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IPhone or Android: Which Smartphone Should You Buy? Ios Android


iPhone or Android: Which Smartphone Should You Buy?

When you're looking for a new smartphone, choosing an iPhone or Android phone isn't a simple task. While both phones offer a lot of great features, they may seem so similar that it's hard to distinguish between them. If you look closely, though, you'll find that there are some key differences. Thirteen of those differences are examined here to help you decide whether an iPhone or Android phone is right for you

1. Hardware: Choice vs. Polish

image copyright Apple inc.

Hardware is the first place that the differences between the iPhone and Android become clear. Apple is the only company that makes iPhones, giving it extremely tight control over how the software and hardware work together. On the other hand, Google offers its Android software to many phone makers (Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola, among others, offer Android phones). As a result, Android phones vary quite a bit in size, weight, features, user experience, and quality.

Its not uncommon to hear that some Android phones regularly overheat or freeze up or that some models are simply low quality. This inconsistency of quality isnt an issue for the iPhone.

Apple offers users a single choice: what model of iPhone do you want (3GS, 4 or 4S), not what companys phone and then what model. Of course, some people may prefer the greater choice Android offers. Others, though, will appreciate the simplicity and quality offered by the iPhone.

Winner: Tie
2. OS Compatibility: A Waiting Game

image copyright Apple Inc.

If you want to make sure you always have the latest and greatest features that your chosen smartphone operating system offers, you have no choice but to buy an iPhone. That's because Android makers are very slow about updating their phones to Google's latest Android OS releases--and sometimes don't update their phones at all. While it's to be expected that eventually older phones will no longer have support for the latest OS, Apple's support for older phones is generally better than Android's. Take for instance, iOS 5, its latest OS. It includes full support for the iPhone 3GS, a

nearly three-year-old phone as of this writing. Because of that, roughly 75% of iPhone 3GS-4S users were running iOS 5 6 months after its release. On the other hand, Android 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, isrunning on just 2.9% of Android devices 6 months after its release. This is partly because the makers of the phones control when the OS is released for their phones and, as that linked article shows, some makers have been slow to release it to their users. So, if you want the latest and greatest as soon as it's ready, you need an iPhone. Winner: iPhone
3. Apps: Selection vs. Control

image copyright Google Inc.

While the iPhone App Store offers more apps than Google Play--about 650,000 versus 480,000 (as of July 2012)--overall selection isnt the only factor. Apple is famously strict (some might say unpredictable) about what apps it allows and how it changes its policies, while Googles standards for Android are somewhat more lax. Many developers have complained about the emphasis on free apps for Android and the difficulty of developing for so many different phones. This fragmentation--the large numbers of devices and OS versions to support--makes developing for Android expensive (for instance, the developers of Temple Run reported that early in their Android experience nearly all of their support emails had to do with unsupported devices--but they support over 700 Android phones!). Combine these

development costs with an emphasis on free that reduces the likelihood that developers can cover their costs and not all of the best apps make it to Android, and those that do dont necessarily run on all phones. Winner: Apple, but not by much

4. Gaming: A Growing Giant

image copyright Apple Inc.

Just a couple of years ago, video gaming--and especially mobile video gaming--was dominated by Nintendos DS and Sonys PSP. The iPhone has changed that. The iPhone (and iPod touch) has rapidly become a major player in the mobile video game market, with tens of thousands of great games. The growth of the iPhone as a gaming platform, in fact, has led some observers to forecast that Apple is well on its way to eclipsing Nintendo and Sony as the leading mobile game platform. Beyond that, the general expectation that Android apps should be free (noted above) has led game developers interested in making money (i.e., almost all of them, and certainly all the major ones) to develop for iPhone first and Android second. In fact, due to various problems with developing for Android, some game companies have stopped creating games for it all together. While Android has its fair share of hit games, the iPhone has the clear advantage here. Winner: iPhone

5. GPS Navigation: Free Wins

image copyright Google Inc.

As long as youve got access to the Internet and a smartphone, you never have get lost again thanks to the built-in GPS and maps apps on both the iPhone and Android. And while both platforms sport GPS appsthat can give drivers turn-by-turn directions, only one has a high-quality, spoken turn-by-turn GPS app thats also free: Android. Android users can use Google Maps Navigation, an app thats not available for iPhone, to get free turn-by-turn directions to virtually anywhere. While there are lots of other GPS apps for both platforms, theres no equivalent free app for iPhone--for now. In iOS 6, turn-by-turn directions are coming to the iPhone for free. Winner: Android 6. Flash: A Difficult Choice

image copyright Adobe Inc.

The iPhone famously doesnt run Flash--and never will--and makers of Android tablets trumpet that their devices do. If tablets using Android can run Flash, will Android phones be able to do the same?

The answer is sort of--and only older models. That's because Adobe, the makers of Flash, have ceased development of Flash for Android. While older Android devices can use Flash, Adobe has said it will no longer support Flash on Android 4.1 and higher, and that it will no longer be available for download through Google Play after August 2012. So, Android users who want Flash will have to decide: do they want to stay on an older operating system or have Flash? After reports that the experience of running Flash on Android was never very good--many reviewers have pointed out that Flash doesnt work terrifically well on Android tablets and that it drains batteries quickly--Adobe's decision seems to validate Apple's original point: Flash is bad for batteries and device stability. While its lack of Flash prevents the iPhone from viewing some web content, many sites have alternate versions that work with the iPhone. So, iPhone users do miss some of the web, but less and less all the time. And, they may miss the parts of the web, but with HTML 5 set to displace Flash and Flash's own maker admitting it can't make a version that works well on Android, you'd have to conclude Apple wins this one. Winner: iPhone 7. Battery Life: Consistent Improvement

Because of the greater variety of hardware used in Android phones, Androids battery life is more varied and, on average, less than the iPhones. While early iPhone models had batteries that required a charge nearly every day, thats no longer true. With recent models, its easy to go days at a time without needing a charge. The story is much more complex with Android, thanks to the large variety of models that run it. Some Android models now have 4-inch screen or 4G LTE networking, both of which burn through much more battery life. To get a sense of what that means, some 4G LTE Android phones are being touted as successes because they can work 8 hours straight without a charge. That means they don't last an entire day, just a work day. I'm sure the faster networking is great, but that's too much of a trade-off for me. Add that to the battery-intensive apps Android phones run (including some in the background that the user doesnt necessarily know are there), a charge every day (or less) isnt unheard of. Winner: iPhone 8. Screen Size: How Big Is Too Big?

image copyright Samsung

If you're looking for the biggest screens available on smartphones, Android is your clear choice. It's not uncommon to find Android phones with 4.3-inch screens, and the HTC One X offers a 4.7-inch screen, while the Samsung Galaxy Note stretches the ruler at 5.3 inches. So, for sheer size, Android it is. The question, of course, is whether a screen that big on a phone is actually a good idea. After all, phones go in our pockets or purses, they're held in our hands and to our faces, where huge devices may not necessarily be a benefit. And as we've seen already, large screens consume more battery power. To date, Apple has always offered the same size screen on the iPhone: 3.5 inches. Instead of making it bigger, its new screens are better: theRetina Display technology makes them much higher-resolution than Android screens. Still, if it's raw size you're after, Android's the choice. Winner: Android

iOS (previously iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system developed and distributed by Apple Inc. Originally released in 2007 for the iPhone andiPod Touch, it has been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPad and Apple TV. Unlike Microsoft's Windows CE (Windows Phone) and Google's Android, Apple does not license iOS for installation on non-Apple hardware. As of June 12, 2012, Apple's App Store contained more than 650,000 iOS applications, which have collectively been downloaded more than 30 billion times.[3] It had a 23% share of the smartphoneoperating system units sold in the first quarter of 2012, behind onlyGoogle's Android.[4] In June 2012, it accounted for 65% of mobile web data consumption (including use on both the iPod Touch and the iPad).[5]At the half of 2012, there were 410 million devices activated.[6] The user interface of iOS is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements consist of sliders, switches, and buttons. The response to user input is immediate and provides a fluid interface. Interaction with the OS includes gestures such as swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch, all of which have specific definitions within the context of the iOS operating system and its multi-touch interface. Internal accelerometers are used by some applications to respond to shaking the device (one

common result is the undo command) or rotating it in three dimensions (one common result is switching from portrait to landscape mode). iOS is derived from OS X, with which it shares the Darwin foundation, and is therefore a Unix operating system. In iOS, there are four abstraction layers: the Core OS layer, the Core Services layer, the Media layer, and the Cocoa Touch layer. The current version of the operating system (iOS 5.1.1) dedicates 1-1.5 GB of the device's flash memory for the system partition, using roughly 800 MB of that partition (varying by model) for iOS itself.

Android (operating system)

Android is a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices such assmartphones and tablet computers. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance, led by Google.[2] Google financially backed the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., and later purchased it in 2005.[8] The unveiling of the Android distribution in 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 86 hardware, software, and telecommunicationcompanies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.[9]Google releases the Android code as open-source, under the Apache License.[10] The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android.[11] Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of the devices. Developers write primarily in a customized version of Java.[12] Apps can be downloaded from thirdparty sites or through online stores such as Google Play (formerly Android Market), the app store run by Google. In June 2012, there were more than 600,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from Google Play was 20 billion.[13]

Android became the worlds leading smartphone platform at the end of 2010.[14] For the first quarter of 2012, Android had a 59% smartphone market share worldwide.[15] At the half of 2012, there were 400 million devices activated and 1 million activations per day.[16] Analysts point to the advantage to Android of being a multi-channel, multi-carrier OS



Apple's triumph over Samsung in its patent infringement case will benefit Apple in the short term, prolonging the survival of its high profit margins and limiting competitive pressures from Android hardware makers. But the billions Apple could reap in damages and future licensing fees won't be enough to cripple Samsung, or Google, the power behind Android. What's more, Apple's victory aids Microsoft, a company that competes with Google and also covets Apple's mobile business. Opening the door to Windows Phone in order to shut it on Android doesn't make Apple's mobile products more compelling or strengthen the foundation of Apple's business.