The content of this article is mostly based on my personal observation and research of the mobile world and personal experience when using both Android and iOS. This is a non-technical article so you can feel free to continue without software engineering background :)
A bit technical about them: Android is an open-source OS built upon Linux kernel while iOS is closed-source built upon Unix-like kernel and run only on Apple devices.
If people talk about smartphones then the choice is either Android or iOS and within those two there are lots choices for models, brands and hardware specs. You may have heard of Windows Phone but Microsoft joined the war late and eventually lost it.
If you read in Medium or other tech news and blogs, people have been arguing which one is the best. Some say iOS, some say Android and some people tend to be biased no matter how good or bad Android/iOS is.
Different OS serves different purposes and different types/groups of people have different taste. From a technical/intriguing person’s point of view, they may like Android as it is open source and can be customized while for iOS you can hardly customize it as much as Android. Obvious examples of “customization” are the launcher and Android themes from different phone manufacturers (Samsung, Google, LG,…). There are even cooked ROM of Android too (but I wouldn’t recommend trying it unless you know what you are doing 😁).
If you are a non-technical person or person who just wants an OS with the best user experience and doesn’t have to setup lots of stuffs then iOS is the way to go.
Another factor contributing to the decision of choosing a smartphone is the
price . iPhones are usually more expensive than Android smartphones with the similar hardware power. Some people cannot afford or don’t want to spend lots of money for just a phone as there are more important things to spend money on in their lives. Also, if you buy an iPhone and you just make phone call, text SMS, browse Facebook, Instagram,… and read news or just to “show off” then (let me be honest) you are wasting your money and don’t utilize most of the capabilities an iPhone brings to you.
In terms of security and privacy, Google and Apple have had “scandals” related to those already. Google has monopoly issues with enforcing setting Google apps and services as default on Android, security holes in the Play Store and the Android itself (in old versions as I recall). Apple had scandal with the slowing battery performance in an iOS update for old iPhones, security holes in the FaceTime app and the latest issues surrounding iOS is the allowance of LinkedIn, Reddit, and more to create apps that have been spying on clipboards.
- There is no such thing called “a perfect OS”. It is based on people’s perception.
- Both target different group of people and needs
- The more popular an OS is, the higher chance it will be hacked. Hackers are people spending 24/7 to exploit security holes so Android and iOS can never escape, it’s just a matter of time. Engineers can make mistakes in their codes anytime causing issues. SO please never say “iOS is very secure”
- Both have scandal behind the scene in terms of privacy.
- My final advice if you make it this far: choose the affordable smartphone that you need, not the smartphone you want.