10 Reasons why Android 4.x is better than Apple’s iOS on iPhone

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Google has finally figured out the recipe for success with the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest member of Android OS family. Google has faced many criticisms around the responsiveness of the UI in Android. Many tech experts will conclude their reviews of the Android OS with statements like, “Android OS is the best mobile operating system besides iOS but it still suffers from occasional lag or stutter in the user interface”.

Android 4 is the latest version of the Android platform for phones, tablets, and more. This version of Android unifies everything by combining the Phone and Tablet software in one package.  It builds on the things users love most about Android including easy multitasking, rich notifications, resizable widgets, customizable home screens, and deep interactivity — and adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing.

We have outlined 10 reasons why Android 4 is just better than iOS. Many first time buyers overlook the features offered by Android and just focus on the fact that iPhone is produced by Apple. The following 10 reasons will shed some light on some of the key differentiating features that make Android a better mobile operating system.

1. Better User Interface
Unlike the iPhone OS, Android user interface has been constantly refining and evolving over the years. With Android 4, Google has made the user interface much more polished and modern. The main feature of the OS is navigation buttons, these make it easier for the user to navigate around the phone.  Unlike the iPhone with only one navigation button (Home Button), Android phones have back, menu, and multitasking buttons, which allow the user to very easily perform these actions whith out having to look for the virtual buttons in an application.

Android utilizes the entire screen with screenshots of the running applicaitons compared to iOS, where multitasking is only done using the dock at the bottom.  iOS wastes the entire screen space when it comes to multitasking.

On the iPhone there is only one thing you see, a page full of applications and nothing more.  This makes the user interface very boring and dull as the space on your home screen not being used efficiently to provide rich experience for the user. iOS might be easier to use but it is time to move on from an operating system designed for technologically challenged individuals. The Android user interface separates your home screens from the applications list and provides a space that you can customize the way you want. This is the main reason why every single Android phone looks different and unique unlike the iPhone.

 

2. Resizable Widgets
This feature is exclusive to Android when comparing to the iOS. The home screens in Android 4 are designed to be content-rich and customizable allowing the user to embed live application content directly through interactive widgets. Widgets let you check email, flip through a calendar, play music, check social streams, and more — right from the home screen, without having to launch apps. Widgets are resizable, so you can expand them to show more content or shrink them to save space. The retina display on the iPhone is a waste if you use it to display just a grid of icons page after page.

3. Swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks, and browser tabs
Android 4 makes managing notifications, recent apps, and browser tabs even easier. You can now dismiss individual notifications, apps from the Recent Apps list, and browser tabs with a simple swipe of a finger. This provides a unified experience to the user with quick and easy way to manage the content on your phone.

 

4. Quick responses for incoming calls
When an incoming call arrives, you can now quickly respond by a text message, without needing to pick up the call or unlock the device. On the incoming call screen, you simply slide a control to see a list of text responses and then tap to send and end the call. You can add your own responses and manage the list from the Settings app. On iOS you can only answer or decline the incoming call, there is no additional functionality that provides the user with more ways to respond.

 

5. Improved text input and spell-checking
The soft keyboard in Android 4 makes text input even faster and more accurate. To fix misspelled words more easily, Android 4 adds a spell-checker that locates and underlines errors and suggests replacement words. With one tap, you can choose from multiple spelling suggestions, delete a word, or add it to the dictionary. You can even tap to see replacement suggestions for words that are spelled correctly. For specialized features or additional languages, you can now download and install third-party dictionaries, spell-checkers, and other text services.

6. Powerful voice input engine
Android 4 introduces a powerful new voice input engine that offers a continuous “open microphone” experience and streaming voice recognition. This lets you dictate the text you want, for as long as you want, using the language you want. The voice recognition is done in real time allowing you to look at the interpreted text as you speak. You no longer have to finish your speech and wait to see the transcribed text. Siri on iOS provides options to search the web directly but it is used more for entertainment purposes as it is still in beta form. Text-to-speech options on Android are more governed towards productivity allowing you to finish the task easily and effectively.

7. Control over network data
In the Settings app, colorful charts show the total data usage on each network type (mobile or Wi-Fi), as well as amount of data used by each running application. Based on your data plan, you can optionally set warning levels or hard limits on data usage or disable mobile data altogether. You can also manage the background data used by individual applications as needed.

8. Cloud-connected experience
Android has always been cloud-connected, letting you browse the web and sync photos, apps, games, email, and contacts — wherever you are and across all of your devices. Android has always provided superior cloud experience way before Apple introduced their cloud based services. Android users have always enjoyed this feature as you never have to worry about losing your personal information with your phone.

9. Google Experience
If you are a gmail user then Android OS is made just for you and with all of your needs in mind.  Android provides the best google experience including GMail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Search, YouTube, Google Goggles, Google Talk, Google Translate, Google Earth, Blogger, and Chrome to Phone. This list provides more than enough reasons for gmail users to own an Android device. Google has also introduced Google Chrome browser which allows you to  sync your bookmarks and view tabs you have open on your computer. You can send pages from desktop Chrome to your smartphone or tablet with one click and read them on the go, even if you’re offline. Neither the iPhone nor any other phone on the market will provide immersive and rich google experience the way Android does. Check out Go Google campaign.

10. Google Maps and FREE voice-guided Navigation
If you use your phone for navigation or destination searches then Google Maps Navigation provides you the best experience on Android 4.  Google has built in a free  voice guided turn-by-turn GPS navigation.  The application also provides driving, public transit, biking, and walking directions as well. This is exclusive only to Android as the iOS version of Google Maps provides just the core functionality.

In addition, Google has also included Android Beam for NFC-based sharing and Face Unlock in Android 4. Android Beam is an innovative, convenient feature for sharing across two NFC-enabled devices, It lets people instantly exchange favorite apps, contacts, music, videos — almost anything.Face Unlock is a new screen-lock option that lets you unlock your device with your face. It takes advantage of the device front-facing camera and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to register a face during setup and then to recognize it again when unlocking the device.

In conclusion, many iOS users will argue that some of the features mentioned in this post can be added by jailbreaking or installing third party applications but these features are included in Android by default.  Android currently has around 450,000 applications available in Play Store and with its current growth rate it is expected to surpass the App Store in the coming months.  Apple’s iOS gets the fluidity and responsiveness at an expense of some key features that are essential for any smartphone. Anyone can achieve fast and responsive UI with a locked down user interface like iOS.  The applications, mentioned in this post, are all present on both platforms but Android is the only OS that provides additional functionality that proves to be very essential for its users. Given the aforementioned reasons, Android 4 is clearly the superior mobile operating system.  With 50.1% of smartphone market in the United States, Android will continue to gain more market share as more and more people discover the amazing features that make Android better than iOS.

UPDATE: Check out our Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Features and All you need to know post for additional features like Butter UI, Search, Notifications, and Google Now. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is one of the best operating system/product Google has ever created. “It’s fast, fluid, and beautifully designed.” To be honest, we haven’t seen anything in Apple’s iOS 6 that offers superior experience to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, period.

Related Post: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean vs. Apple iOS 6 vs. Microsoft Windows Phone 8, which is better?

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  • Sigh.

    Did no one realize the author included photos of Jelly Bean for an article about Ice Cream Sandwich?
    Come on man.

    • TheGadgetMasters

      You need to do some research into how both operating systems look like.

  • Michael Li

    I’m looking forward to testing out Android 4.2. It looks great.

  • Michael Li

    Android has a better Maps app than iOS 6,

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=779045532 Michael Li

    Android 4.0 has a better Maps app than iOS 6.

  • Deepak

    IOS IS JUST SHOWOFF, ANDROID IS SUPER, APPLE FAILS AFTER NEGLECTING GOOGLE MAPS..

  • BigBoi

    Unlike Apple, Android can download 1000 songs at time while apple downloads songs one by one which is really annoying and gay.

    • mistermark123

      You’re gay for using gay as a negative word.

      • MisterMarkIsGay

        You’re gay and that’s a bad thing. I can hear your lisp over the internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.l.ricketts Alan L. Ricketts

    I appreciate your comments. I have a iphone 3GS (Waiting for iphone 5) and my wife has iphone 4s. My grandson has an android phone. I love his big screen (4,5) and like the ability to add widgets. I have been wondering if I would be happy with an Android phone running Jelly Bean.

    Any more thought on advantages of android vs ios?

  • Ed

    Android is superior to iOS for the simple fact that it allows you to interact with files and applications in the same way you would on a desktop/laptop computer. The ability to do such things as browse my device’s entire file system, open files in various applications, copy/move/delete files, create new folders, transfer files between devices via wifi, and upload to my web server via FTP is invaluable to me, and Android clearly has the upper hand when you need a mobile device that performs and functions like a desktop/laptop.

  • Shreyash

    I disagree with all your points other than the gmail one

    Your Very first point is incorrect iOS is way more smoother and has a better user interference

    Your second point is also incorrect I can also view my mails from the home screen

    Your third point is also incorrect the notification centre multitasking and closing apps is more easier and faster on iOS is more faster than android

    Now you are talking rubbish iOS is a way better phone software

    Fifth and 6th are also wrong we have Siri and our spell check is way better

    Seventh and 8th are total rubbish

    I mean seriously there is google maps for iOS as well

    @ Aurel those point you listed are rubbish I can do everything you listed

    Before someone says that android has flash I would like to tell them that I have flash on my iPad as well because I have DOWNLOADED a browser called I swifter which lets me have FULL FLASH on my device and btw I have a way more cleaned software called HTML 5 on my iPad it is way better than your stupid android you know

    Android sucks! Big time !

    • Raza Hassan

      Don’t even know where to begin with you. 
      If you want to rubbish someone’s article, at least explain why points 7 and 8 are rubbish, rather than just saying they are. 
      You might have been right about some of the things you mentioned, but you do it in such an arrogant and uneducated manner than I feel sorry for you instead. HTML5 isn’t just on the iPad, it works on any modern device and is a form of coding created to work smoother on tablets and mobile devices. And, looking at specifications alone, 4S runs a 800MHz dual core processor, where as the best android phones are quad-core 1.5GHz, but I still agree that iOS is smoother in overall performance.

      Oh, and please don’t waste your time replying to this, I only wanted to try and educate you a bit. Don’t care what you have to say, it will probably most likely be pointless, stupid and mind numbing to even challenge.

    • Danny4way

      Android is way better than iOS. iPhone is just a name. New Google search is even better than Siri. Siri ain’t smart enough to be an assistant for human. New Jellybean 4.1 google search even faster than Siri. Siri is just a rubbish. New iOS 6 navigation is also rubbish. No LED notification on iPhone is also rubbish. Can’t download anything directly from iPhone Safari is also rubbish. Don’t understand why people are spending their money on rubbish.  Rubbish is just a rubbish.

    • Abz

      You’re just an idiot… seriously.. I agree the user interference is better on iOS, but the user interface is much more customisable/better on android. You can see the number of emails you have, not the emails themselves. Your notification centre is stolen from Android, and not even correctly I might add. ICS has the simplest and fastest multitasking system. You fobby Indian iSheep annoy me, you just make bullshit up and claim it as fact… and before you call me racist, I’m Indian too…which makes it more annoying because your blind idiocy reflects poorly on the rest of us. Android can do everything an iPhone can and more! Android is a computer and iOS is a toy. Watch this video series on Youtube with an open mind and learn how wrong you are

  • Jewels20

    Can you make the keyboard/texting feature “click” when you type with ICS? I just DL’d it to my RazrMaxx. It’s my first smart phone and only had a week. Total. Two operating systems in a short time lol. Like this one better. I’ve used iPhones and ya, the clicking part I really like. This new op sys makes it (texting keyboard) look more iPhone-y. Which I personally like!:)

  • rturner2

    As a third party developer… in ICS can I natively open PDF files INSIDE my app? I don’t want to throw the user outside my app or make them install a PDF reader app just to use my app. This is possible in iOS 4+.

  • Issal123

    ios is just a shit

    • ANDROID SUCKS

      Yo mom is a shit

      • nate

        no, your phone is shit and your pissed because you already know this

  • vicnd

    My brother has a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and a Galaxy S2, and i’ve got an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4S. I agree that the UI on Android 4.0 looks modern and iOS 5 feels a bit old, but I think that widgets are ok on a tablet but not on a phone, even on Galaxy S2′s, because the UI loses a bit of its sharpness. Multitasking on ICS feels great, but I don’t think that the method in iOS is worse. I don’t need to see a snapshot of what is running, because if I’ve left the app or opened a webpage I’M SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT’S RUNNING! iCloud is new, but Apple provided cloud sync since day 1. Ever heard the name MobileME? All iCloud does is replace MobileME with a more robust and more integrated experience. Every picture, every song, every video, every contact, every document I have on iWork or iLife on my MacBook is also on my iPhone and my iPad, and vice-versa. This states a real difference from iOS to Android: it gets things done A LOT easier.
    I’m not a hater or Apple fanboy, but I like the products I have and the mobile environment they provide, and I’ll never change my preference. I really prefer my phone and my tablet than my brother’s.

  • Aurel

    really. Those are all the reasons ? How about these ?
    -NO SYNC. you can just copy any music file, any video file and format and you will have it there from any computer, any e-mail, any messenger transfer.
    -Can play a load more of formats natively. Again without sync or conversion
    -I can f***ing download torrents directly on it.
    -Applications and files are interconnected. If I download a pdf I can view it with another program like a pdf reader. It’s like a pc.
    -Customization in any way I want. Any launcher, any widgets within that launcher, any lockscreen, any apps on the lockscreen if they support it calendar within a widget or on the lockscreen
    -Tasker !!! I can make scripts any way I want. I have a script that sets maximum brightness and a screen timeout of 10 minutes when having opened a picture viewer. Or turn of data while screen on and every 20 minute turn it back on and sync. I can customize everything like this, from random ringtones to opening apps when talking o the phone, separate settings when I am at work or sleeping. ANYTHING!!!!!
    -Open source. Thouzand of versions of android and android apps, each for every taste and still compatible. Nothing hidden, nothing closed, anyone can make his own android if he is good enough
    -total control is the key word. An open world for the user, a choice, If he wants it the simple way like apple he sticks to stock everything. But he can chose.

  • iOScrash

    Sounds about right. Good article.

  • http://mattgoffrey.wordpress.com/ Matt Goffrey

    I’m an android user, and I genuinely LOVE the upgrades in ICS.  However this article is just wrong.

    1, 2, 3) I agree, user interface is better.  That’s actually point 1.  2 and 3 have to do with the user interface.  You’re double counting.  That means your “10 reasons” is really just 8 … but is it?

    4) “Quick responses for incoming calls” … my wife has an iPhone and I have the new Galaxy.  Call responses seem identical to me.  So this one isn’t accurate at all.

    5) Improved spell checking and text input … Spell checking on iOS devices still absolutely SMOKES what is available on ICS.  I will agree that text input is better however as swipe beats the living snot out of what iOS provides natively.  So I’ll give you this one, but only with the spell checking removed.

    6) “Powerful voice input engine” … dude, are you serious?  Siri still kicks the living crap out of what’s available on ICS despite the improvements.  This one is so wrong it’s almost a joke.

    7) Control over network data … yeah, only sort of.  T-Mobile kind of murdered this feature, I’m sure most other carriers do also.

    8) Cloud connected experience … the new iOS provides this also with iCloud.  I don’t see any improvements or even many differences between iOS and ICS in this regard.

    9) “Google Experience” … this one kind of made me laugh.  First, Maps comes with iOS by default and the other features are installable as apps.  While like you said, it isn’t “out of the box” but I don’t really see that as a plus either.  Android bills itself as something highly customizable and yet there’s all kinds of garbage that you can’t uninstall.  It’s actually this kind of B.S. with android that occasionally makes me wonder if I shouldn’t go back to iPhone.

    10) Google Maps and free voice navigation … that’s been a part of iPhone since the iPhone 3 came out.

    In other words, your “10 reasons” thing has just 2 actual things in it that ICS does better and 2 things in it that iOS does better.

    • TheGadgetMasters

      You have clearly overlooked the actual reasons.  iOS has many of the features we have mentioned in this article but you have to look at the additional functionality provided by Android ICS.  

      1, 2, 3) The first three reasons are related to UI but the Widgets and Swipe to remove features are so unique that they deserve their own category.  Widgets are one of the biggest plus points of Android and iOS have none and that’s why it is one of the reasons and same is true for swipe to dismiss feature.  

      4) Incoming call on an iPhone gives you the option to decline or answer.  Android ICS allows you to send a text message with out picking up the phone.  

      5) Spell checking is done better with red highlights and options that are available to users.  

      6) We said Siri is better for some users but it still needs improvements before it can be used for productivity reasons.  Android is better in this regard because it provides voice input for productivity reasons.  

      7) ICS is used by many with different data plans, so the fact that one carrier provides unlimited data doesn’t cancel out all the other users of ICS.  The fact that this data tracking feature is built-in to the OS provides a very solid experience for users with limited data.  

      8) iCloud is present but Android provides a unified experience if you are a Google user. This feature was present on Android since day 1 and because of that Android has improved the cloud syncing quite significantly.  

      9) The fact that there is Google Maps on iOS doesn’t mean it provides a better experience. We have never denied that fact that Google applications are also present on iOS but Google’s Android applications provide additional functionality that is not present on iOS. 

      10)  On the iPhone, there’s no terrain view showing topography (although the iPad version currently offers this). There’s also no support for Google Maps Navigation, a turn by turn service Google began similarly promoting as a unique feature of Google Maps for Android smartphones.  You misunderstood our point here.  We said free voice-guided Navigation, this means the app is capable of speaking the street names not just left and right directions. 

      There are many other features that exclusive to Android but most iOS users think both offer the same features because many iOS users don’t know about the additional features provided by Android. This is the main reason why we have decided to publish this article. Hope this helps and thank you for your comment.  

      • http://mattgoffrey.wordpress.com/ Matt Goffrey

        4) You can send send a text message on iOS without picking up the phone also … it’s called Siri

        5) The highlighting feature is nice, I agree and I do like it.  But the iOS spell checking is just so much better that comparing the two is like saying you like cup holders and therefore a Dodge Neon is better than a Lamborghini … and the spell checking between ICS and iOS is about that far removed

        6) And I’m sorry but there is NOTHING that ICS does in regard to voice commands that is on the same level as Siri.  Not productivity nor anything else.  I do strongly suspect that Google will be able to VERY rapidly change this situation over about the next 12 months, but right now Siri kicks Google Voice Commands ass.

        7) The only unlimited 4G data plan is Sprint.  All other carriers cap their 4G data and THAT is where the ability to control your data is supposed to come in handy.  I have t-Mobile with capped 4G data and there is NO QUESTION that they purposely murdered this feature.  They would really have you go over your data limits because it makes them more money.

        8) We’re just going to have to disagree on this one.  iOS provided syncing with the cloud before android even existed (talking about contacts, calendars, tasks and such).  iCloud took that quite a bit farther with allowing music and videos to be synced up and played from the cloud.  It’s completely seamless.  In this regard iOS and ICS are really on an even playing field.

        9) Seriously I have no idea of what you’re talking about here.  What applications use Google Maps that is installed on android by default other than the navigation service (which by the way requires an APP for voice navigation to function)?  Google Maps functions literally IDENTICALLY on ICS as it does on iOS.

        10) The maps don’t need terrain view if there’s the sat view, however if you want to call that an additional feature so be it.  As for turn-by-turn voice navigation, while it isn’t the exact same navigation app, iOS still provides this feature.  Turn-by-turn voice navigation provided natively and for free … both have it and neither is superior to the other.

        ICS is in my opinion better than iOS for a couple of simple reasons:
        1) Better cost for the horsepower
        2) More customizable
        3) Swype is awesome

        Beyond that, the two OS’ are largely the same except for the fact that Siri is FAR beyond ICS’ voice control and iOS autocorrect and spell correct features are better.

        However, the cost, customization, and swype trump those features in my opinion.

        • TheGadgetMasters

          I don’t want to argue about personal opinions but you are just wrong about the navigation and maps.  I don’t know how you are using your Android phone but there is NO voice guided navigation on iOS.  Integrated Google Maps are great but there is no Voice readout on iOS. I don’t know how you think neither is superior when Android clearly has the upper hand with seamless integration of FREE Native GPS Navigation with Google Maps.  

        • Daveymullen

           This is plain wrong… have you seen damnyouautocorrect.com???
          The corrections people with iPhone’s have ended up with do NOT happen EVER when I use my Android based Galaxy S2.  And the default ICS keyboard has became even better…. this is of course before you factor in all the other alternative keyboards you can get as well.  Swiftkey for example will predict entire sentences as you type…. iOS typing is definitely not superior, on any level.

          • http://mattgoffrey.wordpress.com/ Matt Goffrey

            Perhaps you haven’t seen the idiocy SWYPE pulls?  Like you fat finger something once and it randomly decides that is supposed to be a replacement for some other word that you have to go back and fix.  As for autocorrect … I’m sorry but iOS kicks the crap out of Android in this respect.  Autocorrect on Android is nearly nonexistent when using SWYPE and is abysmal at best when using the keyboard … and on some devices autocorrect is actually non-existent (e.g. Sidekick which admittedly isn’t ICS)

  • http://www.mobiddiction.com.au/ Mobile Website Design

    Android  will continue to gain more business as more and more people the amazing features that make Operating system better than iOS.