Updated April 18, 2023
Which is Best: iOS vs Android?
Operating System (OS) is the core of any hardware device, whether your Personal Computer (PC) or mobile. The mobile operating system (also coined as mobile OS) is an operating system for smartphones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), tablets (such as iPad), or other mobile devices. The mobile operating systems generally combine personal computer operating system features with additional iOS vs Android features such as cellular connectivity, touchscreen, GPS navigation, camera (photos and videos), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.
There are several different mobile operating systems available in the market. Below is a list of some mobile OS available in the market:
- Windows Phone
- Firefox OS
- Windows Mobile
The above list contains mobile OS currently available in the market as well as few of them that have become obsolete and unavailable. The list of mobile OS that are now obsolete are Bada (by Samsung Electronics), Symbian (by Nokia), Windows Mobile (by Microsoft and replaced with Windows Phone), and webOS (by Palm). iOS or Android Development depends on the market share.
The market is predominantly occupied by iOS vs Android market share and has left few market share to other mobile OS, including Windows Phone, Blackberry, Firefox OS, and Tizen. The below chart shows the market share of mobile OS for 2014.
Based on the above statistics, you can conclude that the mobile OS market is dominated by Android, followed by iOS.
What do you know about iOS?
iOS, which was previously coined as iPhone OS, is developed by Apple Inc. It has the second largest market share of mobile OS and is closed source i.e., mobile developers cannot play with the core OS, being a proprietary product of Apple Inc. It is built on open-source Darwin core OS.
Apple Inc. products have iOS or OS X as the operating system. Devices such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch uses iOS, whereas Macbook and Apple TV uses OS X. The latest version of iOS available is iOS 9.1, and OS X is 10.11.1 (El Capitan). Moreover, since iOS is closed-source, hackers (such as the Pangu team) try to break into the system and install third-party software restricted by Apple. This break-in into iOS is what we refer to as “jail-breaking.”
What do you know about Android?
Android mobile OS is built on the Linux Kernel system and is developed by Google Inc. It has the largest mobile OS market share since it is free and open-source software, i.e., modifiable as per need based on free licensing. There have been several versions of Android, with the latest as 12 (Snow Cone). Further, the release of Android is always named after sweets or dessert items, such as 4.1 to 4.3 as Jelly Bean, 4.4 as Kitkat, 5.0 as Lollipop, and 6.0 as Marshmallow. Several different customized Android OS (based on open source Android Open Source Project – AOSP) are available in markets, such as CyanogenMod, Cyanogen OS, Fire OS, and MIUI. There are two main reasons for Android having a large pie of market share:
- It is open-source
- It is also available on low-cost devices (due to aggressive competition between manufacturers)
The manufacturer list that supports Android mobile OS in India is Samsung, Micromax, Karbonn, Motorola, Xolo, Lava, etc.
iOS vs Android Infographics
The below infographics outline the key differences between iOS vs Android.
Let’s compare iOS vs Android: Which is better with various parameters?
Following are some comparison points:
– iOS is developed by Apple Inc.
– Android is developed by Google Inc.
2. Initial release
– iOS was first released on July 29, 2007
– Android was first released on September 23, 2008
3. Latest release
– Latest version of iOS is iOS 16 for iPhone. (2023)
– Latest version of Android is Android 12. (2023)
4. Source model
– iOS is closed with certain open-source components.
– Android is open-source.
5. IDE for development
– iOS is developed using Xcode (only runs on OS X devices such as Macbook, Mac mini, etc) IDE for app development
– Android is developed using Android Studio or Eclipse, or any other third-party IDE for app development.
– iOS provides limited customization only for jail-broken devices
– Android provides lots of customization. You can change almost anything in Android since it is open-source.
7. Device support
– iOS is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and old versions of Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)
– Android is available on many phones and tablets such as Samsung, Motorola, Nexus, Sony, Karbonn, Micromax, etc.
8. Messaging mechanism
– In iOS, messaging can be done using the iMessage app.
– In Android, messaging can be done using Google Hangouts.
9. Media transfer mechanism
– Media (such as files, photos, videos, etc) sharing in iOS can be shared using a desktop application called iTunes (an official product of Apple). You can also use third-party tools such as iTool for media transfer.
– Media sharing in Android completely depends on the model.
10. App store
– iOS app are available on the Apple App store.
– Android apps are available on Google Play (formerly Android Market). There are various iOS vs Android apps available in the app store.
11. Developer registration fee
– iOS app developer registration fee is USD 99 per year
– Android app developer registration fee is USD 25, which is one-time fee
– iOS apps can be developed using Objective-C language. You can also use Swift by Apple Inc.
– Android apps can be developed using Java language.
13. App extension
– Extension of iOS app is .app. You can transfer/distribute iOS app using IPA or .app file.
– Extension of the Android app is .apk which can transfer/distribute an Android app.
14. Operating System family
– iOS is built onto OS X and UNIX family
– Android is built onto the Linux family
15. Voice commands
– You can use Siri’s built-in tool to perform voice command operations.
– You can use Google Now to perform voice command operations.
16. Video chatting
– You can use Facetime built-in tool in iOS for video chatting.
– You can use Google Hangouts’ built-in tool in Android for video chatting.
17. Open source
– iOS kernel is not open source but is based on open-source Darwin OS.
– Kernel, UI, and some standards are open-source.
– You can use Apple Maps for navigation on iOS devices.
– You can use Google Maps for navigation on Android devices.
19. Variety of hardware choice
– iOS is restricted to certain devices defined by Apple, such as iPhones and iPad variants
– Android is available on multiple devices i.e., low versions and high versions of Android phones are available. This is due to aggressive marketing between several different manufacturers.
20. Third-party widgets
– iOS does not allow any third-party widgets other than in Notification Center.
– Android allows third-party widgets.
– You can browse on an iOS device using the built-in Safari browser. There is also a provision to browse with other browsers (which requires you to download it).
– You can browse on an Android device using the built-in Google Chrome browser. There is also a provision to browse with other browsers by downloading it (with the exception of Safari browser).
22. Language support
– iOS is available in 40 different languages.
– Android is available in 70 different languages.
– iOS is much more secure than Android since it provides 6 complex digit passcode and fingerprint lock in the latest OS version.
– Android is comparatively less secure than iOS since several different manufacturers customize it as per their need, apart from being open-source as well.
24. Removable battery
– Device that supports iOS does not have a removable battery
– Most of Android-supported devices have removable batteries, which can help in cases like damaged battery, etc.
– iOS supports 64 and 32-bit ARM architecture (ARMV8-A for iOS 7 and above, ARMv6 for iPhone OS 1 to iOS 4.2.1)
– Android supports 64 and 32-bit ARM architecture, x86, x86-64, MIPS and MIPS64 as well.
26. Kernel type
– iOS kernel type is hybrid (XNU)
– Android kernel type is monolithic (i.e., modified Linux kernel)
– Globally, iOS has 13.9% of market share (as of 2015 Q2)
– Android has 82.8% of market share globally (as of 2015 Q2)
28. New payment service
– Apple Pay was introduced by Apple Inc last year that supports payment integration with iOS.
– Android Pay/Google Wallet was introduced by Google that is integrated with Android for payment service.
29. Device manufacturer
– Devices for iOS are manufactured by Apple Inc (although Apple outsources the manufacturing of device to other companies like Foxconn but hold complete ownership of the product).
– Several different device manufacturers are available for Android, such as Google, Samsung, HTC, Sony, Motorola, Karbonn, Micromax etc.
30. Default User Interface
– iOS has Cocoa touch (multi-touch, GUI ) as the default user interface
– Android has graphical (multi-touch) as the default user interface
31. Better quality apps
– Quality of iOS apps, when compared with Android, will always be a question of debate. However, it is well-known fact that iOS apps are always superior in terms of fluidity, performance, and overall rating.
– iOS is proprietary software of Apple Inc (only with a few exceptions of open-source components)
– Android has Apache License 2.0 GNU GPL v2 for Linux kernel modifications
33. Expandable Storage support
– iOS devices may run out of space at times when you are high on storage. The only alternative is to delete some contents or to push storage on iCloud.
– Android device support expandable storage due to aggressive marketing between different manufacturers.
34. Official site
– You can check www.apple.com/ios for official notifications of iOS
– You can check www.android.com for official notifications of Android
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