Android vs iOS: And the Real Winner is ...

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It’s finally a fair fight. An armada of Android devices will face off against the iPhone on Verizon Wireless starting February 10. This battle will take place on the turf of a network that has spent the last two years promoting the heck out of Google’s OS. (Remember the iDont ad campaign?) Sure, AT&T has stocked Android phones for a while, but it hasn’t put much marketing muscle behind them, and the selection up until now has been mediocre compared to Verizon’s. Some say Android has skyrocketed in the U.S. merely because the iPhone was exclusive to a single network for so long. Others say it’s because the software is just plain good--if not better than Apple’s.

We say Android took off initially because people were searching for a decent iPhone alternative. Because the iPhone was locked to AT&T for so long, Google’s OS had the opportunity to evolve into something that should be able to stand its ground. Still, there’s no denying that Android is about to face its toughest fight yet. Here’s how we see the two platforms stacking up.

Editor's Note: We have updated this story since it was originally published.

Interface

The consensus in the industry is that iOS is just more intuitive than Android. That’s mostly true, and the simplicity of the clean, icon-driven interface gives that perception weight. Rarely do you see someone pick up an iPhone for the first time and not know what to do. iOS also gets points for making cut and paste easy and consistent throughout every app. The ability to create folders just by dragging like items on top of one another—and the fact that the folders name themselves based on the type of apps—is further proof that Apple knows how to make smart phones smart.

Android, on the other hand, has a bit of a learning curve. You have to press a button to see all your apps, and that button can vary from device to device. Additionally, cut and paste works differently in different apps, and the various phone manufacturers’ skins that run on top of Android prevent the OS from having a unified look and feel. On the other hand, that variety also has benefits, depending on the device maker. HTC’s Sense is particularly compelling. The biggest advantage for Android in this category is the notification area. You just swipe down to see if you have new e-mails and other alerts. iOS has annoying pop-up alerts instead.

WINNER: iOS. Android has some strengths in the UI department, but the fragmentation of the platform and the steeper learning curve give Apple’s software the edge.

Keyboard

We don’t know how Apple does it, but its stock touch keyboard remains the golden standard. The layout is easy to use, accurate, and fast.

However, Android devices such as the Epic 4G and the Droid 2 actually come with physical keyboards, an option not available on any iOS product. When it comes to Android’s touch keyboard, the stock Google version has improved with OS 2.3, but it’s only available on a single device thus far. HTC’s virtual Android keyboards are also quite good—especially on Android devices with larger displays—and users can install third-party apps such as Better Keyboard (highly customizable) and Swype (great for typing one-handed). Many Android phones also offer haptic feedback, which mimics the feel of a physical keyboard while you type.

WINNER: Draw. While iOS provides a great touch-typing experience, Android offers a ton of choices, from physical keyboards to specialized input methods such as Swype.

Customization and Widgets

This is an area where Android shines. Although you can certainly move apps around and make folders on the iPhone, the OS doesn’t have anything like Android’s ability to create shortcuts to contacts right on the home screen. There are also dozens of widgets dedicated to different tasks, whether it’s skimming through social networking updates, checking the weather, reading the latest news headlines, or controlling music playback. In a way, the enhanced multitasking in iOS (and Android) has made widgets less necessary over time, but the fact that you can customize the user experience to your taste for at-a-glance information is part of what makes Android so compelling. The weather and stock widgets for iPhone are really just full-screen lite apps.

WINNER: Android. iOS could learn a thing or two from Google’s OS in this department.

Calendar and Contacts

The latest version of the Calendar app for iOS lets you reply to event invites, which is a nice perk. It’s a small touch, but the ability to create a new calendar entry straight from an e-mail is also pretty convenient (thanks to iOS’s smart data detectors). While it’s easy to search and scroll through contacts on an iPhone, Apple hasn’t done much to improve this part of the experience.

Android’s approach to contacts is much more socially connected, especially in the hands of partners such as HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Most of these Android phones tie into Facebook and Twitter much more deeply. On HTC Sense phones, for instance, your contacts’ Facebook profile photo will show up on their contact card, and you can link to their walls straight from the People app. The Calendar app is nothing special, and we don’t like that you have to press the Menu button and then Edit just to tweak an entry. On iOS the Edit option is always present.

WINNER: Android. In this category—and in general—Google’s OS is more integrated with social networks, an area where Apple needs to catch up.

Multitasking

Many Android fans complain that iOS doesn’t allow true multitasking because apps don’t continue to fully run in the background. We say iPhone users don’t really care; they just want to be able to access recently opened apps without much fuss. Apple does a pretty good job in this department. Double-pressing the home button launches a drawer of four apps, and then you can swipe to see more. You can also close apps from the multitasking menu to save resources, though it requires two additional steps.

With Android, apps don’t just suspend; they continue to run in the background (for better or for worse). Just long press on the Home key to see a grid of the last six apps you used. There’s no swiping to the left or right required, but you can’t see more than those six at once. Plus, you can’t close apps from this menu; you must go under Settings/Manage applications or use a third-party task killer. That’s annoying.

WINNER: Draw. Android scores points for letting you see more apps on one screen and for “full multitasking,” but iOS lets you more easily manage apps—and see more of them—without the need for a dedicated app.

E-mail and Messaging

Gmail is easily one of the best things about Android phones. It’s always up-to-date and it’s a cinch to search your inbox. Plus, Google continually adds new features, such as the addition of a large Send button that’s always present when responding to a message and Priority Inbox (which prioritizes your e-mail based on who you communicate with most). Still, Gmail on Android can be confusing, such as the way it collapses read messages in a given thread, which can make a conversation hard to follow. We’ve also noticed that we’ve had to open an e-mail, back out, and then open it again to see the most recent message in a conversation. POP and Exchange mail work reasonably well in Android, but on most devices (Samsung’s Galaxy tab being a noteworthy exception) those accounts live in a separate e-mail client that doesn’t work as well as Google’s Gmail app.

iOS has made several strides in the last year or so, including the addition of a more intuitive threaded messaging presentation (stacked right on top of one another) and a unified inbox (for those who want it). Where iOS falls flat is push delivery—our Gmail account isn’t always up-to-date—and search. iPhones only store up to 200 messages at a time, so you have to click an option to search for more messages on your server. With Gmail, you just search once, because everything is ready and waiting for you in the cloud.

When it comes to instant messaging, Android has the advantage once more with Google Talk integration. With iOS you need a third-party app, and we haven’t found anything that works as well on Apple’s platform.

iOS currently has a big advantage in the video chat category, thanks to the quality and ease of use of FaceTime. There’s Qik for Android, but the quality is lacking. We have higher hopes for Skype video chat on Android and Google Talk with video chat, but those options aren’t yet available.

WINNER: Android. While the native Gmail app could be more polished, it’s faster and better for search than iOS’ Mail app. And iOS doesn’t have a Google Talk equivalent baked into the platform. Apple’s FaceTime is better than anything in the Android camp, but not enough people are using this feature yet to really move the needle in this round.

App Store and Selection

Quick. Name one awesome, must-have app that came to Android first. Okay, you can stop now. Google deserves a lot of credit for bulking up its Android Market with more compelling apps over the past 18 months. Angry Birds, Bump, Facebook, Pandora. Skype, Twitter; all the important stuff is there, and a lot of the best apps are free.

Nevertheless, iOS still holds a commanding lead both in terms of the number (over 300,000 vs 200,000) and quality of apps. iOS has by far a better collection of games. It’s also easier to pay for apps on iOS, thanks to iTunes. Carrier billing is available for Android, but only on T-Mobile and AT&T. On Verizon Wireless and Sprint you need to use Google Checkout. Because the hardware is essentially constant, most developers prefer the simplicity of iOS, too. One plus for Android, though, is the ability to sideload apps and use alternative app stores.

WINNER: iOS. Better quality, easier purchasing process, and more apps overall.

Web Browsing

iOS and Android are pretty much neck and neck in this category. Both platforms use a webkit-based browser that offers a desktop-like surfing experience. On the iPhone we like that we can tap the top of the screen to display the address bar at any time; only some Android phones have this capability. We also find zooming and scrolling to be smoother on iOS, and pages load slightly faster (over the same Wi-Fi connection). Last but not least, iOS does a better job at presenting open windows, using thumbnails instead of Google’s text-based list.

On Android we like that the address bar lets you search, while search and address are needlessly separated in iOS. We also appreciate the Bookmarks view, which presents thumbnails instead of Apple’s text-based list of sites. It’s debatable as to whether Flash support is a plus on Android, since it can drag down performance. But it’s nice to know that it’s there, especially for those sites that wouldn't otherwise work on iOS. Plus, dual-core phones will speed things up.

However, too many features are buried in Android. For example, to forward a page in Android you need to hit the Menu button, then More, then Share Page. In iOS this option is always present. The problem with the iPhone is that your sharing options are limited. Once we installed a couple of apps on our Nexus S, we could select Facebook, Gmail, and TweetDeck. iOS has just an e-mail option in the browser. That needs to change.

Android has compelling third-party browsers, such as Dolphin HD. It has support for tabs, gestures, and even add-ons. But iOS is closing the gap with great options such as Skyfire (also available for Android) and Atomic Web browser.

WINNER: Android. iOS’ Safari offers a very good browsing experience, but Android supports Flash, so you won’t find any dead-end sites. It also provides more sharing options. Plus, there are plenty of free add-ons for Google’s OS that make surfing sweeter.Maps and GPS

This round is no contest. Not only does Android get new versions of Google Maps first (understandably so), it also includes Google Navigation, which provides free turn-by-turn directions. In our tests, this app has proved to be reliable. The latest Google Maps 5.0 adds 3D buildings and vector-based graphics that makes panning around maps silky smooth.

WINNER: Android. Until Apple does its own thing with Maps, it will always be a step behind Google’s own OS.

Photos and Video

Granted, this category veers more into hardware, but smart phone shoppers want to know which platform does a better job of taking (and sharing) photos. Overall, the iPhone 4’s backside illuminated sensor, combined with a fast shutter speed, offers the best picture quality we’ve seen from any smart phone to date. 720p HD videos are also excellent. A great HDR feature takes three photos in succession and combines the results to achieve excellent images in brighter lighting conditions. With Android devices, quality and speed can vary widely.

However, iOS has limited sharing options. Photos just includes e-mail, though you can use third-party apps. And video has YouTube, MMS, and e-mail. Android has similar options for sharing video, but photo-sharing choices include Facebook, Picasa, Twitter, and more.

WINNER: iOS. Android has more sharing options that are easier to access, but with the iPhone you know you’re getting photos you’ll want to share.

Media

It’s hard to compete with the iTunes ecosystem. iOS devices include easy access to music, TV shows, movies, and books using a single account. Nothing can really compete with having an iPod built into every iPhone. Still, Android has some weapons in its arsenal. Most phones come with Amazon MP3 pre-loaded for music, and there are plenty of third-party apps for accessing music and other content. There’s Pandora, Rhapsody, and Slacker for tunes. Hulu Plus is coming soon, and Netflix is reportedly on the way. Then there’s the Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and other eBook apps. (All of the above are also available for iOS.) The problem is that there’s no one-stop shop for content on Android—at least not yet.

WINNER: iOS. Although you can cobble together a great entertainment experience on Android, it requires more effort.

Software Updates

There’s good news and bad news with both platforms. Android sees updates faster than iOS, getting new features into users’ hands at a quick pace. We also like how you can perform updates over the air. However, that’s assuming the manufacturer and carrier release that update. There are handsets on the market with hardware that can easily support Android 2.2 (nevermind 2.3) but they remain stuck running older software.

With iOS, Apple has the advantage of controlling both the hardware and the software. When it issues an update, you plug in your iPhone and download it, However, when iOS 4 first launched, iPhone 3G owners complained that the update slowed down their devices, a problem which Apple fixed with iOS 4.2. Yes, we wish these updates could be downloaded wirelessly, but if Apple says your device supports the new OS, you can just go get it.

WINNER: iOS. No middleman. No delays that make you want to scream. That’s the way it should be.

Special Features

The fact that 4G-capable Android phones are here now and that Apple likely won’t have one until the summer is a big deal. Speed matters. Google is also first with support for Near Field Communications, which means certain phones will be able to look up data just by tapping a tag or poster. This technology should also enable mobile payments. (Apple is reportedly working on NFC as well.) Android devices also offer the option of a physical keyboard, which Apple does not. Android also has superior voice recognition, whether you’re searching or composing a text.

iOS has some unique and compelling features baked in as well, such as Find My iPhone for tracking down and wiping your device should it be lost or stolen. While some Android phones have this feature, it’s not built into the platform. We mentioned iTunes already, but the convenience of having a single account for apps and all sorts of media purchases cannot be overstated. Game Center in iOS 4 makes it easier to find opponents and compare achievements with friends. Last but not least is AirPlay, which lets you stream media from your iPhone to the Apple TV and AirPlay-compatible speakers with a tap.

WINNER: Android. Google’s OS has done a better job of integrating the latest technologies.

Hardware

Although software is king, hardware design plays a huge role in one's purchasing decision. What Android has in its favor is a wide range of form factors, including sliders and slabs in multiple screen sizes. Some of our favorite designs include the curved and cool Samsung Nexus S with its Super AMOLED display, the HTC Evo 4G and it's massive 4.3-inch screen (and built-in kickstand), and the Samsung Epic 4G for its slide-out keyboard.

Yet with even with all of this variety there's a reason why people covet the iPhone 4. Its supersharp Retina display is second to none in terms of resolution and clarity, and the glass and steel design just feels more luxurious than anything in the Android camp. Despite this sturdiness, the iPhone 4 is thinner and lighter than most Android devices.

WINNER: iOS. Android offers more choices, but the only choice for iOS stands above everything else.

Overall Verdict


Android iOS
Interface (10 points) 7 9
Keyboard (5 points) 4 4
Customization and Widgets (5 points) 5 2
Calendar and Contacts (5 points) 4 3
Multitasking (10 points) 8 8
E-mail and Messaging (5 points) 4 3
App Store and Selection (15 points) 11 15
Web Browsing (10 points) 9 7
Maps and GPS (5 points) 5 3
Photos and Video (5 points) 3 4
Media (5 points) 3 5
Software and Updates (5 points) 3 4
Special Features (5 points) 4 3
Hardware (5 points) 4 5
Total Points (out of 100) 74 75

If you look at the above scorecard, this face-off was really quite close, with iOS winning six rounds, Android winning six, and the two platforms fighting to a draw in two rounds. Because certain categories in this contest carry more weight, iOS wins by a very narrow margin. iOS is easier to use than any Android device and it has a better selection of apps and premium content--all wrapped up in a one-stop shopping environment. What we love about Android is the ability to truly personalize and customize the user experience. We also like how Android integrates better with social networking services for contacts and sharing content, plus the free turn-by-turn GPS navigation, Gmail and Google Talk, and early 4G support.

Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which of the above categories are most important to you when deciding between an iPhone and Android device. If we’re judging just based on software capabilities and features, the little green robot gets the nod. But when you factor in fit and finish and hardware design, iOS emerges victorious (barely).

Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
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116 comments
  • Arka Says:

    See every ios phone requires each of its apps to be bought against the exchange of money, for e.g. facebook will cost Rs. 80 and in android it is free.. whereas the quality is same in both cases.. also android supports vast animations which ios doesn't those who think ios is better than android are big fools or they don't have any idea about mobile phones.. huh

  • Dennis Says:

    I have a high end android phone and i have tried a few. I prefer an android because i disagree with Apples policies. Though I must admit that IOS is just a much more cool experience in your hands. I mean it looks pretty much the same, works the same way. But the feel of the IOS is just much better. Little details you would not notice as a first time smart phone user, but little details that just makes the big difference in everyday use. You just get to like iOS more and more while getting more and more tired of little anoying android imperfections. Now I wish iOS could just be open, and that we could have a media player that just plays all formats with no bullshit. I dont want Apple but face it, they just do a pretty good job on making a good user interface and a smooth running device.

  • iOS Says:

    I AM iOS AND I'M THE ORIGINAL. ANDROID IS THE COPYCAT. YOU CAN LOVE ANDROID WITHOUT HATING ME.

  • Andrew Says:

    This needs to be updated. Especially with the inevitably new iphone and the new "armada" of android phones. I'd say android definitely has the edge nowadays.

  • Joe Says:

    Here's some bottom line opinions guys, from someone who has used smartphones since their inception. I have been an iphone user for 3 years. Recently changed jobs: they use Droids. Argghhh....now I have to switch. I have tried (really) to have the same smooth seamless intuitive functionality on the Droid that I am used to with Iphone. No dice. The Droid is glitchy, prone to strange behavior under pressure (i.e., misbehaving during multiple tasks), applications that do not close properly....I could go on and on....

    My iphone with latest IOS: intuitive interface, simple design and function, IT JUST WORKS (same thing I say about my Macs versus Windows machines), straightforward contacts, calendar, and email management, better WIFI management, tested and stable apps. I have lots of serious business apps that make my mobile office computing environment (my truck) easier to manage. IOS - absolutely hands down the better system. Sorry Google. And look for a multitude of new improvements in the next IOS version this Fall.

    So, please: don't tell me to "just use Android, you'll be convinced". The only thing I am convinced of is that Android continues to try to desperately catch up to Apple's innovations. Kudos to Google, but no thanks. I know that no smartphone operating system is perfect, but that said, I NEED my phone to work flawlessly and seamlessly. IOS on the iphone platform does that for me.

  • James Says:

    Great article. I think they are probably close to matched at this point (iOS: less customizable but generally more stable, Android: buggier but far more customizable)

    What I too feel that I need to point out is more directed at the commentators here: First off - anyone who is on a crusade to show how foolish the other side is for liking it's OS: get a frikking clue. These are phones you asses. They aren't the tent pegs holding your identity in place. If they are, you are a sad, sad, little person, and you have my pity.

    Second: Android fans - Guys: I know you like your steez. That much is clear. Would you like to know my prediction of how many people you convince with your sarcasm, insults and terrible grammar? NONE. Not one person would want to be a part of your bandwagon if all it means is put-downs and AOL-Chat-esque posturing about how great you are for your consumer choices (see point #1).

    I've had both OSs running on different phones at different times. You know what? There's room for improvement in BOTH. BOTH phones dropped calls. BOTH have issues with web that are mitigated in desktop environments. SO WHAT?! I guess what I am saying is that while I'd never want someone to have less passion for the things they love, sometimes I wish Android fans would develop the adult capacity to shut up about how great they think they are, just once in a while.

  • Alexxx Says:

    not fair, at the multitasking android should won

  • Melad360 Says:

    also, about the hardware, there is no competition for android. iPhone is just going to stick to their crappy 1GHz single core processor while android sees its quad core gaming monsters start rolling out in early 2012

  • Melad360 Says:

    LOL Just a person... thanks for the laugh. in a good way :)

    android destroys ios any day... take the samsung GS2... it not only set the bar for smartphones (iShit) and superphones (newer android phones... atrix, sensation, GS2, etc), but it smashed the bar, recreated it in its own image, and placed it out of reach of the competition.

    when is apple going to sue google for copying their notification system? oh wait, thats right, apple copied google. it just took them 3 years.

    iOS 5 = Android 1.6... welcome to 2010 apple...

  • Free Says:

    Ios is far too awesome, but android grown faster than ios

  • CrazyDarkFlame69 Says:

    I use both an Android smartphone and a jailbroken iPod Touch. I use my iPod for media and I use my Android for business. The device you choose doesn't really matter as long as it suits your purpose.

  • Just a person Says:

    Adam and Tyler.....Hahahahahahahahaha.......
    I'm not comparing os on hardware, but ios doesn't support any memory cards. That's the issue with ios. It's an operating system. isn't it? hahaha
    And Tyler, Lazy to learn it or are u too dumb too get it?
    IOS 5? Must be cool if they comes with new iphone specs. U install on ur old iphone, think that will run real slow. hahaha.
    ....and thanks for the laugh guys. :)

  • cvm Says:

    primeramente android le gana en pantalla a ios android tiene juegos 3d pantalla 3d ademas es personalizable es multitareas es de codigo abierto mientra q ios es cerrado

  • obionekenobi Says:

    the twilight of ios is near.

  • Tyler Says:

    When it comes down to it, apple makes quality stuff!:) i used and owned the latest android phones (evo, nexus, ect) and I used to be an PC, android fan... But then when I started using iPhones, MacBooks, iPads I had to get one ! Now I would never go back to the glitchy android stuff. I keep using my friends android stuff and still hate it!! Just get an iPhone or wait for iPhone 5 in September . IOS 5 ll be real cool!:)

  • goofy Says:

    android is way better tan ios..

  • Adam Says:

    Personally think you can't judge operating systems on hardware, no? Discounting that category makes it a draw.

  • Just a person Says:

    Hey Bobs, what are u talking about rich ppl who only can get an iphone? U are making a real joke out of urself, lol.
    What does the Moto Xoom cost? 800 euro i think. And the Ipad? 500 euro. Hahahahahahaha. So any who can afford a Xoom can almost buy twice of an Ipad. Maybe the Ipad users are the poor ppl with less knowledge of ui customization, and too lazy to learn it. Exclusivity? All iphone and ipad looks the same. And how many ppl bought
    one? Look around, I'm not excited about the Ipad. If i see a person with an ipad, i only think 'oh, poor guy, another person with an ipad. Exclusivity is if u can customize it and have a different design. Hahahaha

  • Just a person Says:

    .....talking bout cars, ui customization is like tuning a car. And if theres no possibility to do that , u all missing the fun of it. Not evryone is hundered percent perfect. Handycap ppl need customization in all things these world provides, even devices. So, Steve, u didnt take care of that. (Voice reconisition in Honeycomb). Thats not user friendly i think.
    So for me its gonna be an Android device. :)

  • Just a person Says:

    Read all these articles, and had real fun on the posts of all iphone, ipad-users. Me, never used an android device nor ios. I noticed all iphone and ipad fanboys(girls), they all talking about design and apps they can download, lol.
    They got only 1 design, reminds me the history of Ford cars, they also only got 1 design. Almost bankrupt untill they came up with more models. Apps? How many they say they have? Yes, they have tons more apps then androids, but are u going to install all those apps thats available in your device? Dont think so. But if u do, u should buy hundreds of or maybe thousends of ipads.lol. On the otherhand android devices comes with a SD-card slot, so if they want to install all available apps, they only have to buy those tiny Micro sd-cards, Can u see the picture? One carrying 10 ipads and the other with only 1 android device and sdcards savely in there pocket?lol
    oh, Ive forgotten something, The screen. Ever heard about Amoled screen?
    LOOLLLLL

  • Joe Says:

    @Ifan

    If you think Apple are great designers why would you design an antennae into the phoen that doesnt work. Also who would wrap a product up that is very likely to be dropped in glass. I call this bad design. Iphone was only no 1 casue htey had no compettiotn. I have used Iphone for 3 years and now have androind and androidn is waay better so much more flxible and I can get rid of htat crap software iTunes that still has problems with it.

    Each to thier own though. Enjoy your iPhones and IOS but until you try android you are missing out. We will see this time next year how apple is going as Poor old Steve does not look good at all at the moment.

  • Ifan Says:

    Guys face it ios is better than android there design is so ugly fat all ios design all slim and sexy.android have to be giving out free phone everday.while ios sit back and let the product sell by it self.that's why apple is the richest company in the world cause in the end design matter cause I know u guys wouldn't like a fat crappy device. will that's what google produce.

  • BOBS Says:

    LOL Iphone kicks Androids ass xD you pay more for a more swag Item. but its of quality xD you can run so many apps at the same time not like android LOL It like never lags and its touch sceen is simply the best. On top of that only people with money and a good scene of investment will buy an Iphone so you got more exclusivity and If you have an Iphone you get to look at people get mad at there crap phones and laugh as your balling on an Iphone yup its just the best phone out there...

  • moses Says:

    IMO , the writer of this artice is either biased or just simply lacks Android knowledge and experience. (personally i have owned both the iphone 4 and a Samsung Galaxy S )
    Why do i believe that , here goes :
    - Interface , on Android the interface is practically whatever you want it to be like . you can customize every little detail of it . from widgets to homescreens to appdrawer to theme to launcher . How can that fail over a unified grid interface with square app icons ? im not saying iOS interface is bad , its actually really good and polished , yet its boring and isnt nearly as functional as Android's .
    - Keyboard , Apples virtual keyboard is smooth polished and precise . Androids virtual keyboard is almost on par with apples , add to that the options of download various other keyboards each with its own style ( like Swype for instance , or 8pen ) or even the android handsets with the physical slide out keyboard . Again Android clearly wins
    - Hardware , a unified hardware versus a lineup of hundreds of different handsets . Really ? you really find the iphone 4 topping like 20+ various designs of high-end Android phone ?

  • Stop arguing Says:

    @Mario Rodriguez
    You are truly an ignorant inddividual. Just because you do not know what a processor is does not mean other people don't and other people do not care! You say it is all purely applications. Well, what will you run the applications on? You will need a good OS that switches between thm quickly to complete tasks more efficiently (i.e. multitasking). Also, a fast processor will allow you to run the apps without hassle (the hardware is behind everything). Remeber: just because you are not aware of something does not mean it does not exist or play a part in what you do know.

    To those who advocate the iPhone with this "jalibreaking" concept. If you jailbreak an attractive $700 phone to make it do what you want it to do, then you are crazy. The point of buying a phone is to be able to satisfy your needs. Your needs are obviously not satisfied if you have to hack (=jailbreak) the OS you are using (i.e. iOS). It is not an iPhone OS anymore.

    This is a competition to see which operating system has the most functionnality and so on... not a competition to see which OS can be hacked in a better way. iOS: walled garden << that is the best way to describe it (pros and cons are present)

  • Me Says:

    its pretty simple...if u guys hav cash will go for ios...they have way better aps than android
    i own an android seriously there are some free aps but they really suck not to say they don't have good aps but they ain't many
    take a look at IOS as long u have cash in yr pocket you have LOADS of aps of course better than android
    if you buy the apps from aps store IOS the gps are way better than android
    and yeah someone said than ios is only task-switching well take a look at android its the same shit z
    Android fanboys just can't admit IOS is better
    Android may have better phone with better hardware but apple is launching the higest end iphone every year what else do you guys want? do you expect cheap or free to beat a premium software ? thing again
    I conclude its simple
    Android for people who ALWAYS aiming for the budget
    well IOS for people who want a easier life

  • ash Says:

    Hey apple ios is a trash ....i have iphone 4 and samsung galaxy s2....android is faster and works far better than iphone.Dont Compare GOOGLE android with WASTE WORST IOS.......those who are comparing android with ios and saying ios is better.......then dont use google search engine and other facilities of google. .. from now onwards all apple users....

  • Savouy Says:

    come on guys be practical and just dont think because u own an iphone it is the best..IOS is history...its just the thing named IPHONE carrying it so it is popular.Android is a new and no doubt a better OS, yes iphones have a unique beauty and the look but the android OS is completely ahead of IOS.

    IOS doesnt let you have home screens plus an app drawer its just a drawer.
    IOS doesnt have the classic and epic widgets offered by android.
    Iphone is whatever it is just because of jailbreak ...otherwise the apple restrictions are too much..
    If u root ur android u even extend the jailbreak thing of iphone.

    Iphone got popular quick because of its beautiful look that android phones didnt give at first but now that people have understood the facts about the android os , most people are selling iphones for android.
    android gives much more opportunities and options than iphone plus faster processor and bigger screen.

    ITS NOT JUST ANDROID VS IOS
    ITS GOOGLE VS APPLE

  • ramses Says:

    even my old sony ericsson has features an iPhone4 doesnt. u pay more for less with the iphone. what u are given is what u get. on the android..its a free world. iphone fans cant digest that. PC is better than MAC any day. Why use Intel, Nvidia and ATi if MAC is so damn great? its built for PC's. And i'm not even comparing an Alienware with a MAC. its a disgrace to Alienware. Viva la android.

  • Nathan Says:

    You shouldn't be comparing hardware! The article is called "Android vs iOS:" - You're comparing operating systems and the hardware should be almost irrelevant. I mean, if the operating systems were on one phone and one phone only, sure compare hardware. But phones that run android vary dramatically in hardware. And even if you are to compare them, I see no reason for the iPhone to win... Sure its thin with a great display, but so are many ANDROID phones... plus, they're better in other aspects...

    Like when you compare windows to mac, you don't compare the capabilities of the computers that run them, because they can vary from a $500 netbook to a $3000 gaming machine. You only compare the OS itself, the software...

    But I think really, it mostly comes down to personal opinion. I believe android is a better operating system and the only thing the iOS beats it in is the App store. But as a previous comment pointed out thats only because Google was late to the game. Plus the iOS won by 1 point and it won hardware by one point. I don't see why though...

  • Aop Says:

    Blackfireshocker Says:
    April 7th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Perfectly agree with you. I myself am using a custom Rom, MIUI if you know, and people, just watch in youtube some videos and let's talk again about difficulty to use etc etc.
    I know they're supposed to be compared in the stock state, but sorry, Android is MEANT to be customized and therefore you shouldn't avoid custom roms when talking about it. When they become more famous, I think android will really shine.

    But everyone is free to use what they want, and that's great :)

  • Gary Says:

    While I don't agree with everything, this is a great article, written in an unbiased manner. I'm impressed with the depth of the authors understanding of both OS. Nicely done

  • Mason Says:

    Android takes a big SHIT on apple.

  • is Says:

    andoid is a real winner:-))))))

  • Blackfireshocker Says:

    I know this article is meant to compare stock to stock and I also know that all articles like this are written with a bias with the illusion of objectivity simply to make it look like the choice of which one is better comes down to the user's personal preference, but in reality, a device's true capabilities only shine if you have root access. I agree with most people on here about Android already beating iOS hands down, but if that is like winning a 1 mile race by a quarter lap, a good Android device rooted beats iOS by at least a quarter lap. Talk about customization. You can install custom ROMs, use apps that add even more functionality, make backups, and more.

    I use CyanogenMod myself giving me status bar widgets, an insanely customizable lockscreen, 15 recent apps when I hold home, better pinch-to-zoom while browsing, more theming options and regular platform updates with new features that are easily downloaded and installed via ROM Manager.

    Besides multi-tasking and widgets, one HUGE thing iOS is lacking that limits it's sharing functionalities, as you mentioned (along with the possibilities for so much more,) is what Android uses for inter-app communication: intents. These allow you to share practically any content/file through any app you want, but you can also leverage the power of apps that are already out there like the barcode scanner or camera, without reinventing the wheel.

    Personal preference aside, Android is simply better. So many more options, so much more open.
    (Oh and you wanna talk "luxurious feel? Have you SEEN my myTouch 4G???)

    BTW, if you're reading this and feel the same way I do about the superiority of Android, check out my Live Wallpaper in the Android Market demonstrating the fact. Simply Search for my dev name: blackfireshocker

  • justin Says:

    when the iphone is jailbroken u can get androidlockscreen and more which android can even touch or get a number from ios

  • justin Says:

    the ios is better when comparing ios to android its like comparing trash to my iphone4

  • caleb Says:

    LMFAO.
    This review is so BIAS. Android is so new, apple has had time to work on IOS. But even still, android wins. Someone said that if they jailbreak their iphone it blows android out of the water. HA. I have been there, it takes hours to find the right things in order to install them. I tried to make it half as good as android and it took several hours and it didnt even come close to the looks of android. Not to mention the battery lasted about an hour and the performance reminded me of the Iphone original. Android all the way for me. But, some people said that android is more difficult to use. The only difference between android and ios out of the box is that on android you press a button to view the app page. On ios you dont.

  • cozybop Says:

    You have to look at it from both sides. I personally own a Droid X phone which I started loving when I customized the home screen with LauncherPro and bought Smart Keyboard for it because I hated the stock OS it had. I was close to returning it to get an iPhone but the Droid X was sold to me by Verizon for $100 with a $50 rebate, which iPhone needs to do if they want to increase market share. I even installed gingerbread on it later on and it still works. But I also work for Apple technical support for iPhones as well here in Las Vegas. First thing, the iPhone is probably the easiest it will get when it comes to using a smartphone, HANDS DOWN. I tell this to people on the phones almost everyday when they complain on how hard it is to use. Second that the iPhone is NOT ENTIRELY customizable. For Example you cannot use your own text tone on the phone. You have to use the ones that come with the phone. And when people call in to ask how to customize certain parts of the phone they get upset about it, almost all the time. Third is the the fact that the iPhone has to be plugged in to your computer to sync contacts. That is probably the worst aspect of the iPhone for me. People buy smart phones to get away from the computer. You have no idea how many people DO NOT sync their contacts let alone connect it to a computer to even transfer their music they bought on iTunes on the phone to the computer. That is where Android wins for me, the fact that it as OTA sync with my google account and I can customize the text tone and ringtone to whatever I want but the problem is that people who are not tech savvy don't know how to do such things on an Android device easily. Another problem is the carrier. AT&T does not offer insurance for damaged iPhones AT ALL. I get people who are upset that they drop their phones and they would have to pay $199 to get a replacement which is refurbished. Other carriers provide insurance for their phones, I know Verizon does. And also the relationship between Apple and the carriers is WAY different than with Motorola, Samsung, and HTC is with their carriers because for technical support you have to call the carrier, not the manufacturer. Oh yeah and I hate that the Safari browser on iOS does not have find text and you cannot remove individual recent calls on iOS either which I get calls often about that.

  • zia Says:

    I don't agree with you. Android is the real winner. I think you are an android hater.

  • Rubbaducky Says:

    Both phones have their own good and bad aspects. It all comes down to the customer's preference. As everyone has a different taste for phones, it is not a very it is unfair to just say that one phone is better. Also this is a very biased post (no offense to poster). Android operating systems are catching up to the ios. (not implying anything,just simply stating)

  • poiu Says:

    Android rules!

    I wonder how much apple paid for this review?

  • EndOfStory Says:

    iOS built for consumer; easy to navigate, proprietary design, so easy your grandmother could do it.

    Android built for developers and techies; innovative open source os, fully customizable, 3D tech this year (no word from apple on this releasing for them)

    I've got both platforms at home and it comes down to preference. end of story.

  • Ben Says:

    No Facetime? get http://tango.me/

  • kunle Says:

    currently i have both OS on galaxy s and ipod touch 4G respectively but I would rather go for the android, why? the overall screen displays, widgets that makes a whole lots of senses, the UI experience....ooh my android is really fast, smooth....honestly am really enjoying it. before i was on 2.1 and really very laggy somehow then i decided to compliment the phone with the ipod. but right now i rarely touch the ipod because after upgrade to froyo 2.21 am loving the droid for really;
    Navigation....100%
    Display........100%
    Connectivity .....100%
    Gaming.....75% but don't really do much of gaming
    and finally the super amoled display is far far excellent than the retina display.

    So for me ios sucks compare to android.

  • joser116 Says:

    I personally own an iPhone and have tested the Nexus S and it is faster than the iPhone 4, plus more features. But people are forgetting that we are talking about the software. Even talking about the hardware, Android is better since there are so many options. There are Android phones with better specs than the iPhone. The only way the iPhone beats all Android phones is pixel density courtesy of the Retina Display, duh, because the iPhone's screen is smaller, it will obviously have more pixel density. Now if the iPhone 4 had a screen as big as a Droid X, then it won't have as much pixel density. All other specs, including camera specs, connectivity, processor, ports, and just raw processing and graphics power, are superior to the iPhone. There are speed tests on Youtube that prove this. The Android OS has more features, its app selection is growing at a speed 3X greater than the iOS growth rate.

    To the one that said that Android will always be the copycat, both of their interfaces are completely different. iOS has recently been adding features that have long been available for Android. The iPad uses a blown up version of the iPhone OS. Honeycomb is the ONLY OS designed for tablets. Apple says this is the year of the copycats, but they are the ones copying Android. Now, Apple is just playing catch-up. I want to swtich to Android. I felt that this review was biased.

  • the truth Says:

    Google is a data mining company!!!!!

    Whoever uses their products is a moron

  • POQbum Says:

    wow so much mindless flaming going on.
    It's so obvious, people who own an iPhone rave how it's better and vise versa. So annoying to read these.

    iOS lacks in customization and the ability to be more open. It's a very closed off system, and it does have a lot of advantages to it but it also limits a lot what developers can do with apps and what users can do with their phone.
    iOS does not have flash, that is an absolute failure.

    The android market lacks in apps, but that's largely due to them being late in the game. The iPhone came around much earlier than Android, and the iPhone came out with a bang. The first android phones were just eh, and haven't becoming popular until recently, so naturally there aren't as many apps.

    The iPhone on Verzion was not a hit, but not a failure either. They were sorely under what they expected to get.

    I think it's clear if you can get your bias's out of the way that iOS will not have a future if they continue the same business practice while Android has a bright future ahead. There will be multiple companies competing within themselves to create superior android devices, while only 1 company creates iOS phones- which is basically the same old model with 1 or 2 features added each time.

  • usman frm pakistana Says:

    yo yo yo apple is eatan by android robot so u angry aapllez jst sit back and watch how android destroy ios infact a crap ios nothing here for end user every thing is on money and offcourse u should have crap i tunes and pc got wid u if u wana want any apps music etc apple is just money making firm they got nothing for us like mac etc nothing simple in mac or ios but with android ur life is easier and therz end less possibiltez gingerbread and honeycomb r history apple game of money is over now love android love windows thatz it

  • levi Says:

    ive had an iphone 3gs and a g2, aside from speed, the g2 doesnt even compare to the iphone. my g2 can download content from the internet, music (not copyrighted), video, etc, for free, while for the iphone i would have to use itunes for anything. and for games, i would take my g2 any day.

    its true that the app store has more and better apps, but just the fact that i can download emulators and play games that were professionally made and were big hits during its day(i only download games that i own) with my keyboard makes me love this phone more than the iphone.

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