iOS vs Android: Which is best?

In the market for new business mobiles? There’s a very high chance that whatever device you choose they will run on either Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems. In 2017 these two platforms accounted for 99.7% of all new smartphones and that number is set to rise again this year. Microsoft has thrown in the towel with Windows Phone, BlackBerry makes Android devices now, and there are very few other options worth considering.

So the question is, which platform is right for you? The good news is that both smartphone operating systems are excellent. They have far more in common than what divides them, but there are some important differences that you’ll want to consider. We’re going to pit Android against iOS in several categories here and pick a winner for each one. Ultimately, the best platform for you depends on you.

Here’s some of the things to consider when making this life changing decision:

What’s your price range?

Let’s face it, Apple’s iPhones are sleek and shiny but can be very pricey. For sheer scale and variety, nothing competes with Android. You can spend a lot if you want to, for example, Google’s Pixel 2 phones and Samsung’s Galaxy Note line almost match Apple’s iPhone pricing, but there’s also a huge choice of low-cost handsets from a wide variety of different manufacturers and the platform has been deliberately optimised to run on low-end hardware. The fact that Android also leads the field in free apps makes it the natural choice for the budget-conscious.

What makes you App-y?

Let’s start with a look at the numbers. This is roughly how many apps you’ll find in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store:

Android apps: 3.5 million

iOS apps: 2.2 million

Numbers aren’t the best metric because most of us only use a handful of apps and the most popular ones are available on both platforms. Traditionally, iOS has been a more lucrative platform for developers, so there has been a tendency for new apps to appear there first, but that is changing as Android’s market share continues to grow. The Play Store still has a higher percentage of free apps than the App Store. But the best mobile games still land on iOS first and they don’t always come to Android.

Is it going to last?

One of life’s biggest strains. Battery life. Users spend more time on Smartphones than any other mobile device. Over 75% of adults (18+) spend 3 or more hours daily using their smartphones, with 26% saying they use their smartphone for 7 hours or more daily. As one of the biggest bugbears for smartphone owners, battery life is a huge factor. It’s difficult to compare the two platforms because there’s no common hardware.

Both Android and iOS allow you to see your battery usage at a glance, broken down by app, but only Android shows an estimate of how much battery life you have left. They both offer power saving modes that can extend your battery life by limiting performance, connectivity, and other power-sapping features, but precisely how it works is generally more customisation on Android.

How’s the chat?

Basic calling and messaging functionality is good on both platforms, but it can be confusing on Android. Google appeared to be folding everything into Hangouts, which allows messages, SMS, video chat, group chat, and more via Wi-Fi or your data network. There is also Android Messages, which used to be called Google Messenger, and it’s the default texting app. To make matters worse, you’ll find many manufacturers like to offer their own alternatives. Many Android phones come with their own messaging and dialer apps in addition to Google’s messaging apps, or they eliminate the Google apps.

FaceTime and iMessage come pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad, so it’s remarkably easy to connect with your friends and family. While iMessage is very easy to use, it works best when communicating with other iPhone users. You’ll find third-party app integration, fun stickers, GIFs, and much more in iMessage.

How are your photography skills?

Everyone loves a selfie but which camera is better for capturing that all important shot? In the past, there are arguments that Apple does the best job capturing lighting, colouring, and other details, but the latest Android smartphones are casting a lot of doubt on that assertion. Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL boast the best cameras we’ve used so far, but the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X come close.

While most of the current crop of Android flagships sport good, or sometimes great, cameras, there’s a fair bit of variance and the camera quality of many mid-rangers doesn’t come close to the quality of iPhone cameras. As you’d expect, most budget Android phones have lower quality cameras.

The camera apps on both platforms are very good and very fast. For ease of use and best results without tweaking, the iOS camera app takes the cake. There’s more variation on Android simply because OEMs tend to add their own camera apps with lots of features, some good, some a bit gimmicky.

A straight comparison of the latest versions of Android and iOS wouldn’t be very representative of most people’s experience, because most Android devices aren’t running the latest version. The experience you get is further complicated by the fact that most Android smartphone manufacturers add their own user interface on top of Google’s stock Android.

Ultimately, different categories will be important to different people, so you should pay attention to the ones that count for you and make your decision based on that. If security and privacy are an important factor, then the iPhone is the obvious choice. If battery life is top of your list and you want to be able to customise your phone, then choose Android. Both Android and iOS are mature, feature-packed platforms with far more similarities than differences.

Looking for new business mobiles? Contact our team to find out what offers are available.