It’s an age-old battle of the mobile titans, with Google in one corner and Apple in the other. But in spite of how long this has been going on, it’s always worth asking whether Android is the top dog, or if the iPhone and iOS are most deserving of your attention.
So what’s the state of play like today, and how can you make a choice if you’re on the fence and in the market for a new smartphone?
Android offers more choice
From bargain basement sub-$100 handsets to cutting edge, flagship devices with folding screens, there’s an Android phone out there at every conceivable price bracket.
Apple has diversified its range more with the likes of the iPhone SE, but it still can’t touch Google’s mobile ecosystem when it comes to hardware or price variety.
iPhone is the king of consistency
If you want a phone that just works, picking an Apple handset is still your best bet. Since a single manufacturer controls both the hardware and software, it’s a match made in heaven, and it means that the user experience is second to none in most cases. The same applies to its laptops and other devices, so it’s easy to see why Apple earns so much loyalty.
Conversely, the variety of Android brings fragmentation and imperfections along with it. This has improved a lot, with the Pixel range of Google-branded devices leading the charge, but it’s still not as consistent.
Android users may face more security risks (e.g. hacking attempts)
Cyber attacks are on the rise, and this is a reality that businesses and consumers alike need to take onboard, especially when it comes to mobile devices.
Your handset is a significant point of vulnerability, because if it’s compromised then it could leave your entire digital existence in the clutches of a malicious third party.
It’s relatively easy to tell if your Android was hacked, but this still means that Google’s software is a little more susceptible to attack. This is because there are more Android devices in the world, which makes them a juicier target for attackers.
The iPhone is of course not immune to malicious code, so users of all devices need to be vigilant, whatever their brand allegiance.
iPhone is a closed ecosystem
There are downsides to the way that Apple rules its iOS product family with an iron fist, as well as the aforementioned upsides.
Most notably, it’s not really a range that welcomes those who love to tinker with the hardware and software they own. Meanwhile over in the Android camp, the open source nature of the operating system lends itself to bedroom programmers much more freely.
This might even apply in the case that you want to make an app for your business which is only for in-house use; getting it to run on Android without having to jump through a lot of hoops is more straightforward in many cases.
The best mobile phone OS is subjective
Some might argue that Android or iOS are objectively better than their rival, but the reality is that these two are very closely matched, to the point that you need to choose according to your own needs.
If you like the more open approach of Android and you are looking for a wallet-friendly mobile device, or perhaps one with hardware that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible right now, go with a Google-derived handset.
If you like the convenience of a consistent ecosystem where everything is impeccably designed and works every time, meshing with other Apple products you own, the iPhone is an obvious winner.
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