Android vs iPhone: Which One is the Best in 2021?

Android vs iPhone is one of the most sort after things ever compared together in the world. Why? The reason is simply because they’re both king on their lane.

But have you also ever questioned yourself why iOS smartphones are more expensive than Android? You want to know which of them is the best for you, right? We will cover that in this article and at the end, you should be able to decide which one is the best mobile OS.

But whether you accept it or not, in the world of smartphones, Android and iOS are two of the most popular operating systems (OS). This fame has brought about “fan wars” among opposing fans in some online and offline groups. The likes of Windows, Symbian, BlackBerry and other OS are not up to the par.

Now, a huge competition exists between these two (Android and iOS) as they stake their claim for market dominance.  This is indeed a healthy competition as it brings out the best in both parties. 

This doesn’t take away the long-standing brawl between the iOS and Android fanboys. Unfortunately, this article doesn’t aim to put an end to this either. And for the umpteenth time, Android and iOS take to the battleground to claim supremacy over the other. Who will it be? Android, or iOS? We’ll find out at the end of this post but for now, let’s begin with the basics.

A Brief Overview of Operating Systems

Before checking out the features’ comparison of Android vs iPhone, we need to understand what really operating system is.

What is an Operating System?

An operating system (acronym OS) is a system software that controls and manages the hardware and software components of any computer. Unlike other software, the OS can’t be interacted with by the user. However, the operating system makes interaction with other components of a device. 

It is the Operation System that allows a device to access the camera, internal storage, RAM, and more. Without an operating system, your smartphone or computer is just a piece of plastic or metal. 

Mobile Operating System

Currently, there are quite a good number of mobile operating systems. The two OS (android and iOS) in focus today have gained more dominance over the years making others look irrelevant. In 2020, Globalstats Statscounter did release its annual chart of mobile and desktop OS market share. 

The charts suggest that Android has a whopping 72.48% grasp on the market while iOS comes second with a 26.9% market share. We can’t say that the Android OS is better based on these stats. 

As you would know, there are more Android manufacturers all competing against an iOS manufacturer – Apple. But how well do both operating systems perform? There’s only one way to find out!

Android vs iPhone: Features Compared

  • Android vs iPhone: Privacy/Security

At first, smartphone users did care less about privacy. Somewhere along the line, we discovered the dangers of a privacy breach and the negative impacts. After much clamor from smartphone users, there has been an improvement in this regard from Apple and Google.

Android OS Privacy

One has to be more privacy-oriented than the other. There’s no middle ground here. Placing them side-by-side, and starting with Android, we have an Open Source operating system that allows programs by any developer to be added to the source code. This at its core has its risk and has been exploited by those with harmful intentions.

But with the users in mind, Google has continually implemented ways to curb abuse of privacy. Android’s latest OS now revokes permission for apps that haven’t been opened for a certain time. You can also choose to grant “one-time” permission to apps and games. This and more have seen Android grow from an open system to an OS with users’ privacy at heart.

iPhone OS Privacy

Apple on the other hand is known as the typical African parent that is overly protective of their kids and also, restricts them in engaging in certain activities. iPhone OS is known to be a more privacy-oriented OS. They’ve continued in that tradition and refused to let their guard down. 

Apple’s latest iOS 14 got a boost in terms of privacy. You now get green or amber indicators when the camera or microphone is being used by an app. 

I’m personally tired of irrelevant ads on my android phones.

Which Mobile Phone OS has the Best Privacy/Security?

Oh ho… The iPhone Operating System (iOS) is the best when it comes to  privacy or security.

Although, Android is closing in on iPhone when it comes to security and privacy. The evidence is seen in each new version of Android. Apple continues to lead the race in this regard and I don’t see them stopping anytime soon. 

Let’s talk about another feature below;

  • Android vs iPhone: Mobile Apps

The H2H (Head-to-Head) here is very fierce. Android still leads the pack here with a little close to 3 million apps after debuting with just 500 apps. Apple is closing in on the numbers with just a little below 2 million apps on the App Store.

According to Statista, Android’s Google Playstore is the biggest app store in the world. The quoted report reads;

As of the third quarter of 2020, Android users were able to choose between 2.87 million apps, making Google Play the app store with the biggest number of available apps. The Apple App Store was the second-largest app store with almost 1.96 million available apps for iOS

The iOS platform has grown a lot in the last few years. At some point some years back, Android had the stranglehold of the worldwide mobile app market. But that can’t be said again as the lines are getting to even up. 

There’s a huge argument from tech enthusiasts that cross-platform apps work better on iOS. Because it’s much easier to create a specific app to fit a specific iOS-powered smartphone. Developers, on the other hand, create generic applications hoping they work perfectly on all supported Android devices. 

This is especially true when it comes to Instant Messaging and Social Media apps. We’ve all witnessed new app features appearing on iOS before its Android counterpart. A more recent example is Voice Tweets by Twitter. This isn’t a deal-breaker as the other party tends to get these features later on. And in some rare cases, certain app features are exclusive to one OS.

Winner: Best Mobile OS with the most numbers of apps

Android, with a massive amount of apps, takes this round.

When creating an app, more often than not, Android tends to get the nod before iOS gets that same app. Also, there are a broad variety of similar apps with similar functions that you can download. Variety they say is the spice of life! 

  • Android vs iPhone: Optimization

Ever wondered why the Apple ecosystem is so seamless and cool? Almost all components of an iPhone are made in-house. With this, Apple can match the right hardware with fitting software. They’re also able to carry out in-house quality checks.

What we see most times on Android is far from this. For the majority of the OEMs, it’s all about bringing generic components from different sources to build their smartphone. Then teaming up with Google, they now add an Android version to the mix. 

And due to the liberal nature of the Android OS, they’re able to modify the source code to create a custom version of Android for their devices. There will be glitches here and there. 

Which Mobile OS has the best Optimization?

iPhone or iOS is the best when it comes to optimization.

Although some Android device manufacturers will send updates to fix certain problems in the OS, this doesn’t solve the inconsistency that arises from using the Android OS. Certain apps don’t work better on some Android devices while they work seamlessly on iPhone OS. 

With iOS, we have an operating system that is well optimized in all aspects. So, our winner for this round goes to iOS.

  • Android vs iPhone: Software Updates

You have to admit we all love to get these updates on our smartphones. We may not have the funds to buy the latest smartphone at the time but we still crave the latest Operating System. Some Android OEMs like Pixel by Google, Samsung, and OnePlus, do offer regular updates/upgrades across their devices.

At most, you’re guaranteed 3 years of software updates after which the manufacturer stops delivering updates. Some may only get updates and security patches to fix a few bugs for some months.

Looking over to iOS, you’ve got to eulogize Apple for the support they give to their devices. The iPhone 6s, a device launched in 2015, got Apple’s latest iOS 14 five years after launch. As for updates, Apple is accustomed to dishing out important updates to its users.

Best Operating System when it comes to System Updates

Apple or iOS is the best when we are talking about system updates/upgrades.

System updates are important, they tend to improve the current condition of the OS and may come with newer features as well. Yes, some OEMs on the Android ecosystem tend to support their devices with regular updates, but that can’t be compared to what Apple gives to its latest and legacy devices.

For instance, WhatsApp will stop working on some Android and iOS phones, while some of the old iOS phones can upgrade to the advanced version, old and even most recent Android phones cannot.

Only the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Xiaomi  Mi 10T series, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro series (who are already on Android 10) will be able to upgrade to Android 11.

  • Android vs iPhone: Personalization

If you love to personalize your smartphone, and probably have some level of control over it, then you should hop on the Android train. From launchers to widgets, themes, keyboards, and more, you can make your device “yours”. 

Apple just recently gave iOS users a little bit of liberty to personalize their iPhones. This has never happened since the company started the iPhone line. Today, you can now organize your home screen, arrange apps, get updates via widgets on iOS 14. 

While these may be nice additions that should improve the user experience, they are just a fraction of what Android users have been known to enjoy daily for many years.

Best Operating System with mobile personalization

Android OS is the best when it comes to mobile personalization

It was shocking and exciting after we learned of the latest additions to iOS 14. Will Apple provide room for more personalization in its next version of iOS? Time will tell. But until then, we give Android a point in this round.

  • Android vs iPhone: Ease of Use

If you were to give or recommend a smartphone to someone new to the world of smartphones for the first time, which would it be, assuming you’ve used both iOS and Android? 

Let’s say you’ve had the opportunity to use both operating systems, and there’s this friend of yours who is planning on using his/her first smartphone, which would you recommend in terms of how easy it is to use, especially for a noob?

Well, the iPhone is easier to use than Android.

  • Android vs iPhone: Pricings

Without much ado, we all know that iOS devices are expensive. 

According to Forbes; While the average price of an iPhone jumped to $687, the price of Android devices dropped to $254. This means that the average price of the iPhone is about 2.7 times more than Android devices…

Android vs iPhone: But does the price matter when choosing between them?

Yes, it does matter. Personally, I think iPhone series are overpriced and they’re for fashion sake (especially in countries like Nigeria and India). If we take a good look at their specifications, we will see that the iPhone offers little added benefits to what Android offers.

iPhone’s storage (RAM) and Battery life are both poor when compared to Android.

Well, regardless of my personal opinion, iPhone devices are good if you can afford it. 

– Android vs iPhone: Which Smartphone Should I Buy? –

It depends on your choice. If you need a phone that’s secure, then you should go for an  iPhone. If you need a phone that its battery lasts longer, has good RAM for multitasking and is cheap, then go for Android.

Check out: Best Cheap Android Phone under $100

But Android vs iPhone, which is the best for you

A question we set out to answer at the beginning of this post. We compared them across more than six categories which led to iOS coming out tops.

The iPhone is the best mobile operating system compared to Android.

These are no doubt, two of the greatest operating systems so far. Both have their use cases and caters to different personality types. But on a holistic level, we give it to iOS.

If we check the operating system comparison here on Wikipedia, it tells us why iOS has been leading.

Although, Android phone manufacturers are now designing new smartphones to battle iPhone when it comes to design trends and other cool features on the iOS phone.

Currently, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is vigorously challenging the iPhone, and some tech reviewers rated the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as the best phone in 2020 and 2021, defeating the overrated iPhone 12 Pro Max.

DISCLAIMER: Results, facts, and figures mentioned in this article are based on current data. They are subject to change depending on when you’re reading this post.

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