10 reasons why Android is still better than iOS

January 17, 2013
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It will come as no surprise to you that we think Android is better than iOS. If you’re looking for the why, then you’ll find it right here. The most popular mobile platform in the world right now deserves its place. It’s been a good year for Android, but with a bunch of competitors waiting in the wings there’s no time to rest on laurels.

Apple’s platform is undeniably slick and it does the job for many people, but it can’t match up to Android. Even though Apple adopted Android’s superior notification system for iOS and tried to match its wireless syncing convenience, there is still a clear gap between the two. Here are ten reasons why Android is still better than iOS.

Multiple devices

There is something for everyone on the Android platform. The sheer variety of Android smartphones from manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Sony, Motorola, LG, Huawei, ZTE, and others is staggering. You can get a compact phone, something with a physical keyboard, a huge touchscreen, or go really quirky with a dual screen device. Niche demands like dual SIM are catered for and the flagship devices are on the cutting edge when it comes to specs. You’ll find the same level of variety is starting to boost the Android tablet market as well.

Attracting a huge range of manufacturers and giving them license to run amok in terms of imagination has resulted in the widest variety of devices on any platform, even blurring the line between smartphone and tablet. Compared to the limited iPhone and iPad line up, Android represents choice on a grand scale.

Multiple price points

This naturally follows on from the first point on our list. A wide variety of devices with different designs and specs caters for any budget. The exclusive nature of Apple’s products is in stark contrast to the inclusive nature of Android. Almost anyone can afford an Android phone. It might not be all-singing and dancing, but there are solid budget options that give people a true smartphone experience. The iPhone and iPad are prohibitively expensive for many, but a budget Android device doesn’t need to cost much more than an old feature phone.

Affordability has been a key driver for Android dominance worldwide and it continues to be. If you want premium devices that match and surpass the iPhone or iPad then you can find them, but if you want a budget device then Android is your only choice.

Customization

One of the strong points of Android has always been the level of customization it allows. While Apple wants to keep control of default apps and maintain a homogenous software and hardware experience, Android lets you pick your own level of customization. This extends all the way from simple things like animated wallpaper, to alternative keyboards, to custom ROM installs. Detractors will always say only hardcore geeks care about this level of customization, but at the shallow end of the pool this isn’t true. Many iOS users would love to have live updates on the home screen or access to Swiftkey. We’ve broken customization down into four key benefits Android has over iOS.

Live wallpapers

Animated backgrounds that can also be interactive enrich the smartphone experience. They come in a huge range of styles, they allow people to add a little personality to their device, and, above all, they are fun. If you’ve never dipped your toe in the live wallpaper scene you’ll be surprised at just how many great live wallpapers are out there. They can also deliver useful information like the latest weather or encompass fun and addictive games.

Widgets

Android’s widgets have long been a feather in its cap compared to the static rows of icons you find in iOS. Even Microsoft saw the advantage, developing the Live Tiles system for Windows Phone. Widgets are still a major advantage for Android over iOS. Simply put, you can see all of the information you want at a glance on your home screen without having to fire up an app.

Custom launchers

If you want control over how your Android smartphone or tablet looks then you’ve probably tried out a custom launcher. You can choose from a wide variety of custom launcher apps in Google Play and tweak everything from your home screen layout, to your page transitions, to effects and even gestures. There’s no risk involved with launcher apps and you can really open up a world of possibilities.

Custom ROMs

You can actually replace the stock ROM that came with your device with a custom ROM if you want to. This is essentially installing a new operating system and many Android users do it because their carrier or manufacturer is slow to upgrade to the latest version of the Android platform, but you may also do it for better performance or to gain access to some add-ons or tools. This is definitely the extreme end of Android customization and you need to exercise a little caution to ensure that you don’t run into trouble. That said, as long as you can follow a tutorial and your device is supported, the benefits can be enormous.

Integration with Google services and products

A while back we discussed why Google and Android will prevail over Apple and iOS and this was one of the main reasons. Android devices integrate seamlessly with Google’s array of services. People are increasingly using their mobile devices to go online and Google is king of the web. Google Docs, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Music, Google+, Google Chrome…the list goes on, and Apple and iOS are not keeping up. The Apple Maps app debacle is a good example of iOS falling short. Despite the obvious animosity it’s tough to imagine iOS without Google apps, but even if they remain present as options beyond the defaults there’s no escaping the fact that the best Google experience is to be found on Android.

Google Now

This stands out from the crowd of Google services and, while the excellent voice search (which outperforms Siri) has been rolled into the Google iOS app, there are elements of Google Now that you can only enjoy on Android. When we look to our technology to push things forward and offer real convenience boosts to daily life, the predictive and pre-emptive nature of Google Now as it seeks to fulfill your desires before you think to search, could be truly revolutionary. It makes better use of mobile technology than anything else currently out there and as it improves it could well prove to be an important USP for Android.

More free apps and games

It may be a double-edged sword, but you can’t escape the fact that there are more free apps and games on Android than there are on iOS. Sometimes ports of the same apps that carried a price tag on iOS are free on Android. There also seems to be a greater willingness to pursue the freemium or ad-supported model. Sadly, this may be, at least partly, down to piracy concerns and, while more hits are being ported across, the ability to earn more from iOS development still means more high quality, premium apps and games release on iOS first. As Android continues to dominate we should see a change here, but it remains one of Android’s biggest challenges.

Speed of improvement

Bugs, lag, an ugly interface, a lack of apps – Android’s weaknesses have been systematically dealt with by a determined development team. The Android platform is unrecognizable compared with the first release and it continues to improve and evolve at a faster pace than the competition. That big user base and the wide range of manufacturers producing Android devices can only drive further improvements to greater heights. While iOS stagnates, paralyzed by the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of thinking, Android continues to innovate and improve at a faster rate.

What’s important to you?

We’d love to hear why you think Android is better than iOS. Are your motives for choosing Android covered above or did something else attract you to the platform? Post a comment and let us know.

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