iOS seems to be the shy kid when compared to the much open and customisable Android. Android has very well dominated the market share till the last year. More than half the worlds smartphones are running on Android. That makes Android resemble the big guy who goes around bullying the weaker guys in the class. But that is about to change, who likes bullies anyways?
The two most used platforms are very similar in what they do except that they are totally different in how they do it. Why is Android more customisable? Why cant we Bluetooth files from iPhones? What goes on inside them? How are they different? This article might come out as a bit biased, keep in mind I am an Apple fanboy. The moment I laid my hands on the packaging of my new iPad Air, I knew this isn’t just a piece of technology but a marvel built on the exact place where art and technology meet. The packaging is minimalistic and to the limit that they don’t even provide a pair of earphones (too minimal!). Then the clear example of fine craftsmanship is so obvious from the design of the product. And that is the first difference between Apple products and other products. The serene and simple design in all the products is a distinctive feature and the first thing to notice.
“If you want a lot of control on your products, then design the hardware as well as the software yourself.” Rightly said and this is what gives iOS devices the capability to perform smoothly despite having low configuration specifications. Such seamless synchronisation lets the devices exploit all the resources without having much overhead buffers. Android devices are manufactured by a number of manufacturers. Millions of hardware types, different processors, different numbers on the tech specs tables and different form factors overall, all running the same software only lightly optimised. This is a particularly notable perk of Android that it runs on so many different devices but this very factor makes Android resource hungry. Android flagships are running on three gigabytes of RAM and over-clocked octa-core processors. On the other hand the iPhone 6 has a single gigabyte of RAM, a dual-core processor and still out performs many of the best Android phones shipping today. Hardware-software optimisation uses the available resources in the most efficient ways and also requires a less powerful battery. Android and iOS are very different in the way their environment is made.
iOS is closed, very closed. Which in turn makes it far more secure than any other mobile operating system. Before iOS 8, apps could not interact with other apps, which rendered infection from malware virtually impossible. iOS works on sandboxing of apps. The apps are stand alone and cannot interact with other apps. So if a malicious app is programmed to access the photos in the device, it cannot access them because it does not have the permission to do so. Also, the apps being published on the App Store are closely scrutinised before they are made available for download. But with iOS 8 the walls of the sand box are lowered. Apps can interact with other apps but the user needs to give permission. There are individual settings for apps on what they can or cannot access. Android on the other hand is not built that way. While downloading an app from the Play Store, a list of all the resources which the app will be using is shown. Most of the resources are irrelevant to the nature of the app. Why does a calculator app need to access the phone contacts? Moreover these permissions are automatically granted once the user downloads the app. So in iOS your apps cannot work on something together but you get security.
Android is a very open platform. You can tweak the system, customise it in a lot of ways and of course get the security of your phone compromised. Apple now lets you do the things you can do on Android AND has the security. Android continues to give the freedom of doing a lot of customisation but still lacks security. All this control and closed nature does not let iOS be much customisable. Android users can customise the device in a lot of ways. Widgets, home screen, lock screen and there are launchers too which completely transform the look and feel of the device. Android certainly wins on this turf but that did not stop iOS devices from taking over the market share. Last quarter marked a significant increase in the popularity of Apple products and mainly iOS devices. With more flexible interface and the security it offers combined with the new form design on the flagship phones, Apple is currently the largest smartphone maker in the world. Both the mobile operating systems are unique in their own ways and this competition certainly has benefited the end user as there are relentless improvements from both the sides.
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