Android vs iOS: Fact vs Fiction

Whether it’s Coke vs Pepsi, Ford vs GM, Nike vs Reebok or UPS vs FedEx, one thing is clear: Brand rivalries are a major part of modern business. Generally speaking, the more personal a product or brand, the more intense people’s loyalty to the brand.

Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to a person’s smartphone. Contacts, calendars, email, web browsing and photos make a smartphone one of the most personal devices people use throughout the day. Because smartphones are an essential element in life, they engender fierce brand loyalties.

While there are many reasons to prefer iOS or Android, unfortunately, many of the reasons people tout are based on old premises that are no longer true.

Myth: iOS Is More Secure

One of the biggest and oldest myths in the iOS vs Android debate is that iOS is inherently more secure. Much of this is because of Apple’s walled-garden approach, whereby Apple approves or disproves any and all apps that make it into the App Store. As a result, it is difficult for a hacker or malware author to successfully release a widespread iOS malware app.

The Google Play store, in contrast, is generally more open than the App Store and there have been a number of apps over the years that have been removed specifically because of security concerns.

Verdict: Partially True

This myth is at least partially true. As recently as late 2017, Google was battling a massive malware outbreak on Android that successfully infected over 21 million devices.

That being said, the chances of the average user being infected by Android malware is still relatively low.

Myth: Apple Users Are Willing to Pay More

Another common myth impacting many development decisions is the belief that Apple users are inherently willing to pay more than Android users. This makes releasing iOS versions first more appealing, as it’s believed that iOS users will pay more faster, helping an app achieve profitability at a faster rate.

Verdict: False

While this may have been true in the early days of the rivalry, ongoing research has shown this is no longer the case. Android users are just as willing to pay for quality software as iOS users.

In fact, there is even some evidence to suggest that any willingness on the part of Apple users to pay more may even be the result of manipulation by merchants who intentionally raise prices for Apple users.

Myth: iOS Is Just As Customizable

There is no doubt that Apple has increased the degree to which the end user can customize their experience with recent versions of iOS. This has led many to believe that one of Android’s biggest advantages is no longer a factor.

Verdict: False

While Apple has made strides in this area, there is no comparison between the level of customization offered by the two platforms: Android remains the clear winner.

Myth: Android Phones Are More Powerful

As Android device makers have worked to compete with Apple, many of them have focused on technical specifications in an effort to build a faster, bigger, brighter, more powerful device. The end result has been users on both sides of the fence comparing hardware statistics in an effort to prove their device is better.

Verdict: Irrelevant

While hardware specs tell part of the story, it truly is only part. Far more important is the integration between the hardware and software. This is an area where Apple has traditionally had a lead, due to their control of both the hardware and software. Increasingly, however, major vendors like Samsung have been closing that gap with tighter integration between Android and the devices it runs on.

Myth: The Best Apps Come Out On iOS First

Yet another long-held belief is that the best apps and games come out on iOS first, to be followed on Android at some later date. There is no doubt that this was certainly the case in the early days of the two platforms.

Fact: Partially True

This particular myth is both true and false. The widely popular game Fortnite made headlines when it was released first for iOS, showing that many developers still release for iOS first and Android second, and some developers are strictly iOS-only shops.

In spite of that, the fact remains that there are more apps on the Google Play Store than Apple’s App Store. In fact, there are approximately 2,100,000 apps on the Apple App Store and some 3,763,223 Android apps, proving that platform exclusivity goes both ways.

iOS vs Android: A Rivalry For The Ages

Like any good brand rivalry, iOS vs Android is one with no clear winner and is likely to continue for years to come. Ultimately, that’s a good thing for developers and customers alike.

Regardless of which platform you develop for, take the Embrace platform for a test drive to see how it can improve your development.


If you found a few bits of value, please share:
Overcome Mobile App Technical Performance Issues & Build Success
Load SDKs Over Time: Why Pre-Loading May Be Costing You Customers