In recent years we have witnessed a fierce struggle between multiple technology companies to dominate the ‘smartphone’ market. Especially at the ‘software’ level to mark their differences; after all, it is the soul and what gives life to the machine. Without denying the existence of other mobile operating systems, the two giants are Apple (iOS) and Google (Android). At first, what distinguished them the most was the personalization of each one, but today that difference is minimal. The same has happened with most of the functions of the operating system itself.
To help you better understand the subtle differences, I will explain several aspects to consider for each operating system.
PHILOSOPHY AND SAFETY
If there is something in which Android and iOS are totally opposite, it is precisely their philosophy: one is an open environment (Android) and the other is closed (iOS). By our human nature, when we hear the word ‘closed’, we relate it to something negative. In this case, it is a guarantee of safety (obviously there is part of marketing to encourage sales of your brand). The ‘apps’ in iOS must comply with the guidelines set by Apple and pass an exhaustive quality and security control. In this way, they seek to ensure optimal experience and performance.
From the ‘iOS 7’ version, the devices are linked to your ‘Apple ID’. So no matter how much you delete or format the terminal, without the account to log in, you will not be able to use it. So it is useless to potential thieves.
Another premise for Apple is to make life easier for the user, giving everything “chewed up” without having to make many interactions. An example of this is being able to find all the system settings in one place, well-identified and organized. Or the possibility of making a video call (‘FaceTime’) with the same ease as you would make a call without needing ‘apps’ or additional accounts. It should be noted the intuitive interface where the ‘apps’ are automatically arranged in a grid. The structure of the operating system is so simplified that there are no menus or options that you have to access in different places. What you see on the screen in what is.
At a technical and ‘hardware’ level, Android requires more machine power to support future updates, perform and work with the same fluidity as iOS, which uses less power at the ‘hardware’ level. Many criticize Apple’s products for not using more RAM or cores, but you don’t need it. And precisely there is one of its attractions, it works wonderfully with less.
At Apple, we find a single range, basically: high-end. The reason is that their terminals are made with high-quality materials and developed with the utmost care. At the marketing level, it is called ‘Price Skimming’: setting the highest price that the customer is willing to pay. After the annual launch of a new terminal, the only change that occurs in the Apple catalogue is that the previous one drops € 100.
On the other hand, with Android, there is a greater assortment of ranges: from the low (about € 70) to the most expensive (about € 800). That is why it is more accessible as there is an Android for all budgets. But this aspect is a double-edged sword: a low-end Android, having little power, will not respond with the same fluidity or quality and will hardly support future updates. You can even have space problems.
Being open, each manufacturer installs an interface at will to distinguish itself from others and make its terminal more attractive by adding different functions. Hence the menus have different designs from one brand to another, although the operation is the same.
iOS, being a closed operating system, is fully controlled by Apple without intermediaries. Any incident or failure would be quickly resolved. Android, after launching an update or patch, manufacturers have to adapt it to their terminals so it will take a little longer to arrive depending on the model and the country.
PRIVACY AND MEMORY
Apple products offer a higher level of privacy, making it almost impossible to decrypt an iPhone or iPad. Proof of this was the news where the FBI asked Apple to collaborate in an investigation case by unlocking and accessing the data of an iPhone.
Regarding the memory of your devices, you cannot put an SD card on your devices. So it is all internal or virtual memory, hiring one of the plans they offer in the cloud with ‘iCloud’.
It is a highly criticized aspect, but Apple firmly believes that by not being able to extract the memory of the device, they guarantee the security and privacy of your information.
Watchdog Android, as is already well known, belongs to Google. They have a more open and transparent approach to data. They analyze all possible and quantifiable information, from what you use the terminal for to the sites you visit.
According to its brand philosophy, Android does allow the use of memory cards. They even offer the possibility of encrypting them for greater security. On the other hand, they are also more necessary since Android takes up more internal memory space than ‘iOS’.
ECOSYSTEM AND MANAGEMENT
Apple, in its simplicity line and closed ecosystem, offers better integration between the different devices. Of course, they must all be Apple products (Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV). Which are not very economical although the quality and performance of them deserve it. The functionalities are impressive. You can continue what you were doing with the iPhone on the Mac simply by swiping the image onto the computer. Have photos synced on the roll of all devices or only certain albums? Continue or answer a call or email on the computer, etc. What is remarkable is not so much the technology but the ease with which you synchronize and continue (hence the name ‘Continuity’).
Regarding iOS, the menu is based on a simple grid of ordered ‘apps’. You have two other areas: the tools area (you slide from bottom to top) and you find the controls for music, WI-FI, Bluetooth, etc. and the upper area (you slide from top to bottom) and you have the notification area and widgets of different apps that you select.
Ultimately, this is a fight of the titans. And even if one is a pioneer in technology, the other will soon match that innovation or even improve it. As you can see, the same can be done with both. The differences are minimal. That is why I encourage you to try them all without fear of being short of functions or compatibility.