How Do Smartphone Platforms Compare
Why I Might Finally Switch from Android to iOS
Change is hard, especially deciding to try a different cell phone platform. Even though I use both Apple and PC computers, I’ve been an Android cell phone user for as long as I can remember. For my next phone, I am seriously contemplating switching camps to iOS. Here’s why.
1. Data security
No phone system is immune to cyber threats. That said, iOS still has the upper hand.
After reading many reviews by security experts, I found Chris Hauk from Pixel Privacy summed it up really well. Hauk pointed out that Android phones are targeted more often than iPhones because there are significantly more of them. Targeting Android devices offers a larger attack surface, which is much more efficient for hackers.
Since Apple controls the device, operating system and app ecosystem, devices are not as susceptible. However, iPhones are not immune to attack. Apple recently fixed two significant security holes that could have allowed third-party apps to see your private Apple ID. The company’s browser, Safari, patched a bug that could have disclosed user browser history. Even so, there were no attacks because of these bugs. It is still far less common to see Apple struggling with big security vulnerabilities.
If you read my article on mobile security, I pointed out Android phones get malware and viruses particularly from app stores. The Google Play store is an ad-supported, open environment where any developer can add apps, along with their inherent risks. Apple is very selective in which developers and apps can gain access to its ecosystem. Finding malware in iOS apps in the Apple Store is extremely unlikely.
Apple also distributes operating system updates directly to devices with no delays. Google only directly updates its own Google devices, which represent a tiny portion of Android phones. Operating system updates to other phone manufacturers are delayed, exposing devices to massive security threats.
2. Best for those with hearing loss
After an injury related hearing loss, I learned from an audiologist that Apple developed superior software for Bluetooth connectivity between iOS devices and hearing aids. Unfortunately, these systems are proprietary and expensive, but when matched with an iPhone, they give the hearing impaired some significant advantages. Here are the unique features included in iPhones for those that are deaf, have limited hearing, or have unique hearing needs use their devices:
- Made for iPhone hearing aids
- Live Listen
- Visual alerts
- RTT calls
- FaceTime video calls
- Video subtitles
- Headphone Accommodations
3. The Apple ecosystem
I started out with an Apple computer back when they were still called Macintosh. Even though I switched to a PC for work, I have a lot of experience with Apple desktops and the iPad is still my favorite reading device–and iPads last forever!
Apple devices are designed as “plug and play”- you don’t need to download or install separate applications to link them together, just use the same Apple ID. Apps, books, movies, photos, emails, notes and calendars can all be shared across all devices.
Different manufacturers produce Android phones and tablets, so there is no guarantee of a seamless (or safe) working environment.
4. Ease of use
I don’t yet own an iPhone, but have experienced them enough to understand they follow Apple’s ease of use logic, launching all apps from the home screen. All the settings can be found under one menu. When upgrading phones, newer models work the same way – there is nothing to re-learn.
5. Family Sharing
Apple is a good choice for families when all members use the iOS ecosystem. Kids love the easy-to-use interface and apps like FaceTime and iMessage. Parents love the built-in safety features, like keeping track of what kids are doing on their phones, who they are talking to and limiting on how long they can use devices.
Up to six family members can share music, film or app purchases. Family members can also share photo albums, calendars and reminders. Parents can set app store parameters, like an age range, so there is no risk of kids downloading inappropriate apps. Lost devices are trackable, and parents can see where their kids go with their devices using the Find My Friends feature. See all the family friendly features on the Apple website.
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6. Get the best apps first
There has been a trend in the past for apps to come out on Apple first. Android developers must adjust the game or other app development to work on a variety of manufacturer’s devices. This was the case with the game Super Mario Run and the Snapchat app.
Apple also tends to be ahead in releasing their own leading-edge apps. The company’s fully integrated payment service, Apple Pay, launched four years ahead of Google Pay.
Those developing high-quality apps for the Apple Store benefit from built-in developer support and various revenue models, which ensures safe and good apps will continue to be produced for iPhone in the future.
7. iPhones hold their value
When a new smartphone launches with attractive features, like an improved camera or battery life, people want an upgrade. However, if you own an Android, you won’t get much when you trade in your old device. The Verizon Store said my pristine 18-month-old top of the line Samsung phone was outdated. They offered me $250 for it, meaning it lost 80% of its value in just over a year.
A quick check on eBay shows the previous Apple premium version, iPhone 12 Pro Max, resells in excellent condition for around $850 – $900. iPhones are made of high-quality materials, and keep their resale value far greater than Android phones. It also helps that Apple phones remain as flagship models longer. Since there is only one manufacturer, new and better models aren’t launched as often.
8. Switching is easy
Some phone swaps on Android have been easy, some a disaster. iPhone users rate the process of switching or upgrading devices very high. Like a lot of phones, there’s a walk-through to get you started, and an app that transfers your photos, contacts, and more. However, one will find Apple’s system is not glitchy.
You’ll notice I didn’t go into the hardware much on this review, or how the software operates under use. If you were to do a side-by-side feature comparison, the iPhone may not hold up quite as well as the current Samsung Galaxy, or other top phones. There’s a difference between stats and how they compare to actual use.
A family member taking pictures at the same event as me on her iPhone got really outstanding photos, while mine on a premium Galaxy were meh. Granted, I am not super adept at all of the advanced features of the Galaxy, but that’s kind of the point. Apple’s software, navigation, and ease of use are superior, to the point where you don’t really have to learn a lot or fuss with settings to get great results. Even though I’m a techie, I’m also impatient – I want things to work as expected and quickly. It’s like Android developers tried to pack so many features into a phone, they are getting overly complicated. iOS delivers excellent, reliable performance along with ease of use. Also, for me having incredible sound quality on the iPhone, both for listening and recording, is a huge bonus.