What makes Android OS and iOS unique

iPhone or Android? The eternal question when buying a cell phone

There is an eternal competition between Apple and Google: The smartphone market has been growing for several years predominantly dominated by the two operating systems iOS and Android. And although these are similar in many areas, each one scores with unique features and has specific strengths and weaknesses. Many users therefore ask themselves the question: what is better? iPhone or Android? In this article we will compare the two operating systems and show which one suits you best.

How do iPhones and Android smartphones differ?

The hardware is almost identical in both, so iPhones and Android smartphones only differ in the installed operating system (iOS or Android). While Google's Android is an open platform, Apple locks its iOS restrictively against unwanted access.

iPhone or Android? Which operating system has the larger market share?

According to Statista, Android has almost 75 percent of the market share, a clear lead over iOS, which only comes to around 25 percent (as of May 2020).

Which is the best-selling cell phone of all time?

The Nokia 1100 is still the best-selling mobile phone in the world to this day. The Finnish manufacturer was able to sell more than 250 million units of the entry-level device released in 2003.


1. iPhone or Android: The Android operating system

The company Android was founded in autumn 2003 by the US software developer Andy Rubin. In 2005, this was taken over by the Internet giant Google, which has since developed the operating system of the same name. The Android program code is freely available. The manufacturers only adapt them to their devices or products and are also responsible for updates and software updates. Android was originally not designed for cell phones, but actually for digital cameras.

Good to know: The first Android cell phone came from a manufacturer that is practically irrelevant on the market today: HTC implemented the first model on October 22, 2008 in the USA with the “Dream” model under the name “T-Mobile G1” Times Google's mobile OS.

A big advantage of Android is that high number of available appswhich you can buy and install from the Google Play Store or obtain from other sources (e.g. in the form of an APK). In total, more than 3 million apps are available for Android, such as Facebook, WhatsApp or various photo programs (for comparison: with iOS there are “only” 2 million).

Setting up an Android smartphone: A major advantage of Android is the large number of available apps that you can obtain from the Google Play Store or install from other sources.

Almost all current Android devices also have a memory card slot (e.g. SD or microSD) and can be connected to the computer for data exchange via USB or MTP (Media Transfer Protocol). The synchronization of addresses and calendars is standard on Android via the Internet. However, some manufacturers also offer one for their devices own software for direct synchronization over the internet.

1.1. The advantages and disadvantages of Android at a glance

  • larger selection of devices
  • greater flexibility
  • Devices cheaper to buy
  • The user interface can be individually designed using a launcher
  • open operating system
  • large number of available apps
  • increased risk from security vulnerabilities
  • Updates inconsistent (depending on manufacturer)
  • fewer controls on the apps
  • Performance less balanced than Apple

2. iPhone or Android: The iOS operating system

The abbreviation iOS stands for "Internet Operating System" and refers to the standard operating system for mobile Apple devices, which runs on the iPad and iPod Touch in addition to the iPhone. iOS is based on Mac OSX (the operating system for the Apple Macintosh) and was sold under the name iPhone OS until June 2012.

iOS is particularly popular with users because of its simple and intuitive control great popularity, but at the same time comes under constant criticism due to its "seclusion". Only apps from the Apple Store for which you need a user account can be installed. Access to the internal memory of an iOS device is severely limited and, in contrast to Android devices, this can also be done do not expand using memory cards.

iOS is particularly popular with users because of its simple and intuitive control.

In addition, Apple also prohibits file sharing via Bluetooth and limits the use of NFC. The data exchange with the PC runs on iOS via iTunes. While with Android you can completely turn the system inside out and design it according to your wishes, iOS allows only minimal adjustments (e.g. the installation of an alternative keyboard). The danger of catching malware is therefore primarily only for users who jailbreak their device.

The Apple operating system is clearly superior, when it comes to updates and bug fixes goes. For example, while almost 20 percent of all iOS devices were already equipped with the new version in the first week after the release of iOS 13, after the release of Android 9 Pie, just 22 percent of all devices ran with the new version even after a year.

2.1. The advantages and disadvantages of iOS at a glance

  • uniform user experience across all devices
  • Setup and control are simple and intuitive (no problem for seniors or children either)
  • Hardware and software come "from a single source"
  • Apps are rigorously checked
  • Regular updates even after several years
  • high standards of encryption and data protection
  • only available on Apple devices
  • Devices are more expensive to buy
  • Hardly any individualization and adaptation options (closed system)
  • fewer apps available
  • Compatibility of the devices partly insufficient

3. Conclusion: Both operating systems have strengths and weaknesses

The race between Android and iOS ends more or less in a draw, because both systems have both strengths and weaknesses. There are hardly any differences in the apps and also Functionally, the two competitors are becoming more and more similar. However, the advantages and disadvantages of an open or closed system can also be seen in many points

While Apple offers a coherent overall package at a hefty price, Android devices are especially suitable for users who have a Inexpensive smartphone with many customization options search. The variety of apps is also significantly greater with Android, but iOS is clearly ahead in terms of security and updates. The simple and intuitive interface of iOS makes it easy for smartphone newbies to get started. In addition, they are faced with fewer security risks.

And what is better now?

You have to decide for yourself which aspects are most important to you personally. We guesTest both operating systems and smartphone types if possible before you buy them. This gives you a feeling for which device with which surface best suits you and your needs.

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iPhone or Android? The eternal question when buying a cell phone
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