Why Android is STILL Better than iPhone

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on January 24, 2019, Buying Guides

If you're up for buying a new smartphone, then you've really got only two basic choices at this point: Android or iPhone. Some people have a preference, and if you're used to using, say, an iPhone, then the chances are that your next phone is going to be an iPhone too. And we'll be honest right from the start and say that more or less anything you want to do you can do on either an Apple or an Android. Yet, there are still far more reasons to prefer Android. It's not that Android can do things that Apple can't, it's merely that Android does them better. After almost a decade, Android is STILL better than the iPhone. Wanna know why? Then read on.

The Basic Stuff

If you look at the great Android/iPhone debate, then some issues never change. People argue that Android is more customisable than the iPhone, which is true. And yet many of us don't use most of Android's customisation options anyway, so this is an advantage that tends to be used only by the most tech savvy.

There's also the cost argument. And yes, iPhones are expensive devices. Though, if we're honest, then top end Androids (the kind that can compete against the newest iPhone) are pretty darn expensive too. The iPhone 7 basic model goes from £599, but the Samsung Galaxy S8 goes from £650, so that price argument doesn't really hold water. Android does offer you more options, you can get cheaper phones, but those cheaper phones don't have specs that match up to an iPhone, so the comparison is unfair.

Having said all that, there are a few stand out ways in which Android phones are certainly better than iPhones. These might be things that are important to you as a shopper, and they're certainly things that make Android a better operating system both for the tech-savvy and the general user.

Android and Default Apps

It used to be that iPhones were fairly securely locked down, adding apps that competed with Apple's native apps was a no-no. This is no longer the case, and you're free to download Chrome as your iPhone browser if that's what you wish to do (you're not stuck using Safari). However, one thing that an iPhone won't let you do is to change the default app.

What exactly does this mean? Well, you might have Chrome set up as your web browser. But if you hit a link in an email or message, that link will automatically open up in Safari. If you want to use Chrome, you'll need to copy and paste the link into Chrome itself.

On Android this isn't a problem, you're free to set up your default apps as you like. Being able to choose which media player songs and videos open in, which browser opens links, which messaging programme your texts come into, all that is pretty convenient. And all that is something that you still can't do on an iPhone.

Multis Everywhere…

Another way in which the iPhone fails us is in its ability to use “multis.” We're talking about two distinct issues here, so let's separate them out for a second.

On an Android, you can have multiple user profiles. This means that two people can use the same phone, each with their own passcode and set of apps and a list of contacts. Okay, that might not be the most common of situations, but that multi-user profile is useful in a couple of ways. First, if you consistently hand your phone off to a child (a kid profile without the ability to open your email or shop on Amazon, yes please!). Second, if you use your phone for business and pleasure (negating the ability to accidentally drunk text your boss). The iPhone does NOT have this ability.

Secondly, there's the issue of multi-window use. Ever since Android 6.0, we could run two apps simultaneously in a split screen view. Again, an iPhone can't do that. Perhaps you're comparing two different restaurants, maybe you're navigating on a map while reading written directions, maybe you're looking at an email while still trying to finish that Angry Birds level, split screening is a must for the multi-tasker.

Notification Bars and Settings

Notifications are maybe something that you don't consider since they're such an integral part of daily life these days. But switch between an Android and an iPhone and you certainly will start to think about those notifications. Why? Because Android handles notifications in a far more efficient and logical (not to mention convenient) way.

Firstly, Android groups notifications. This means that if you get three notifications from, say, CNN, they'll all be grouped under one heading. You can open that heading to access all three notifications separately, or you can delete just that one heading and have all three disappear. This means that your notification bar doesn't get cluttered and that things are just easier to find. Your email alert went off? Then on an Android, you find the one heading for email notifications. On an iPhone, you're stuck scrolling through all the notifications until you see the specific email that set off the alert.

And when it comes to dismissing notifications, Android is simpler too. Just swipe a notification to the left or right, and on Android, it disappears (even when your phone is locked). On an iPhone, you'll need to swipe and then press clear, a two-step process that seems clunky after using an Android. In short, Android handles those incoming notifications far better than iPhones and has more configurable settings.

Bottom Line Time

We can't argue that an Android is better than an iPhone in every case. Given the intuitive nature of an iPhone, it's an excellent choice for an older, less tech ready user, for example. But concerning actual real-life mobile phone usage and design, yes, Android is still better even if there have been some terrible Android devices in recent years.

On the other hand, iPhones are catching up. We've seen a few additions in recent years that have solved a lot of the issues we've had with iPhones when comparing them to Androids (like the addition of a file manager, for example). Still, for the time being, Androids are going to be the choice of any tech-minded person. Their convenience outweighs the beautiful design of the iPhone.