Android versus iOS: Which One Fits Your Needs and Lifestyle?

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Image courtesy of [photostock] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When buying a pair of shoes, you want something that is both stylish and comfortable. You also want shoes that match your existing wardrobe.

The same principles apply when deciding the right operating system (OS) when buying a new gadget. If you’re unsure whether to choose Android versus iOS, there a few things you might want to consider.

First, you want an OS that is comfortable and easy to use. You also need to consider your existing gadgets to see if they complement or contradict with the gadget you’re planning to buy.

Basically, both OS provide almost the same features such as access to popular apps and games. On the other hand, both differ when it comes to overall experience, convenience, and flexibility.

Things to keep in mind:

With its many versions over the years, the features and navigation on Android and iOS have many variations. Mostly, in this post, I’ll be referring to Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean; and Apple’s iOS 5 & 6.

I’m also limiting this post on the built in features that come with an Android or Apple device.

Similarities between Android and iOS

There are plenty of features that both Android and iOS share. Both OS allow you to:

  • access Google services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Plus;
  • open and edit documents;
  • access social networking apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and
  • use camera (front and/or back) to take and edit photos.

An Android and Apple 3G device also give you the ability to access the internet using your mobile network.

There are more similarities, but mostly these are the apps and features that you’ll be using once you own the device.

Now, here’s the main difference:

When you have an iOS device, most Android apps are available on Apple’s App store. An Android OS, on the other hand, doesn’t have Apple exclusive apps and programs such as iMessage, Pages, Photo Booth, iTunes, Notes, and Reminders.

If you’re using a Windows computer and don’t have any existing Apple device, you really don’t have to worry too much about not having access to Apple’s exclusive apps.

But if you have a Mac computer at home, buying an Android device can be an issue. Mac OS does not recognize Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy Tabs. You have to do a few tricks in order for it to work with a Mac. When you have an Apple device, syncing with  Mac is easy peasy.

 Android versus iOS

Now, let’s discuss the specific features which will win your heart. 🙂

Android

Customization

Unlike Apple, Android OS gives you a lot of control in terms of the look and feel of your smartphone or tablet. You can customize almost anything. If you don’t like the default font, you can change it to other whimsical or futuristic font styles. You can even download a new set of font styles if you’re not satisfied with the existing ones that come with the device.

 Live Wallpapers

screenshot of a live wallpaper
This is my home screen on my Android tablet. One of the things you can customize is your home page. As you can see, I’m using a few widgets and the rest are apps that I use most of the time.

One of the features that I personally love is the ability to use live wallpapers. It’s certainly an amusing feature. You can easily download live wallpapers with different themes such as nature, geometric patterns, and even your favorite films and cartoon characters.

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Right now I’m using Paperland. It’s brightly colored live wallpaper that changes during the day and night time. During the day, the sun rises and the whole wallpaper is bright and sunny. At 6 pm, the moon replaces the sun. The screen also turns dark, and the little cars that are driving by turn its headlights on. Very cute, right?

Widgets

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Most apps come with widget support. But some widget features might not be available for free apps.

Another great feature is the ability to use widgets. Widgets are like a shortcut button for your apps. For example, Google Play Music has a widget that includes the pause, play, forward, and rewind buttons right on your screen. This way you don’t have to go to the actual app when you want to quickly pause or rewind a song.

In addition, on Android, you can easily close all applications in one go. When using Ice Scream Sandwich, for example, you simply hold the home icon at the bottom of the screen, and click on “End All”. You can’t do this on an Apple device. You have to manually close each app.

Multitasking

When using Jelly Bean, you also have the ability to multitask. For example, you can browse Google while watching a YouTube video. Although I rarely use this feature, it’s certainly a great option for those who want to run multiple apps at the same time.

 

Apple’s iOS

Siri

Who doesn’t love Siri’s sweet, robotic voice? She is actually a celebrity in her own right!  Although she has many flaws, she can actually do quite a few things. She can send a text message for you, set alarms & timers, check the weather, and find the nearest coffee shop if you’re craving for a cup of latte.

Although Siri is exclusively made for Apple devices, there are similar but less popular assistant apps available in Android. You can check out some of the best Siri alternative here.

 

Easy Sync

I think that iTunes is still one of Apple’s greatest strengths. I’ve used a lot of music player over the years, and this is by far my favorite. It’s so easy to use and sync with your Apple device.  When you download music albums and podcasts on your iTunes, you just have to plugin your iOS device on the computer and it automatically syncs all the new additions to your library. No need to drag and drop the files to the respective folders.

App Stores’ Library

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Nothing still beats the quality of the apps available in Apple’s App store.  Developers prioritize Apple when creating new apps. Even some apps that are both available in the Android and Apple market have different features, which result to a totally different experience.

For example, the game Battle Heart is no longer updated on Android. While the same game on Apple is constantly updated–sometimes even with new characters.

The Bottom Line:

I believe that if you want an uncomplicated and integrated experience, go for an Apple device.

But if you want to have more flexibility and control, then an Android device suits you best.

Other things to keep in mind when making a decision:

  • Most Android devices are cheaper. You can get a Nexus 7 tablet for about P13000, while an iPad Mini cost P17000 when it was first released in the Philippines.
  • Since Android is an open-source software, there are far more free apps.
  • If you’re concerned about warranty coverage, nothing beats Apple’s coverage and customer service. At least, this is based on my experience.
  • Software updates vary for Android devices. Some older devices might not support new software update roll out.

So, I hope these details give you a pretty good idea when deciding to get an Android versus iOS devices. All in all, it boils down to how you’re planning to use the mobile gadgets, how much money you’re willing to spend, and if it fills fits your personality or lifestyle. 🙂

 

 

 

Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan