When you are considering high-end smartphones the first thing that comes to mind is whether you want an Android handset or you want an iPhone with iOS. These are the two most popular OS in the smartphone market. The choice of what brand of Android handset of course is another thing, but this comes second.
iPhone vs Android: how to pick the right one
Let’s start with the basics – features and apps. One feature that Apple has been pushing hard since the iPhone 4S is Siri. It even got an update when the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 rolled out to make it more robust. Siri lets you use the iPhone as a personal assistant as it is great at finding movie times, checking on sports and making reservations at restaurants.
However Android smartphones are also capable of this but may not brag about it as much. We’re talking about Google Now which can even integrate with your calendar and remind you of events.
Next up is another feature many people rely on their smartphones for – getting to places. Apple Maps are a let-down for pedestrians and came along with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 as well. Android users of course have Google maps and 3D maps with directions that can be used offline. You’ve got everything from transit to underwater mapping, although the last one may be more cool than useful.
Moving on, no smartphone is complete without a dependable camera. Apple is excellent for those who like taking photos as the iPhone brand is synonymous with photography. A recent survey on Flickr even showed that the iPhone was the only phone to make it into the list of the top 5 devices used to take pictures (the rest were populated by actual cameras). Apple has become very good at calibrating their camera software so as to get the best shot. It is no wonder why popular photo apps like Instagram were iOS exclusive for such a long time.
Syncing: Next comes a very important feature, syncing your data. While the iPhone relies on iTunes to accomplish this, the Android platform is a simple plug-and-play. Just look at it as a giant USB stick.
Notifications: If you want notifications that are up to the minute then there is nothing better than Google and Android says Steve Kovach from Business Insider. Sure the iPhone Notification Center is a big step up from what iOS has in place before but still doesn’t come close to Android’s.
Apps: Apple always had the advantage when it came to apps. Their App Store is bigger than Google Play and the apps generally appear more polished. However there are two sides to this. Google apps are naturally better on the Android platform and these do amount to a lot of things the average user would use. We’re talking about Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and even browsers like Google Chrome. So it is important to keep this in mind to when choosing between an iPhone or Android.
Hardware & customization: Lastly we come to hardware. The latest iPhone 5 is one of the best smartphones on the market right now. It has a good screen, LTE speeds and a great design. However unlike when the original iPhone launched, the latest model has stiff competition from the Android platform. Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X have long caught up to the iPhone and in fact surpass it in many ways. Furthermore while there is one new iPhone 5 model this year, in 2012 there were a ton of new Android phones to choose from. Maybe you want something with a bigger screen or a QWERTY keyboard, maybe a Stylus, or something with unique materials like a Kevlar body? With Android you have hardware choices. And it doesn’t stop there as the inside is as customizable e.g. custom launchers, keyboards, widgets, ROMs and more
Basically you can’t go wrong with either OS as they are the top two for smartphones right now. Windows Phone 8 does show a lot of potential and so does BlackBerry 10, but at this time they are too far behind. While this comparison may have it look like the Android platform has more to offer, excess is also not always good. The iconic iPhone was built on simplicity and delivering something that just works. That is why it sold in droves when it first launched. Sometimes this is all that users need from their smartphone. And Apple manages to execute it flawlessly in the most polished way possible. Buyers may not want to worry about app incompatibilities and the possibility of not getting the next Android update just because they chose the “wrong” Android and are then stuck with it for the next two years. Apple has made this simple for buyers – they aren’t so hard-pressed about the specs as they know they are getting something better and it will be supported for the years to come.
So, which one are you – iPhone or Android?