VanPoppelen’s Tech Insight: Apple versus Android

Justin VanPoppelen ‘15

Online Editor

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Android and iOS are two of the most popular mobile phone operating systems in the United States, and the two are locked in a battle for top spot in the market. Taking a look around the school all the students may seem to have different phones. Chances are, a large percentage of those phones are going to be running Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. The argument for which is better is a never-ending one, since everyone has their own wants and needs for their mobile phones. Now that its been said that there is no “better” software, let’s dig into which might be better for you. The reason the two cannot be directly compared for a winner is because iOS and Android are both bringing different things to the table, and are aimed at different consumers. First we’ll start off with iOS, the software on all iPhones, iPods, and iPads. iOS entered its 8th version with the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and added many new features that previous iPhone users did not have.

Features included are tools like the quick settings panel pulled up from the bottom of the screen; Siri can now identify songs that are playing around users; battery statistics; third party keyboards; and upgrades to the camera. The main thing that iOS strives to do is bring a familiar, smooth, and constant experience which it excels at. iOS is constantly praised for streamlined software that rarely has problems. The thing is, in order to provide this easy-to-use and consistent interface, iOS developers have to simplify and restrict some things. This is why it is seen as the opposite of Android, many things are not controlled by the user and are pre-defined.

Now on to Android, the operating system on popular phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4, HTC One, and many other lesser-known phones. Android is an operating system now run by Google and is soon updating to its fifth version named Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The main focus of this update will be more of a design overhaul rather than the addition of features, introducing a design language called “Material Design”. According to Google’s Android.com, this new design language is focused on bringing a bold, colorful, and responsive User Interface design for consistent, intuitive experiences.

Shifting focus to the user experience, Android is aimed towards letting the user decide how they want to use their phones. Even with phones like the Galaxy S5 that are customized by their manufacturer, users can download tools to help make the phone their own. In the same way Apple sacrificed customizability for a solid and consistent user interface, Android sacrifices a constant experience for customization. Downloading and using some third party apps and software can compromise the phone’s normal software.

So which of the two is right for you? That’s a decision you’ll have to make on your own. Apple’s iOS has the upper hand in a stream-lined experience but restricts customization, and Android allows users to tweak whatever they want, but this control can ruin your user experience. Try some new phones out and find out which one you like more.