iPhone vs Android: Which is better? 

The iPhone vs Android debate rages on. While you can turn to a number of 

companies to buy one of the best phones, whatever you get is guaranteed to be 

running one of the two prominent mobile operating systems: iOS (if you pick an 

iPhone) or Android (if you opt for anything else). 

Both platforms are quite mature at this stage, having existed for more than a decade. 

That means both have amassed comprehensive feature sets, and there's very little 

one can do that the other cannot. Still, however, each has its advantages, and there 

are reasons you might want to choose one over the other. 

Let’s take a look at some relative pros and cons of both the Apple iPhone and the 

Android phone. 

Availability of Applications: There isn’t a huge difference in iOS and 

Android apps for business. IOS apps are generally higher optimized for the 

tablet as compared to Android apps, with scaling interfaces that work great on 

an iPad. Any Android app may be used on any Android device, but they don’t 

constantly make the high-quality use of the extra display. However, the 

Android app ecosystem turns out to be friendlier to smaller developers.  

The level of Security: iOS tightly controls the entire ecosystem, from 

hardware to software to firmware; meaning the company closely screens every app that appears in its app store. This results in reducing the danger of downloading malicious apps. Additionally, iOS devices have great legacy support, which means older iPhones continue to get security updates for many years after their release. It makes sure your device is guaranteed to be running the latest software with the latest security fixes. 

In contrast, the Android platform has dozens of devices from many different 

manufacturers on the market. Each device ships with a specific version of 

Android which is usually not the greatest one. But, this open-source nature of 

the Android makes sure that the security holes are easily discovered and 

patched rapidly. 

Software features and interface: The latest versions of both mobile 

operating systems are full of multiple productivity-boosting software features, 

but there are certain key differences that will appeal to different kinds of 

employees. It’s a fact that iOS is slightly simpler and a bit more streamlined, 

while Android offers more features for power users. For certain tasks such as 

referencing a web page or a document while drafting an email, Android will allow‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌view‌ ‌two‌ ‌apps‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌side-by-side‌ ‌split-screen‌ ‌configuration‌ ‌whereas‌ ‌iOS‌ ‌won’t.‌ ‌

Hardware‌ ‌options‌:‌ ‌Android‌ ‌phones‌ ‌come‌ ‌in‌ ‌varied‌ ‌shapes‌ ‌and‌ ‌sizes,‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌

wide‌ ‌range‌ ‌of‌ ‌feature‌ ‌sets.‌ ‌Whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌wish‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌flagship‌ ‌device‌ ‌

or‌ ‌just‌ ‌something‌ ‌dirt‌ ‌cheap,‌ ‌Android‌ ‌has‌ ‌you‌ ‌covered.‌ ‌The‌ ‌big‌ ‌selection‌ ‌can‌ ‌

help‌ ‌you‌ ‌pick‌ ‌out‌ ‌just‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌device‌ ‌for‌ ‌you‌ ‌whereas,‌ ‌in‌ ‌practice,‌ ‌it‌ ‌can‌ ‌make‌ ‌

buying‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌business‌ ‌phone‌ ‌more‌ ‌confusing.‌ ‌In‌ ‌contrast,‌ ‌buying‌ ‌an‌ ‌iPhone‌ ‌

is‌ ‌easy.‌ ‌Just‌ ‌decide‌ ‌how‌ ‌big‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌it‌ ‌to‌ ‌be,‌ ‌and‌ ‌then‌ ‌all‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌decide‌ ‌

is‌ ‌how‌ ‌much‌ ‌internal‌ ‌storage‌ ‌you‌ ‌desire.‌ ‌

iphone 11 vs iphone 12

 ‌

iPhone vs. Android: A Closer Look

Let’s have a look at the respective strengths of each mobile platform, so you can 

pick the right one for you the next time you buy a smartphone. 

1. Apps 

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: 2.7 million 

iOS apps: 1.8 million 

However, 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’s changing as Android’s market share 

continues to grow. In the U.S., iOS still leads the way, but developers elsewhere are 

increasingly targeting Android first. 

Luckily, both operating systems have been taking more precautions when it comes to 

malicious apps and spyware, making apps safer to download than ever. 

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. 

Ultimately, quality beats quantity, and so this is a narrow win for iOS. 

Winner: iOS 

 

2. Security 

Android’s applications are isolated from the rest of the system’s resources unless a 

user specifically grants an application access to other features. This makes the 

system less vulnerable to bugs, but developer confusion means that many apps ask 

for unnecessary permissions.  

Malware writers are less likely to write apps for iOS, due to Apple's review of all the 

apps and verification of the identity of app publishers. However, if an iOS device is 

jailbroken and apps installed from outside Apple's store, it can be vulnerable to 

attacks and malware.  

In the real world, the security of an Android or iOS device is only as good as the 

software updates that have been applied to it. This is where iOS shines because of 

the fragmented nature of the Android ecosystem. Apple releases software updates 

and makes them available to all iOS devices at the same time. On Android, Google 

releases software updates. Devices from other manufacturers lag behind because 

the manufacturer must take these security updates from Google and apply them to 

their own devices "in the wild". Virtually all manufacturers do a poor job at this. Most 

don't release patches to devices older than 12-18 months. Android devices are less 

secure and even hacking iOS is extremely difficult. 

Winner: iOS 

apple logo

3. Battery Life 

Early iPhones needed to recharge their batteries every day. More recent models can 

go days without a charge, though new versions of the operating system tend to cut 

battery life until they're optimized in later releases. 

The battery situation is more complex with Android, due to the large variety of 

hardware options. Some Android models have 7-inch screens and other features 

which burn through much more battery life. 

But, thanks to the wide variety of Android models, there are also some that offer 

ultra-high capacity batteries. If you don't mind the extra bulk, and really need a 

long-lasting battery, Android can deliver a device that works much longer than an 

iPhone on a single charge. 

Winner: Android 

4. Performance 

The truth is we tend to get a little lost in the specs and often forget to look at what really matters. Performance doesn’t only come from powerful specs. There is more to processing power than cores and speed clocks. In fact, it has been proven Apple processors are better than Qualcomm’s snapdragon processors.. 

Whether Apple processors are better or not, what matters most is iOS is optimized to work perfectly with the few devices Apple makes. Meanwhile, Android is dropped into a sea of smartphones, tablets, and other products. It’s up to OEMs to optimize the software for the hardware, and they sometimes do a poor job of it.

Apple’s closed ecosystem makes for a tighter integration, which is why iPhones don’t need super powerful specs to match the high-end Android phones. It’s all in the optimization between hardware and software. Since Apple controls production from beginning to end, they can make sure resources are used more efficiently.

Now, this is not to say all iOS devices can outperform all Android devices. Because there is a lot of choice in the Android universe, some phones are made with beastly internals and stunning performance. Generally, though, iOS devices are faster and smoother than most Android phones at comparable price ranges. All in all, while Android phones almost always have superior hardware specs on paper, iPhones offer better performance in the vast majority of cases. 

Winner: iOS 

5. Memory Management 

Memory management on a modern device is quite complex. In modern operating 

systems like iOS and Android, there is a system where a section of RAM is given to 

each app. The modern operating systems like iOS and Android have all kinds of 

systems to re-use the unoccupied RAM. 

Obviously, the background and the foreground apps need some amount of RAM to 

keep them running, but what if there is not enough RAM available for all these apps 

to run? Well, then the OS uses a method of compression. The space saved by 

compressing the app data will then be used as available RAM. 

Studies show that in practice, the Android app doesn’t use more memory, iOS just 

has a better way of handling the background apps and repurposing memory. It 

seems that the Android apps which move to the background use as much RAM as 

they do when they were in the foreground. In an iOS device, the background apps 

use much less memory and keep enough available memory so that it runs instantly 

when switched to the foreground. 

iOS has a different approach to memory management. While Android’s memory is 

managed by the operating system, iOS memory is handled by the applications 

themselves. iOS apps automatically allocate and deallocates memory as needed. 

Moreover, iOS doesn’t rely on virtual machines like java, to create apps as Android 

does. 

Winner: iOS 

 

6. Camera 

This is a difficult category to call. In the past, we’ve argued 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 5 and Pixel 

4 XL boasts excellent cameras, but so do the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. 

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 midrange 

devices don'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 manufacturers tend to add their own camera 

apps with lots of features, some good, some a bit gimmicky. 

We used to grant this one to iOS for pure consistency, despite the strengths of 

phones like Google’s Pixel. However, times have moved on and a lot more Android 

manufacturers are able to put up a fight against Apple’s excellent cameras. This has 

to be a tie. 

Winner: Tie 

7. Calls and messaging 

Basic calling and messaging functionality are good on both platforms, but it can be 

confusing on Android. First, 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. Then it released Allo and Duo, and now it is retiring Hangouts — but 

wait, it also shut down Allo as well!  Messages is the default texting app, and that 

now seems to be Google’s main messaging app and has received RCS support. 

However, 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, making the whole confusing situation even worse. 

iOS, being controlled directly by Apple, is a lot simpler. 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, creating a culture of blue versus green 

bubbles. You’ll find third-party app integration, fun stickers, GIFs, and much more in 

iMessage. We give iOS the win for its consistency and ease of use. 

Winner: iOS 

 

8. Bloatware 

No matter how you buy your iPhone, where you buy it from or what iPhone you buy, 

you won't see any bloatware preinstalled when you boot it up for the first time. That 

means it's clean from the very start, with no power- or data-siphoning apps you didn't 

ask for sabotaging things behind the scenes. 

That's a relief if you've ever seen the way a new Android phone arrives out of the 

box, particularly one that you've bought through a carrier. Even spending $2,000 on 

a Galaxy Z Fold 2 doesn't spare AT&T customers from the affront of seeing software 

like CNN and DirecTV Now cluttering their app drawers. And it can be even worse if 

you buy a budget handset that has been heavily subsidized by a discount carrier.  

Android buyers who purchase one of the best-unlocked phones without a service 

The agreement will have better luck in avoiding bloatware. It also depends on the company. 

For example, unlocked Pixel phones aren't mired down by any third-party apps; on 

the other hand, it's not totally unheard of for some unlocked handsets to come with 

the odd unwelcome sponsored software. 

Winner: iOS 

9. Accessibility 

Both OS makers have been working on adding features that help people with 

disabilities use their phones. Android has a Live Transcribe feature that allows 

people who are deaf to read what's being said on the spot. It also offers TalkBack to 

speak what's on the screen, Lookout to tell you what's in view, and Voice Access for 

controlling your phone. It also supports external switches (from AbleNet, Enabling 

Devices, RJ Cooper, and Tecla) and lets you reprogram phone buttons. 

Apple has a long list of accessibility features, including the VoiceOver screen reader, 

zoom, dictation, Magnifier, Voice Control, Pointer Control, and more. A Sound 

Recognition feature resembles a similar Android capability. One accessibility feature 

introduced in iOS 14 is Back Tap, which anyone can use to trigger an action by 

tapping the back of the phone (and it works on models all the way back to the iPhone 

8) 

There are Made for iPhone hearing aids, and the platform also supports external 

hardware switch controllers, like the AbleNet TrackerPro hands-free mouse that 

follows head movements. Both platforms can also take advantage of third-party 

accessibility apps such as Be My Eyes, accessible, and TapTapSee. 

Winner: Tie 

10. Gaming 

There was a time when mobile video gaming was dominated by Nintendo’s 3DS and 

Sony’s Playstation Vita. The iPhone changed that. 

Apple's devices like the iPhone and iPod touch, are perhaps the dominant players in 

the mobile video game market, with tens of thousands of great games and tens of 

millions of players. The growth of the iPhone as a gaming platform, in fact, has led 

some observers to forecast that Apple will eclipse Nintendo and Sony as the leading 

mobile game platform (Nintendo has even started releasing games for the iPhone). 

The tight integration of Apple's hardware and software has led it to be able to create 

powerful gaming technologies using hardware and software that make its phones as 

fast as some laptops. 

The general expectation that Android apps should be free has led game developers 

interested in making money to develop for the iPhone first and Android second. In 

fact, due to problems with developing for Android, some game companies have 

stopped creating games for it altogether. 

While Android has its share of hit games, the iPhone has a clear advantage. 

Winner: iOS 

11. VR, and AR 

Apple and Google have both put efforts into enabling VR and AR technologies in 

their mobile operating systems. Both offer large libraries of casual and 

near-console-level games. And both now let users subscribe to a selection of games 

as opposed to having to buy each separately. Apple's Arcade and Android's Google 

Play Pass both cost an identical $4.99 per month. 

Both subscriptions feature no ads and free in-app purchases. Play Pass includes 

some non-game apps from less-known developers. As if that weren't enough, 

Google also offers streaming games through its Stadia service, for $9.99 per month, 

though PCMag gaming reviewer Will Greenwald only awarded it 2.5 stars in his 

review of Stadia. 

The iOS App Store offers a healthy selection of VR apps and VR games, which you 

can view on certain VR headsets. Apple continues to improve its ARKit technology to 

power augmented reality apps that bring 3D objects into your actual world view. The 

latest version, ARKit 4, adds Depth API, location anchoring in Apple Maps to place 

AR experiences at a specific point in the world, and face tracking for more devices. 

Google sadly abandoned its promising Daydream VR and Tango AR initiatives, but 

work continues on ARCore augmented reality technology, and the company still has 

a dozen VR projects letting developers build apps using the technology. The Camera 

app's Playground mode offers nifty 3D animations that fit into the real world, and it's 

Google Lens uses AR to overlay nearby shopping and dining places. You can still 

also indulge in VR using Google Cardboard. 

Winner: Tie 

12. Resale value 

This is not exactly one of the things iOS does better than Android, but it is a market 

advantage Apple has over most of its mobile competitors. iPhones, iPads, and other 

Apple products typically hold their value much better than Android products. This 

means you can sell them for more when it’s time to switch devices. And because 

Apple products are so popular, they usually sell much faster too. 

Winner: iOS 

Bottom Line

As you can see, this is a very close race, with just as many ties as wins for either side. Apple iOS comes out on top—but by the slimmest of margins. The near parity is hardly surprising when you consider how the two platforms have been matching features and polishing their interfaces for years.

The decision of whether to buy an iPhone or Android phone isn’t as simple as tallying up the winners above and choosing the phone that won more categories.

Different categories count for different amounts to different people. Some people will value hardware choice more, while others will care more about battery life or mobile gaming.

Both platforms offer good choices for different people. You’ll need to decide what factors are most important to you and then choose the phone that best meets your needs.

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