Android Versus the iPhone

Why Choosing Android Is Still the Best Choice

Jeff Koons x Google Launch
Ben Gabbe / Getty Images

The iPhone was extremely popular at launch, even though it was an AT&T exclusive at the time. When Verizon launched the Motorola Droid, their advertisements were directly aimed at what the Droid could do and the iPhone couldn't. This marked the battle lines and proved to many that the iPhone was the one to chase. Any phone that could dethrone the iPhone and earn the title of "iPhone killer" would have to be one amazing phone.

That's no longer the case today. Android and iPhone are both respectable smartphone platforms. The Android is no longer an "iPhone killer" chasing after iPhone features. It is a platform in its own right, and the iPhone occasionally chases after Android features. 

Customers on all major carriers can choose between the iPhone and an Android-based smartphone. The new advertising focuses on why each carrier is better than any other carrier.

Where iPhone Shines

The iPhone is certainly a great phone line with many great features. The iPhone offers an expansive and ever-growing app store, great quality music, a fantastic camera, and a stable operating system. On the other hand, by using a single system from a single manufacturer, you risk having accessories like headphones become suddenly obsolete with the next model. 

iPhone XS
 Apple

The common metaphor used to describe Apple's ecosystem is "walled garden." It's absolutely beautiful and well-manicured within those walls, but you really don't have access to anything beyond them. When you pick an iPhone, you're trusting Apple to control everything.

The Control is in Your Hands

Yes, Android can be rooted, which has both rewards and risks. Rooting your phone lets you take over responsibility for everything on your phone. You can install apps from just about anywhere, including root only apps that take full advantage of your phone's capabilities. Google even offers root apps on the Play Store.

Android Root apps

Rooting an Android device also opens the opportunity to access and customize more aspects of your operating system and the device itself. Included in that is the ability to download and flash custom ROMs. Custom ROMs often come with extra features, and ROM developers usually release newer versions of Android for your phone long after the manufacturer has stopped supporting it.

But even without root access, Android smartphone owners enjoy the fact that Android uses non-proprietary software formats. Android apps can be downloaded from Google, Amazon, and other Android app stores. 

The information here should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Android Customization

With an iPhone, what you see is what you get. There is only one interface. That can be an advantage. However, with Android, manufacturers are free to tweak the user interface and customize the look and feel. HTC uses the Sense UI, while Samsung has One UI. LG and other manufacturers also have their own spin on the Android user interface. With the open architecture of Android, there are a lot of options. With Apple as the only maker of the iPhone, the interface options equal one.

Android Custom Launcher

Even after you choose your device, you still have access to more customization options. Android has a vibrant ecosystem that's constantly producing apps that help you to tailor your phone. Custom app launchers and keyboards (both of which iPhone has too, but much fewer) help to add a new dimension of customization.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, this cell phone battle is now really a battle between Google and Apple, and no longer a battle between which phone is better. Google and Apple are giants in their markets and both rely heavily on the success and future of their smartphone operating systems. While Apple controls everything about the iPhones, Google generally focuses on the Android platform and lets their partner manufacturers worry about building the phones, with the exception of the flagship Pixel models. Google's ability to focus on just the Android operating system allows them a more focused effort to improvements, upgrades, and enhancements. Apple must remain concerned not only about the operating system but the entire look, feel, build and performance of the iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy S10
 Samsung

For those still deciding between iPhone and Android, know that both are great phones. Your decision should be based not on clever marketing but on how useful the phone will be. Not just for the first few months, but for the entire duration of your contract.