A neutral perspective on iOS vs Android from someone that deals with both.
While this topic is literally an every day discussion for me, I’m writing this post after a “people watching” experience yesterday. Sitting in the salon, waiting to get my hair cut, I overheard a lady ranting about how controlling Apple and their devices are.
I’ve been going to the same hair dresser for over 10 years now, and have become very close to the owner, Rick, who was on the receiving end of this young woman’s rant.
Ironically, I was very much involved with persuading Rick to fully adopt Apple technologies (iPhone, iPad, Mac… the works) years ago. Knowing that he had both this woman and myself in the same room, with vastly opposing views on Apple’s controlling behaviour, he did his best to play Switzerland.
Having an non-combative personality, I continued to play Clash of Clans and left the conversation to the two of them.
Why am I telling you this? Well, over the past few years, I’ve seen many changes in the industry; Blackberry has fallen, Apple innovated, and Google caught up. Some will probably call that statement biased, but it’s true.
One very relevant change I’ve noticed is that Apple fan-boys have become a lot less vocal and fan-droids (Android enthusiasts) have picked up the conversation slack.
Where do I sit on the Apple — Android spectrum? Firmly, entirely with Apple. In addition to my almost entirely Apple office, I personally own a Mac Mini, Retina MacBook Pro, Retina iPad mini, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPhone 3G, and iPod touch.
However, while my usage dictates that I am whole-heartedly an Apple fan-boy, I would disagree. I am fully aware of the ways in which Android is better. On several occasions, I’ve thought about grabbing a Google Pixel (more vanilla Android, is better, I’ve heard), but I’m just too deep into the Apple/iCloud ecosystem to reach escape velocity. Maybe this is the controlling behaviour that the aforementioned lady was referring to.
Understanding the Sides
Apple has built their empire on the philosophy that everything “just works” and I would agree that this is true. They’ve made massive efforts to enable people to use their devices with little or no prior experience, with or without a computer, and without their techy grandson helping them get everything set up.
Android, on the other hand, has focused on providing app developers and device users with more control over their experiences. This also took massive research efforts to enable a certain amount of flexibility, without compromising the ability of young developers to hop into their IDE and build amazing experiences.
Both experiences are very necessary in today’s mobile world and both companies will continue to innovate in convergent and divergent paths. For now, I would hope that enthusiast groups understand that their desired experience isn’t for everyone. Pick your device, your OS, and enjoy! Apple and Google have put a tonne of effort into delivering it to you, and neither companies are going anywhere in the near future.