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App Development
6 minutes read

Comparing Android to iOS: Everything You Need to Know 

By Mario Tatis
By Mario Tatis
App Development
6 minutes read

Organizations and consumers can’t help comparing Android to iPhone. While there are multiple platforms, most people choose between the new iPhone and the various new Android phones on the market. 

As a result, organizations have to consider whether they should build Android apps, iOS apps, or cross-platform solutions. There are pros and cons to each approach. We won’t cover the intricacies of mobile app development in this post. 

However, you can learn more about iOS vs. Android development in our blog. 

In this post, we will explore the primary differences between an Android device and an iOS device and their respective operating systems and ecosystems. 

iPhone Vs. Android Phone 

Comparing Android to iPhone might seem like a futile endeavor. After all, both are phones capable of placing calls, sending text messages, downloading and using applications, and accessing the Internet. 

However, there are some important differences between an Android phone and an iPhone that your organization should understand before it determines how to move forward in the app development process. 

The top differences between an Android device and an iOS device are:

  • Customization 
  • Device ecosystem
  • App stores
  • Security 

Customization 

An Android device is far more customizable than an iOS device. Of course, Android users have always enjoyed greater customization options, but in recent OS updates, Apple has narrowed the gap and allows iPhone users to create custom home screen widgets. 

However, an Android device can be customized beyond home screen layouts and custom widgets. For example, users can create their own swipe and navigation gestures with an Android device. 

In addition, on an Android device, users can replace the default messaging app. An iOS device can download additional messaging apps, but iMessage can never be replaced as the default messaging service. 

You can download any software compatible with the Android operating system with an Android device. With an Apple device, like the iPhone, users can only run software available in the App Store unless they jailbreak their device, which is risky and voids warranties. 

These are just a few key ways Android devices offer greater flexibility and customization than the iPhone. If your organization wants to give users more options and greater control over software, developing for Android is the best choice. 

However, while customization sounds like a great quality, many users don’t mind the limited customization and simplified layout of an iOS device. This simplicity and tight User Interface control have helped establish the Apple brand globally. 

Device Ecosystem 

An Android device can be made by several manufacturers, whereas Apple is the only maker of an iOS device. Since several manufacturers can produce an Android device, consumers have greater options and more control over their experience. 

However, since several different companies could have manufactured an Android device, the quality of an Android device varies significantly. On the other hand, since Apple is the sole manufacturer of an iOS device, the quality of the devices is consistent. 

However, just because Android has a larger device ecosystem doesn’t mean it is better. For example, one of the strongest selling points of an Apple device is that it integrates seamlessly with all other Apple devices. 

It is easy to transfer data in real time between an iPhone, mac book, Apple Watch, etc. If you get a new iOS device, it is easy to get all the data from an old device, and the setup process could not be smoother. 

For example, to move data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone, all users have to do is connect the devices to the same Wi-Fi network. To move data from Android phone to Android phone, you will have to download an app like Smart Switch.

Many users move to iOS because they have other devices in the ecosystem, and it is easier for them to share camera photos, data from other apps, messages, and more between devices. 

While Android offers more device options, Apple offers a tighter, more integrated device ecosystem that provides a far better, immersive User Experience for users that use multiple iOS devices. 

App Stores 

Android and iOS have different approaches to downloading apps. As we mentioned, users can download any compatible software to an Android phone. In contrast, iPhone users can only download iOS App Store-approved software. 

As a result, Android users have significantly more app options to choose from. The Google Play Store has nearly three times the amount of apps that the App Store has. In addition, if you have an Android phone, you are not limited to only the apps available on the Google Play Store. 

For example, with an Android, users can access additional Android app stores like Aptoide and Galaxy. Users with an iPhone will only be able to download an iOS app from the App Store. 

The reason why there are fewer iOS apps available on the App Store is that Apple makes developers go through a rigorous review process. As a result, bad, buggy, or even apps with malicious software get rejected before they get to users.

This means iOS app development could take longer to complete, and your business faces the risk that its iOS app will be rejected by quality control. Apple maintains that its strict iOS app guidelines enhance the User Experience. 

Security 

iPhones tend to be more secure than Androids. However, there is nothing inherently more secure about the iPhone than the Android. Security vulnerabilities are due to human decisions and company policy, not device design. 

Why is the iPhone more secure? Apple’s coherent device ecosystem is more than just convenient for users. Apple also uses this ecosystem to push software updates and patches even to old devices like the iPod Touch.

Android has a fragmented device ecosystem populated with several manufacturers. Google develops software updates and patches just like Apple, but unless you have a device manufactured by Google, it is up to the manufacturer of your device to push them out to your device. 

Unfortunately, for people with Android devices, most manufacturers don’t bother publishing updates or patches for devices older than 12 to 18 months, and when they do, they are often months behind the updates that Google develops and pushes to its devices. 

In addition to the fragmented ecosystem, the Google Play Store is far less stringent when reviewing apps. As a result, it is easier for developers to build apps with malware and publish them on the Play Store or an alternative Android app store. 

Finally, Android is less secure than iPhone because there are more people using Androids. A combination of looser app restrictions and more users makes the Android platform more attractive to bad actors. 

Final Thoughts 

There are additional differences between the two platforms that dominate the smartphone market, but the ones covered in this post are the most important. If your organization wants to learn more about mobile app development and the benefits of building native or cross-platform applications, reach out to a skilled app development partner like Koombea.

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