Top 10 ways Apple’s iOS beats Google’s Android (and vice versa)

Lifehacker’s Adam Dachis takes a look at the top 10 ways Apple’s iOS beats Google’s Android.

Following that, Whitson Gordon attempts to come up with the top 10 ways Google’s Android beats Apple’s iOS.

We offer both lists, so you can easily compare exactly what’s being claimed to be “better” about each platform.

Which list has more things of actual importance to the typical end-user?

Top 10 ways Apple’s iOS beats Google’s Android:
10. The iTunes Media Store
9. AirPlay
8. Find My iPhone
7. A Better Support System
6. Better Battery Life and Management
5. iTunes and Tethered Syncing
4. No Crapware
3. A Bigger and Better Variety of Apps
2. A Well-Designed, Intuitive User Interface
1. Consistency

Top 10 ways Google’s Android beats Apple’s iOS:
10. Alternate Keyboards
9. Automation
8. Custom Home Screens (spawning this sort of abject fugliness – MDN Ed.)
7. Widgets
6. Removable Storage and Battery (hardware features available on some devices)
5. Wireless App Installation
4. Custom ROMs
3. Controlling Your Phone From Your Computer
2. Flash
1. True App Integration (Set phone’s dialer to use Google Voice all the time; in iOS you have to tap Google Voice to use it.)

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, most of Android’s so-called advantages consist of absurd geek tweaks and minor niche hacks which very few, if any, regular users will utilize at all, much less to any real advantage. Some of the things on Android’s list, like Adobe Flash support and Custom ROMs, are downright disadvantageous – leading to meaningful end-user advantages for iOS in better battery life (helping push the Web forward instead of anchoring it in the past by killing Flash is also a nice feeling iOS users should have) and consistency (iOS’ lack of fragmentation is, as Dachis states, of important value: “Knowing what you’re getting and that you’ll be receiving updates for at least the next two generations of devices increases the value of an iDevice long past the date of purchase.”

For some reason, security goes unmentioned. It shouldn’t; it’s a very real, very big advantage.

In the end, simply comparing these two lists, not to mention reading the full articles (links in the first sentence above), makes it plainly obvious that Apple’s iOS is the superior choice over Google’s flawed clone for anyone except the most delusional “Apple Haterz,” ignorant consumers, or those unfortunate souls who find themselves with carriers who are not yet authorized to carry Apple products.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]


  1. For the ultimate polished experience and hassle-free no-thought interface with your Mac, iTunes is the way to go. It provides not only backup features but the ability to create playlists so you don’t have to worry about syncing individual songs to your iOS device and can change them as you like by simply checking or unchecking a playlist. What could be simpler.

    Over-the-air updates are overhyped. I’d rather have my iPhone plugged into my Mac while performing an OS upgrade. At least a failure to complete the download process will not result in a bricked phone plus the cable provides a charge so I don’t have to worry about running out of juice midway through the process..

    Android’s over-reliance on the cloud is an inherent weakness: it’s slow to sync and bandwidth caps mean you have to be extra careful not to go over. If only Apple would make MobileMe free this will solve many of the over-the-air sync problems experienced by iOS users.

  2. Top 10 ways Google’s Android beats Apple’s iOS:
    1. Anything but an Apple device—for the profoundly ungifted amongst us.
    2. Any other supposed advantage, see item 1 above.

    1. And every common fly likes eating shite.
      So what exactly are you trying to say?
      Apple fans are not into coprophagy.
      Android users clearly lurve it.
      Enjoy, and move some distance away too.

    1. It’s called AirPrint. Go to or open safari > bookmarks > scroll to bottom and tap iPad user guide and follow the god damn directions.

      1. Thanks everyone. You too Eric except for those second and third to the last words. I certainly hope you have a better day than you’re having.

    2. If you do not have a HP printer, you need to run something like Printopia on a Mac to be able to use AirPrint. I have a brother color laser, Printopia works perfect.

      If you have a HP printer.. Sorry. But you can print directly.

    3. Lion may have more AirPrint functionality. But for immediate advantage, I downloaded AirPrint Activator. (Google it) Once you activate it, you never have to open it again. Then you uninstall and reinstall the printers on your Mac and enable printer sharing on them. If your iOS device shares the WiFi network with your Mac, all of the printers show up via AirPrint. I can print from my iPad or iPhone to any printer on my Macs. I also had my friends/family do the same, so when I am at their place or our worship center or workplaces, I can easily print to the connected printers! AWESOME!

      Here’s the link:

      Apparently there is a version that works with Windows too (meh), but I don’t have PC so can’t testify to its functionality. Here’s that link:

      1. Agreed with what Rick said, either way it’s wireless.

        But I dont think it is an iOS limitation, it used to be 10mb. I think it was AT&T limiting the 3G data. And Verizon just kept it the same.
        Could be wrong but I thought that was the deal.
        I know if you jailbreak, you can tell the app store you are on wifi and it will download over 20mb stuff.

    1. Maybe the meant the wireless OS updates. iOS doesn’t do that (yet) and that is something I appreciate for my android phone. It is a nice feature but Android needs to take advantage of that and UPDATE my damn phone.

      1. Forgive me if I’m wrong here but I don’t think it’s “Android” that will take advantage of wireless updates, it’s what the carriers will perform when they get updates from Google. As I understand it, carriers are not very dependable or regular when it comes to providing OS updates.

  3. Custom home screens and widgets are nice. I give Android credit for those innovations. Google voice still sucks. And Flash per MDN’s take, is a battery killler. I have an iphone 4. I wouldn’t trade it for any Android device.

  4. Another big advantage for Apple’s iOS is users’ privacy. Apple’s privacy policy allows the user to decide what private information an app gets and how its used, that is, the app must get the user’s informed consent to obtain and use his personal data. This is not so for Android. To make any use of an orthodox Android device, one must register for an account with Google, and to register for a Google account, one must accept Google’s privacy policy, which essentially grants Google or its third-party app developers permission to take your private data (e.g., location data) and pretty much use and/or transfer it in any way that will earn them the most money.

    So privacy is a major advantage for Apple’s iOS.

  5. 2 of the choices of advantages Droid has over IOS make no sense. What does a removable battery have to do with Android? That is hardware. Next is wireless app installation? Does he mean hacked apps? Last I remember we use APP Store and can install apps fine wirelessly? I like the true app integration. Aside of Google Voice, what other option can you set your voice mail too? Google voice for Droid pretty much “is” their only option if they want Visual Voice Mail. The list doesn’t illustrate anything of an advantage on the Droid side. Custom roms? That is something Google would tout as an advantage. That would be the equivalent of Apple blessing Cydia.

  6. Yeah, iOS is great. But it’s the hardware that makes the iPhone 4 so incredible.

    See, a device that sits on your desk like a PC doesn’t need to be beautifully designed. (it’s nice but not necessary). But if you’re going to have the device with you all day and pick it up dozens of times a day, well Apple’s competitors aren’t even close.

  7. Totally missed a HUGE iOS advantage: Acessories, accessories, accessories.

    There are thousands and thousands of different accessories made for iOS devices to choose from. Not so for Android market, obviously.

    This adds value, knowing that you’ll be able to trick out your device with any number of cases, battery packs, stands, adaptors, readers, credit card readers, external mics, midi keyboards, USB, the list goes on and on.

    The uniform form factor is a huge attraction to the third party market, as is the knowledge that iOS users spend more money in general.

  8. Both lists had a few things that either I do not care about or had me wondering.

    On the iPhone list was tethered syncing with iTunes. Sorry the one thing I absolutely do NOT miss about my iphone is plugging in and firing up iTunes – for anything. I only *had* to plug my droid into my computer one time, and that was to root the thing. Tethering just sounds so 1990s to me. Might as well get yourself a black berry baaby lol.

    On the Android list for me was Flash – WTF ? FLASH? You know to me its not that Flash is bad, its that Adobe has done a 110% piss poor job of actually making Flash usable and stable on mobile devices. Flash being available for Android is no BONUS. I am an avid Android user and I do not run flash. Its power hungry, buggy and it is the only app that made my Droid incredible actually feel *warm* when holding it in my hand.

    A few solid things on both lists, and a lot of very subjective stuff that is really going to vary person by person.

    1. @ Dude: Nice post. While I don’t have either an iPhone or an android device, there were some head-scratchers. You sum mend them up nicely. And I agree 100% with your last paragraph. The key word for any such list is [i]subjective[/i].

  9. Authors missed a serious point that makes waves with users.

    Apple iPhone: iPhone users who have to buy another iPhone is due to dropping it in water or getting stolen.

    Google Android: Droid users replace phones because they stop working. One friend is on his sixth replacement & just waiting for the iPhone 5 @ Verizon. Meanwhile all 6 of his phones are used in the tallys to show the great Android volume.

    Gross numbers don’t tell the family secrets.

    1. More than one manufacturer make Android phones though.

      If your friend is on his 6th one its time to either try another manufacturer (unless #6 lasts long enough to get him to the iPhone)

      Maybe the guy is just so hard on his equipment that you’ll hear him complaining in a year how his iPhone is a POS cause it can’t handle him taking it in the bath tub or dropping it from the 4th story window of his apartment.

      Seriously this guy either has the worst luck in the world with phones or he flat out destroys the stuff himself.

        1. lol. Dude I can’t do that because that would be a lie.

          I actually moved from the iPhone to Android.

          Is Android perfect? F*CK NO! Then again neither is the iPhone.

          Android just works better for me and delivers the things that I value in a mobile platform better than the iPhone did, again for me, not for everyone.

          I’m not an Apple Hater, I’m not some misinformed idiot like MDN likes to ignorantly assume everyone without an iPhone is.

          I actually drank the Koolaid and then I tried the other flavor… and it was good.

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