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 you didn’t come here for vagaries. You came here to understand whether Android or iOS is the right choice for you.
Android vs iOS: 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, though Apple definitely has the edge here. 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.
Both iPhone and Android have a couple of million apps in their respective app stores. In terms of sheer numbers, Android takes it… 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.
Much less a factor today than it was a year or two ago but it’s still a factor: If there’s a hot new app, chances are still that iPhone users get it first. Both platforms have a great offering of games to play but again, if there’s an “exclusive” to be had, chances are it’s iPhone users that get it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It bears pointing out that only iOS devices have access to the lovely iMessage Phonemoji by Ting sticker pack. If you were on the fence, certainly that’s enough to push you over.