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Apple or Android?

Apple or Android?

  • Undecided/Don’t have a preference

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Neither

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    41

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. Smartphones and tablets have increasingly become a huge part of everyday life, to the point where many people (probably the vast majority, although by no means everybody) owns at least one of the two. There are so many different options out there in terms of operating systems to power these devices, but the two main behemoths in this field are iOS/Apple and Android. The devices powered by these operating systems have many pros & cons, and two distinct camps have emerged; the two are quite polarising, and most smartphone users lean towards either Apple or Android. So my question to you today is; if you’re a smartphone user, are you an Apple person or an Android person? And if you don’t mind saying, what device do you own that runs either operating system?

Personally, I’m an Apple user. It helps that practically everyone in my family uses Apple devices and has done since their rise in prominence in the early 2010s, so they’re kind of what I was bought up using, but I personally love iOS because of how simple it is to use; it’s very easy to adjust to, it’s consistent in terms of its controls, and it works well for the simpler functions I use my mobile devices for.

I have used Android before, but I could never get on with it as well as I can with iOS. Admittedly, however, my one experience with Android was back in 2017, and on a device that was towards the cheaper end of the spectrum; the one Android phone I owned was a Lenovo smartphone, inherited from an older relative, that probably cost £100 or less. In that regard, I possibly don’t have the ability to fairly judge Android; I used this Lenovo phone for about 8 months back in 2017, so I have nowhere near the level of experience with Android that I do with iOS.

In terms of what Apple devices I use or have used; that’s a long list!

Currently, my most used Apple device is by far my iPad Air 2019, which I’ve had since May 2020. I know most people live on their smartphones, but I personally much prefer my iPad to my iPhone because I much prefer a bigger screen, and this particular iPad has a 10.5” one!

In terms of my iPhone, I currently have an iPhone 6; I’ve had this particular iPhone 6 since July 2021, when I got it as a hand-me-down from my mum, but I previously had a different iPhone 6 from my dad in August 2018, which I eventually stopped using because the battery broke. However, I do have a brand new phone coming tomorrow that I bought for myself; I’ve acquired the iPhone SE 2020. To be honest, I only bought a new iPhone out of necessity; the iPhone 6 won’t run the Trainline app, which I need to take the train to university. If it were based on my usage of the phone alone, I would honestly have stuck with my original iPhone 5; I’m not a particularly heavy user of my phone! With that in mind, I went with the SE because it has great specs despite the price, and I couldn’t quite bring myself to pay the somewhat eye-watering price that the higher spec iPhones cost these days, especially given my fairly limited usage of my iPhone relative to my iPad and PC (I only really use my iPhone for contacting people, taking photos in theme parks for my trip reports, and occasionally internet usage if I’m on the go and don’t have my iPad to hand).

I’ve had other Apple devices in the past, though; before my iPhone 6’s, I had an iPhone 5, which I got in 2017, and I used an iPad mini 4 prior to my current iPad (2016-2020) and an iPad mini 1 before that (2013-2016), as well as a 4th gen iPod touch as my first ever Apple device (2012-2013).

But which camp do you fall into? Are you team Apple or team Android?
P.S. Sorry for the long post and the probably unnecessary spiel about all the Apple devices I’ve owned.
 

MountedShooter

Roller Poster
I've been in IT Tech Support for 28 years now. I despise iOS of any flavor and Apple products in general. In my experience, they are overpriced for the actual hardware especially when it comes to real computers. iOS devices are great for the casual user who doesn't need the customizability of Android. BTW, both iOS and Android are built on customized versions of Linux.

As to handheld devices, I started out with a Compaq Ipaq Windows PDA, then my first smartphone was a Palm Windows Mobile. When the Palm died I made the switch to Android with a Samsung Galaxy and have upgraded to the Galaxy S4, S7, and currently S10.

I do have a work provided iPad Air Gen 3 and manage a fleet of 30+ company iPads used for an industry specific application that has no Android version.

Many years ago, I also had the misfortune of being saddled with a Blackberry, which was the biggest piece of $#!+ since the pager.

All that said, I am firmly in camp Android for mobile devices.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I'm a fan of Android personally. My personal phone has been, and frankly likely always will be, an Android.

I like the customisation of the Android - shortcuts can be anywhere on the screen, widgets are thing, you have much more access to folder structures within the phone (which is handy when moving apps and files between SD card and internal memory), etc. iOS lacks this, and I find that annoying. When paying that much for a device, I want customisation.

I have a iPhone 8 for work (opted out of the recent upgrade to iPhone 10 as it seemed like a gratuitous waste of money when the phone is functioning perfectly well), and there's something about it that I don't really like. Credit where it's due, it's a lovely piece of hardware (as in, a thing to hold, I don't rate the internal specs that much higher than it's equivalent) and the camera is fantastic (although admittedly I don't buy phones with the camera spec being high on my list - I'm usually willing to lug around a 'proper' camera).

Perhaps if I had an Apple computer, watch, phone, etc then I'd see the benefit of them being one homogenous system working together, but I'd simply never go down that route, so... :D
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Personally, I'm Android. Have been for ten years and will stay that way.

I used to have an iPod Touch way back when. Whenever I use my work's iPhone, I can't get over the fact that it seems as though nothing has changed in the decade+ since I used it.

Essentially, iOS took over from Nokia as the "comfort" device for people who simply want their next device to just be a newer version of what they had - and I can fully support that to be honest. It's not for me (I find iOS frustrating as it's just not intuitive these days (though it obviously is to regular iOS users)). I can also understand why iOS users would struggle with Android devices.

For work, I manage a fleet of about 180 iOS devices. For business, I would never consider anything else. Guaranteed day one releases of security patches for the effective life of the device is a must. They also "just work". There's no [unexpected] bloatware, multiple manufacturer logins and apps (I'm looking at YOU Samsung). They just do their job and they do it well.

The SE 2020 is actually fantastic. It's a superb phone at a superb price - especially for work use. I can't think of a viable Android alternative for under £400. Keep in mind that I work in a secure industry and can't use any Chinese devices.

I've got a Pixel 5 now, after a run of Sony Xperia phones. The Sony ones were always close to pure Android, but at a good price-per-feature point. However, The XZ3 I had was overpriced and quality was too low - so I moved back to Google (I used to use their Nexus devices).

The Pixel 5 is excellent, but over-priced. The right phone at the wrong price.

Here endeth the lesson...
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
On a side note, I’ve got an interesting analogy; would it be fair to say that Apple are a bit like the B&M of the mobile technology world? I know that seems like a strange analogy, but:
  • Both are quite “prestigious”, high end brands that made a strong initial innovation that really made them hit the ground running (the iPhone for Apple, the inverted coaster for B&M), and invented the rulebook for modern products of the type they sell, but both have stuck to that rulebook to the letter ever since.
  • Both companies prioritise consistency and reliability over innovation, and make somewhat homogenous products that don’t have too much difference between one another. Both companies are accused of not innovating enough and not offering good enough value for money compared to their competitors (Android in the case of Apple, Intamin, RMC and others in the case of B&M)
  • Neither company is really the first choice of enthusiasts (tech enthusiasts in the case of Apple, coaster enthusiasts in the case of B&M) anymore, but they are popular among general consumers.
Do you think I’m mad, or do you see where I’m coming from? I do notice some definite similarities between Apple and B&M in terms of their general business ethos, while Android device makers would be more like Intamin in this scenario; keen to innovate, with initially somewhat mixed results, but now really starting to hit their stride among consumers, and are more of an enthusiast favourite.

I’d like to add that that’s not a slight against Android by any stretch; I just think that Android devices didn’t really start to hit their stride until a good few years after the iPhone first came out.
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
On a side note, I’ve got an interesting analogy; would it be fair to say that Apple are a bit like the B&M of the mobile technology world? I know that seems like a strange analogy, but:

I know what you're trying to say, but it just isn't true today, and hasn't been for a few years.

The Samsung flagship phones easily equal or surpass the equivalent Apple models in terms of technology and quality. I don't like their bloatware, but their premium devices are superb.

Prior Pixel flagships (the Pixels 1, 2 and 3) also matched Apple, but for a much better price.

Likewise in the mid-range where the SE and SE2020 sit (if you want iOS on a budget, these are superb devices) - there are some excellent Android devices that surpass the iOS devices in terms of "bang for buck" and quality. The Pixel 3a/4a/5a are all excellent phones in that bracket. Huawei and other Eastern firms also have cracking phones here.

There's a degree of subjectivity around style and design choices. Also, there's a mismatch of technology used in phones - but at the high end, Apple really aren't - in terms of hardware - that different.

Having said that...

Apple have nailed the premium presentation. Apple devices are packaged fantastically. I've had a few Google devices recently and they're trying, but Apple just have this to a fine art.

Apple also have their releases nailed. There's no mixed messages - they're completely on-point. Announce the new model today - available in most of the world in 10 days (or whatever). Most other companies have slow leaks, a wishy-washy press conference and "it might be available in your country in a week, or a month, or maybe next quarter/year/never.

They've also been evolving iOS (along with their iCloud and iTunes services) with determined focus for over 10 years as well. It's incredibly slick. Got a new phone? Put in your Apple ID, and it's now just the same as your old phone - boom. No confusion, no hassle - it just works. Nobody does this as well as Apple.

And they can do it, because there's only Apple making Apple phones. Only Apple using iOS. They are razor sharp focussed one delivering you the best iOS experience they can.

Android here really struggles. There's a particular problem with dilution. It's not just Android itself and the variations of software by manufacturer - it's also the massive range of quality. You can pay more than Apple for a high-end Android device, or less than a hundred notes. And a thousand variations in-between.

Hardware is too diverse. My XZ3 was stunning in terms of specs, but Android 10 killed it. There was nothing significantly different about the hardware, but Sony screwed up the modifications needed to be made to Android to run with their hardware. It was suddenly an £800 potato until Sony finally fixed the issues three or four months later.

So Android often feels sub-premium. Shelves full of absolutely awful, cheap, practically useless devices. Late and botched OS updates and releases on variations of hardware that mean the performance just isn't there.

Do you know the only analogy here? This is like Macs and PCs :D

TL;DR - Yeah, but no!
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
I find Apple phones to be a supremely pleasing experience, so much so that I’ve never had a desire to move away from them since the iPhone 4 (which is hilariously small compared to modern smart-phones).

I tend to buy outright and then replace in 3-5 years when there is a notable technology improvement. I’m currently rocking an XR which I find mind-meltingly good, 3 years later. This purchase was at the time where the ‘expensive pro’ models weren’t actually the most compelling purchase, because the ‘base’ models were so good there really was no real reason to pay any more (certainly not THAT much more for the ‘pro’ models).

Now, I have been spoilt by OLED (and practically comparable) technology and would probably pay for an OLED (or practically comparable technology) Apple phone next time around. On which note, we bought an iPad Pro with the “XDR” display and the image quality really is very impressive indeed. But for phone use, the XR is fine for now.

We are at a point where the technology is so good, there really is little reason to upgrade to a new phone unless your old one breaks.

With all of this said, I cannot stand desktop Mac OS and would take Windows any day of the week. I find basic tasks on a Mac absolutely maddening and counter intuitive, admittedly because of my experience and familiarity with Windows. My MacBook Pro is easily one of my most resented purchases - at least Apple did have the courtesy to replace the miserable keyboard, battery and faulty backlight for free (4 years later).
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
It's Apple - I've always loved their integrated approach to building hardware and software together (and in turn why I'd get the Pixel if I ever jumped to Android). To be frank... much of the Google, Apple, Microsoft software platforms are gradually moving towards a singularity where there's little distinguishable difference; while there were far different design approaches in the past, you're really just nit-picking between software/hardware that all work quite well at the end of the day.
 

Gazza

Giga Poster
I have a Pixel 3a.
Have had Samsung Galaxies before this, back since the S3, and prior to that an iphone 3.

I prefer Android, I like being able to access the file tree, and I've always liked the three button set out (home, back, menu)

In particular, the pure version of Android you get on Pixel is really nice, things work effortlessly, and there are lots of little touches.

Like when you get an SMS 2 factor verification code it'll offer to copy it to the clipboard as soon as the SMS comes in, so you dont have to retype it.

Automatic screening of spam calls and messages is very useful.

Google assistant I think works well, I can mumble stuff from the next room and it'll do it.

And everyone bangs on about the Apple ecosystem, but lets be honest, the Google ecosystem (Drive, Gmail, Maps, Google Keyboard) are solid products.
 
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furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
And everyone bangs on about the Apple ecosystem, but lets be honest, the Google ecosystem (Drive, Gmail, Maps, Google Keyboard) are solid products.

Yeah, but Google have a commitment problem. They drop and change things so regularly. Though to be fair, those four above have been pretty much the same for years.

Well, Google Drive used to be Backup and Sync, and Maps is now the core of Android Auto, which is now stunningly called "Google Assistant Driving Mode" - which is a much better name than, say, "Car Play" :p

But yeah, Google have a focus problem - remember when G+ was the core of their future tech? Took over from Google Wave?

Apart from Apple Maps, I can't think of any part of the Apple ecosystem that wasn't pretty much spot on, on release, and then has just matured with age.
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Apart from Apple Maps, I can't think of any part of the Apple ecosystem that wasn't pretty much spot on, on release, and then has just matured with age.
Well there was iTunes Ping, the failed iTunes musician social media platform, but we don't talk about that one. :p
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
Apple… Because I’m locked into their eco system, and it ‘just works.’

Have Iphone 12 pro, Ipad pro (2020) Air pods, Mac book pro, Apple TV and an apple watch. So there’s not much chance of me jumping ship.

Originally, back when I last had android, Galaxy S3, the reason I changed was reliability and stability… The S3 was terrible, and the first time I tried using an Iphone for a few days, I was hooked. But Android, and the hardware it comes on, have improved so much these days, that it literally is just being locked into the eco system, and investing so much into it, that keeps me with Apple.

It would be a tough choice now if I had to start over to be honest… I think I’d be willing to try android again, for it’s flexibility and value.
 
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