Is Android better than iPhone? iOS vs Android: An honest look
Andrew Moore-Crispin • February 6, 2019if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
If you’re an avid Android user, surely you’ve thought about why Android is better than iPhone. Yes, we’re going there. Android vs iOS. It’s a topic that elicits some strong opinions. Unreasonably strong, some might argue.
First, let’s just get this out of the way: there isn’t much you can do on Android that you can’t do on iPhone and there isn’t much you can do on iPhone that you can’t do on Android. Provided you’ve got a reasonably current smartphone model, neither iOS nor Android will leave you wanting. But many Ting customers come out Team Android when it comes to Android vs iOS.
Here at Ting, we tend to think Android is a better option for our customers in the market for a new phone. Why? First and foremost, Android is hands down more affordable. You can get an awesome smartphone experience without breaking the bank. Don’t believe us? Check out the selection of Android phones in the Ting Shop.
That’s not to say there’s not a lot to love about iOS. Let’s review the pros and cons.
Android vs iPhone: comparing pros and cons
Both iOS and Android can do video calls with native apps. Both offer a unified inbox for all your email accounts. Both let you pay for stuff in the real world with your phone where supported. Both will allow you to create a hotspot to tether your other devices. Both have literally millions of apps available in their respective app stores.
One of the real benefits of iPhone is that you don’t need to think about stuff too much. This so-called “walled garden” approach gives you a great experience and, once you’ve learned a few of the ins and outs, iOS is intuitive and easy to work within. The downside is less flexibility and customizability in iOS as compared to Android.
Comparatively, Android is more free-wheeling which translates into a much wider phone choice in the first place and more OS customization options once you’re up and running.
Apps: Apple vs Android
Both iPhone and Android have a couple of million apps in their respective app stores, and pretty much every app is available on iOS or Android. In terms of sheer numbers of apps, Android is the frontrunner, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. You can’t expect an app store with over 2 million entries to be closely curated by humans. That said, the Play Store on Android definitely hosts more junk apps.
Those junk apps are much less a factor today than a few years ago but it’s still a factor. If there’s a hot new app, and that kind of thing is important to you, chances are still that iPhone users get it first.
Photos and cameras: is Android better than iOS?
If there’s a killer app that cemented the smartphone, it’s got to be photography. Smartphone cameras have come a long, long way since we snapped our first grainy, postage stamp-sized pictures on a Moto RAZR (or whatever clamshell flip phone you started out with).
In the simplest terms, iPhone takes the edge here because there’s no such thing as a bad camera in a reasonably current iPhone. That said, given the sheer amount of choice in Android handsets, there is room for photo specialists. Plus, in broad strokes, any Android phone with a price tag of, say, $300 or more is going to take great pictures. Let’s agree to call it a wash.
Voice assistants: Siri vs Google Assistant
Apple’s Siri personal assistant wasn’t the first to hit the scene but it was the first to hit the mass consciousness. Even though it’s had more time to gather voice data and work on the responses it offers that Google’s built-in assistant (standard in Android 6 and later) OK Google just seems to pick up what you’re putting down more often. It’s also generally better at understanding follow-up questions and offering contextual answers.
Android giveth where iPhone taketh away. iOS is famed as a “walled garden” where you, be you an app user or app developer, do things Apple’s way or no way at all. Android, on the other hand, feels more free and open… because it is. There’s no one way to do things. This is both a point for and a mark against.
When we were making the Ting Compatibility Checker app, we wanted to dig down to grab and check the device’s IMEI. That’s pretty deep to be digging. We were able to do it (with user permission, of course) in Android. It was a total non-starter with Apple. Should we be allowed access to foundational things like IMEI? I mean, our intentions are clear and we mean it when we say we don’t store things without permission… but maybe no one should be allowed to do that?
Apple is in the hardware business where Google’s core competency is data. No prizes for guessing which of the two companies is tracking users more closely.
Journalist Kashmir Hill, Deputy Editor on the Special Projects Desk at Gizmodo tried to cut the “big 5” out of her life. Google’s tendrils extend all across the Internet. Ditching Apple was devastating (her words) but it didn’t screw everything up (again, her words) like ditching Google did. This is a deep topic that we’re not going to do justice to… but she does in Goodbye Big Five.
Other considerations: iOS vs Android which is better?
There are a few other things to consider when comparing Android vs iOS. While removable batteries are disappearing, what few remain are the exclusive domain of Android. Ditto for removable storage which is a real boon, especially for audiophiles, shutterbugs and travelers.
iPhone is an undeniably beautiful handset, but price-to-performance wise, you’re paying a hefty premium for the brand cachet. The same can be said about the latest from Google and Samsung. Smartphone prices are skyrocketing over $1,000, which may be why more people are making do with what they’ve got.
Where Android offers a ton of device choice, there’s certainly some chaff that sneaks through with the wheat, especially in the sub-$200 range. Generally speaking, stick with a manufacturer you know rather than being wowed by raw specs.
Ready to decide?
Take a look in the Ting Shop and use the filters to narrow down on brand, price and other factors to hone in on the right phone for you. If you’re still not sure which smartphone is right for you, check out our complete guide to buying a smartphone.
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