iOS or Android: Things to Consider

The following post is from Michelle of Mommy Misadventures:

source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re new to smartphones — or are considering switching from an iPhone to an Android phone (or vice versa) — you may be wondering which is better for you — an iPhone or an Android? The truth is that the iPhone 5 and higher end Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III are comparable in hardware, functionality, and pricing.  

So, how do you decide which platform is best for you?

When making the decision on whether to buy an iPhone or to try out Android, two things to consider are what system you already use; and how important apps are to you.

Apple or Google User

If you’re thinking of either buying in to a smartphone system, or looking at switching, it is a good idea to first think about what you use for your desktop computing. If you own an Apple computer like a Macbook Pro or other Apple device, you likely already have data in Apple’s cloud computing service, iCloud. iCloud offers 5GB of storage for free; you can purchase more storage from Apple. To sign up for iCloud, you must have a Mac running OS X Lion (10.7.2+) or an iOS 5+ device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad).

If Google is one of the first websites you visit the second you come online, checking your iGoogle page to get at a glance updates of your GMail and Calendar, you might be a heavy Google user. Google accounts are free and you can sign up via the web or any mobile device. A Google account is required for basic setup and to access the Play store. Features like Google Now on Android Jelly Bean rely heavily on information from your Google searches as well as other information you may have stored on Google servers, like contacts, email, etc. to help determine what information will pop up on your Google cards.

If you already have data in the Apple iCloud, the iPhone is the best, and easiest option for you. Conversely, you can access Google services like GMail, Google Calendars, etc. on your iPhone but the integration is not as tight as on an Android phone. Android-based phones offer easy-to-setup integration with Google services, including GMail, Calendar, Drive, etc.

VERDICT: If you’re already an Apple iCloud user, it’s probably best to stick to the iPhone. Google users can take full advantage of their Android phones but can also use plenty of Google services on the iPhone.

Apps

App lovers, rejoice! You have a LOT of apps to choose from, no matter which system you buy in to. The iTunes Apps store and Google Play stores both boast a huge amount of free and premium apps to choose from for your smartphone or tablet. The Google Play store recently celebrated its 25 billionth download; the iTunes Apps store hit that milestone earlier this year.

Most popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, etc. are available for both platforms. Historically, mobile developers tend to develop for iOS first and then port over to Android; as Android gains in popularity, this may not always be the case. All apps available in the iTunes Apps store have been approved by Apple. Android apps are not subject to approval by Google before being made available via the Play store.

You can purchase apps on the iTunes App store accessible via your iOS device or via the iTunes application on your desktop. Links and information about apps can be accessed via a web browser but the final download must take place via the iTunes application. The Google Play store is accessible via your Android device or web browser. You can manage multiple Android devices from your web browser and send apps directly to your Android device from the website.

VERDICT: Great apps are available for both systems, but developers have tended to develop for iOS first. Android’s app management for multiple devices through the Play Store on the web is very convenient.

iOS or Android: What’s your mobile platform of choice?

Michelle Mista is an IT professional, writer and blogger with a love for all kinds of technology. She writes about tech tips and trends for work at home professionals on her portfolio blog and muses about motherhood at Mommy Misadventures. She is on the constant quest to balance life, work and geekery.
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