Holiday Gift Ideas: Android vs. iOS
The aesthetic of the phone doesn't matter much if the basic operating system isn't to your liking. Check out what Android and iOS are best at here.
Android and iOS are more feature-packed than ever. Both operating systems have come a long way since their first iteration, and both have matured greatly. If you're looking for a phone this holiday season, it can be tough to choose between them.
At first glance both operating systems do much of the same thing. Each one has phone, email, messaging, and camera apps, along with a host of third part apps from names such as Chase, eBay, Amazon, and just about any other major company you can think of. However, both of them have key differences that may make one more fit for an individual than another. Below is a small summary of each operating systems strengths and weaknesses.
Android has always touted itself as being the most "open" smartphone operating system. This is a mixed blessing. One one hand for each phone there are a plethora of tweaks, ROMS, and custom settings that allow users to make their phone into exactly what they desire. However, if someone isn't really interesting in customization, all those add-ons don't really matter. Android has always been the less stable of the two OSes, and although the OS is approaching iOS level stability, messing with ROMS and other add-ons that alter the basic system will inevitably end up in users soft-bricking their phones at least once while learning. The great thing is now it takes a lot to actually mess up a Android to the point where it is not recoverable, so if you're looking into the world of Android customization, now is a great time to get into it.
Android also allows for a ton more freedom when it comes to Apps. Users can set new default dialers, messagers, email apps, browsers, video players, music players, and launchers. You don't have to use a single stock app that came with the phone if you don't want to.
Android also offers a ton of different models and you can get screen sizes anywhere from 3 inches or less, up to 7 inches. Pricing also wildly varies, and you can spend as little as $50 for a very basic Android phone.
iOS hallmark has always been uniformity and stability. Each iOS device looks and works similarly, allowing quick learning and transitioning from device to device. Althought there isn't a ton of room for customization, Apple has slowly loosened the reins on their system and with iOS 8, customizable keyboards and the allowance for Apps to talk to each other freely have allowed quite a bit more freedom of choice and better usability. However, Apple's apps will always be default on iOS and that can be a bit frustrating.
Apple may not offer many models of phone, but what they do offer is always quality. While Android phones vary wildly in hardware specs, software versions, build quality, etc, iPhones can be expected to always have a certain build quality and Apple makes it very clear which version of iOS is current for each model. Although iPhone 6/6 Plus's have pretty great hardware specs, it really doesn't matter, if you have the latest iPhone and version of iOS, you know that Apps are going to work, there's no needing to count RAM or CPU speed.