Great Debate: iOS vs Android

Pro-iOS
By Christopher Zimmerman | Staff Writer

I will be the first to admit that Apple was on a downward slope, but iOS7 was just the drastic change they needed to revitalize their success.

Here are the reasons why Apple is dominating the market, and why iOS 7 has renewed my faith in the company.

Revamped interface: With the arrival of iOS 7, Apple changed the entire look of the operating system which had visually remained stagnant since the first iOS. In terms of aesthetics, iOS 7 is unparalleled. The new iOS brings smooth transitions and a clean, simple look that Android lacks.

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Apple’s new operating system, iOS7, released Sept. 18, gave the company a much-needed boost in the mobile industry. With improved aesthetics and accessibility through the Command Center, iOS7 challenges Android’s popularity on the market. (Amy Kang)

Command Center: Apple clearly copied the idea for Command Center from Android’s toggle button, but I don’t care. Command Center outplayed Android at its own game by creating one of the most user-friendly aspects of any phone. The Command Center, with a swipe of your thumb, brings up a clean, minimalistic panel with toggle switches for everything ranging from wifi to a flashlight.

New Multitasking: One of the highly emphasized new features in iOS 7 is the multitasking feature. Previously, Android users boasted to Apple supporters about Android’s incredible multitasking capabilities. Now, iOS 7 has its own glorious multitasking that allows users to close out of background apps and switch between applications with the slide of a finger.

Lack of customization: While I personally am a proponent of customization, the, shall we say, technologically challenged individuals can easily find comfort in the consistency of Apple’s products. People can become bogged down in the features of Androids and can easily get flustered in the customization of the operating system. iOS offers a rigid skeleton that the user can supplement in small ways here and there, but the interface is so well designed that the lack of customization does not bother, and in fact benefits many people.

The App Store: While the App Store is not new, it is still a significant contributor to Apple’s superiority over Android. Although Google Play, Android’s app store, has about the same number of apps as the App Store, Apple has cornered the market on apps. The App Store strives for utility, but Google Play, as evidenced by the name, just wants to have fun.

Great for multiple devices: To me, Android only seems viable for lone wolves — individuals with just one device. Apple and iOS allow users to seamlessly switch between devices and to transfer songs, pictures, and other data at will. Android, however, restricts users to one device and allows almost zero integration.

Apple knocked the ball out of the park with their new operating system and has hopefully renewed the spark for innovation akin to the early 2000’s.

Pro-Android
By Gabe Malek | Assistant Business Manager

Although Apple revolutionized the mobile phone industry with the creation of the first iPhone, it has had very few innovations since then. Now, Android has surpassed Apple in almost every category. iOS 7 is a step in the right direction, but Apple is still no match for Android.

Here are the reasons why Android reigns supreme in the mobile industry.

Customization: One of Android’s most salient features is its capability for customization; in fact, an entire section on the Google Play store is dedicated to allow users to construct a phone that fits their needs. Widgets allow Android users to personalize their home screens with information aside from apps, and launchers allow users to change the appearance of their operating system entirely.

Google Integration: Because Android is a Google company, all of Google’s features are implemented in their mobile phones. Google search, music, docs, translate, maps, mail and YouTube are all standard on Android devices. Google Now, one of Google’s latest creations, provides a dashboard on the phone containing all of the user’s most important information, such as stocks, weather, nearby events, traffic reports, currency exchange and sports scores. But perhaps the best feature of Google’s integration is the easy transferability of information between phone and computer. Everything stored through Google can be accessed on both computer and phone if the data is stored on a single account.

Skins and Variations: One of Android’s biggest advantages is that Google has allowed various phone companies to use the Android operating system while altering it in whatever way they want. Samsung has developed Touchwiz user interface, HTC has Sense, and Motorola has Motorola custom UI. And, if none of these iterations appeal to you, pure Google phones with stock Android operating systems are also available.

Companies are not only able to change the software of their devices, but also can modify the hardware. Android phones can be any size, any shape, and any color while still retaining all of Android’s features.

This flexibility is where Android leaves Apple in the dust. From a hardware standpoint, Apple has produced the same phone three times with a different name, and, as far as software goes, iOS7 is the first major change to the operating system since the first iPhone. Unfortunately, the features of iOS7 are nothing new to the mobile industry because Android has had them long before now.

Essentially, Apple has reached a point where it has boxed itself in and has nowhere to go. It’s hardware is relatively unchanged, and its software mimics almost everything that Android has produced. Unlike Android, Apple has not leased its software to any other phone producer, so it is likely that the little change that does come to Apple in the future will take a long time and be very similar to what is already on the market. On the other hand, Android is right where it wants to be. With more worldwide users than Apple and more frequent innovations, there is no doubt in my mind that the future of mobile phones is the Android.

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