iOS vs. Android

Which is better, iOS or Android. In this post I am going to outline the benefits of both of these operating systems, but keep in mind that these are my honest opinions. I have used both Android and iOS, so I am quite familiar with both and have had an opportunity to learn from each. There are pros and cons to each and I will do my best to be fair with my comparison.

The Android operating system was first created in 2003 and was quickly adopted into many of the “smartphones” at the time. Many companies flocked to this revolutionary way of interacting with a device. Two years later, Google purchased the Android Company and began to build on the popular new OS. Unlike developing competitors, Android was an open source software, meaning people could build onto it. Hundreds of phone manufacturers had the ability to incorporate the Android OS into their smartphones. The most prominent today would have to be Samsung. However, because it was developed without a strong base, many problems plagued the OS. This is where Android’s biggest rival changed the game.  Before you jump on me, I admit, Android has cleaned itself up a lot over the years and it is a very smooth experience.

In 2007, Apple released the first version of iOS alongside their brand new iPhone. Apple prided themselves on the fact that the new mobile operating system was based off of the Mac OS. The reason this was significant was because of the fact that very little had to be done to incorporate the necessary features needed in the phone, because they were already present in the Mac operating system. Gradually, after the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, Apple decided to change the name of their operating system (originally called iPhone OS) to just iOS. iOS, at the foundations was a strong, and well put together system. However, many users scoffed and disliked the closed ecosystem this OS brought about. You could not add a personalized keyboard, nor could you change your wallpaper! (This portion has to do with the early years of iOS, not specifically today.) Sure, you could jailbreak your device, but it would never function as well again.

“People who are serious about hardware should create their own software.” This quote was from the 2007 Mac World when the iPhone was about to be unveiled. This statement is strongly integrated within Apple. When Apple creates a piece of software or sends out a bug fix, they decide how to optimize it with the current supported devices, and then seeds it out directly to consumers. (Microsoft does this as well with their Windows Phone). Android, however, is a piece of software developed by Google, and seeded out to all of the phone manufacturers who then seed it out to customers. The problem with this system is that it can take weeks, even months from the point the software manufacturer releases a bug fix, to the point where it is then applied to a consumer’s device.

It is no secret that Apple has always sought simplicity, and that’s exactly what they have done with iOS. They seek to be minimal, intuitive, and fluent all at the same time. With the release of updates, that’s what they continue to do. Even with the inclusions of more openness, such as keyboards, app sharing, and other beneficial features, Apple is still able to maintain a firm control on the experience.

With Android, features are the important drive for users. Because they had so much openness, users could do as they wanted with their devices. However, many decide to leave their device as is because they don’t see the need to root their device. An annoyance that this OS brings about would have to be the ability of the manufacturer and the carrier to pre load applications and schemes that are not part of the original OS, but one that leaves their footprint.

Accessibility is at the heart of Apple’s devices. Whether it be VoiceOver, Zoom, invert color, or the hundreds of other tools, Apple has made it possible for many to have access to the world from the palm of their hands. Android has some of these capabilities as well, but when using them, I didn’t feel as if they were as accessible or easy to use.

I want to conclude by saying these are both great operating systems, and that they have both come a long way, but my personal preference would have to be the iOS ecosystem. I am always open to new technology and seeing how it may impact people. Which mobile OS do you prefer? Is one more accessible than the other, an

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