Apple iOS vs Google Android: The update factor

Here at OSM we’ve often spoken of the battle between two major operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Just some of our recent articles include a look at the fight between the Apple iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom and which will come out on top, and also an article comparing the Verizon iPhone 4 against two new Android 4G phones also coming to Verizon, the Motorola Droid Bionic and the HTC Thunderbolt.

Recently we also looked at the numbers of Google Android subscribers as opposed to iOS subscribers. Now, our attention has been drawn to an article by Shane Richmond on The Telegraph who looks at Android vs. iOS and notes that often seems to be a bad time to buy Android and also looks at the differences between users having the latest versions of the operating systems.

For example only 0.4% of people using Androids have the latest Android OS, say Tech Crunch, and by comparison Apple’s latest iOS is used by 90% of those with iPhones. However those figures are a little misleading as the figures for iOS are for all iOS Apple devices, but the Android figure quoted is only for version 2.3. Bump figures then, say that 89.73% are on an iOS 4 variant while 87% of Android users are on a variant of Android 2, which is hardly a difference at all.

One of the drawbacks for the Android OS though, is that users cannot easily obtain the latest OS and download it, as Apple iOS users can. Because both the phone manufacturer and the mobile network have to be involved in getting out the Android update it can be some time before it makes its way to consumer’s devices. Hence some Android users locked into contracts can get pretty fed up being at the mercy of the manufacturer and network.

Richmond also suggests a link to a tongue-in-cheek graphic over on Droid Life sourced from Design Dare, which implies that any time is a bad time to buy an Android but the worse time is just before the release of a new iPhone.

However before all you Android fans jump down my throat then take a look over at Cnet for a quirky video from Brian Cooley which gives the top 5 reasons why Android is better than an iPhone. We’d like to know your thoughts on this though. Are you an Apple iOS user, or is it Android all the way for you? Why not send us your comments to let us know.

  • HeartStrong07

    I am a carrier first, OS second person. If a iPhone5 and iPad 2 come out through Verizon, they edge out a Bionic (wish the Atrix) and Xoom.

    However, since I am a business first user, I am curious about an updated Windows Phone on Verizon.

    Fortunately, my contract is up June/July so I get a chance to compare all the latest on Verizon before making a selection.

  • http://twitter.com/asdfman10 @asdfman10

    Android has got an achiles heel – Privacy. Google is not poor on privacy, it is Outrageous on privacy, and mobile devices contain our most personal data. Apple should hammer that weakness mercilessly. Few will run to Google's aid.

  • Titanx

    Iphone 4 going to verizon not a big deal. Service is going to be the big factor. Not having the same functions will affect this and being a cdma phone compared to a sim will widely affect how it performs. It shows in the galaxy s phones cdma vs sim. Plus it better to wait til iphone 5 comes out to really use the service provider true features. Plus people having to break contract to get a new or same at least in some level iphone 4. In truth is not cost affective for consumer

  • Basural

    Capabilitywise, IOS 4.3 is equivalent to Android 2.0 (and Android 2.0 has more strengths) which means IOS 4.3 are over six months behind what Android users have.

  • Basural

    IOS 4.3 (the latest) equates in capabilities to Android 2.0 (which everyone got last year), but for that matter, even Android 1.6 offers much the same capability with Hotspot being included if you root your phone.

    – No High Resolution displays,
    – No SD Card,
    – No external drive support
    – Android Browser is still better
    – No Live wall papers
    – No Widgets
    – Google Navigation pretty much similar to Android 1.5

    Most capabilities offered now on IOS 4.3 (not here yet) Android had Available last MAY, and adoption was prevelant over six months ago.
    – No Flash
    – Improved JIT
    – Chrome V8 Java Integration
    – Better launcher
    – USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
    – Added an option to disable data access over mobile network
    – Quick switching between multiple keyboard languages and their dictionaries
    – Voice dialing and contact sharing over Bluetooth
    – Support for file upload fields in the Browser application[55]
    – Support for installing applications to the expandable memory
    – Adobe Flash 10.1 support[56]
    – Support for extra high DPI screens (320 dpi), such as 4" 720p[57]

    When compared to Android, IOS is 6 or more months behind following Android's lead.

    So iPhone fans 3GS and above may get the latest IOS, but capability wise they are far behind anything any Android user has (3G can't do multitasking).

    Gingerbread has just been released by the development team, to compare it now to IOS deployment is foolish as it follows a different model. In a couple months, Android follows an open model, so users and companies can improve on the base code, with Apple your stuck with what you have, outdated and all

    So yeah, faster for Apple, but a lot less capable.