5 Reasons To Choose iPhone Over Android [Opinion]

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If you’re considering buying your first smartphone, you’ve got a fairly big decision to make. As well as choosing a carrier, plan and minimum contract period you then have to trawl through the barrage of handsets until you find something you like.

Most buyers will probably end up choosing between the Android operating system and an iPhone, running iOS. So how do you know which is right for you? In this editorial I’ll put the iPhone argument forward and explain why I think Apple’s plan is better than Google’s. Don’t forget to have your say in the comments.

UI Response & Lag

I’ve had enough terrible mobile phones in the past to understand the value of a smooth and responsive UI, and this is guaranteed with the iPhone. Pretty much every mundane task you take for granted – scrolling your Facebook feed, looking up a phone number or responding to email – is silky smooth with very little lag at all. Even if you managed to pick up an ageing 3GS you’d still be pleasantly surprised as the OS glides through most tasks the way you’d expect.

Unfortunately, Android has still not quite caught up despite Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) making leaps and bounds over previous versions. The Galaxy Nexus is surely one of the most talked-about devices of 2011, but even it seems to have some issues. This controversial TechCrunch article claimed: “It’s still not as smooth as it should be. For the most part, ICS fixes many of Android’s performance issues, but there are plenty of times that you’ll still see stutters here and there.” Let’s not forget the multi-touch issues and rotation lag that has plagued the device as well, making some apps and games unusable.

Google even acknowledged Android’s lag issues before Christmas, and whilst Ice Cream Sandwich is a huge improvement not every brand new Android phone in the shop will be running it. So why, when manufacturers continue to pile on the power, is Android still stuttering through some pretty basic tasks?

Too Many Handsets

The dazzling array of phones sporting the Android operating system is enough to confuse many people considering a purchase, especially your average consumer. Globally HTC released 4 Android phones last year, Motorola and Sony Ericsson turned out 6 but none could match Samsung who incredibly managed a total of 12.

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Aside from the release date, choosing between these phones is bound to confuse your average consumer. The names become even more obscure (see Android Phone Name Generator for a humorous take on the situation) with only letters, words like “Droid” or “Galaxy” and screen size to tell the models apart.

Apple’s response is a one-size-fits-all device, released every 12 months or so. The company devotes its time to one product and the multi-device iOS operating system that every iPhone uses. The result might be limiting in terms of choice, but when it comes to quality of build, software-hardware integration and support, no manufacturer comes close. Which leads me on to…

Update Cycles

Many people were surprised when Apple announced that their iOS5 update would be compatible with the 3GS, a device that was released mid-2009 (making it three years old when the update hit). This level of support is much easier for Apple to provide considering they produce much fewer devices and control the operating system on which the products run.

As previously mentioned, there are a lot of Android phones on the market today with varied hardware set-ups, many running outdated versions of the operating system. The problem with releasing 12 phones in one year (Samsung, I’m looking at you) is that many of them will probably never see a single update, partly due to the perceived cost-effectiveness of updating “old” devices (for free) and partly due to the fact that the manufacturers do not control the core OS.

The result? A horrible mess of varying Android versions on the shelf of your local smartphone retailer and updates that might never arrive. Much of the time this update process is hindered by another bane of the Android OS…

Preloaded Crapware

Be it the carrier or the manufacturer, Android phones are guaranteed to come with some sort of custom interface that is designed to make your life easier. The only problem is that in the long run these interfaces – HTC Sense, Motorola MotoBlur, Samsung TouchWiz to name a few – slow down the upgrade process as they introduce more work for developers.

Another issue (which is often purely subjective) is that these interfaces may bloat and slow down devices, with no straightforward “disable” option. Tweakers prepared to flash their phones on a regular basis might be happy enough with a custom ROM, but for your average consumer who just wants a phone that works: this is not the way it should be.

Apple were stubborn over crapware ever since the iPhone was announced, declaring that no additional carrier-installed software would ship with their devices. This ensures a smooth uniform experience, regardless of whether your device is 3 weeks or 3 years old, and to top it off there’s no custom interface to write for when it comes to updates.

Malware

One thing Android users have to worry about is malware, which became a real problem in 2011. In August of last year McAfee announced a 76% surge in malware over a matter of months with incidents reported in the Android Market and seemingly benign apps. Now the problem is so bad that there are dedicated scanners designed to remove malware for the platform, such as Avast! for Android 2.1 and above.

Another report from McAfee in December of last year announced:

Apple so far has done an excellent job of securing its devices; as we write this there were no reported cases of malware for iPhones that have not been jailbroken.

The report criticises the Android security model and goes on to analyse Apple’s approach as proactive and Google’s as reactive, stating:

from the security perspective [Google’s approach] creates exactly the kind of environment in which malware gangs feel comfortable.

Clearly, there’s work to be done.

Conclusion

These are my personal reasons for choosing and above all recommending the iPhone to friends and strangers alike. Whilst this is an editorial, there’s no denying that Android devices have become fragmented, threatened with a lack of updates, loaded with custom manufacturer ROMs and are the highest-risk devices on the market when it comes to mobile malware.

Finally, it must be said that the iPhone is not a perfect device, especially for users who don’t appreciate the locked-down nature of the OS. Then again, if you want an easy to use, rock-solid device with performance and build quality to match…

What do you think? Do you own an Android device? An iPhone? I bet you’re itching to get stuck in, so have your say in the box below.

Image Credit: HTC Sense (Wikimedia Commons)

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Comments (87)
  • Jesse

    You didn’t even come close to talking about the versatility of apps and widgets that aren’t available on iphone. Droid’s apps/shortcuts/widgets are completely customizable and allow instant info… who wants to have use shortcut buttons just to dim the screen?? Dim a droid directly… Droid allows every instant accessibility you can think of. Widgets are where its at. Iphone better than droid? Not if you like to save time and press thousands of less buttons over a life time, just to get from point a to point b….

    Spend more time reading info from your desktop, rather than digging into you phone to retrieve info…. view your notes weather and mail, directly! Iphones are limited beyond belief, they miss the whole convenience factor and THAT is what the point of a smart phone is.

    Iphones bug up too… i just got one and I have to cancel some apps from downloading, just so they stop crashing during installation!!! It also froze a few times too in the first day of ownership.

    I am a user of both types of phones… and Droid wins by a mile

  • Sasu

    Are you kidding me… The iPhone does lag… Just cause they’re aren’t that many cases or times when we hear about it… Trust me… They do and can lag… Both iPod and IPhone… My iPod and my moms iPhone do lag… Very much but I’m
    Able to deal with it… I’m going to switch to android no matter what anyone says…

  • Ramachandran.G

    nice tutorial ,,now only i can oly understand the benefits of Android.

  • Lola

    This is probably the worst article I’ve ever read simply because I can counter every single argument they make. Number 1) Ice Cream Sandwich. So stfu. Number 2) Are you kidding me? Sorry Androids are customizable and are made for you to choose the one that fits your personal tastes and lifestyle. Number 3) Sure, you can upgrade your iPhone 3gs to iOS 5, if you wanna slug your phone and kill your battery without using it. Plus, part of the beauty of Androids is the ability to ROOT and run custom ROMS on it that will improve your phone’s performance and, with the right processor and if you find the right rom, you can even run a more recent version of Android. Illegally of course, but isn’t piracy wonderful? Number 4) That’s why you root and delete the bloatwear and run a custom UI. N00bz. Number 5) Sure, if the person is an idiot and is installing untrustworthy apps off of the internet then they’ll get malware. But so do tons of other types of technology if you’re not careful. Just don’t be an idiot. There’s a ridiculous amount of energy that has to be put in to install apps outside of the app store which includes jailbreaking your iPhone. There’s no need to root to install outside apps. Customization > being a phone zombie. Free apps off the internet > paid apps from the app store. Android > iPhone. Always. Bottom line, stop trying to pretend like your ridiculously expensive iPhones are better than our awesome Androids because they’re not.

  • Crystal Dunscomb

    Could not thank you enough for the articles on your site. I know you add a lot of time and energy into all of them and hope you know how considerably I enjoy it. I hope I could do something identical for another individual sooner or later.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.