Since Nokia’s fall from grace and the emergence of the iPhone, a duopoly has been established in the mobility market composed of the following operating systems: iOS and Android.
It is curious to see that, to some extent, iOS and Android have replicated what has traditionally happened on the PC with macOS (formerly OS X) and Windows. Apple’s operating systems tend to be more closed platforms and with a much more controlled ecosystem. At the same time, Windows, like Android, became the operating system of the “compatible,” offering certain freedoms that at least are not so evident in the bitten apple, especially when it comes to iOS.
The described circumstance hints that with Android, the user will have in his hands a more open ecosystem that will allow him to do things that at least are not so easy to do in iOS, in addition to encountering the adoption of open technologies and specifications such as Vulkan and OpenGL. Here Apple has long since bet everything on Metal, which is proprietary and proprietary.
All do my paper specifications for technical professionals state that Android’s greater commitment to open specifications is most noticeable in the loader interface, which generally also performs the data transmission function. While cell phones using Google’s operating system are usually equipped with some version of USB connectors (Type-C is the most common in recent devices), iPhones and iPads still rely on Lightning, which is proprietary and proprietary to Apple (although adapter cables are available).
Another common thing when comparing iOS and Android derives from the fact that the former has an ultra-closed approach that does not allow adding third-party stores, a possibility that the latter is still open, so users can get apps from other sources that they find better than Google’s Play Store (the reasons can be many and depend on each one).
Finally, we cannot forget that Android is initially free software under the permissive Apache 2 license. This allows the creation of derivatives, called ROMs, which can better suit the user’s preferences and/or extend a device’s life and security maintenance, especially considering the short support time usually provided by manufacturers. Many users of the bitten Apple highly value Apple’s strong control over iOS. However, taking away the manufacturer’s control over the device and the system can have many benefits if done correctly.
1. Ability to Add a MicroSD Card
Although Android smartphones are spreading the fashion of not including microSD slots, especially in high-end models, there are still many devices whose storage can be expanded in that way.
Nowadays, mobile devices come standard with enough storage space for basic use. Still, the situation may change if you use a lot, especially the video camera, which easily generates files that take up a lot of space. In such cases, having a microSD card can help easily expand the amount of space dedicated to data storage.
2. Connect Your Old Headphones
Here we find ourselves in the same situation as before: not all Android smartphones have a 3.5-millimeter jack connector, especially when we look towards high-end devices, which have already eliminated it in a high percentage.
However, to this day, many models still incorporate the classic 3.5-millimeter jack connector, even recent ones. In recent years Bluetooth wireless headphones have indeed gained a lot of ground. Still, this wireless interface drains more battery power than the wired connection, can cause errors, and the user may suffer from latencies, although there have been high-quality Bluetooth headphones for some time now.
Almost all of us have headphones in our homes that go through the 3.5 mm jack port. Why buy wireless headphones if our wired headphones are still working properly?
Apple, for its part, years ago fulminated the iPhone’s 3.5-millimeter jack connector, and the adapters that were put on sale, at least initially, generated complaints about the sound quality.
Sometimes progress requires making sacrifices, but the 3.5-millimeter jack connector remains a useful, valid, and competent technology for most.
3. Communicate Without Having to Sacrifice a Kidney to do so
Apple has traditionally been a company focused on the high-end, a policy it applies for the purpose of its own brand having a high value in the market. On Android, one has devices of all types and ranges, from the highest to the lowest, including some clamshell models.
If you look hard enough, you can find quality Android phones at reasonable prices, and the truth is that, for the vast majority of users, what these devices offer is more than enough. Apple has indeed made inroads to launch iPhone models at more affordable prices, but even with those, among Chinese manufacturers, you can find terminals with a better value for money.
That Apple tends to offer more years of support than Android smartphone manufacturers? Nothing better than focusing on those that tend to have custom ROMs available. Once the official support time has expired, you can resort to a custom ROM to continue getting updates, which is very important if we take into account security. That software without updating is a very important risk.
4. Call Recording
The Apple iPhone, at least for the moment, does not offer any native way to record calls, so there is no other choice but to resort to third-party applications that perform this function.
On the other hand, many Android smartphone manufacturers preinstall an application that allows you to record calls, thus facilitating this task as much as possible.
It is important to keep in mind that recording one’s phone calls is legal, but disclosing them can end up being a problem, so in case of using such a feature, it must be done with caution and be very clear about the limits that should not be crossed.
5. Sideloading, the Big Obstacle in iOS
And once again, we are faced with the typical Apple limitations. iPhone users are forced to get all applications from the App Store with no alternative routes. This, for example, makes it impossible to apply a downgrade (back to a previous version) to an app unless the developer himself applies it as an update through the official store.
On Android, at least for now, it is still possible to download an APK file and install it from the internal storage of the device, although this process, to be carried out, needs to perform some previous steps that consist of allowing the installation of applications from unknown sources, which poses a risk in case of not ensuring before that the APK file has been obtained from an official source. As a result, the user may find himself in the situation of having to update the application himself, which in the end, is not very comfortable.
As we can see, Android is a more open platform than iOS, so let’s take the opportunity to mention 10 reasons why you should use Google’s mobile operating system instead of Apple’s.
6. Customization Possibilities
Traditionally Apple has not been a company very given to offering customization options to its users, and that has apparently been reinforced in iOS. In the Play Store, one can find third-party launchers, icon packs, and widget apps that open the door to customizing the experience with the operating system.
But the customization possibilities cover not only the graphical user interface but also the ability to add third-party stores other than Google’s Play Store and to be able to change the operating system on many devices to add one that is more to the user’s liking, being able, for example, to get rid of the Google services that come preinstalled from the factory.
As we can see, having more freedom does not necessarily translate into advantages on all fronts, but surely many users will appreciate having springs they can manage by themselves instead of being content with what is supplied through the official store. Some apps like WhatsApp still allow installation via side loading.
Here we cannot forget Apple’s strong stance against sideloading, around which such a strong debate has been generated that it has even reached the political sphere, whereby the company could be forced to allow sideloading. Despite being a clear axe against users’ freedom, the corporation in charge of iOS has solid arguments to maintain its position, so we’ll see how this end in the end.
7. Changes in the Organization of SMS
The iOS SMS application is rather basic, but the worst thing is not that. On top of that, Apple’s operating system does not allow third-party applications to access them. At the same time, Android has at its disposal a large number of applications that open the door for the user to organize their SMS in another way.
Possibly the alteration of SMS operation is not the most demanded thing by users, more seeing that messaging applications have eaten them a lot of ground. However, once again, we find ourselves with a front in which Android offers more possibilities than iOS.
8. Better File Management
Here we find a similar situation to that with SMS and is that the iOS file explorer is a component and correctly performs its function, but for Android, there are powerful third-party options such as Solid Explorer, which are responsible on many occasions for providing interesting features that are not available in the default supplied application.
If you don’t like something on Android, you probably can change it.
Android, as a project and despite being officially under Google, is more choral than iOS, which a single company control.
Because there are so many manufacturers around Android, the competition they generate brings innovative features to many handsets faster, which can encompass things like foldable smartphones that already exist while Apple is still developing theirs.
Apple products have tended to become more conservative over the years, and it is no longer unusual to see them adopt advances after their competitors. However, this doesn’t seem to matter or hurt the company as long as it maintains its status and loyal users.
It is true that, with its own ARM-based processors, Apple can pack quite a punch in the desktop computing market, especially if we are talking about advances and innovation. Still, in mobility, it does not seem to be in a hurry to include technological advances, although that does not mean that iPhones are bad terminals, far from it.
10. Widget Support
And to give an example of Apple’s conservatism, what less to talk about widgets, which have always or almost always been part of the soul of Android. Yes, once again, we find ourselves with another section that, in one way or another, covers customization.
The widgets allow you to customize the Android home screen experience quite a bit, thus opening the door to create frameworks that help the user in the use of the device. The many implementations of Google’s system out there often make available widgets of all kinds, encompassing a custom clock, weather information, alarms, flashlight access, direct calls to contacts, and more. Obviously, this also opens the door to doing some fancy things that don’t really add much, but this depends on the user’s ingenuity and skill.
Apple has never had customization as one of its values. Consequently, widgets were not present in iOS until version 14, which was released in 2020.
Conclusion: Android is More Customizable and Offers More Freedom
As we can see, the reasons for choosing Android over iOS center on one very specific thing: freedom. This is influenced by Apple’s traditional policy of not offering many nooks and crannies for customization, something it already applied in OS X and has extended and reinforced in iOS. However, this policy of not offering many nooks and crannies for customization may have been the origin of the conservatism it has been showing for some time.