Top 10 Ways iOS Outdoes Android

We love both mobile operating systems and their corresponding devices, but just as Android has its many advantages, so does iOS. Here are our favourite parts of iOS that outdo their Android counterparts.A note on flame wars: We love Android (which should be pretty evident by now). Despite everything mentioned in this post, nobody is (or should be) arguing iOS is better than Android (or the other way around). They both have their strengths and weaknesses, and a lot comes down to personal preference. Most of us love our smartphones and mobile devices, because they're pretty great, but it's good to look at both sides, as what you use may not be the best thing to recommend to somebody else. Discussing the merits of each platform is useful for that reason, but bashing either Android or iOS is not. So, please keep the flame wars to a minimum in the comments.

10. The iTunes Media Store

While iOS still doesn't allow you to sync wirelessly, you can, at least, use your Wi-Fi (and in some cases mobile data) connection to purchase and download music, video, and books over the air. While Android's not without Amazon's media offerings, Apple gives you access to an enormous library of entertainment that you can purchase in a few taps. Everything you buy is sent to its corresponding app and transferred over to your computer the next time you sync. The process is seamless. When it comes to buying media for your device, there's really no better implementation.

*Personal note: I greatly prefer Amazon to iTunes for several reasons, but I think that Apple's implementation of the iTunes store is far better because of how simple and well-integrated it is.

9. AirPlay

There are plenty of alternatives to Apple's AirPlay, but none that work quite so elegantly and intuitively. Out of the box, AirPlay doesn't really seem all that useful if you don't own other Apple devices but there are actually several ways to make your non-Apple devices AirPlay compatible. Two-tap video streaming that actually works really well is pretty great, and you won't find such a nice solution on Android.

8. Find My iPhone

It's not like you can't roll your own device-tracking setup on Android, but now that Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) is free it's no longer the best paid option—it's just the best. It's simple to use, it's easy to track your phone, and it has even helped people catch criminals when the loss was a result of theft (like this or this, for example). It's been proven effective and costs you nothing. There's not much more you need.

7. A Better Support System

What happens if your Android phone breaks? There are a few answers to that question, but often times it means dealing with your specific carrier. They didn't make your phone and they have many different kinds of devices to support. Neither of those things are in your favour. What about your iPhone or other iDevice? You take it to an Apple Store or call Apple tech support. Often times you can make a Genius Bar appointment and get your issue resolved right away (assuming that problem isn't the total obliteration of the hardware). Apple's support team—while not perfect—is one of the best there is.

6. Better Battery Life And Management

Over the past few years, Apple's started to consider battery life to be one of the most important features of its products. This is especially evident in the iPad, which contains around as much battery as humans contain water, but it's also Apple's battery management tactics that make this possible. Some may be disappointed that the lack of true multitasking is lost in the name of power economy, but true multitasking isn't all that great when you device dies because it ran out of juice. While it didn't start off that way, the latest batch of devices running iOS will get you through the day (and sometimes longer). That's not always something you can count on with Android.

5. iTunes And Tethered Syncing

iTunes is a behemoth of a media manager but it handles a lot of data as it goes from your computer to your iDevice and back again. It has an enormous amount of responsibility for those who do sync with their computers. You can certainly argue that DoubleTwist brings the features of iTunes to Android, but the fact of the matter is that an application needed to be created to bring iTunes to Android. Android is missing iTunes in the same way iOS is missing Android's capabilities to install apps via a browser and have them automatically sync wirelessly to your phone.

*Personal note: I really don't like iTunes, but I think it's hard to argue that there's anything that does what it does as well. It is a very ambitious piece of software that doesn't work as well as I'd like it to, but I do appreciate the difficulty of creating something like it. While there are definitely other great music players, there really isn't anything else that can do everything iTunes can do (even if it often fails to do some of those things well).

4. No Crapware

Sure, you can pick up the Nexus S and get a phone with no added applications and have an Android phone without any crapware added by the manufacturer, but most people aren't getting their Android phones from Google. When you buy your Android phone from a particular carrier or manufacturer, you can often to expect a few apps you won't want and can't get rid of. With iOS you just get iOS. While Apple might be a little overprotective at times, its walled garden is not without upsides. It's nice buying an iDevice with the knowledge you won't get stuck with a Sprint NASCAR app you don't want.

3. A Bigger And Better Variety Of Apps

While the iTunes App Store is never going to sell classic game console emulators and other questionable apps—and that's a shame—there is, on average, more money to make when developing for iOS. The downside is that most apps cost a bit of money, but it's rarely more than a couple of dollars. The upside is that developers who make money are more likely to be able to afford to spend time developing. The gold mine that is the iTunes App Store has also attracted plenty of big name game developers who've brought some pretty amazing titles to iOS. Sometimes a little money can go a long way, and it does with apps. iOS has some of the most elegant, polished, fun, and even useful apps. They may be a bit more restricted than Android apps, but it's not like you can't jailbreak if you're looking for more.[imgclear>

2. A Well-Designed, Intuitive User Interface

Whether you like Apple's hardware and software or not, it's hard to argue that they aren't beautifully designed. Apple puts a lot of thought in the design of the interface, from its looks to its ease of use. iOS' user experience is one of the most intuitive. Android can take some time to figure out, and there's a lack of consistency in the way third-party apps operate, but if you give someone an iOS device they'll generally be able to figure out much of the functionality on their own. People are posting videos of their very young children using iPads. Android ends up with sites like this (which isn't representative of the platform and a bit much, but still makes a point). iOS is nice to look at and easy to learn, welcoming pretty much everyone to the party.

1. Consistency

iOS is nothing if not consistent. When you pick up an iOS device, you know exactly what you're getting. This shouldn't come as a surprise from a company like Apple, who likes to control every aspect of their products. When it comes to receiving major feature updates, you get them on a fairly regular schedule. While there's some update fragmentation with iOS, it has only ever been between phones and tablets. With Android, it's between the many, many different phones as well as fragmentation between phones and tablets. Knowing what you're getting and that you'll be receiving updates for at least the next two generations of devices increases the value of an iDevice long past the date of purchase.


    Welk, Apple did give me apps I didn't want (Stocks? Really Apple?) and couldn't delete, but my iPad didn't have it any more, so at least they fixed it.

    Also, voice memo on a iPod touch? The one without a microphone?

      The past few generations do have a microphone, either integrated into the headphones or in the latest generation built in.

      Hi Fi

      Jailbreak ur iphone. Download SBSettings and go to more. Underneath system options is hide icons. I hid all the crap like stocks etc

      Easy :)

      At least now you can put all that crapware into a folder called "CRapple" :-)

    I love that half of them have nothing to do with iOS, scraping the bottom of the barrel much?

      Should be re-titles how Apple (as a company as a whole) outdoes an Operating System.

      iOS is the operating system in which these phones run. You need iTunes and similar to run/maintain the operating system in question. I am assuming it is "iTunes" and such to which you are having a cry at.
      So yes, iTunes is relevant to iOS because it is it's content provider.

      "7. A Better Support System" is an example of a non-ios contribution that assists iOS in becoming the excellent operating system it is today. Yes, it's not a 'feature' within the OS, but it's a service provided that MAKES it how it is, and thus, making it good.

    iTunes media store ain't an argument for iOS. I still use it and I have no iOS devices...

    Surely you could pick better stuff than that - I think battery life and management is about the only real out-doer listed here.

    what a load of sh!te!.

    Iphone must be losing market share. I didn't know paid advertorials were allowed on LH.

    TBH I thought most of the points were valid, in the sense that they are all reasons one might choose an iDevice over an Android. The subtext is that these things have to matter to you - if having a good in-phone media store is irrelevant to you, then that advantage doesn't really matter.

    For the most part, I'd say that the advantages you get with an iOS device are real and worth considering. Personally not my bag, but I can understand the appeal.

    10. The iTunes Media Store
    LOL! This is the second worse thing about iOS.
    Media companies, developers and users are starting to slowly realise this. Just you wait.
    I know people that just didn’t drop the iPhone yet because they already spent too much money on useless apps. LOCKED IN a walled rotting garden!

    9. AirPlay
    There are better options out there.

    8. Find My iPhone
    HTC has this and it was always free.
    There are also lots of other options for this.

    7. A Better Support System
    You mean the geniuses that don’t even know

    6. Better Battery Life And Management
    Call me when you get 2 full days of battery life on an iPhone like I get on my Desire HD with 3G and wireless on most of the time. Notifications for Email, forums etc etc always on.

    5. iTunes And Tethered Syncing
    iTunes sucks!
    And Syncing is for idiots.
    Ever heard of drag and drop like a normal USB drive? I guess not.

    4. No Crapware
    See above, iTunes IS the definition of crapware.

    3. A Bigger And Better Variety Of Apps
    Funny most of the apps I use are not even in the Android Market. And better depends on your taste.

    2. A Well-Designed, Intuitive User Interface
    Yes, if you don’t do more than Facebook, Email and some crappy games on your so called “smartphone”.

    1. Consistency
    Yes, very dumbed down for the masses of blind iUsers

      Didn't read the Note on flame wars?

      I'm sure there's plenty of reasonable arguments and differences of opinions to many points in your eloquent post, but I must say that I'm excited to get a full 8 hours of battery life out of my Desire HD and would love to hear your secret for getting two days from yours.

      I know I shouldn't be feeding the trolls, but drag and drop? Seriously?
      While iTunes isn't very elegent, it does a brilliant job of insuring all my music is on my PC and iPod. And this is especially good if you listen to Podcasts.

      I agree with you on some points, but you gave away your trolling nature when you implied drag-&-drop was better than syncing.

    As an andoird users...I'd stay this list is pretty good.

    Some things I personally don't care, but I can see clearly why the general user may want it.

    Got an iPhone 4 last year never going back to Android.

    syncing w iTunes is the most painful thing as an iPhone user
    but it's necessary... I can't think of any platform that allow you to backup/update your mobile easier than this... and homesharing is a winner... yes you could share your media locally fairly easy but with iTunes it's much easier

    consistency yeah may be... but iOS isn't as stable as it seem
    I also agree with the comment above Genuis bar isn't always genius but battery life iDevices win any devices I previously own

    bigger app store yes but better... no I don't think so

    UI intuitive, well design definitely yes can you think of any other device 60yo or 5yo could effortlessly use?
    but usability wise it's not the best

    LOL this list makes me laugh.

    I-TUNES is the second biggest virus in the world, followed very closely by facebook.

      *Following very closely behind facebook*

      100% agree with this.

      I also wonder how many people have read the itunes terms of use. There is no way I am 'buying' something I never own and what I really 'receive' is an electronic usage license to access the content and the ability to sync it to a specific device only.

    So when I want to put stuff on my phone it has to go through iTunes? A program that won't run on my computer? No thank you.
    But what are the features that make iTunes better than a media player like Banshee or Rhythmbox? I haven't used iTunes much, only to play songs (a few years ago)
    And the whole more intuitive thing? I'd rather a device where I can see a lot on one screen easily and then if I want to launch something I choose it. If at sometime I want to scroll sideways through pages of all my apps, maybe I will. But in the meantime I'll take a list of apps any day while my homescreen is actually useful.

    The fact that you have to use itunes to use an iphone is a huge architectural failure in itself.

    iOs devices are just paper-weight until you buy a PC and install iTunes on it so you can turn on your device ... Hilarious!

    onnu podo haaaaaaaa;;;;;;;

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