It’s been a debate that has raged across the centuries, and across all continents. Friends have fought wars over it. So now I’m going to break it down for you:
iOS was born in the summer of 2007, and Android followed more than one year later. In a lot of ways, the two completely compliment each other, because they can offer what the other does not. But that doesn’t take away from a clear winner.
Obviously, Apple started their operating system as closed, but with open source components (based on the open-source Darwin OS). Android, on the other hand, answered the call of adaptability, and made their software open source. This also means that it is entirely customizable, whereas Apple’s software has to be jailbroken to receive external improvements. This is why Android is supported by Google, Samsung, LG, etc - most telecommunications companies, because they can install alternative launchers (since Lollipop, anyways) and they have home screen widgets. iOS, meanwhile, runs solely on Apple devices, and it’s pretty much what you get.
The other favorite thing up for discussion is apps, because we need our apps. Pretty much every Google app will run on iOS (obviously, there is a lot more Android apps), but iOS apps just seem to be mostly unavailable on Android devices. In terms of third party apps, obviously developers make enough to go around, but still, it seems like developers usually lean towards iOS. It makes sense: Apple had the first App Store, and it’s much easier to code for (because it has only one kind of device, more or less, and therefore less fragmentation).
This isn’t quite so clear, because Apple updates their new phones automatically, which means your model will be pretty top shape for 2-3 years. Of course, iOS updates are offered to all Apple devices, but usually if it is more than 3 years old, there are certain upgrades that are impossible, or they take up too much memory. Google does at least update Android very frequently, but it is not usually automatic, and it’s up to the device manufacturer when to release the update, which is usually months after Google releases it.
Overall, in terms of stability, iOS is a clear winner. Android can be incredibly laggy, especially with third party apps, because developers design them with a specific Android device in mind, and then manufacturers put the same app on numerous different devices, and then slap on a different interface, such as Samsung’s TouchWiz, which slows things down.
Apple, despite what you want to say, rarely ever freezes or reboots, and when it does, all your work and applications start back from where they were.
In terms of privacy, Android can be kind of creepy, because you basically agree to everything immediately when downloading the app, whereas Apple will let you specify your permissions, such as location and camera, one-by-one, which can be altered whenever you want.
However, because Android has apps that are isolated from the rest of the ecosystem, it's less vulnerable to bugs. On the other hand, though, Apple devices are less likely to receive malware because of all of Apple’s security. If jailbroken though, iOS is a lot more vulnerable.
Overall, I think Apple wins, because of updates, app availability, performance, and privacy. However, if you're looking for something customizable, obviously Android is for you. Just prepare to be frustrated.
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