Once upon a time, in the Nigerian mobile market, Nokia and Blackberry devices were the big thing respectively. Over time, we decided to segment the need of both of them by saying; if you want longer battery life and probably durability, then go for Nokia, but; if it’s class and general internet use, then the Blackberry is ideal for you, perhaps because of the cheap internet subscription that accompanies it (BIS).
While we were still celebrating this beautiful innovations in the tech market, two ‘beautiful demons’ came knocking on our door steps……. The Android and the iOS
Both operating systems have been the ‘brain box’ behind many brilliant smart phones, and by doing this, they have both captured the heart of many Nigerians, myself included.
However, it has been a good year for Android, considering that latest reports mentioned it has an 84.7% market share (as of Q3 2015), but with a bunch of competitors waiting in the wings there’s no time to rest on laurels.
So in 2016, what are the seven top reasons we feel that Android champions over iOS?
Let’s jump in and take a look.
- Launchers: Grab an iPhone, sit next to another iOS user and compare your home screens. Oh wait, they look exactly the same! That’s not the story with Android.
If you want control over how your Android smartphone or tablet looks then you’ve probably tried out a custom launcher. You can choose from a wide variety of custom launcher apps in Google Play and tweak everything from your home screen layout, to your page transitions, to effects and even gestures. There’s no risk involved with launcher apps and you can really open up a world of possibilities.
A launcher also is good for those instances where you love a handset but maybe aren’t so keen on the manufacturer’s custom interface. A launcher goes a long ways in these kinds of situations. And if you are the kind who enjoys the freedom of Android but actually lusts after the looks afforded by iOS or Windows — there’s even launchers that help you achieve a similar look and feel.
- Customs ROMs: You can actually replace the software that came with your device with a custom ROM if you want to. This is essentially installing a new operating system and many Android users do it because their carrier or manufacturer is slow to upgrade to the latest version of the Android platform, but you may also do it for better performance or to gain access to some add-ons or tools. This is definitely the extreme end of Android customization and you need to exercise a little caution to ensure that you don’t run into trouble. That said, as long as you can follow a tutorial and your device is supported, the benefits can be enormous.
Hell, there’s even ways to install completely different operating systems on some Android devices, such as Ubuntu, Firefox OS, Sailfish, and the list goes on.
- Google Now Feature: This stands out from the crowd of Google services and, while the excellent voice search has been rolled into the Google iOS app, there are elements of Google Now that you can only enjoy on Android. When we look to our technology to push things forward and offer real convenience boosts to daily life, the predictive and pre-emptive nature of Google Now as it seeks to fulfill your desires before you think to search, could be truly revolutionary.
Whether Google Now is better than Siri or not continues to be subjective, though. This is still a matter of preference, but here at Android Authority we believe Google Now is more straightforward and to the point, which is something we all look for when finding the right digital assistant. With Marshmallow, there’s also plenty of new functionality making its way over, such as Google Now on Tap.
- More Free Apps and Games: It may be a double-edged sword, but you can’t escape the fact that there are more free apps and games on Android than there are on iOS. Sometimes ports of the same apps that carried a price tag on iOS are free on Android. There also seems to be a greater willingness to pursue the freemium or ad-supported model.
Sadly, this may be, at least partly, down to piracy concerns and, while more hits are being ported across, the ability to earn more from iOS development still means more high quality, premium apps and games release on iOS first. Android continues to dominate and we have seen a change here, but it remains one of Android’s biggest challenges.
- Android Tags Better With Tech Advancements: Bugs, lag, an ugly interface, a lack of apps – Android’s weaknesses have been systematically dealt with by a determined development team. The Android platform is unrecognizable compared with the first release and it continues to improve and evolve at a faster pace than the competition.
That big user base and the wide range of manufacturers producing Android devices can only drive further improvements to greater heights. While iOS stagnates, paralyzed by the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of thinking, Android continues to innovate and improve at a faster rate. Think about it. Android adopted NFC first, as well as fingerprint readers, and retina scanners, and mobile payments, and higher definition displays. The list goes on.
- Multi-Tasking: You can argue iOS does multi-tasking all you want. And it’s true, you can do multiple things at once by switching apps back and forth, but that doesn’t even come near to the level of multi-tasking some Android phones offer.
Take Samsung as an example, which introduced multi-window long ago, in which you can view multiple apps at once. Plenty of other manufacturers have also been doing this for years, even if we will admit this is one area where stock Android lags behind.
Meanwhile, Apple is playing catch-up by adopting similar features, a change that took place in 2015. Most of Apple’s multi-tasking features also remain limited to the tablet realm for the time being, however, and by the time they really bring it to the next level, it’s fairly likely that even Google’s “stock” vision for Android will offer some form of multi-window navigation.
- Customization: One of the strong points of Android has always been the level of customization it allows. While Apple wants to keep control of default apps in order to maintain a homogenous software and hardware experience, Android lets you pick your own level of customization. This extends all the way from simple things like live wallpapers, to alternative keyboards, to custom ROM installs.
Detractors will always say only hardcore geeks care about this level of customization, but at the shallow end of the pool this isn’t true. Plenty of iOS users loved it when Apple started allowing third-party keyboards and basic widgets, and that on its own is proof that this flexibility is what people want.
Some manufacturers are even allowing complex hardware customization. Motorola has Moto Maker, Tecno has replaceable leather back plates, as does Gionee. Those are just a few examples of something Apple will never do for you. Consider yourself lucky to have champagne gold and rose gold available… that is pretty revolutionary for Apple.
What’s important to you?
We’d love to hear why you think Android is better than iOS. Are your motives for choosing Android covered above or did something else attract you to the platform? Post a comment and let us know.