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Android 4.2 vs iOS 6, It’s all about passion

Android and iOS, the mobile operating system that underpins the Apple devices, are the heroes of an epic war that we will remember over years, it the same way we are nowadays remembering other famous battles like Internet Explorer vs Netscape or Micorosft vs Apple in the 90’s.

The biggest mistake for us, the users, is that we passionately “fall in love” with one of the sides and we tend to back it up beyond the borders of ration. We like X or Y (Android or iOS) just because, without analyzing the situation pragmatically. That’s exactly how all of us behave in the battle between Android 4.2 and iOS 6. No passionate user will ever admit that his favorite can lose a battle against its rival.

Therefore, with passion and without promising that I will be impartial (it would be a lie to pretend that you are unbiased, as the subjectivism is the one that makes ideas personal) I will tell you the naked truth: the freedom is the one that makes the difference between Android 4.2 and iOS 6.

As a person that got to test smartphones and tablets belonging to both the sides of the battlefield over time, I’ve noticed the same thing each time. Android 4.2 is an operating system that gives more freedom to the user, bringing more configuration options, while iOS forces you to follow a certain way, sometimes rightly, sometimes artificial and incomprehensible. Whether it’s the right way or not, you have no other choice (jailbreak is out of discussion).

And, to be clear, I don’t like when somebody, not even Apple, tells me what to do with my device, trying to restrict my actions. I know, there are many of you who consider that you don’t need anything beyond the App Store and you don’t care whether you are capable or not to change certain aspects. But to me, and to may others like me, customizing the smartphone or the tablet in a way that suits my needs is very important.

Let me explain. In Android 4.2 I can install a custom keyboard, like SwiftKey, which brings a functionality level superior to the standard keyboard. In iOS, the best case scenario is to install an app that has its own keyboard then copy the text in other apps, like messaging, email, or web browser.

Android has a classic file system, where you can deal with the files anyway you want, using a file manager. iOS doesn’t come with such a feature. Each app has its own environment, and in order to transfer certain files from your computer, you will have to follow an arduous path via iTunes. I don’t even mention copying files from one app to another, which basically means to create a copy of the same file in each of the apps.

Moreover, in iOS 6 you can’t download free apps from App Store without configuring a payment method, even though you don’t need it. Apple wants it there, just in case.

On iPad you can’t put more than 20 apps in a folder. Let’s say I want to have a folder for all my games. Therefore I will start downloading games, for some I pay, some of them are free. But I just can’t have more than 20 games or apps in a single folder. Why?

Personally I don’t like the Newstand app. I just don’t use it, so I want to uninstall it. I can’t. Well, the Android phone makers are also using this “dirty” practice, but Apple won’t even allow me to move the Newstand app in a folder with “useless stuff,” so it won’t occupy precious room on the drawer. Why? I guess Apple can’t answer.

I am a fan of Google Chrome and I use it on my smartphone, tablet and PC. Therefore, I would like to use it as a default browser, to automatically open links from applications. Well, iOS 6 won’t allow me to set another default browser except for the “awesome” Safari. Microsoft had to pay billions of dollars just because it dared to include Internet Explorer in Windows. Apple won’t even allow you to change the default browser, and the customers are just smiling like nothing happened, like it is absolutely normal and beneficial for the users and the competition.

I like iOS 6 for its smoothness – when you are developing an operating system for a dozen of devices it’s much easier to optimize it, compared to one that runs on hundred of smartphones and tablets. I appreciate the battery life of the devices that employ iOS 6. I like it because the numerous applications in App Store, which sometimes look and behave better than the ones on Android.

Android has optimization problems and sometimes it runs less smoother than its competitor. The main problem is that you can’t build an operating system to runs perfectly on hundreds of devices. Another reason is the carelessness of the Android developers, who sometimes doesn’t care about the stability or the memory consumption of their apps. Moreover, the apps are developed in Java, an environment known for its performance issues.

As well if you are going for a low-end Android-powered smartphone, you will grow a beard waiting for the easiest tasks to be performed, while the RAM is full almost the entire time. But you can’t compare a $200 Android-powered smartphone with the iPhone 5, it’s just not fair.

I also blame the Android phone makers for the battery life, as most of them seem to don’t even care about this aspect. There’s one exception called Motorola, though.

Even so, with all the problems affecting the Android 4.2 experience and with all the bloatware installed by the phone makers then by the carriers, I like Android more because it gives me the freedom to choose, to configure. Talking about freedom, and the freedom of choice, just look at the hundreds of Android-powered smartphone models currently available on the market.

Well, if you don’t like the way that the phone makers are managing the Android updates, then buy a Nexus, then your OS will be always up to date.

Android 4.2 and all the previous versions allow the user to make his device more personal. On the other hand, the iOS-powered terminals are cold and impersonal, and the user seems just one of the thousands of chickens raised in a farm by the same standards. I just hope that that’s not how the future looks like.

Oh, and please forgive me for being “too passionate.”

  • Phi Brain

    Wait for ios 6.1 and you will see the passion.

    • scum

      “Wait”. That sounds like a line out of a Galaxy SIII advert aimed at the Iphone 5!

    • hammy

      i waited and found nothing…

  • George

    “jailbreak is out of discussion” because it would invalidate your argument. what a useless article…

    • The article is about comparing the stock versions of both platforms, the ones used by most of the users.

      I said that “jailbreak is out of discussion” because I also ruled the Android rooting out of contention, which improves performance and gives you access to numerous other features and apps. After rooting you can also install custom ROMs like CM10, AOKP, or Paranoid which come with even greater customization features, from choosing the toggles in the Notification area to CPU overclocking…

    • Me Ted


    • Alex

      If he did add Jailbreak then he would’ve added Root. Root is 100x better than Jailbreak and Jailbreak is the equivalent of Stock android.

  • Divya Mahajan

    Unimpressive comparison. From the apologies for Android (careless hardware, careless programmers….) , I think the author has a bias to Android. As a user of the device, I just want it to work well and not worry about the h/w or s/w developer.

    The Android experience is highly variable. I liked the Nexus 7 and use it a lot. But when I switch to the Samsung Galaxy S2 – I miss a lot of the “freedom” and “clean” stuff approach of the Nexus 7. The other one which bugs me is the Play Store. Its cluttered and when I find something – often the UI is confusing (and at worse amateur-ish). After publishing on Play Store – its clear why. There is NO vetting of the app on the play Store. Anyone can push junk out there. The other confusing part – Play Store, Amazon Store….. – you can use only one of them? Why is that, where is my freedom?

    From the iPad to the iPhone – I “EXPECT” it to work the same – and would be pissed off if it did not. So the bar for judgement is higher for iOS. The quality of the apps on the Apple store have been far better. The dictatorial rules for app approval reduce the junk (a lot still makes it through!).

    The one to watch is Windows 8 phone. With a radically new concept, it seems to be a hidden contender that will chip away at Android. But its short on apps, developers and devices sold to users – so it will take a few months!

    • David

      a good response. I haven’t used an iphone for long enough to make real fair comparison like the author and yourself.

      I’m not sure what you mean by the Play store-Amazon store comment. I use both. What does iOS give you freedom in sources for apps?

  • Guest

    Apple has always been overpriced, restrictive and dull. Having said that I Wouldn’t buy and ipad or iphone if they we’re £50.00. Why? Because I will not be told what I like and do not like, and I certainly will not pay, any sum, for someone to tell me.

  • Guest

    Apple has always been overpriced, restrictive and dull. Having said that I wouldn’t buy and ipad or iphone if they we’re £50.00. Why? Because I will not be told what I like and do not like, and I certainly will not pay, any sum, for someone to tell me.

  • Reality Bites

    Apple has always been overpriced, restrictive and dull. Having said that I wouldn’t buy an ipad or iphone if they we’re £50.00. Why? Because I will not be told what I like and do not like, and I certainly will not pay, any sum, for someone to tell me.

  • Markus Ptolmey

    Android just doesn’t suffer from performance issues & lots of substandard hardware issues, it probably is the worst offender when it comes to stability & secutiry issues. In fact, all the droids I’ve ever purchased suffered from random crashes, reboots, hangups etc. including GT-i9300 I am using right now (which is running stock JB 4.1.1). For me, a stable/reliable and consistently performing OS is the primary concern, so android unfortunately fails in these areas.
    I am very certain that I am not going to invest in any android phone again. So I’ll either be buying an iPhone or an WP8 offering in near future.

    • todd

      the simple rack that you call them “droids” makes your argument null and void.
      I say to you this ; you do not know wtf you’re talking about

      • Sam

        And I say this to you… people who use non Apple electronics are like mosquitos. They exist. But their opinion does not matter. Yes I will buy a Note 2 or a Galaxy S3, provided they sell for $3.50 and come with 500 minutes of free talk time and 5TB free data every month. That might be enough to make me forgive the faws of Ander.. Andrew… Anedri… what’s that OS called again? The iPhone… well, if Apple sells it for $20,000 with 1kb memory, I will still be grateful that Apple is selling such a magical device for such a reasonable price. Period.

        • hammy

          dude and i will buy a droid over a cheaper ifakefone any day as you make your for old people..okay just tell me what is the difference in looks bw your first phone and the current …..you can see one more row of apps…wow now thats a revolutionary feature…
          we on the other hand have added google now,gesture typing,nfc,notification panel,face recognition….just to name a few..but still i say you go and buy the iphone

    • mooseolly

      your i9300 must be faulty or you are using it wrong.
      Tips: do not pull out the battery when you are texting. Do not bath together with your phone

      • Sam

        It’s not his i9300 that’s faulty! It’s the OS…

  • Nick

    Dude, do yourself and the readers a favor and do some proof reading before posting this stuff. I disagree with some of your opinions in this article but regardless of that, the spelling and grammatical errors in this article are very distracting.

    • mooseolly

      How do you pronounce i s h e e p ?

    • hammy

      i D o n k e y

  • Todd

    allow me to settle this argument, once and for all. iOS is inferior to modern android, hands down, without question.
    the anti android ALWAYS say the same thing; “android phones freeze then crash”
    total B.S., I personally have owned 3- iPhone 3g, 2 iPhone 4, 1-2nd gen ipod touch, 1-3rd g. ipod touch, 2- 4th g. ipod touch and countless android phones from HTC, Samsung and LG.
    Android is better.

    • Sam

      Just as a Ford Fiesta is HANDS DOWN better than a Rolce Royce Phantom! You are right of course, professor! The copied, stolen, unprofessionally implemented, incompletely designed, and laboriously conceived junk called Android is so superior! Woooooooooooooooooo!!!!

  • Guest

    Really you can’t change the default search engine on the Iphone? Are you sure you have really tried one? Last time I checked my Iphone I could set my browser to bing, google, or yahoo. And yes I could set it to my default browser. Also as far as google being open; they are open source as long as they are the main door to their supposed openness. Google wants to control the doorway and the get all the searches and advertising revenue. There ultimate motive is simply for control.

    • milhouse

      he’s not talking about the default search engine, it’s the default browser

    • mooseolly

      You didn’t even understand what is meant by default browser. Try harder.

  • Joseph

    Dont tell me IOS doesnt crash, i am using an ipod touch 4th gen and it crashes with a couple of apps open, the Os is not to blame but the RAM. Certainly the main argument for IOS would be that it is fast fluid and great apps. For android, it is the definition of a complete Os, which lets you make it your own and let you things do it your way, this is centainly a whole review into a couple sentences…

  • Steven Elliott

    Java is known for its performance problems? Really? Maybe in the 90’s… I guess that’s why Twitter had to rewrite their back-end in Scala and Java, and Google doesn’t know what they’re doing right? Another writer who thinks he has a clue about anything.

  • Sam

    Freedom…. hmmm… freedom to be haggerred by slow running, ugly looking, always-crashing apps I suppose! Or perhaps the freedom to take a glorified plastic stylus and call it a S-Pen! Tchaaaah… What a waste. I will never buy a phone, tablet, notebook, or desktop that was not made by Apple!

    • hammy

      I suppose you do no use the microwave,bed or car as they are not made by appy,,,apie,,,what was that company again…?