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Apple Vs Android Phones - a 180 Day Comparison of which is easiest to use.

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Flickr

I have been hearing the argument about who has the best smartphone since Apple released its first iPhone in 2007. Smartphone users are very passionate about their phones. They argue about which is the fastest, the most secure, the thinnest, which has the best picture and features. You name it, smartphone users argue about it. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, I will relay my 3 month experience of using and carrying both an Android and an Apple smartphone at the same time to evaluate what I think is the best of these systems. So read on and see some of my surprising findings as I tell you about my experiences carrying and using both an Android and Apple smartphone simultaneously for the last four months.

In the past we have written a lot about smartphones, mobile computing and the importance of the introduction of the original Apple iPhone. We have also discussed smartphone privacy and security issues while trying to get smartphone users to understand that these devices are not telephones but portable computers which are vulnerable to all kinds of cyber attacks. In particular, it's important to understand that all smartphones are vulnerable to attack because they don't come with professional anti malware products installed. It's true that until a few years ago, Apple iPhones had superior encrypted security and that their apps were scrutinized more closely than Android apps, but this gap has been closing and the two platforms are almost equal from a security standpoint. Later on in this article, I will provide what I feel are the definitive pros and cons of each platform for our readers, as well as providing buying tips for those who are inclined to take my advice.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Important issues beyond the phones.  There are many important issues that directly affect the performance, utility and functionality of these mobile computing devices (see I didn't call them phones). One of the most important issues is which mobile carrier you have selected. You can have the best smartphone in the world, but if your carrier is subpar, your smartphone will also act subpar. I live in Jacksonville and most carriers provide excellent service in that area. However, when I go camping, Verizon and AT&T provide the best service in the woods. T-mobile and Sprint are lacking in camping coverage.  So always purchase a smartphone based on where you will be using it. The fact is that I have been a T-mobile subscriber since 2003. I have also kept at my disposal a pay as you go Tracfone or Straight Talk phone to use when I go camping. This is especially useful when I am in the boonies on the Suwanee River or 100 miles from the nearest town.

Second on my list of important factors is making sure your smartphone has adequate storage and RAM for whatever purpose you're using it for. If you are an App hog and take lots of pictures and video, your smartphone better have a minimum of 32 gigs of storage and 3 gigs of RAM. The more the better. If you don't buy these items your smartphone will under perform and you will be disappointed. 

The last factor is the availability of the right app for your needs. Both
Courtesy of Flickr
Apple and Android have tens of thousands of apps available, but these platforms are not equal. Apple used to have the edge in numbers and quality. Today, Android seems to have the edge in numbers and variety, especially if your talking about freemium apps. An important note here is that both platforms have professional anti-malware apps available as freemium apps. 

Homogeneous Vs Heterogeneous Look & Feel - Now I want to point out some of the important differences between Apple and Android phones. It is my opinion that you should only compare high end Android phones to Apple iPhones. Comparing an entry level Android to any iPhone is not a fair comparison. Having said that, know that Android phones come from  many manufactures in a wide variety of makes, models and price ranges.  This makes them very heterogeneous in nature. There are difference (sometimes subtle and some times obvious) between the way the Android operating system looks and feels from manufacture to manufacture and from model to model. For the most part, if you have a good understanding of how the Android OS works, these difference won't be a big obstacle. However if you are a technical novice, it will drive you crazy. 

Who has the Best Updates? Apple iPhones operating system on the
Courtesy of Picpedia
other hand is identical across all models going back as far as 4 years. That because you can continue to upgrade the OS on iPhones for that amount of time. This is not possible on Android phones (except for a few high end models like the flagship Samsung and 
Google Pixel smartphones). Both systems provide regular updates, but Apple seems to provide fewer updates and again, they can be retroactive to all models going back 4 years. Another thing worth mentioning is that iPhones are fast, even the entry level models. Android smartphone performance can range from, "use as a phone only, to blazing fast. Some of the high end Android phones are even faster than top of the line iPhones. A four year old iPhone 6 is as fast as many current medium priced Android phones. Hardware upgrades for Apple iPhones require buying the next model up if you want more storage, or battery life. Most Android smartphones allow for storage and battery upgrades at will.

Who has the best Quality?  If you are talking about high end smartphones (which is what an Apple iPhones is) you will see that both Android and iPhones provide exceptional quality, look, feel and performance. Today, I would give the high end Android smartphones a very slight edge on performance and features. Having said that, you can't really complain about Apples quality, look, feel and performance. I believe that this is why so many iPhone users are passionate about Apple products. Last Black Friday, I went to Walmart to take advantage of a special they had on a Straight Talk iPhone 6s to use when I go camping. The line I was in for the iPhone 6s was very short (3 people). The line for the new iPhone 10 XR was 100+ people deep. Apple people Love their iPhones.

Who has the best Ecosystem?  If you already love Apple products,
Courtesy of Pixabay
there is no doubt that you also love the homogeneous nature of their ecosystem. It allows you to transfer, share and jump between products with ease. However, this homogeneous nature also comes with some restriction. Apple doesn't like to play nice with other ecosystems. So if you decide you like ChromeCast for online TV or have a Windows 10 PC, you may find that Apple products don't like playing well with others. Along these same lines. Apple doesn't believe in updating hardware. If your iPhone needs a new battery, its a disassembly repair. Want to upgrade the RAM or Storage? Forget about it. You need to buy the next model up!

Android products on the other hand are a little more flexible and seem to play a little nicer with other ecosystems including its Apple counterpart. Also I like the fact that most Android devices allow you access to the battery compartment to replace the battery and that it is easy to add a memory card to upgrade storage. RAM, on the other had is not an upgradeable item just like in the Apple ecosystem.

Which has the best Cloud Service, the most and best Apps, and Accessories? If you already have an Apple iPhone, you will swear that it's the best. But having both Android and Apple Cloud services, I would say they are comparable. I believe that the Apple service is a little more secure (requiring fingerprint confirmation for most transactions) but you get a little more flexibility and bang for the buck on the Android side. 

The same is true for Apps. I have found that I can always find a Freemium app to meet my needs on an Android, where as most Apple Apps usually only provide a 7-day trial before you must buy it. I also believe that the Android store had more choices. Having said that both Apple itunes store (with 2 million apps) and the Android Play Store (with 2.1 million apps) have more than enough apps to satisfy most users needs.

However, when it comes to accessories, Apple is the clear winner. The
Courtesy of Pixabay
2007 introduction of iPhone pretty much gave birth to the smartphone accessory business. The best and nicest cases are ready every time a new Apple iPhone is released. But don't sell any high end Android phones out either. They have plenty of accessories available as well, even at the release date. Just do a search to make sure you can get the accessory you want before you buy the phone.

Which is the Easiest to Use? When the Apple iPhone was launched in 2007, it was a revolution, especially when talking about ease of use without giving up technical capabilities. Fast forward to 2019 and I would give the edge when it comes to ease of use to the Android platforms. Especially if we are comparing high end Android to Apple iPhone. I would also state that even modestly priced Android phones can match features (but not performance) of the newest iPhones. Also Android phones allow more customization and allow more ways to get the same things done. However, for some people, this may be a hindrance instead of a benefit. Being a techie myself, this capability appeals to me. While my business partner on the other hand, not so much.

Which as the Best Bang for the Buck? I believe Android wins this battle
Courtesy of Flickr
hands down. Even if you buy an older iPhone today, it will carry a premium price. For the price of my iPhone 6s, I was able to purchase a moderately priced Android (for $160) with many Iphone XR type features.  I currently have a BLU Android phone that provides 98 percent of the features the iPhone 10 XR. It has a 6.2 inch edge to edge hi-res display, facial recognition, high end photo and video capabilities, emoji and image replacement for chat, texting and a whole lot more. The differences show up two years from now when my BLU starts to slow down or (maybe breaks) and the iPhone XR is still going strong. 

The following checklist can be use to help you make a decision on which type of smartphone is best for you. Whichever  colum get the most check items win. Try it for yourself, even if you already have a smartphone.

My decision Checklist for High end Android  Vs Apple iPhones

                                                                                          Apple     Android
Speed -  Both platform are on Par, Pick one                       □     
Storage -  Android has the advantage here                          □     □ 
RAM - Both platform are on Par, Pick one                           □     
Camera - Both platform are on Par, Pick one                      □     
Cloud - Both platform come with cloud Storage                  □     
Apps Quality - The Edge goes to Apple here                      □     
App Security -  The Edge goes to Apple here                     □     
App Cost - The Edge goes to Android here                        □     
App Quantity - The Edge goes to Android here                  □     
Security Apple has the edge on Security Both are good    □     
Privacy - Both platform track you & are on Par         □     
Accessories - Apple has the edge on Accessory's              □     
Quality - Both platform are on Par, Pick one                       □     
Look and Feel - Both platform are on Par, Pick one           □     
Shelf Life Apple has a slight edge, both are on Par            □     
Ease of Use - Android has the advantage here                   □     □ 
EcoSystem - Both platform are on Par, Pick one                □     

When I began my comparison journey, I had some prejudices against Apple products. I have always disliked Apple's closed Ecosystem and the fact that they always had only premium products. After owning an iPhone and using it, I have come to admire and even like many of the features the iPhone provides. I especially like the quality look, feel and performance this smartphone provides. I also particularly like the fact that Apple provides OS updates for their smartphones going back at least 4 years! On the other hand, I also love the flexibility, customization and bang for the feature buck you get with Android phones. Its hard to beat the price performance ratio difference. After doing my smartphone comparison experiment, I have come to see why both Android and Apple users love their smartphones. The high end models of both camps will make any user happy. If you have a lot less to spend, you will be either in the Android camp or buying an older model iPhone. If you want great pictures and are on a budget, a moderately priced Android or a 4-year-old  Apple will fill the bill. On the other hand, If you are on a tight budget, and just need a reliable phone, either get a pay as you go smartphone or get one of the FREE smartphones when you sign up  for their 2-year agreement.  

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

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This article provides our comparison experiences when using both an Apple Iphone and Android together for 4 months. It provides the pros and cons of each smartphone system from the perspective of usability and cost effectiveness. It also provides links to many related articles to help the reader better understand this subject. Also included is a link to the BlogTalkRadio show that  goes with this and other related subject.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success” and the co-author along with his business partner Carl Weiss of their hit book also called “Working the Web to Win.”

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