It’s one of the most contentious questions among smartphone and tablet users: Android or iOS? Everyone seems to have an opinion as to what operating system is the best – or more accurately, what operating system is the worst.
Recently, I wrote an article about making the switch from iOS to Android. But Android devices aren’t right for everyone. There’s a reason why the Apple iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the country right now. And it’s not just good marketing and hype.
Are you an Apple person? It all depends on how important the following four factors are to you.
Android is the Wild West of phone operating systems. Stock devices largely come unprotected from attack. Sure, Google checks apps and viruses for malware on the Google Play store, but threats can come from anywhere – even via unsecured Wi-Fi locations. The phones are so vulnerable, in fact, that 32.8 million Android devices were infected with malware last year alone.
If Android is the Wild West, Apple’s iOS is more like Disneyland. It’s a tightly controlled experience. All apps created for the iPhone or iPad need to go through a rigorous testing process. Sure, the occasional bad seed slips through every now and then, but for the most part, the App Store is a clean, virus-free marketplace.
Ease of Use
My mother loves technology, but even she’d admit that she’s far from a tech expert. So, when she asked my professional advice as to what kind of smartphone she should get, the answer was simple: Get an iPhone. Done.
The fact of the matter is that Apple phones are incredibly easy to use. I didn’t need to sit down with my mother to explain how it worked – she was able to figure things out on her own simply by playing with it. Key features are easy to find. To borrow a phrase from Apple’s PR department, “it just works.”
If you haven’t seen Apple’s iOS 7, you’re really missing out. Under the watchful eye of British designer Jony Ive, the new mobile operating system is beautifully minimalist. App icons have been two-dimensionalized, and new simplified backgrounds really complete the look. And these icons appear to float on your screen thanks to a new parallax effect – if you can handle it without losing your lunch.
Apple hardware matches its operating system: simple, sleek and modern. There aren’t a lot of choices, but that’s OK. The iPhone 5s is lightweight and feels good in your hand. The metal-and-glass construction is solid. And yes, tests do show that the Apple iPhone is a less-breakable phone than the popular Samsung Galaxy S4.
The Android operating system is slated to get a major update to KitKat 4.4 this month, but your device might never see it. Some phones simply can’t handle it technically. Other hardware manufacturers won’t even bother making the upgrade available. There are tens of thousands of different types of Android smartphones and tablets, and it seems like each one is running a different version of the OS. As of October 2, only 1.5% of devices were running the most recent version of Android.
If you’re an Apple iPhone user, you’re probably not even familiar with the word fragmentation. When iOS 7 launched in September, everyone got it – and its cool new features – at the same time. Sure, there are a few stragglers holding on to iOS 6 (some people’s hardware is too outdated to upgrade). But as of October 22, 2013, over two-thirds of all iPhone users had upgraded to iOS 7.
Want to learn more about whether the Apple iOS is right for you? Check out Techlicious’s review of the iPhone 5s, then read our iOS 7 preview to get a look under the phone’s hood.
This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Techlicious.
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