iOS VS Android

A comparison based on user experience

When it comes to user experience, iOS still stands tall above the android. Even though it takes some time for someone used to one to get a handle on the other.

About a year ago, I got an iPhone. I still had an android tablet I was using, but I needed a phone. My decision to get an iPhone was influenced by several things. I talked about the chief of them in a previous article.

Now after a year (and some months), do I regret buying an iOS device? Honestly, knowing that the phone will one day expire and I’ll have to replace it with a new one gives me a suspicious feeling. I am the kind of person that likes using things for a long time.

The most critical part is that the new iPhone may not have some of the things that I love. For example, my iPhone still has the button. I have seen the ones without the button and I prefer the button to still be present. But I don’t think I have that choice now.

I plan to change my iPhone into a more recent one in a few months. And I thought of my experience so far with the device. As someone who has used Symbian, Java, and still use android, I think iOS is fantastic.

Initially, when I started using the iPhone I had to ask my friends how to navigate. They have been using iPhones for a long time. The system was very strange. But after a while, I got so used to it. It made me realize that the iOS school of thought concerning UX is way different from android.

Here are the major differences:

1. Android shows a unique path for each destination. iOS shows one path for all destinations

The android believes you can do many things at the same time. The iOS believes that your focus can only be on one thing at a time. This results in the android trying to satisfy the user coping with the many open distractions. The iOS is just focused on immediate use.

On Android, if you want to go back to what you were doing before, you have to get off the path you are on and go through a unique path. But they made each unique path very short.

On the iOS, every step you make is layered on the previous. So, if you have navigated many things in a short while, you can trackback in succession.

2. You can’t charge the iOS while it is off

This is a bit annoying. Every time I charge when off, the phone will turn itself on. When I realized this, I just stopped charging when off.

However, this is advantageous when your battery is flat out and you need to get the phone on as soon as possible. For android devices, you have to wait a while and then try to turn the phone on. For the iPhone, immediately the battery level is okay, the phone turns on by itself.

I don’t like this feature though. I prefer to be in control.

3. iOS boots faster?

In this case, I am not too sure. Maybe it is just my devices or it happens to everybody. My guess is the latter. The iPhone boots way faster than the android. It is not just faster, it is significantly faster.

It doesn’t stop there. After turning the iPhone on, it is ready to go. I still have to wait for some things to fall in place on the android.

I think this falls on the RAM of the device. But the difference in RAM isn’t that much. Have you noticed anything like this?

4. Apps on iOS have a smoother UX than the same apps on android

This is another landmark difference I observed. There are some apps I have on both devices. The user experience on the android is good, no doubt. But the experience on iOS is way better.

This is what I mean. The things you can do with 3 taps on android, you can do with 2 or less on the iOS. I don’t know maybe that is intentional by the developers or iOS just makes it like that.

This isn’t about in-built apps. These are third-party apps. That gets me wondering. Are they favoring the iOS or the iOS just gives a better UX for apps?

5. The iOS is a closed ecosystem

The major reason I still use an android is the closed nature of iOS. Sending anything from an iOS device to a non-Apple device is a war. In my current environment, that ability to move files is very important to me.

On the other hand, I don’t think I would advise Apple to open up the ecosystem. A part of what makes their product unique is the exclusivity. If they decide to bend on that, they would lose more customers than they would gain.

Just as an example, BlackBerry was a reigning device in the smartphone world a few years ago. They made a ridiculous mistake and opened up their exclusive feature, the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), to android. And that singular move killed their market. Today, both the BBM and the BlackBerry phone are out of dominance.

In summary, I think iOS gives a better user experience than android. Although, the android UX is pretty good too. However, both systems have important advantages that make them compelling. The day android decides to become like the iOS, it will meet its doom. And likewise, if the iOS becomes like android, that will be the end of its dominance.

My friends who are Apple fans have started having concerns that the iPhone is beginning to look like an android phone. First the slimming competition, then getting rid of the button. And now battle over camera superiority. I hope you know Apple is not the first to put more than one camera lens behind the phone. In fact, I have seen a phone with 4 camera lenses behind it.

Let us hope Apple doesn’t forget what made them special.

All Rights Reserved for David O.

One Comment

  1. Candice

    Microsoft has unveiled work on a new Office app soon headed to iOS and Android, bundling Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a central hub for productivity needs. Operating as a one-stop-shop for core Office experiences, it retains the full functionality of each application, now streamlined into one interface. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint reside as standalone experiences on Apple’s Apple Store and the Google Play Store, with the app set to eliminate that disconnect.


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