Android vs iOS: What is the Best Operating System?

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Android vs iOS, which one do you have?

The battle between the two most popular mobile operating systems has been going on for years now. Windows phones aren't even part of the fight these days.

In fact, the Android marketplace has gained a lead over Apple iOS since its debut, thanks to a decline in manufacturing prices of the Android smartphone.

Due to the cost and freedom of the OS, the Android marketplace has grown and Android has taken over as the world's most commonly-used device platform. I'm sure you would agree, however, that the battle wages on.

While the Android smartphone OS is amazing, does it truly stand up to the almighty iOS? In this article, I will draw an Android vs iOS comparison to break down the difference between the two. By the end, you should be able to note which operating system you prefer and why.

What is the Android OS?

Well, Android is a mobile operating system for devices owned by the tech giant Google. It comes installed not just on Samsung phones like the Samsung Galaxy, but on other branded phones such as HTC, Huawei, and Motorola.

Android, by default, contains Google functions that are normally found on your PC, like Google Search, Gmail, Google Plus, and Maps, but the mobile OS also contains other unique services such as Google Play. Of course, Android smartphones feature much more than that, but those are just some examples.

Additionally, the average Android phone now costs roughly just a third of the average iPhone, according to The Verge. This price cut has propelled the Android smartphone market ahead in the race for most common OS.

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What is the iOS?

I can't define the Android OS without explaining the Apple iOS. The iOS is a mobile operating system that runs exclusively on Apple's mobile devices like the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and iPod Touch. The OS is known for its simplicity and user-friendly UI.

iPhone and Android: The Showdown

While the iPhone and Android operating systems are highly similar, there are differences that make each one stand out. To compare each mobile OS, it's best to explore the features each OS provides. To begin, I will examine the latest iOS features (iOS 10), then the latest Android (7.0 Nougat) features.

Hopefully, this comparison will allow you to choose your OS, but keep in mind that once you do purchase a device with your chosen OS, you can only purchase mobile apps that belong to said OS. If you switch, you will have to purchase apps from the Apple app store or Android's Google Play Store all over again. If you're wondering about Windows phones, they don't stack up well enough with iOS and Android to mention here.

comparing iOS and Android devices

iOS Features

iOS has faced many changes since its debut. Now the operating system, being at iOS 10, is more similar to Android, with its own enticing features. Let's break down the iOS features by source, cognitive load, security, customizability, the UI, the app store, and more.


iOS is close-sourced for the most part, but there are some open-source components. Some iOS open-source libraries include PDTSimpleCalendar, DZNEmptyDataSet, MagicalRecord, and more.

Cognitive Load

The cognitive load of a smartphone is the sum of the different things you need to get familiar with in order to use spontaneously and intuitively. For the common iPhone user, the ease at which you can master the device is key to the user experience. The more complicated something is, the less likely we are to keep using it.

According to the Pfeiffer Report released in September 2013, iOS 7 was much better in terms of cognitive load, but that may not be the case nowadays, as both operating systems have faced several releases since then.


Customizability is rather limited for iPhone users unless you jailbreak your phone. However, you can personalize your device with different wallpapers, ringtones, and app placement. You can also choose whether you want to implement the fingerprint unlock feature, choose a passcode, or not secure your phone at all.

In other words, you can customize your lock screen settings to protect your phone from intruders. A fingerprint unlock feature is the best way to secure your lock screen.

File Transfer

File transfers from iOS are more difficult than from Android. You can, however, transfer media files from the iTunes desktop app. Photos, fortunately, can also be transferred without apps.


iOS contains plenty of uniform material design elements, providing the user with ease and simplicity. However, iOS 10 has become more similar to Android in terms of design, introducing widgets to the home screen with a different implementation via 3D Touch. For instance, when you press on an app's icon, a widget will appear, meaning that a widget can remain out of the way.

Additionally, Apple has a notification center for easy access to recent notifications, recently opened windows and your favorite apps. You can easily access the notification center by swiping down on your iPhone or iOS device.

App Management

With iOS 10, you can hide - not delete - some mobile apps from your device. Furthermore, you can run apps from the Apple app store side-by-side on the iPad with iOS 10, though this is not possible on the iPhone.


Siri is an electronic personal assistant that enables users to speak (or type) to it to operate different features of the phone, apps, or answer questions. You'll find Siri across all recent Apple products including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac computers.

With iOS 10 comes an improvement in the personal assistant Siri. Siri has since been opened up to third-party app developers so they can help make her more efficient and useful.

Battery Life

iOS battery life has been pretty top-notch for a while now. With the introductiOSn of iOSS 7, however, Apple introduced the optiOn to turn off motion parallax. Turning off motion parallax turns off animations when you're moving between screens, which can drain your battery drastically. You can also close out apps, lower your brightness, and go into low-power mode.

Apple App Store

As stated by 9to5Mac on January 20, 2016, the iOS Apple App Store raked in 75 percent more revenue compared to the Google Play Store, despite Google Play pulling in more app downloads.

However, the App Store is much smaller, but it does contain more premium and quality apps, often sooner compared to the Google Play Store.

Best yet is Apple's App Store refund system, which features a 14-day no-questions-asked refund policy for the iOS apps.

Related: Cheapest iPhone Plans

iOS Security

First of all, the iPhone sports tighter security in its app store compared to the Google Play Store.

Apple relies on its renown and strong security, as it controls everything surrounding the iPhone, such as the hardware, firmware, and software.

There are several iOS security apps (even for your home) that you should take into consideration, however. For instance, you should take into consideration the mSecure password management app, the Foscam Surveillance Pro, Best Phone Security Pro, and more. These apps along with some simple devices can help you make your own DIY home security system.

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comparing iOS security features

Android Features

There have been many different versions of the Android operating system in the past. For example, the Jelly Bean versiOSn of Android 4.1-4.3 was a staple. The Jelly Bean versiOSn of Android enhanced the UI speed and focused more on UI responsiveness.

The new Android version 7.0 (Nougat) is rife with changes, though the changes between Nougat and its predecessor, Marshmallow, are not as extreme as the changes between iOS 9 and iOS 10.


The source model of the Android Nougat is completely open to app developers.

Cognitive Load

According to the Pfeiffer Report, unfortunately, Android was worse than iOS 7 back in 2013 when it came to cognitive load.


The best thing about the Android version called Nougat is the fact that you can change just about anything within the OS. It also has advanced Material Design elements that were implemented with the emersion of the Lollipop Android version.

Battery Life

Android Nougat devices have a feature called Doze to help battery life. The Doze function will put your Android phone into low-power mode whenever it senses the phone is in your pocket or put away.

File Transfer

File transfer is also easier for Android users on the Nougat compared to the iOS 10. You can easily use the USB port and Android File Transfer desktop app. In fact, you don't even exactly need the Android File Transfer app to transfer files.


Since Android Nougat, the notificatiOSns have been redesigned, to the point that they are easier to read despite having smaller fonts. More or less, it has borrowed the notification design from iOS.

App Management

Like iOS 10, Nougat for Android users allows you to hide some stock apps so you won't have to see them on your home screen. Furthermore, Nougat allows you to run apps side-by-side, similar to Marshmallow, on Android smartphones.

Virtual/Augmented Reality

Nougat supports plenty of VR features, going so far as to support the Google Daydream software, but you need a compatible smartphone for Daydream.

Personal Assistant

Google Now is still amazing, though it now has some competition since Siri was opened up to third-party developers.

Google Play Store

The Google Play Store may fall behind in terms of security, revenue, and offerings, but at the same time, the Play Store features more Android apps, even if they are copycats. For example, the iOS app for Android is similar to the iPhone's WhatsApp. The iOS app allows free communicatiOSn between people worldwide. The refund system for the Play Store is, unfortunately, limited to just two hours after you purchase the Android app.

Unfortunately, the Google Play Store is home to an abundance of free and paid apps that happen to be sometimes malware-infested. Even worse are the copycats that appear in the store, especially in regions such as China. Developers are facing losses due to the number of copycats that crop up. Nevertheless, you need to be aware of what you download when on the Google Play Store.

Android Security

Samsung phones commonly use the Samsung Knox security feature, providing you with protection for both your device hardware and software. Unfortunately, it's been reported in early 2016 that three key vulnerabilities were discovered in between Knox Android versions 1.0 and 2.3.

However, the latest Android versions of Knox - beyond 2.3 - have improved, receiving the most "strong" ratings of any mobile security platform according to the report from Gartner, Inc.

Read More: Check out the latest Samsung Galaxy deals.

Android features

So Which Smartphone OS Is Better?

This is a tough question, especially with the release of iOS 10 and Android Nougat to the smartphone market. Both are quite similar to each other at this point, but Apple does need to bring forward a more efficient and powerful Siri. The Android market's smartphones offer a greater amount of customization options, which Apple sorely lacks.

However, iOS devices are easier and simpler to use. You cannot go wrong with either operating system, but it may depend on how you use your cell phone and what you plan to do on your device that may make your decision.

For a more in-depth look at each Android or iOS device, you can consult our table to compare cell phones and see which one is perfect for you.

Going to a new cell phone provider doesn't need to be difficult. We'll tell you the simple steps you can take to switch cell phone carriers. Lastly, we analyze the best cell phone plans, so you can see exactly what you're paying for when you make the switch.

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