform is more secure: Android or iOS? The answer isn’t so clear cut.
There are two main advantages to iOS security. Apple tightly controls the entire ecosystem, from hardware to firmware to software. That means the company closely screens every app that appears in its app store, which greatly reduces the danger of downloading buggy or malicious apps.
Also, iOS devices have very good legacy support, meaning older iPhones continue to get firmware and security updates years after their release. That means that your device is guaranteed to run the latest software with the newest security fixes.
In contrast, the Android platform suffers from device fragmentation – there are dozens upon dozens of devices from many different manufacturers on the market. Each device ships with a specific version of Android – and it’s usually not the latest, greatest version. Many flagship devices will get upgraded to the newest version of Android eventually, but even that can be months after the software upgrade is officially launched. And it can vary depending on the carrier.
There are some theoretical downsides to this model, the biggest being that security patches must be dispatched across a much wider range of hardware and software. That could leave greater potential for security holes to go unchecked. On the other hand, the open-source nature of the Android platform means that security holes are generally discovered and patched very rapidly. Google has recently tried to fix this issue with Android 10, offering an OS-level option for encryption in some devices.
Over the years, Google has taken steps to make its app store more secure. Apps now only ask for individual permissions – say, to access your phone’s internal or camera – when those functions are needed, meaning you won’t have to approve a slew of permissions before you install the app. And apps have been able to automatically update in the background since Android N.
For daily security options, you’ll find fingerprint readers on all modern iPhone models and most Android phones. A fingerprint reader is a nice perk for workers who want to keep their smartphone locked down without having to fuss with a password or PIN every time they power on their devices. Again, you’ll have to check to make sure that the Android phone you choose has one.
Android and iOS take very different approaches to security, so which is better? The answer is that both platforms offer strong security most of the time. Occasionally, security vulnerabilities are discovered in one or the other, making that platform a bit less secure until the problem is fixed. Overall, though, business users should feel comfortable using either one.
There was a time when iOS had this category in the bag. The Apple App Store had been around longer, and iPhones had a larger market share than Android phones did – at least in the United States. These days, however, the Google Play Store has come a long way to have an equally robust app selection, with nearly every major app available on both platforms.
While both sides may be close to equal in terms of apps, iOS devices still tend to see apps come out there first. The main reason being that since there are fewer models of smartphones that use iOS, app developers can easily tailor their apps for those devices. Android app development, however, has to take a wide range of screen resolutions and technical specifications into account, since the platform is available to any manufacturer.
There was also a long time where the Google Play Store was more akin to the Wild West, with any app developer getting easy access to upload their apps to the marketplace. That often leads to subpar or potentially dangerous apps making their way onto phones. Bad actors found it easier to install malware on Android phones than on iPhones, thanks to the latter company’s constant curation of which apps land on the App Store. In recent years, Google has worked to fix this issue by checking apps for malware before approval, but bad and poorly developed apps still exist.
Most importantly for small business owners, most of the major productivity applications – such as Microsoft’s excellent OneNote notes apps, Word, Excel and PowerPoint – are good on either platform.
If the user interface is something that matters to you when deciding whether Android or iOS is right for you, you’ll be pleased to know that both systems are extremely user-friendly. Previous iterations of iOS may have eked out a slight lead against Android, but recent iterations of Google’s operating system brought it on par with Apple’s offering.
In most cases, depending on which device you choose, your phone will be snappy in response to your gestures and taps on the screen. One thing that remains the same, however, is the rule of thumb that if you want a simpler and consistent experience across multiple devices, you’re going to want to use iOS. If you want a more customizable experience aimed at “power users,” Android is more your speed.
To that last point, Android users can customize nearly everything about their user experience. They have access to widgets that display a huge range of information, as well as the capability to completely alter the operating system’s look with different launchers. You can also choose new default apps for certain functions, which is something Apple and its suite of programs don’t allow.
Both platforms have useful voice-activated personal assistants baked in. Siri on iOS lets you save notes and reminders, draft emails, and fetch driving directions without ever lifting a finger, among dozens of other tasks. Google Assistant (previously known as Google Now on older versions of Android) offers a similar feature set.
Ultimately, which platform is best for you comes down to personal preference, and there are far too many features to run through.
Price tag blues
Which brings us to one of the biggest factors in choosing whether you want to go with an Android phone or an iPhone – the price.
With Android phones, you have myriad choices and options that come with varying price tags. Google’s flagship phone costs $899, which is admittedly a large fee. Compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s $1,099 cost, however, it looks significantly better. The lower-end iPhone 11 costs $699, while the original Pixel 4 costs $799. Luckily, the prior generations are still serviceable and usually cost several hundred dollars less.
Remember that Android also has a massive range of smartphones available from a wide swathe of manufacturers. As such, prices vary wildly, while in Apple’s strictly controlled ecosystem, it is the only manufacturer, so there isn’t any competition on device prices.
Make your choice
At the end of the day, you want to know what kind of device you should buy. We ultimately can’t tell you exactly what phone to get, since your needs vary greatly from ours. That being said, you should always make your decision based on how the phone makes you feel and how helpful it will be in your small business.
The iOS-powered iPhone is a good pick for Apple fans who use Mac computers, since the devices can integrate seamlessly. Plus, iPhones are extremely polished and easy-to-use devices with strong security and handy features such as Siri.
Android, on the other hand, is a good pick for users who want more options. Android phones come in more shapes and sizes than iPhones, so you can purchase just the device you need. Plus, budget-priced Android phones are more affordable than any iOS-powered device on the market.
The final count
As you can see, this is a very close race, with just as many ties as wins for either side. Apple iOS comes out on top—but by the slimmest of margins. The near parity is hardly surprising when you consider how the two platforms have been matching features and polishing their interfaces for years.
Despite this near-parity, our review rating has Android with a lower score because such a small percentage of Android users can actually run the latest version, and because Apple generally does a more polished and consistent job of implementing the same features. Not all of the categories above receive equal weight, in other words. Both OSes can serve you remarkably well. In the end, your decision will likely have as much to do with your social and work circles than with the mobile operating system’s features.