Androids vs. iPhones. The discussion continues. At the time the iPhone first hit the market, there was really no competition. Apple was playing in a class of its own. First Android devices were mediocre: sluggish UI response, lags here and there, and the overall “do-it-yourself” approach just didn’t with consumers.
Today, the market has changed. With newest iPhone being a superb device and a wonderful platform, the latest Androids leave little to be desired. Today’s Androids have no UI lags, offer most of the same apps in the Google Play store, and went away with the do-it-yourself, LEGO style approach. Today, picking one phone over another is more of a personal preference. Let’s try to discover what’s good about going the Apple route, and what benefits the Android way can bring.
Hardware and Model Selection
With Apple, you are always limited to just a few models. Or, rather, you’re limited to just one current model in several versions that differ very little. There are a few older models you can get from the used market, but that’s about it. “You can have any color as long as it’s black”.
Android phones, on the other hand, come in all sorts of shapes, models and colors. Various manufacturers use entirely different hardware. Different displays, processors, memory. Very different reliability and usability. Getting an Android phone will require you to do a research on what’s available, while you can’t go really wrong with any current iPhone. Are you a techie or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone that flies with you. The rest will be served by Apple.
The newest generation of iPhones has a wonderful Retina display. These super high resolution screens will display your apps, icons and photos so crisp it’s hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they made one of the best screens ever.
Android phones ship with all sorts of displays. Some of the better ones can approach iPhones in resolution, but software integration is still lacking. Many apps still have low-resolution icons and images designed to be shown on lower-resolution screens. When choosing an Android phone, you will have to look carefully to buy a model with a good screen. If you’re not good with numbers, icon resolutions, angles of view and technical specs, just leave the Androids alone.
Built-in Software and Interface
An iPhone is an iPhone. They’re all the same. A single operating system, one user interface, the same set of pre-installed apps, same icons. You can customize it by moving stuff around and picking a few icons on your own, but there’s only so much you’re allowed to do.
Androids are available in all sorts of flavor. Different firmware and dozens of OS versions, builds and editions. Different sets of icons for same apps. Many different shells and launchers. Extensively customizable: you can turn an Android phone into pretty much whatever you want (and it’s not just about custom icons) – but you have to know what you’re doing. With such a broad variety, some devices are simply better as in simpler to use, more stable and working faster than others. If making your very own custom system is fun for you, by all means buy the Android. If you like it working out of the box, get an iPhone and start using it right away.
Maintenance and Upgrades
iPhones don’t don’t accept memory cards. You’ll be stuck with the amount of memory you originally got. If you outgrow your iPhone, you’ll have to buy another iPhone, bringing more dough to Apple.
Most but not all Android phones come with a microSD extension slot, allowing you to put more memory when you need it. With flash memory getting cheaper every year, you will be wealthier in the long run if you get an Android.
With iPhones, you can’t even swap a battery. If your battery goes bad in some years (they all do; lithium batteries die in 3-4 years), you’ll be sending your iPhone to Apple for a “major repair” (more money to Apple), or be on the market for a new iPhone (even more money to Apple).
While some Android devices use similarly user irreplaceable batteries, most devices are easy: just lift the cover and throw a new battery in. A new battery will set you back a few dollars, allowing you to buy a replacement phone when you want it.
Android phones are more affordable to buy and cheaper to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones are perfect right out of the box, and offer one of the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.