Back in 2013 we wrote “5 reasons why Android is still better than iOS”. Three years later, almost all these points remain the same, and for those that we feel are no longer relevant, new reasons arose to take their place.
It has been a good year for Android, considering the latest reports mention 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 ten top reasons we feel that Android champions over iOS?
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, LG has replaceable leather back plates, as does Xiaomi. 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.
music-widgetsAndroid’s widgets have long been a feather in its cap compared to the static rows of icons you find in iOS. Even Microsoft saw the advantage, developing the Live Tiles system for Windows Phone. Widgets are still a major advantage for Android over iOS. Simply put, you can see all of the information you want at a glance on your home screen without having to fire up an app.
And yes, we know Apple introduced widgets last September. Have you seen those things? They are very limited and live only on your notification area. Not the same! Android still wins here.
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.
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.
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.
Android OS Rocks