It is nearing a decade since the first iPhone made its way onto the global market and into our respective pockets. Less than a year after this, Android’s first phone made an appearance and tried to loosen Apple’s grip on the mobile device market. As of now, we have hit the tenth iteration of Apple’s OS in iOS 10, and Android’s latest OS, Nougat, is their sixth version. There are a few main differences in how the two companies consider the user, though. This post offers the main differences between the two, as well as the inherent benefits and shortfalls of the two operating systems.
Apple have always strived to create a neat and cozy package of features that anyone can use and benefit from. Built-in apps, such as Mail for email, Safari for web browsing and Maps for GPS navigation, all work fantastically well and offer a lot of usability.
As a direct contrast to this mentality, Android starts you off with a barebones selection of apps. Instead of providing a neat package for you, Google encourages you to go download the applications that you want. In short, you are expected to create your own mobile world with Android, whereas Apple confines you to what they want you to use.
One of the biggest innovations to reach mobile devices as of late is the rise in digital assistants. Using voice-control, you can tell your digital assistant to access apps and log events through your phone. Apple uses Siri on their operating systems, whereas Google use Google Now to be the standard digital assistant in their devices.
The biggest difference between the two assistants is in data privacy. Google Now trawls across multiple services and apps to get a better idea of what you are looking for and need. Siri, on the other hand, is more limited in what it can do but opts to keeps things more secure. As far as usability goes, Google Now seems to do a lot more without you asking it to.
Over the years, these two competing mobile operating systems have become much more closely aligned with one another. There are still a few differences, but by and large you can use an Android device just as well as an Apple device. Most applications are cross-platform, features are shared and even the cutting edge applications such as digital assistants are very similar. The big sticking points deal with are privacy and customisation – Apple want you to stay in their very pretty box, where they will keep you and your data safe. Conversely, Android let you go wild with customisation at the expense of less data privacy.