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What makes Android better than iOS?

I've been an iPhone user for years, and a happy one at that, but a few friends keep saying "The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the best thing ever!" "The HTC One is the best thing ever!" "Android is better than iOS!"

I appreciate that Android has bigger phones, but what makes the operating system better than iOS?

Most Useful Answer JanSt  May. 15, 2014 at 18:21

what makes the operating system better than iOS?
Answer: apparently the things you do not need. Because you are "an iPhone user for years, and a happy one at that" ;)

Here's why people say those things (in no particular order):

Android lets you sideload apps from places other than the official appstore. I.e. app piracy is very simple. Freebies are popular, right?!

Android lets you theme the UI, apply skins, new icon sets, different launchers etc etc... And if that isn't enough, because you still have time to tweak your phone rather than use it, well... then you can flash custom ROMs.

It also lets you share content between apps more easily than iOS. So, a photo you spot on Twitter can be saved, 'open in' another app, etc...

Many Android browsers let you download content from the webs that Safari won't download. You cannot open file x on an iPhone, so why let you download file x... Very restrictive.
If I sit and browse the web on my phone and I happen to spot a Windows app review, and a download link for the app's .exe - why not download it right there so I can later install it on my laptop (if I had a Win laptop...)? Not on Apple's watch.

Same goes for file transfer between Android and PCs and Android and Android phone, tab etc...

There's more. Much more. And it all depends on who you ask.
On the other hand: an iPhone does what it says on the tin and it does it very well.
The unchangeable icons? How often and for how long do you stare at them?
Widgets? Have you no window to see whether it rains or not? Hit the widget and it opens the app, anyways... what's the biggie?

Etc etc...

Android is NOT BETTER, it is different. And the fact that different exists is GOOD, because it offers people the choice to pick what's better for them!

People who actually rely on using the phone 24/7, may be utterly uninterested in skinning and theming and flashing ROMs. When their phone doesn't require attention, they have better things to do than to 'play' with that work tool from hell.

It's all about needs and wants. When you upgrade from an iPhone to a new iPhone model, it takes a few minutes to have the new phone exactly the way you need it. Because you can just set it up from an old backup. You know where to get what content etc etc...

I'm pretty handy with smartphones, but when I get a new Android phone to play with, I find myself wasting hours setting it up, because choices have sub-choices, and more choices and then some... BUT: Nothing, e.g. enables you to back up an Android phone as complete and thoroughly as iTunes lets you back up an iPhone. Nothing lets you set up a Galaxy from a HTC back up for time saving convenience. So, there: cons.

Needs and wants.

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JanSt / MOD  May. 15, 2014 at 18:21

what makes the operating system better than iOS?
Answer: apparently the things you do not need. Because you are "an iPhone user for years, and a happy one at that" ;)

Here's why people say those things (in no particular order):

Android lets you sideload apps from places other than the official appstore. I.e. app piracy is very simple. Freebies are popular, right?!

Android lets you theme the UI, apply skins, new icon sets, different launchers etc etc... And if that isn't enough, because you still have time to tweak your phone rather than use it, well... then you can flash custom ROMs.

It also lets you share content between apps more easily than iOS. So, a photo you spot on Twitter can be saved, 'open in' another app, etc...

Many Android browsers let you download content from the webs that Safari won't download. You cannot open file x on an iPhone, so why let you download file x... Very restrictive.
If I sit and browse the web on my phone and I happen to spot a Windows app review, and a download link for the app's .exe - why not download it right there so I can later install it on my laptop (if I had a Win laptop...)? Not on Apple's watch.

Same goes for file transfer between Android and PCs and Android and Android phone, tab etc...

There's more. Much more. And it all depends on who you ask.
On the other hand: an iPhone does what it says on the tin and it does it very well.
The unchangeable icons? How often and for how long do you stare at them?
Widgets? Have you no window to see whether it rains or not? Hit the widget and it opens the app, anyways... what's the biggie?

Etc etc...

Android is NOT BETTER, it is different. And the fact that different exists is GOOD, because it offers people the choice to pick what's better for them!

People who actually rely on using the phone 24/7, may be utterly uninterested in skinning and theming and flashing ROMs. When their phone doesn't require attention, they have better things to do than to 'play' with that work tool from hell.

It's all about needs and wants. When you upgrade from an iPhone to a new iPhone model, it takes a few minutes to have the new phone exactly the way you need it. Because you can just set it up from an old backup. You know where to get what content etc etc...

I'm pretty handy with smartphones, but when I get a new Android phone to play with, I find myself wasting hours setting it up, because choices have sub-choices, and more choices and then some... BUT: Nothing, e.g. enables you to back up an Android phone as complete and thoroughly as iTunes lets you back up an iPhone. Nothing lets you set up a Galaxy from a HTC back up for time saving convenience. So, there: cons.

Needs and wants.

CTPAHHIK  May. 16, 2014 at 13:53

Bah, did you type that on a Lumia?

JanSt / MOD  May. 16, 2014 at 13:55

Bah, did you type that on a Lumia? hahaha On an iPhone, actually.
Right before I had to return it to the rightful owners... :( hahaha

spruceyb  May. 16, 2014 at 18:15

Here's my answer from when this question popped up in November

The best choice is the one that works for you.
I know people who have switched to Android and wondered what they ever saw in iPhones and know people who switched only to switch back months later because they prefer iOS.

For me though, these are the main reasons I prefer Android over iOS.

1. Sharing - As long as apps you have installed support the Intent you can share between them. This is useful for so many things for me. A foreign friend on Twitter who usually posts in English posts in their native language, I choose 'Share' and then list of apps appear and I select 'Google Translate' and there it is translated.
Or somebody tweets something interesting I can save it to my Google Keep, Blog about it with Wordpress and dozens of other options depending on what Apps I have.
Same thing with photos I take, send them to any editor I have installed, then share from that editor to a social network or send it to my TV etc.

2. Better Keyboards - I'm using SwiftKey which learns from your SMS, Email & Social Networks to predict which words you'll use in a sentance.

3. Setting Default Apps - Chrome handles my Internet, Hangouts does my SMS, MX Player for my video, PowerAMP for my music etc. I don't have to use the built in apps, I get to use the ones that work for me with minimum effort.

4. File System - I can browse all my files, download anything I want. So if I have a link to ZIP file of a new mixtape a friend sends me I can save it, unzip it and just listen to it.

5. Notifications - Some @ mentions me on Twitter, I read it in notifications and have an option to reply straight from there, same things for alarms, reminders etc.
I have an event in my calender to meet up with a few people in the evening and to be reminded in the morning, the notification gives me the option of snoozing or email people in the event.

6. Customisation - I have 1 homescreen, 4 folders across the bottom (2 either side of app draw) and each folder has a swipe gesture, so my Social folder goes straight in to my twitter app and refreshes the feed as that's my most common action.
Swiping on my App drawer icon opens Google Now voice search.
Pressing home on home screen opens Google Now main app.
You can make your phone super efficient.

7. Screen Size & Battery Life - I'm currently using a LG G2 and the 1080p 5.2" screen is just wonderful. And the battery is 3000mAh meaning it lasts an age, my friend with a similar commute to me loses 30% Battery on his iPhone 5, me using the G2, loses around 12% (maybe 20% if I decide to play games).

8. Price - I picked up the LG G2 on an o2 contract for £22pm (£9.99 upfront) which is a heck of a lot cheaper than an iPhone.

There's also this article to read for the POV of someone who switched from iOS
http://paulstamatiou.com/android-is-better

JanSt / MOD  May. 16, 2014 at 18:22

which words you'll use in a sentance You gotta love ironic typos :p

But thanks.... very thorough reply. Of course: Apple rules, Android sucks and all the usual ©

;)

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