Right now, in the tablet and smartphone world, there are two main kinds of smartphones to pick from: phones running Android and those running iOS. The latter are also known as iPhones. This guide is for people who are stuck between choosing an Android phone or an iPhone.
What are the differences between iPhones and Android phones? Are there things you can do on an Android phone that you can’t do on an iPhone, and vice versa? Are there things that work differently? Come along as we explore the differences in our iOS vs Android comparison review.
Smartphones changed how we live and work and play
With the arrival of mobile phones, and later smartphones, modern communication and entertainment have taken shape and evolved markedly different from how we used to do them.
A smartphone not only helps you to work from anywhere and anytime once you have an Internet connection, you can also email and chat wherever you may be. Your smartphone lets you capture rich memories with cameras that are constantly getting better and better. And you can also listen to your music collection from your smartphone, as well as watch offline and internet videos. Do you want to shop? Just do that directly on your phones, too, as most business websites are mobile-friendly and/or have an app.
Over 80% of the smartphones in the world today run Android OS. Brands like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Nokia, TECNO, Infinix, itel, HTC, LG, Sony Xperia, Google Pixel, Motorola, Lenovo, and many others produce Android phones. The remaining 20% are mostly iPhones, which are made by Apple. iPhones run a software called iOS.
iOS vs Android: The Differences
Are there any big differences between Android phones and iPhones? Both sides of the pond will give you most of the functionality that you need. Android phones are, however, more suited to people who need to multitask, as well as share files without requiring an Internet connection. iPhones are not as capable at doing these, though they get the job done – just differently.
One huge benefit of owning an iPhone is guaranteed speedy software updates for years after your iPhone model is released. Most Android phones, on the other hand, never receive a single software update.
At the end of the day, whether you buy an iPhone or an Android phone is up to you. As already said, they get the job done, but in different ways. Because of the huge number of manufacturers making Android phones, you will find a huge range of choices to pick from – different brands with different screen sizes, battery capacities, camera qualities, storage capacities, Internet capabilities, and more.
USB Connectivity: When it comes to USB functionality, an iOS vs Android fight belongs to the latter. You can connect your Android device to a PC via USB cable, and it would show up as an external drive on the PC, allowing you to copy and move files to it as you would a USB flash drive. On iOS, you need to install Apple’s software, iTunes, on your PC, so you can synchronize music, video and any other supported files. You cannot copy and paste files directly as obtains on Android.
Android also allows manufacturers to add USB On-The-Go to devices. What does this mean? It means that you can plug in a flash drive, USB mouse or USB keyboard to an Android smartphone with USB-OTG. This is not possible on iPhones and iPads (yet?).
Bluetooth File Transfer: Pitching iOS vs Android in terms of Bluetooth file transfer, you will find that Android phones take the cake. On the average Android device, you can send and receive images, music, video and other files from other devices by Bluetooth. That is impossible on an iOS device, unless you choose to jailbreak the device back in the day. Today, 3rd party apps now allow transfer of files over a Wi-Fi connection. An example of one such app is Xender.
MicroSD card: Android OS supports microSD cards. Those are removable memory cards that you can store your files on. Most Android devices have a microSD card slot for such cards. iOS devices do not have this slot.
Device Backups and Restores: Both platforms offer backup and restore. But iOS offers a more seamless cloud-based backup and restore of the data on your smartphone or tablet.
Software Updates: iOS also has a solid reputation for timely software updates, with older devices launched years back often getting updated. This means an iPhone or iPad stays more up-to-date and secure year after year. In contrast, most Android smartphones never get a single software update in their entire lifetime.
Personalization: You can customize your Android smartphone with themes, launchers, and wallpapers. Themes and launchers change the user experience of the phone and allow you to tweak things to your taste. On iOS, all you can do is set a wallpaper. There are no ways to customize the user experience beyond that.
User Experience: iOS offers a simpler, smoother user interface than Android smartphones do. It just works without frills. Android may offer more in terms of functional value, but iOS is where those who want a smoother, more fluid experience go.
Hardware Options: Because iOS is used by only one smartphone maker, Apple, you are stuck with two or three new models to pick from each year. On the Android side, there are hundreds of models released each year by scores of manufacturers. Admittedly, the avalanche of choices can get overwhelming for the consumer, but at least there is a much greater range of choices with Android.
iOS vs Android: Which is your preference?
There are lots of people using devices on either side comfortably. Functionality wise, both Android and iOS are capable platforms. The question hence is: which works better for you? Do you prefer the greater options and more porous security that Android offers, or are you comfortable with Apple’s limited connectivity options and more secure environment on iOS? The choice is yours.
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.