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. Android and iPhone are both respectable smartphone platforms. 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.

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

Where iPhone Shines

The iPhone has many 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, accessories such as headphones may become obsolete with the next model.

iPhone XS
 Apple

The common metaphor used to describe Apple's ecosystem is a walled garden. It's absolutely beautiful and well-manicured within those walls, but you 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 With an Android

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 anywhere, including root-only apps that take full advantage of the 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 the 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 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. 

Android Customization

With an iPhone, what you see is what you get. There is only one interface. With Apple as the only maker of the iPhone, the interface options equal one.

However, with Android, manufacturers are free to tweak the user interface and customize the look and feel. HTC uses Sense UI, while Samsung has One UI. LG and other manufacturers also have their own Android user interface. With the open architecture of Android, there are a lot of options.

Android Custom Launcher

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

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, this cellphone battle is between Google and Apple and is no longer about which phone is better. Google and Apple are giants in their markets and both rely on the success and future of their smartphone operating systems. While Apple controls everything about the iPhone, Google focuses on the Android platform and lets their partner manufacturers build the phones, with the exception of the flagship Pixel models.

Google's ability to focus on the Android operating system allows them to focus their efforts on improvements, upgrades, and enhancements. Apple must remain concerned about the operating system and the look, feel, build, and performance of the iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy S10
 Samsung

If you're deciding between iPhone and Android, 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.