If you’re enmeshed in Apple’s ecosystem, from its Mac computers to its business smartwatches and the Apple Music streaming service, iPhone is probably a natural fit. Its hardware and software are designed to work together seamlessly.
On the other hand, Android devices feel less like gadgets and more like tech. Its software lets you customize and organize your experience.
The most obvious difference is that iPhones are designed and manufactured by Apple, while Android phones are made by a huge number of manufacturers. As a result, Apple can be more consistent with hardware design and has tighter control over software.
For example, you can’t sideload apps onto an iPhone without going through the App Store, and new features for Apple devices debut on iPhone first. That said, you do get some benefits from being locked into the ecosystem, including a simpler user interface and the ability to buy Apple accessories in stores.
Another downside to iPhone is that you can’t upgrade its storage or replace its battery, so you need to be prepared to purchase a new device every two years. In contrast, you can usually swap out the battery in many Android models and expand their storage through microSD cards. Android is also more open to experimenting with different hardware configurations, and this can lead to some oddities (like Samsung’s decision to remove the home button on the Galaxy S8).
When choosing a smartphone, you have two operating systems to choose from- Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Android phones come from a wide range of manufacturers and have a variety of features, whereas iPhones are limited to the hardware Apple produces.
The iPhone focuses on elegance and simplicity. It’s less expensive than Android devices, and its touchscreen keyboard displays lowercase letters automatically. Its Touch ID fingerprint sensor lets you bypass the lock screen and use your voice or face to unlock the phone. You can also customize your home screens to organize apps and prioritize notifications in a way that makes sense for you.
However, the iPhone’s software can be buggy at times. And its non-removable battery makes it harder to upgrade storage and replace the device’s battery. Its newest version, iOS 12, is more intuitive than its predecessor, but it may be too advanced for some users. It’s also more difficult to transfer files between iPhones and other phones.
Android phones offer a wide variety of hardware choices and feature levels. They also offer a more robust selection of apps, including many first-party apps that debut on the iPhone.
Both iPhones and Android devices support a variety of third-party keyboard apps, music-playing software and other add-ons. But Apple prioritizes elegance over flexibility, resulting in features like a stock keyboard that displays lowercase letters only when necessary and a lock screen that requires you to swipe up to clear notifications.
Some users may prefer an iPhone’s ease of use, especially if they already own other Apple products. But other buyers value flexibility or a wider choice of apps and hardware. Consumers who switch between iOS and Android often cite affordability as a reason for doing so.
When it comes to choosing a mobile platform for your smartphone, the decision ultimately depends on your preferences and priorities. Android’s flexibility demands vigilant user practices, and its customization features can open the door to serious security risks. Conversely, iOS offers a controlled environment that limits some freedoms in favor of enhanced security.
Apple’s centralized iOS system makes it easier to push security updates across its entire device ecosystem. This is in contrast to Android’s third-party hardware manufacturers, who have some discretion over when and how they pass along OS updates to their devices.
Despite these differences, iOS and Android have improved significantly in terms of mobile security since their inceptions. Regardless of the platform, a strong emphasis on personal responsibility and cybersecurity best practices can dramatically mitigate security risk. In addition, a thorough understanding of the platforms can help you select one that aligns seamlessly with your security goals. This includes assessing each’s built-in security features, including virtual sandboxes that limit malware apps’ impact and drive encryption.