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iPhone vs. Android: Which Is Right for You?

Trying to decide between iOS and Android? Here’s what you need to know about the devices, software, security, and more.

Android vs. iPhone is always an intense topic in conversation. Chances are, if you own a smartphone, you already have an opinion of which platform you prefer. If you’re trying to choose between which phone to buy, we are here to help you.

Here’s what you need to know in the great iOS vs Android debate.

Price and Range of Available Devices

Although there are far fewer iPhones available than Android phones, there is a growing selection of iPhones for you to choose from. The cheapest is the iPhone SE, which is a great smartphone that upholds Apple’s older design, with the home button and touch ID.

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The iPhone SE still has a single-lens camera, so keep in mind you won’t get the same photo quality with this phone as you would with a newer phone, like the iPhone 12. This phone is great for someone who likes the older, smaller design of the iPhone but wants to upgrade.

The iPhone 12 has an OLED screen which makes for sharper and darker colors, and it has 5G technology, which will eventually allow you to have faster data speeds. However, since there are not a lot of 5G towers in the US yet, you may not notice the benefits for a few years. This phone is a step up from SE technology-wise, and will be the default choice for most.

The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are the two most high-end iPhones. The latter has a massive 6.7-inch display, which puts it closer to an iPad Mini than many smartphones.

While Apple has a few great options, Android has lots. The biggest Android brands in the US include Samsung, Google Pixel, LG, Motorola, Nokia, OnePlus, and Sony.

Since there are so many different types of Android phone, the range in price is vast. The Samsung S20 FE 5G is a good alternative to the iPhone SE, with a user-friendly design, decent camera, and it has a sharp OLED display.

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The Samsung S20 Ultra 5G is a great alternative to Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro. It has long battery life, a 4x periscope zoom camera, and 16GB of RAM.

The average lifespan of an Android phone is between two to three years. Many Android phones don’t receive the updates you need to for maximum security and app efficiency—something to consider when deciding a time to upgrade.

Apple supports iPhone models via software updates for five years or more. Their affordable battery replacement program means you can potentially go a long time without needing to upgrade.

iOS vs. Android Security

According to the software security giant Norton, studies have found that a higher percentage of malware tends to prey upon Android phones than iOS.

Since Apple only allows iPhone users to download iOS applications from their App Store, all the apps you download for your iPhone are guaranteed to be safe. If there is malicious content in a submitted app, the App Store doesn’t allow it to be distributed.

iOS uses a practice called “sandboxing” that prevents any app you install from picking up any information from other applications, aiding both security and privacy.

The Android system is owned by Google, and Google works consistently to improve the security of its Android OS. If you are an Android user, you can easily customize your privacy settings to make your smartphone more secure.

However, software updates are a big part of smartphone security and not all Android phones get them, especially at the cheaper end of the market. If your phone is older, make sure you have the latest Android software update and if you are not entitled to it, you may want to consider buying a new phone.

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App Availability

iOS has approximately 1.96 million applications available for your use in its App Store. Since iOS tends to be a more lucrative system for developers to release their latest products, it has been common for newer apps to be released to iPhones first.

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Google Play, Android’s App Store, has approximately 2.87 million apps available for download. However, more isn’t necessarily better as Apple has much higher standards for what it does and doesn’t allow into the store.

While Android has more options, Apple protects you with the security features for apps that we discussed above. Quantity doesn’t always mean quality, especially when it comes to technology.

Customization and Personalization

One of the best features of iOS 14 was the introduction of widgets and more options to design your home screen. When this update came out, iPhone users had a lot of fun customizing their phones and posting screenshots of the results on social media.

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You can even change the look of your icons on your home screen. For example, if your home screen background is superhero themed, you can change the look of your icons to match that theme by using photographs you download from Safari.

This process can be time-consuming, so there are application icon packs available to customize your icons with ease.

Android phones have had widgets for your home screen available since day one. And while Apple is adding more features for customization now, Android phones have had this territory covered for a while.

You can tweak your phone to make it your own with the best launchers that change the whole look, and you can even change your Android fonts.

Connection With Other Devices

Apple devices connect well with one another. For example, when you use your Notes application on your iPhone, it will automatically sync to your MacBook.

Also, if you own an iPhone and a newer MacBook, your phone calls and text messages come in on your computer and you can answer calls and talk on your Macbook while you work.

Android integrates with Windows 10 in a similar way using the Your Phone app.

One downside of both iPhones and Android phones, connection-wise, is that many of the newer models do not have a headphone jack. They both connect with other devices via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB connections.

Both platforms are cloud-friendly. iOS works well with iCloud, and on both you can use your Google Account to access your emails and Google Docs.

Software Updates

iPhone makes its latest software update available to models released up to seven years earlier, hardware permitting. So even if you have an older iPhone, you can still enjoy the customization and ease of use of iOS 14.

For maximum security, iOS updates frequently. This ensures your iPhone and all of its sensitive information is protected and that your phone will continue to run apps efficiently.

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