Billions of smartphones and tablets worldwide run on either Android or iOS, making them the two most prevalent mobile operating systems. While both platforms have their respective advantages and disadvantages, their devoted fan bases swear by their preferred choice. The question of which one is objectively superior is difficult to answer since users’ preferences and requirements vary. Nevertheless, in this post, we’ll delve into areas where Android has a clear advantage over iOS.
1. System-wide back button
- Consistency: The presence of a system-wide back button in Android ensures that users have a uniform navigation experience across all applications. However, in iOS, the responsibility of incorporating an in-app back button lies with the individual app developers. This can lead to inconsistencies in design and functionality across different apps, making it harder for users to navigate.
- Flexibility: Android’s back button allows users to quickly navigate to the previous screen or page, regardless of the app they’re using. In contrast, iOS’s in-app back button only takes users back one step within the current app, making it less flexible and efficient.
- User Control: Android’s back button puts more control in the hands of the user, as they can easily go back to previous screens or pages without having to navigate through menus or search for specific buttons. This can make for a more intuitive and streamlined user experience.
2. Multitasking is better on Android phones
When it comes to multitasking, Android phones usually provide greater flexibility and a wider range of options. For instance, Android users can split the screen between two apps, enabling both to be used simultaneously. Some Android phones also offer a “pop-up view” feature, allowing the resizing of an app in a window.
In contrast, iOS adopts a more limited approach to multitasking. While users can switch between apps quickly, iOS does not support split-screen multitasking to the same extent as Android. However, iPad OS does have split-screen multitasking.
3. Storage options
Android devices typically come with a microSD card slot that allows users to expand their storage capacity by up to 1TB or more. This feature enables users to store additional photos, videos, music files, and other data on their devices without worrying about running out of space or incurring extra costs for cloud storage services.
In contrast, iOS devices do not have microSD card slots. Therefore, the only means of increasing storage space on an iPhone or iPad is to purchase a model with higher internal storage capacity, which can be more expensive or utilize cloud storage services such as iCloud or Google Drive.
4. File management
Android also gives you more control over your files than iOS does. Android has a built-in file manager app that lets you browse through your internal storage and microSD card folders. You can also use third-party file manager apps that offer more features like cloud integration,
compression/decompression tools etc. You can easily copy/move/delete/rename/share files between different locations using these apps.
5. Android has F-Droid, an open-source app store
F-Droid is an open-source app repository for Android devices that provides free and open-source software (FOSS) applications. Unlike the Apple App Store, F-Droid does not require users to create an account or submit personal information to download apps. Additionally, all apps on F-Droid are free and open-source, meaning that users have access to the source code and can modify the app if they have the technical expertise.
Having access to F-Droid can be advantageous for those who prefer open-source software or want more control over their devices. It allows users to download apps that are not available on the Google Play Store and offers a level of transparency that is not always present in closed-source apps.
6. Better customization
One of the biggest advantages of Android is its high level of customization. In contrast to iOS, which restricts users to Apple’s design preferences and app defaults, Android empowers you to personalize your device to your liking. This includes modifying your home screen launcher, icons, widgets, themes, fonts, notification sounds, and various other settings. You can even choose any browser, media player, photo editor, or any other app as your preferred option for opening particular file types or links. Moreover, you have the option to install custom ROMs that substitute the pre-installed firmware with an alternative version of Android or an entirely new operating system.
iOS also has improved its customization options over the years with features like widgets on the home screen, app library, app clips, dark mode, custom app icons (possible with the Shortcuts app), and more. However, it still lags behind Android in terms of flexibility and variety.
7. Android is more diverse and niche
The open-source nature of Android allows for a broad range of smartphone prices, from budget-friendly options to high-end flagship devices, giving consumers a wider selection based on their budget and preferences. Moreover, manufacturers can produce specialized devices that cater to particular niches, such as outdoor rugged smartphones for construction, gaming smartphones or tablets intended for use in educational or business settings.
8. The Android Emulation scene is better
Android users have access to a wide variety of emulation apps and options that can be used to run games and apps from other platforms, such as older consoles and operating systems. Additionally, there are several third-party emulators available on the Google Play Store.
On the other hand, iOS is a closed-source platform, and as a result, there are fewer options for emulation apps and options. Apple has strict guidelines when it comes to apps that are allowed on the App Store, and this limits the availability of third-party emulators. However, there are still some emulators available for iOS devices, but they may not be as feature-rich as their Android counterparts.
9. Android is opensource
There are various benefits associated with Android’s open-source nature, such as:
- Affordable devices: Because Android is open source, manufacturers can use it for free, which results in lower costs for devices.
- Innovation: By being open source, there is increased potential for innovation and collaboration. This is because developers have the opportunity to enhance and expand upon pre-existing code.
10. Android has App Store alternatives
The main advantage of Android having more app store alternatives is the increased freedom and flexibility it provides to users. Here are some of the pros of having multiple app store options on Android:
- Greater choice: With multiple app stores, users have access to a wider range of apps than they would with just one store. This increases the likelihood of finding an app that meets their needs.
- More competition: Multiple app stores competing for users can lead to lower prices, better deals, and improved services.
- Reduced monopoly: A single app store with exclusive control over all apps can lead to a monopoly situation, which may result in higher prices and reduced innovation.
- Customization: Different app stores cater to different user needs, providing a more tailored experience.
- Better app discovery: With more app store options, users have access to different algorithms and search engines that can help them discover new and relevant apps.
11. Android phones are feature-packed
These are some of the features I use on Android that aren’t currently available on iOS.
- Samsung Dex (Convert your phone into a full-desktop experience)
- Reverse Wireless charging (Charge other devices such as earbuds, smartwatches and even your friend’s iPhone)
- Dual app messaging (Have more than one version of a social media account, such as Whatsapp)
- USB C and fast charging
- Under display fingerprint sensor
- System-wide adblocking
- Sideloading apps
Android vs iOS: It no longer matters
Ultimately, the choice between iOS and Android comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the user. In today’s market, you can’t go wrong with either.
Click here to read our article on 8 things iOS does better than Android.