Photo Credit: Flickr/ incredibleguy
Android and iOS now contribute to over 99 percent of all smartphones sold in recent times. This two-horse race is the cause of hour-long debates between the advocates of either clan. While some ardently stand by their platform of choice for years, a few others perpetually keep thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.
Gadgets 360 is run by people, and as individuals we’re bound to have our own preferences. While we don’t let these individual preferences cloud our judgement when it comes to giving all products we come across a fair run, as you would expect, most of us have strong opinions on most things tech, and this extends to our choice of mobile platform. We thought it would be interesting to share these points of view with our readers. So, without further ado, take a look at what the experts think, and why they consider sticking to either iOS or Android.
Rishi Alwani (iOS) — Hardware lasts longer. As if Apple dips its phones in the Lazarus Pit before sending them out to us. To put that into perspective, pre-iOS 10, I moved from a Nexus 6 to an iPhone 5s. Best decision ever. Has lasted longer than most of my other phones. And I go through a lot. Just waiting on the iPhone 6s to get a price drop before buying. Because the hardware lasts ridiculously long, a combination of buying a generation old and discounts makes it feasible in a country like ours where iOS devices are expensive.
Gopal Sathe (Android) — After being one of the BlackBerry Boys, I ended up drafted into the Android Army, but it wasn't because of any particular choice - it's just a lot more affordable than joining the Apple faithful. My tablet (yes, I believe there's room for those in our computing life) is an iPad Pro, and it's the best device I've got. And iPhones are great too - but they're also really expensive. And while there was a big difference between an iPhone and a more affordable Android phone in the past, today the gap has narrowed, and, for me, Apple fails to justify the premium.
Ali Pardiwala (Android) — I'm a loyal Android user not out of love for Android, but more out of a lack of enthusiasm for iOS or any other smartphone operating system. Android may have its flaws, but it's an open system that gives you access to lakhs of apps and services (some of them unique), as well as a diverse set of Google's own services which boost your smartphone's capability at the native level.
At this stage, I'm heavily dependent on Google's cloud services, and the fact that Android's open nature makes it possible for me to buy a device of my choosing when it comes to hardware and software.
Pranay Parab (iOS) — iOS guarantees timely updates and security patches, which makes it a better choice for me. My three-year-old 5s got iOS 10 and may even get iOS 11. I did use Android, and my phone started hanging and lagging after the first 10 months or so. But my iPhone 5s is generally lag-free even today. Also, the quality of apps on iOS (UX) was much better so I invested in it.
I also recall there being too much notification spam (e.g. "25 apps were updated" etc). There was also too much interference from Google services (Maps uses your location even if you don't open it), not to mention blatant privacy violations like random third-party apps being able to read your texts, etc. iOS is overall the more secure OS that respects your privacy.
Ketan Pratap (Android) — My reason for going with Android “all-the-way” has to start with the amount of customisation options I get on the platform. I use the HTC One M8 and have the freedom to change the look of my UI by just downloading a new custom launcher app from Google Play.
(Also see: The Best Free Launcher Apps for Android)
I can also customise the icons, keyboards, and if needed, install a custom ROM. Google integration is another reason why I prefer Android. My favourite feature is Google Now cards as I can’t imagine a day where I haven’t checked the traffic card before leaving for workplace.
Devika Chitnis (iOS) - I like that iOS is simple and elegant. There is a certain standard in everything - design, security, apps, ecosystem. It is easy for me to switch from one Apple gadget to the other - whether you're chatting on iMessage or accessing your photographs. And the highlight is Apple Music - easily the best thing that happened to streaming music. Yes, Apple does drives you up the wall when it is constantly asking you for your security details again and again. But at least I know that my data is safe.
Roydon Cerejo (Android) — I find an Android phone easier to live with due to the flexibility it offers, even for simple tasks like transferring files to and from the device. Not to mention the wide variety of options, expandable storage, and the ability to install custom firmwares. You can get all this without spending a bomb.
Sanket Vijay (iOS) — It’s been a year since I shifted from Android to iOS. I liked Android but I was just curious to give the iPhone a try. The price of the iPhone 6 had dropped and I have always admired Apple’s aesthetics, and not for the social identity as many do.
I like the simplicity of design and UI. I use my phone very minimally. Not that Android devices don't have a clean interface, but after using iOS one tends to get familiar with the language that Apple has created. The few applications that I do use on my iPhone seem great because Apple likes to pay attention to detail. Am I a fanboy? Yes. But I’m (probably) one of the few out there who doesn’t hate Android.
Shekhar Thakran (Android) — I prefer using Android as my primary mobile OS as it provides more options to me as a user. It is not as restrictive as iOS when it comes to customisation and allows the user to be in control at all times. Instead of a company deciding how my smartphone interface should look like, I will always prefer my own taste. Having said that, the choice of mobile platform depends a lot on what you expect from your smartphone. In my case, it is options for customisation. Therefore the choice is fairly simple.
Tasneem Akolawala (iOS) - For me, iOS is much better than Android because of its secure app ecosystem, better usability, and because there is less fragmentation. The operating system is much more secure and less prone to malicious services. Apple even introduced a new file system at its developers conference this year putting more emphasis on encryption of data, making future iOS versions even safer.
Having used both Android and iOS devices, I find the iPhone more usable as well, and personally, I also love Spotlight search and can't do without it. Many quality apps are still only iOS exclusive, and I am more likely to do an in-app purchase on an iPhone than on Android.
Shubham Verma (Android) — I like using Android because of a number of reasons. One of the reasons is the affordability factor that Android smartphones give. You can get an Android smartphone as low as Rs. 2,000 today.
Second reason is the diversity, as Google also likes to mention it explicitly. There are a plethora of Android smartphones currently available in the market, and for someone like me who changes his phone every six months, it comes as a boon. It is obviously known that Android is highly customisable so I won't end up looking at my phone with those wallpapers and themes that have already bored me.
Sandeep Kumar Sinha (Android) — My preference for Android OS is simply related to budget. This gives me an option to choose between multiple price segments. Android thrives on the ability to customise as well. However, security is also an important factor. But this concern can be also be addressed by being a ‘smart’ smartphone user.
Rohan Naravane (Android) — If you hear me talking about iOS, I may come off as an staunch supporter. I swear by my Mac and Apple TV and it would have been nice to enjoy the tight software integration by using an iPhone and Apple Watch. But the fact of the matter is, I have no choice but to stick to Android because of two things — better India-centric services and better Google services integration. My Android Wear recognises words of Indian origin much better than Siri. Google services like the Photos app works better on the home turf. Unless Apple's service layer (Siri, Maps etc.) is tuned better for India, or Apple lets third-party apps act as default (very unlikely of that happening any time soon), I'm sticking to Android.
Jamshed Avari (iOS) — I chose iOS because I've been using iPhones since the iPhone 3G roughly eight years ago, and have invested quite a bit in apps and iCloud since then. Android wasn't viable at that time, and while it has improved by leaps and bounds, neither the hardware nor the software is good enough right now to make me drop my current iPhone before it serves me at least three years. If I find a solid enough Android phone at a decent price the next time I have to change phones, I’ll give it serious consideration.
Abhinav Lal (Android) — There are several obvious things Android has that are lacking on iOS. These are the ability to customise, a user-accessible file system, and the ability to sideload apps. Another major difference is actually in a way a symptom of the first missing feature – and that is a user interface that is effectively crippled by Apple continuing to stick with a single-button interface. There is no implementation of on-screen navigation options to augment the single button, nor does Apple allow users to install ‘launchers’ or otherwise provide the ability to customise the hardware and software on offer.
Gagan Gupta (Android) — I like iOS on iPad more than iPhone. I expect my smartphone to be quick, customisable to my requirements and with easy file transfer options, and I get none of those with iPhones. I used the iPhone 6S Plus for a considerable amount of time, but I found the lack of Google integration cumbersome. Simple things like not being able to set icons the way you want is a big issue, and the same goes for its inability to give me a homescreen single-touch widget for my podcast player. Even though I don't use voice recognition very often, Google Now works when I ask it a question or ask it to do something. The only thing Siri is good for is sarcasm.
Kunal Dua (iOS) - I said goodbye to my trusted Nokia E61 and got my first iPhone back in 2010. Those were pre-Gingerbread days, so Android wasn't even a serious alternative at the time. Things have certainly changed a lot since then, and as I've said elsewhere there's a lot to like about Android phones.
Having said that, at the end of the day, designing platforms is about making trade-offs, and I prefer choices that Apple has made. Apple started with a secure, well-designed platform and has gradually opened it up, though not as not as much some people would've liked. Google set out with an open platform, and has addressed most concerns related to design and privacy over the years. At this point, both Android and iOS are solid choices for anyone looking to buy a phone.
The high school me would've loved Android, and I can imagine being into custom ROMs and messing around with the boot loader. With school days nothing but a distant memory and time at a premium now, I don't mind spending a little bit extra for things that 'just work’ across various platforms, and Apple offers that - for the most part anyway.
These are our reasons, but tell us which operating system you prefer, and why, via the comments.