Over the past several years there have been two dominating forces in the smartphone market: Apple iOS and Google Android. Android has made significant advancements since it was released in 2008, and it has become the most popular mobile operating system worldwide.
This is largely due to the number of budget smartphones that run Android, whereas Apple has restricted itself to premium, expensive mobile devices. However, despite Android’s growing popularity, there are four major reasons why iOS remains the best mobile operating system for high-end smartphone users.
#1 – Consistency and Stability
One ongoing problem with Google Android is the fact that the OS is fragmented across a vast number of devices. There are numerous manufacturers building dozens of different Android models at any given time, and each one utilizes different internal and external hardware. Furthermore, each manufacturer creates their own unique skin that runs on top of the base Android system, such as Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense. Because of this, the user experience differs drastically depending on which device you have, and OS stability issues are not uncommon.
I’m suddenly missing using an iPhone. Android just doesn’t do it for me.
— Ho Xiang Yu (@melontown) November 2, 2014
In contrast, Apple alone controls the development of iOS as well as the hardware used in its mobile devices. This allows Apple to optimize its hardware and software to work together as efficiently as possible while minimizing stability issues. The user experience is consistent across all devices: iOS runs practically the same on every version of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, whether it’s the most current model or a device from last year.
#2 -The App Store Versus Google Play
The Apple App Store is carefully vetted. Programmers have to pay a fee to have their applications reviewed by Apple employees, which deters programmers from submitting low-quality apps. Apps containing glitches or malware are rejected during the review process, so iOS users don’t have to question the legitimacy of App Store applications. The Google Play store is much more lenient. Programmers can upload virtually any application to the Play store, so Android users have to be much more careful in personally reviewing apps before installing them. Glitchy applications and apps containing malware will be deleted from the Play store once reported; however, the quality of the applications isn’t carefully vetted prior to publication, so Android users have to be extra careful when purchasing apps. Moreover, due to the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, applications that work perfectly on one smartphone may cause numerous glitches on another device. This isn’t the case with iOS devices: virtually all applications work flawlessly on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as long as the device is running the latest version of the iOS software.
#3 -Timely OS Updates
Fragmentation of the Android ecosystem also creates complications with the OS updating process. When Google releases an updated version of the Android operating system, the update is only immediately available on devices running stock Android. However, most Android smartphones run a manufacturer-specific version of Android, such as Samsung TouchWiz or HTC Sense. This requires manufacturers to personally update their operating systems whenever a new Android version is released, which often causes lengthy delays. Since iOS is compatible on all Apple mobile devices, delays aren’t an issue. As soon as Apple releases a new version of the iOS software, all compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices are updated instantaneously. This allows Apple to implement bug-fixes and new features more consistently than is possible on Google Android devices.
#4 -Increased Privacy Through Granular App Permissions
Apple iOS has always used a granular permission system for applications. This means that users are able to select specific permissions that are given to each app. For example, users who download Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking apps can deny location and communication data to the applications. This restricts the apps from accessing users’ text messages, call records, and other sensitive data.
Can’t wait to get my 5s and hopefully my old number back, this Android is gross
— Keannaa ✨ (@keannaphillips_) November 4, 2014
Furthermore, iOS users can grant or restrict specific permissions at any time by accessing an application’s settings. For example, if a user wants to temporarily supply Facebook with location data to tag themselves at a venue, the user can turn on location services momentarily then disable it once they are finished updating their Facebook page.
Google Android requires users to comprehensively approve all permissions before installing an application. For example, if a social networking application asks for location and communication data, users are required to either grant all permissions or uninstall the app. This creates the possibility for invasive data-mining and other privacy violations within the Android ecosystem.