Why Android Is Much Better Than iOS on Smartphones

by: Chit AgustinMay 22, 2011

Without a doubt, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are the most dominant operating systems in the world of smartphones today. These operating systems are often used as major benchmarks in ongoing heated debates over which smartphone is better than the other. Without batting an eyelash, almost everybody agrees that both platforms are solid, well-designed, functional, and feature-loaded.

However, there are certain areas where one platform simply has an edge over the other. Android’s being an opensource platform is one major upper hand over iOS. The open platform strategy of Google has made many manufacturers prefer Android to iOS or any other platform. As a consequence of the open-doors policy, smartphone manufacturers do not feel any shackle at all as far as customizing the OS to the specific needs of the smartphones they produce is concerned.

That being said, here are some Android features that give it a very big edge over iOS.

Custom Read-Only Memory (ROM)

The ROM (read-only memory) is the smartphone’s operating system. A custom ROM can provide various enhancements to an Android smartphone. For instance, you can opt to install your own version rather than utilizing the one that comes with the smartphone. Also, custom ROMs can support features that you can’t find on official firmware. For instance, your phone may have the hardware for FM radio and WiFi tethering but your phone’s manufacturer may have disabled that functionality on your handset. With a custom ROM, you can easily listen to FM radio and tether your WiFi so you can host your own wireless hotspot.

App Integration

Your life when using SMS, phone features, and voicemail on an Android smartphone would be hassle-free with real app integration. Such integration is hard to come by on an iPhone.

Take the case of Google Voice. Such a very brilliant piece of technology. It’s been ported to the iPhone, yes, but it just wouldn’t work as smoothly as in an Android phone. The usual behavior of iPhone apps is to direct the user to the default dialer or voicemail apps whenever the user has to call or listen to voicemail. An iPhone user wanting to use Google Voice full-time on an iPhone will have to take extra steps just to reach the Google Voice app. Android-phone users spend a very small fraction of the time it takes an iPhone user to make Google Voice calls.

The reason is that apps such as Google Voice on Android smartphones integrate right away with the operating system. Thus, calls you want to make through Google Voice will always be made via Google Voice. Contacts that you click on your browser or in Google Maps will always go through Google Voice rather than be redirected to a different dialer app.


Flash support is another touchy topic in the debate between Android and iOS. Android embraces Flash; iOS doesn’t, preferring HTML5 for delivery of media-rich content. Apple holds on to the strong belief that Flash is the major culprit for fast battery drains on smartphones.

Yet, today’s media-rich Web seems to have made Flash somewhat indispensable. A lot of multimedia sites run entirely on Flash. By embracing Flash, Android gives its users the joy of experiencing Flash-based sites.

PC Control of Phone

Several Android apps give users the ability to control their Android smartphones from a desktop. iOS users can also VNC their smartphones, but the experience would never be similar to using an entirely separate app.

Installation of Apps

Apps installation is a breeze on Android. Using your smartphone, search for the app on Android Market (or on a third-party site such as AppBrain), click the Install button, and that’s it. Installation complete.

For the iPhone, the usual and more commonly used method for installing an app is to hook up your phone to iTunes (which needs to be installed to your computer), look for apps, and download the app from App Store to your computer. Truth of the matter is, the iPhone or iPad don’t function without chaining them to iTunes, and you still need to sync your iOS device to get things functioning.

The other way is similar to Android’s over-the-air installation of apps. But, for this method to work, you will need either an iPhone 3G, a first-generation iPhone, or an iPod Touch. Your device must be running at least iPhone 2.0.

Better Notifications

iPhone has some problems with its notifications. Since pop-up notifications are limited, the iPhone can only take one at a time, and because of the absence of multitasking functions, apps must be open in order for them to display notifications.

On the other hand, Android has a convenient notification bar which shows an icon for each notification waiting to be viewed. Also, the notification bar can be dragged downward to show more details about the notifications. Android also enables app developers to make notification details accessible from the lock screen; this ability available even to non-native Android apps is something that the iPhone provides only to its native apps.

The way that iOS deals with multiple push notifications is, in fact, a very common complaint from iPhone users and developers alike. Imagine a pile of notifications and not being able to know which app each one came from. Android deals with this waaaaaaaaaay much better.

So, there. Six major reasons that tip the scale in favor of Android. I’m sure there are more. Think of some and share them in the comments section.

Reference: International Business Times

  • Even though Apple has had the honor of bringing modern smartphones to the world, Google has much better improved on the concept than Apple itself has.

    App installation is indeed much easier on Android than it is on iOS. I also think it’s slightly backwards of iOS not to support Flash.

    And the fact that iOS4 geotags you also has not improved my opinion of iPhones much. But then again, rooted Androids can’t rent movies anymore.

    There’s always going to be something wrong with everything, I suppose.

    Anyway… cool site. I’m a fan!

    • silegeek

      Actually I think the whole smartphone thing kicked off with the Nokia N95, and suchlike. Something which Apple, typically, tries to take credit for regardless, rather like other things *coughfacetimecough*

  • Owner of all devices

    Installation on iOS devices is the same as Android. You can access the iTunes store directly on your iOS device and install, without having to use a computer. So your app installation argument is invalid. Maybe you should have mentioned the fact that in order to even use an iOS device when you first get it is the need to hook it up to a iTunes on a computer.

  • Filip

    Have used all 3! Yes 3, what about BlackBerry?
    i’m à big fan of Android and iOS , but what I mis is tha notification line on à BB.
    Love the blinking led with à notification on à BB, any androids have this?

    A other good test would be à reception and sound/sprak test bet een the 3.
    since I have used all 3, I feel that the BB hase overal best reception.


    • LaGeek

      Inspire has a LED notification, and a lot of other phones do as well.

      • Droid X has one as well. The notification issues have been what has kept me away from iOS thus far. However, it appears Apple may have copied androids system for iOS 5, we’ll see how it works out.

        Chris Sellon – CoolProducts.com

    • Jbourne

      Herp Derp, you like a blinking light? You have better reception on a BB? Are you mentally ill or handicapped in some way? Your reception quality has to do with so many factors that have nothing to do with operating system. Please, use Google before you post something this ignorant in a good article again.

    • Matt Sabs

      a great deal of android phones have that blinking-light feature.

  • Sahteeposta1

    I have an iPhone. The worst thing is App Store apps are isolated from the OS. E.g Swype is impossible to develop. Yeah i’ve jb’d but Cydia is not official. However it’s legal. And even standart apps reaaaaaaally way behind from other smartphones. THERE IS NO WAY TO MAKE ALBUMS AND CONTACT GROUPS w/o Cydia apps or another App Store app. What apple says is organize them with iTunezorbt@&?%#… The phone has ability to transfer files with Bluetooth. Apple doesn’t bring it. A Cydia app called Celeste does it. No widgets, no themes… Multitasking can be done with Backgrounder. But it wastes memory. To be an App Store developer you pay 100$ per year. Android is 5$ thats why iOS apps are paid. I’m Turkish and the keyboard shows only Ascii chars. To make a “ğ” I need to hold g. At least I should type it in Landscape mode. On the other hand, in Google Market there are clone apps. And generally you need to buy another phone to upgrade OS. And yes, no games. But playing games in a smartphone wastes battery. Its not a PSP. You need to charge freq. And I don’t play games anymore because of the school. It’s personal, if you want to play games buy an iPhone Or Psp2.

  • “For the iPhone, the usual and more commonly used method for installing an app is to hook up your phone to iTunes (which needs to be installed to your computer), look for apps, and download the app from App Store to your computer. Truth of the matter is, the iPhone or iPad don’t function without chaining them to iTunes, and you still need to sync your iOS device to get things functioning.”

    As quote from the original poster, total lie. I go months of downloading apps on my iPhone and iPad without using iTunes. iTunes is just for backup. I can install the same app on my iPhone and iPad without iTunes. Apple has, from day 1, allowed direct download+install onto the iPhone/iPad without iTunes. I know a couple of people that never use iTunes on their PC.

    • Rohitsahu111

      I know most of the people who never use laptop to install applications on android smartphones…!

    • Jared

      When you bought your small tiny iPhone home I bet it was crying to be hooked up to iTunes, an android phone is completely independent and that gives them an advantage, iOS products are also terribly underpowered running on apple a6s which Samsung makes for them! They request last years tech for their new phones! I bet YOU have never had an android phone that is why you think it is the best thing ever!
      I have owned an iPhone before and an iPod touch but when you use a android phone you experience a TRUE smartphone.
      I will admit that iPhone is a smoother experience but android feels much more functional, easier and user friendly, you might realize that literally all 200 new functions in ios 5 have been copied from android, wifi sw updates, notif bars, twitter integration, lock screen motifs and the rest copied from google!, please go and experience android everyday and you may find its just better!
      P.s I now have sgs2 :)

  • Milan

    For me smartphones started with symbian and Sony Ericsson P800-900 and 910 devices. While P990 sucked big time becouse of new symbian….all of older ones were great devices with some features I still miss ( like integrated handwriting recognition and ability to flip the phone and use it …as a phone with simple call stuff.

    On the behalf of IOS vs Android…well i’m here becouse I hate one-minded approach my Iphone3gs IOS use and I’m considering an android phone. So let me tell you for what I hate.
    – Since Iphone 3 there hasn’t been such big improvements to the Iphone 4g. Actualy I can write them all down : ios upgrades, faster hardware, more storage, better camera, camera flash, front camera, retina display….whhaah…and it’s 3-3g-3gs-4g — four generations.

    And things that are obviously going to stay like they are and I hate :
    – Unable to acess phone battery
    – Must use Itunes, From day one. Belive me i’ve tried with open SSH and buzz player to fill in my music and vid’s with a jailbreaken phone…but it’s so much pain becouse iOS don’t let apps integrate in to the system.
    – No alternative..From a PC there are alternative way of connecting , but iTunes bloatware which I hate must be installed all time. Well i’ve got a news for Apple fans – the Earth is not one-minded and lot’s of people like to do stuff diffrently than apple imagined.
    – Play flash
    – Integration between applications…no way. Every application has it’s own space and it’s unreachable from other applications. I freaking want to arrange my folders and set which application is going to open which type of file. Period.
    – Apps settings, apps crashing, so apps go onlinge on their own easily.
    – Due to all these it’s impossible to do seamless integration of the following…Voip calling and phonebook, different default browser, PC communication up/download and file listings, media playing and sync of stuff and contacts other than apple way.
    – lack of customisation feature ( without jailbreak).

    For how long are we going to fight against apple’s crappy company policy of having iOS closed way…jailbreaking every new iOS version.
    Well …answer is simple..you hit them where it hurts so they listen…DON’T BUY APPLE !!!!
    I’ve got to give it to the apple…without them it would not be the same. Devices similar to iphone and ipad may never seen a market. Windows would never clean up their crappy buggy code, touchpad would never been multitouch. User intuitive and simple design would never existed if Microsoft and google engineers didn’t have competition. Take for example how iOS recognises and uses wlan…sweet. Now compare to Win XP or WIN7….iOS is way better and simplier. And then they blow it with pushing their policy with one button mouse …this could go endless

    • rocketpanda

      Haha get your facts together Milan. There’s no such thing as an iPhone 3 or 4g. There’s iPhone, 3G, 3GS, 4, and now 4S. So the difference from 3G to 4 is 2 generations, not 4. Not gonna bother going into all the details, but there are tons of differences between the 3G and 4 (GPS is one). Starting with iOS 5 you don’t have to use iTunes at all. Flash is overrated. That customization on Android gets you a buggy, inconsistent user interface and terrible battery life (My friend’s HTC EVO lasts about 4 hours on 4G). The pointless customization by manufacturers of the OS, described here as a positive, is probably the worst part about Android. It leads to months and months of delay in manufacturers releasing updates. Samsung took about 9 months to release 2.2 for Galaxy S and the phone was released 2 months after 2.2 was. I bought a brand new phone a month after it came out and it didn’t come with the latest 3 month old OS? That’s BS. It’s been 11 months since 2.3 came out and Samsung still hasn’t released it for Galaxy S. Sony and LG didn’t upgrade the OS of a single Android phone in 2010. Never mind the terrible update schedules, the differences between 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 are mostly trivial anyway. I shouldn’t have to root my phone and install a buggy 3rd party ROM just to get the latest OS. Tethering? Maybe that’s important to you, but everywhere I go has free wi-fi. Work, home, friend’s apartments, restaurants, bars, cafes, airports, train stations, trains, and cars will too soon. Before you call me an Apple fanboy: I have a Samsung Galaxy S and a free iPad that I got from work. I use a PC and have never bought an Apple product.

  • Phoenix

    I’m sorry, but what is this crap about the App Store on iPhone and needing a computer? Do you guys even own a single iOS device? You know, so you can back up the claims you make about Apple’s horrible OS? We’ve had an App Store on the iPhone, without any need for a computer, since before anyone had even heard of Android. If you’re gonna bash iPhone, at least do it with correct facts.

    • I own an ipod touch and a galaxy s.and my bro owns an iphone 4.what i can say is iphone and android both are good.i prefer iphone for gaming because more selection of games and it has a great design.But that’s all i do with the iphone.first i listen music with my ipod touch(eventhough itunes is over price),but now i use my android cuz there is google music.

      android killer feature:widgets,mulitple carriers,different ui from different company,different deign,more selection of phone.Open source android market.(big key),faster processor.

      iphone killer:design,appstore,intergrated nicely with itunes.(but now android can offer you that with google music ecosystem.
      i function well with my android so i choose android.it is up to you wheather you think which one fuction well for you.in my opinion the price of the unlocked version of the iphone is a high which is not worth it with the specs.

    • Wadaholic

      I used to be a long time iOS user, own both a iPod Touch and an iPad 2.
      Have recently gotten involved in game design, for smartphones. I thought hey, this seems to be a fun market to get into. I really want to make games for iOS, but it seems I MUST own a Mac, which I thought was a bit odd, why I cannot use a Linux/Windows system for transferring builds is beyond me.

      Also, why do I have to pay Apple money to be able to publish stuff to their app store, its free for Android.

      In the end I just decided to give up and buy a Android smartphone (over a new iPhone) and was flabbergasted as to why people would prefer iPhone over Android. There are so many better features on an Android smart phone. Flash (which is a big one), the ability to have control over my files, Tinyshark which is basicly Grooveshark, which Apple banned from their appstore, and the fact that it only takes 20-30 seconds to get a build of my app running on the device FOR FREE.

      Just my thoughts, still like my iOS devices, but was very disappointed about how locked down the systems were, making them useless for what I needed to do with them.

    • mark Perkins

      What did ya not keep reading or something right after saying that one way is to go threw itunes for apps as any phone still running IOS 1 does have to do he the said “Truth of the matter is, the iPhone or iPad don’t function without chaining them to iTunes, and you still need to sync your iOS device to get things functioning.” 100% true fact to get even newest iphones started you need to sync it at least one at start to itunes. Then if you kept reading he said the other method “The other way is similar to Android’s over-the-air installation of apps.” “Your device must be running at least iPhone 2.0.” all completely true and what he didn’t mention and i don’t know why is your that for ever app done over air you must put in a password which is retarded consider all IOS apps are said to be safe and secure! Now that we got those facts strait, lets get the fact that Iphones came first statement of yours booom…. another factoid of yours that your wrong about Android operating system was around long before IOS it just was not purchased by Google until after IOS came out but was still around first in fact Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 mean while IOS and Iphone was not created tell 2007 so yeaaaaa… ya didn’t get any facts strait!!!

  • MRT Annoymous

    iPhone is simple, my 5 year old brother figured out how to use an iPod in 10 secs. Give him an android phone and….
    Basicially, iOS rocks because of simplicity and android can only be used by IT experts

    • rocketpanda

      I agree that iOS is simple to use, it’s one of their design principles, but I disagree that Android “can only be used by IT experts”. I have an Android and I happen to be an IT professional, but I think the situation is that IT professionals use Android because it offers the customization and tweaking they want and iOS does not. It’s not because only IT people can use them. Anyone can use Android, and obviously more than just IT professionals do as Android has the largest market share of any mobile OS. Just because Android has the reputation for technical customization and tweaking doesn’t mean you have to do that to use it. I own one and haven’t done anything to it that wouldn’t be considered standard use. It all depends on what features are more important to you. I’m actually switching to iOS soon because I want a polished, reliable experience on my phone. I’m fine tweaking a computer, both hardware and software, but I don’t feel the need to do that with my phone. As a computer science student I actually saw many, many hardcore IT geeks using Apple products, from laptops, to iPods, to iPhones.

  • Robin Petersson

    Another reason to praise Android is that it works on so many different devices, different screen sizes, processors, speeds, and external inputs. iOS only needs to work on one device, perhaps two if you throw in the iPad. So from a technological point of view the Android OS is much more impressive, versatile, and usable.

    • AussieMatt

      but non have had much thought put into the user exeprince . apple made one product and done a awsome job on it. android vives its product and puts it into a blender of untrained wannabes and hopes something will come out the otherside but to me its like a mix of dogfood with cavier. Not tasty. however ios is starting to get buggy with apps closing so i brought this galaxy note and it feels not good. Much more buggy. I have 7sed windows 7.5 and loved the demo in the shop however its still not released here. hope it is bug free but knowing microsoft it probably will be. what i loved about it is that it had been designed with people in mind first for profit not making many apps for profit i.e. its designed so you dont need to downl9ad many apps that arnt intergrated into the system as its all there on purchase.

      • Robin Petersson

        Android is not responsible for the look of what some “untrained wannabes” designed. I can agree with you that some of the cheaper phones have kind of lousy designs compared to the iPhone. But comparing apples to apples, the top of the line Android phones to the iPhone, they are equal if not better. Samsung has a very tight and beautiful interface, and contrary to iPhones you can dowload other looks and skins for your phone and customize your phones to whatever you like. There are even iPhone skins which will make your Android look like an iPhone.

        So from a technical point of view Android wins hands down. From an aesthetic look I personally think Samsung is the winner.

  • Ahkyaraeka

    Sorry I don’t mean to offend. There is few thing that I like to say.

    Custom ROM?

    Android is really customizable for Developers. But for users, why do we need it. I mean, We just want to use the phone. We are customers, we are not developer. I ask most of the android user, some don’t know what is ROM, and some don’t even know custom ROM exist in Android. Yes it might be suitable for crazy tech guy, but not for pure customers. What we want is user friendly and easy to understand. Most of user don’t bother about custom ROM, some don’t dare to do, sine “DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK” is everywhere. So what I want to say is we don’t want or we don’t need complex procedure. We need and want simple procedure for we want to accomplish. iPhone do offer simple producers, but with a few limitation. Android do offer complex procedure with the risk, but variety of customizable. For customers, iPhone is better option, But for crazy tech guy and developer, yes android is better. That why I can’t accept android is better than iPhone. Each have their own advantages.

    Apps Integration?

    Yes it is true iPhone is lack of Apps integration. For example, user can’t use emotion picture in sms, can’t integrate Facebook contact in contact book. But this can be done by jail breaking the iOS. About the google voice, iOS user got better app, which is Siri. Although Siri is still in Beta state, it still much better than Google Voice.


    Come on guys, how many of you have good experience with the flash, Even on android, if watching flash movie clip is really pain in the ass. Can’t press full screen button, play button or some time because of the flash loading, the web is stuck and lagging. Those guy who watching anime online might notice how the flash is really suck and how it drain the phone battery. Although it can argue that android flash is better than nothing, I can’t see much reason why we need flash.

    PC Control on phone?

    I really can’t see the much different. I own Samsung Galaxy S 2 and iPhone 4. I use both phone to control PC. Really nothing different. Ah!! third party apps have much better touch gesture.

    Installation an Apps?

    I agree with Phoenix. Really, if you guy want to talk about iOS 2.0 it ok, compare with the same android OS which is available at the same time with iOS 2.0. Come on Don’t compare Android Gingerbread with iOS 2.0. Be fair.


    Yes, in past iPhone suck in Notification. But Now iOS 5 and Android 4.0, Notification really don’t play much different. Both same same. Some would like android notification and some will like iOS. I doesn’t mean one is better than the other. It just taste different.

    The one who complain about iOS, please use iOS 5 before you complain.

  • It’s the other way around

    Suck it android, Apple wins again

    • Jared

      No proof… You can’t just claim apple is better

  • AussieMatt

    i have both amd the open source isnt doing android any justic it just makes a big mess on the phone. i am not a ios fanboy but i can easily say its better and less time will be spent trhing to make things work on it compared to amdroid. While writing this on my galaxy note there is crap coming up all over my sweb page. intergrated solutions are m7ch better like what microsoft is working on. fucking writting on this is an arse. If only windows wasnt so slow to market i would be happy owner of one. i used them in tbe display in hk very nice phones (nokia lumina 800 or 900)

  • Nick

    Good one. This article talks about 10 more reasons that any general user can utilize. http://www.thegadgetmasters.com/2012/04/08/10-reasons-why-android-4-0-ice-cream-sandwich-is-better-than-apples-ios/

  • Raj

    Android Rocks… :)

  • evale

    there is a Reason these phones are Called SmartPhones. Not only the Phones are smart, Users need to be a little bit of Smart too or else YES, they can use the allmighty iPhones.
    if User friendliness is the only major Advantage for iPhone users, go back to The OLD Flip Phones and you dont need to worry about anything at all.
    Customization is not an issue for most users, I agree, but but why not have the Choice, I am an Android user for two years and never even played with Launchers as I was just happy to use Stock UI. But hey, new stuffs coming out all the time and all the heated arguments and debates made me look into my Phones capability and GLAD i did look. ANDROID simply rocks and it can be almost Impossible to be bored with you Android Phone