It’s hard for me to write about the differences between Android and iOS, and I struggle to comprehend how people go about it. So if you are looking for that kind of overview you are going to be disappointed, I simply wanted to talk through some thoughts I had in using the two operating systems without comparing apples to oranges. As time goes on it becomes apparent that both operating systems, although trying to achieve the same thing, are approaching it from different angles. This gives a stark contrast to those daring to switch between the two – something that has become increasingly harder.
Android, although pouring in digital wellbeing features, still seems insistent on bombarding you with notifications on everything you’ve ever Google searched. Indeed you can switch these off (ish) but it’s not easy to find nor understand. The fact still remains that Google make nothing from Android and hardly anything from Google Play, so they need to keep your attention somehow. My biggest concern with using Android has always been my privacy exchange, however in my honest opinion this is an issue the average user doesn’t care about nor understand. So for me to talk about this while discussing using the OS is moot.
Indeed Android is the more useful operating system, it makes it much easier to interact with notifications and find things you need instantly. Google was the trail blazer in giving users tools for free that typically cost money and monetising it in other ways – see Google Maps for an example. All of the stock software on both operating systems is there is make your life easier, and push you further into the eco system.
Apple may not be in the business on monetising your data, but the OS and all the free apps that go with it are there to pull you in so they can sell you other things. Services and subscriptions have become a focus for Apple in recent years, and this is evident now more than ever, pre installed Music and even now the AppStore itself with Apple Arcade, pushes you towards giving Apple money – just in a far more subtle way than Google.
I am always fascinated by Android handsets, a huge selling point for Android is that it is far more exciting from a hardware perspective. You are guaranteed to find an handset that is suited to you use case however niche it might be. I chose to use a Note 10+ because I wanted something business like with a top camera, but there is a phone at almost every price point to suite almost everyone. Whereas you are stuck using whatever Apple design of it fits or not.
Should Apple go in a different direction to what you need from their hardware, you are stuck. A decision to move everything to another eco system and bare the pain of loosing apps and services (as well as the hassle of moving all of your data) is a truly live changing thing. Sure Apple charge a premium for making all the design decision for you, but what happens when you don’t agree?
In exchange for giving up control you get the best source of high quality, diverse and sometimes expensive software in existence. Apples App Store still trumps Google Play for quality of apps by a long chalk, although the standard on Android is much better than even a couple of years ago. Couple this with the pretty regular killing of Googles own services, there is always frustration when switching.
Apps from the same developer often work different, look different or are missing functions (even Googles) on Android. Which is a huge shame given the open nature of the platform. Sure you can ‘do anything’ with your device, but the quality of software to go with it is still lacking in broad terms – and this becomes apparent very quickly when switching.
The fact remains that my love of Android still runs deep into my heart but I feel much safer and better supported when popping my sim back into an iOS device. This of course is simply my opinion, you can use whatever you wish – Android is great.