US Brand Ambassadors Discuss: Favorite Details of Android vs. iOS

  1. Red Bearded BA (Jason C.)
    US Brand Ambassador Sep 17, 2019

    Red Bearded BA (Jason C.) , Sep 17, 2019 :

    Hey everybody, this is Jason C. (@scotty137) and Tony (@TonyTechBytes) from the U.S. OnePlus Brand Ambassador Program, and in this post, we want to discuss aspects of the Android versus iOS debate. We have both used iOS and Android devices pretty much since they’ve been around and we just wanted to lend our voices to the discussion. We all love Android but sometimes it’s good to take a look at what iOS is doing as well.

    Keep in mind that many of the things discussed here are subjective so everyone will feel differently about them but we wanted to try to provide as much of an informed opinion as possible.


    It’s no secret that in the early days of smartphones, Apple’s hardware designs were the ones to beat. Jony Ive and the design team at Apple consistently turned industry leading hardware. Thankfully, Android manufacturers have caught up and some might argue have surpassed Apple in terms of hardware.

    For reference, when we talk about hardware here, we are referring to the physical aspects of the phone meaning the look and feel as well as the specifications (processor, storage, camera lens, etc.) and Google, which builds Android, and Apple go about developing and building smartphones in very different ways.

    Android is what’s called an open source software meaning that pretty much anyone on the planet can download the Android Source Code and install it onto any compatible set of hardware. Hardware companies across the globe including OnePlus, Huawei, and Samsung all make money off of selling hardware devices so each one brings their own spin to their phones. As a result, many Android smartphones do offer high end design, performance, specs, as well as build quality giving customers an almost endless array of compelling options to choose from.

    The downside of this is something called fragmentation, meaning that it’s virtually impossible to keep every Android phone up to date with the latest software. When Google releases an update to the Android source code, phone manufacturers are on their own to make sure their phones are updated. Thankfully, OnePlus is consistently one of the quickest to issue software updates after Google.

    Apple’s iOS is a closed source operating system that only works on Apple’s own devices. No one can go online and download iOS to put on anything that is not an iPhone. From start to finish, Apple designs every aspect of every iPhone. While they may be physically assembled and built by third party companies, every component of the phone is designed by Apple.

    This keeps the variation between devices low, and optimization simpler for software and hardware developers alike. With only a handful of current devices to update, Apple themselves can fine tune their devices, and manufacturers are incentivized to create products (such as phone cases) exclusive to Apple’s devices.

    For me personally I think OnePlus has the best hardware right now with the beautiful all screen design and a 90hz display, combined with all the other top-end specs available.

    Though not purely software based, Tony goes over the differences between a flagship Android phone (OnePlus 7 Pro) and the most current iOS smartphone (iPhone XS) here:

    Fluidity/Ease of Use

    It’s pretty obvious that iOS and Android are very different pieces of software and one of the most is how they navigate through the software.

    Apple has always positioned iOS as very simple and easy to use and most would probably agree that is still true. There is not a whole lot involved with navigating through iOS. You can customize things like your wallpaper and where your apps live, whether in folders or spread out across home screens but that’s about it. To move between apps and your home screen, you can use a couple of simple gestures. That’s pretty much it. Simple.

    Android offers quite a few more options for navigating. The standard used to be three software buttons at the bottom of the screen, Back, Home, and Recent Apps. While those are still around on quite a few Android phones, some OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers = smartphone companies) are moving over to iOS like gestures, including Google. The new gestures that Google is introducing with Android 10 are absolutely awful and not user friendly at all, but thankfully OnePlus’ gestures are wonderful.

    The customization options for navigating through Android phones are almost endless. You can store your apps really anywhere you like and there’s an app drawer “below” the home screen where you could keep all of them if you wanted. You can even install third party launchers onto your Android phone that can completely change how you get around your phone if you want.

    One of the biggest benefits of Android is that each phone manufacturer can put their own take on Google’s version of the software to try to improve on it. For a few years now, OnePlus’ Oxygen OS has consistently been rated as the fastest and most fluid version of Android available. Honestly the speed of the software is one of the main things that drew me to OnePlus.



    This one used to be a hands-down victory of Apple. Up until just a few short years ago, the apps on iOS where far and above the majority of apps on the Google Play Store. Ironically, there was even a time where some of Google’s own apps tended to work better on iOS than they did on Android (if you’re curious as to why this is, I’m happy to discuss my thoughts in the comments below). Thankfully, that is not the case anymore. While there are still a few app developers that have not brought their apps into parity across iOS and Android, almost all of the major apps that you would need to use are just as robust on either software.

    Also, most apps now are built in such a way that you can sign into the app on either an iOS or Android device without losing any information. The main exception to look out for here is with games. Some games will not allow you to transfer your data across platforms or let you play multiplayer games with people on the other side. Most of the major game titles are cloud based however, so they don’t have this problem.


    This is where I think the majority of the debate lies for most people. We can pretty much all agree that both iOS and Android smartphones essentially do the same things, but the ecosystem between the two is vastly different. For reference, when we say “ecosystem” we are talking about the variety of hardware, software, apps and services, that all work together to support each other across operating systems.

    Since Apple controls every aspect of the hardware and software for their devices, they have a distinct advantage of being able to ensure that everything works together very smoothly. This also means that they can offer features that only work on their devices thus making it more appealing to some people.

    Being able to use features like AirDrop and Handoff, and apps like Notes across Apple’s phones, tablets, computers and watches is pretty convenient and for folks invested in iTunes, it’s even more compelling. iMessage is probably the one that keeps most people on iOS, especially in the States. I have to admit, losing iMessage was probably the hardest thing for me when leaving my iPhone for Android a few years ago.

    Google has worked hard to bring a lot of these same features into Android but with so many different devices with such different hardware across the world, it’s virtually impossible for them to achieve the same level of compatibility as Apple. I think Google is working to bring most of these features into the cloud to make them more accessible across devices, regardless of the OS, but there will most likely always be some disparity. Google’s laptop and tablet OS, Chrome OS, while good, many would probably agree is just not on par with what Apple is doing with macOS and iPadOS.

    For most of these issues, there are third party work-arounds that developers have created which allow Android users to have access to these features through third party apps. While this is a viable solution, there really isn’t a replacement for these features being built natively into the OS directly from the folks who build it.

    Software Updates

    This has been another source of debate for a lot of folks in the tech world. Due to the different ways that Apple and Google handle their software, each OS has a very different process of distributing software updates to customers.

    Once again, because Apple controls the hardware and software, the day that software updates are made available to the public, every single compatible device has access to download it at the exact same time. The allows Apple to ensure as many of their devices as possible are updated to the latest software.

    Android’s open source nature makes it virtually impossible for Google to ensure that Android devices receive timely updates. In fact, because Android is available to anyone on the planet, Google really doesn’t have much say in how quickly other OEM’s update their devices. Google is working to try to make the update process easier for companies but it’s really up to the phone maker to update the software.

    Once again, OnePlus is at the top of the industry with software updates. Since the day they came on the scene, they have regularly provided timely updates to their phones, usually within days of the update being released from Google. Many of the much larger companies with vastly more resources sometimes take months to update their phones. This is again one reason that keeps me with OnePlus.

    Security/Data Privacy

    Yet another debatable topic, security and data privacy seems to be a top priority for Apple considering the built-in Security Enclave on their latest iPhones stores sensitive facial recognition information into the phone itself. Apple ensures customers that not even they have access to this sensitive information, and even has a 94-page PDF on iOS security: https://www.apple.com/business/docs/site/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf. Even though modern Android phones also receive consistent updates fixing security issues and bugs, the emphasis on data privacy is not as prominent as Apple’s. Google has been known to collect user data, but most settings can be adjusted to avoid sending analytical data. If data privacy is not a priority for you, this section won’t affect your opinion on iOS or Android devices, but we’ll have to give the win to iOS for Apple’s continued commitment towards more secure devices.



    There really isn’t much of a fight here between iOS and Android as one of the fundamental differences between the two, and one of the main reasons Android became so popular, is because it allows for almost endless customization of the software. We already briefly mentioned above how you can install third-party launchers onto Android, but you can also install icon packs that will change the way your icons look. If you want, you can even make Android look like iOS.

    With the vast number of OEMs making Android phones as well, you could even find a phone design that fits you and your personality.


    For starters, I think it’s important to stress the idea that although there can be a lot of differences in the look and feel of Apple devices vs. Android devices, and even a lot of differentiation among Android devices, at the end of the day, they all really do the same thing. They can all browse the internet, they can all make calls and send texts, they can all post and browse social media, they can all take pictures, etc. Essentially every task that you would need a smartphone to do can be done on either an iPhone or Android and which OS you prefer will generally come down to personal preference.

    For me (Jason), I have used both operating systems regularly pretty much since they were around. I had the very first Android smartphone, the HTC G1 when it first came out, but have gone back and forth between the systems over the years. For a while I was even carrying 2 phones so I could experience both. Eventually I made the full switch over to Android and have enjoyed it ever since. I will say though, as a tech enthusiast and reviewer, I try to form unbiased reviews and appreciate the pros and cons of both sides. Also, my wife and most of my friends and family use iPhones which certainly makes it harder to stay with Android at times due to the strength of Apple's ecosystem. For example, whenever my wife tries to text me a video, usually of our dog, the video gets compressed when coming as an MMS message. With our first child on the way, I, understandably, don't want to be looking at videos of my son I can barely see. Although I do miss some things about iOS, the customization options, the seamless syncing of Google’s cloud, and the hardware and software of OnePlus phones is what brought me back to Android and what keeps me here, at least for now.

    For me (Tony), I’m somewhat indecisive on which phone to carry around so I usually end up switching my SIM card around between the OnePlus 7 Pro and an iPhone. Although we, as tech enthusiasts, understand the differences between tech products, it’s often difficult to choose one phone to use once and for all. I also feel that as a tech reviewer, I have an obligation to use different devices on a somewhat regular basis to form unbiased opinions to report to others. I carry an iPhone for Apple-exclusive features such as: iMessage, iCloud, FaceTime, Find My Friends, AirDrop, and slightly better optimization for social media apps like Instagram. The peer pressure from the majority of my friends and family to stay inside Apple’s Alcatraz of an ecosystem makes it hard to fully commit to one platform. Obviously if you don’t care about integration between Apple’s products, or if you don’t know many people using their devices, an iPhone wouldn’t be an attractive option. This is where Android phones fit in. Some features I prefer more on Android phones are: Google Photos, the wide range of customization options, Google Assistant, and hardware of leading smartphone manufacturers like OnePlus, Samsung, Huawei, and Google. The open source nature of Android allows smartphone manufacturers to spend more time and resources towards better hardware like a sharper display with a higher refresh rate, better cameras, and more RAM rather than focusing on building a brand based off of overpriced exclusive products. I prefer using the OnePlus 7 Pro for typing and consuming content (like photos and videos) because of its large screen and Dolby Atmos stereo speakers, and scrolling through web pages and social media because of its greater amount of RAM and higher refresh rate screen. With iOS, you have no choice but to purchase an iPhone, but with Android, you get the freedom to choose whichever device suits your needs and budget.

    Thanks guys! We'd love to hear your favorite things about Android vs. iOS in the comments below!

  2. breitmike
    Donut Sep 17, 2019

    breitmike , Sep 17, 2019 :
    love my new 7pro !! Switched from Apple7plus a few days ago...Apple is very good...this phone blows away what I had...less expensive too..I haven't used Android for 2 years....Love what OnePlus has done with it! This Phone rocks....got an update the day I bought it and activated it...no wait...same as Apple does[e]1f44d[/e] I'd recommend the 7Pro to any Apple user...phone is as good as an iPhone...innovative design too...And it seems

    faster and smoother...better screen too...no notch is nice..you don't realize it until you have a phone without any holes or notches in the screen...super nice... critics slam OnePlus for it's camera...but I like the way it works.... Quality's fine. If you want better...either wait for an update...or go use a camera

  3. GrandSepha
    Donut Sep 17, 2019

    GrandSepha , Sep 17, 2019 :
    One of the reasons I came to OnePlus and Android was F2FS but sadly it is no longer supported on OnePlus hardware, in order to get the benefits and smoothness of it I would have to go to Samsung. It was the Android model of embracing new technology quickly that won me over.

    Achman, TonyTechBytes and breitmike like this.
  4. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 17, 2019

    JelleZon , Sep 17, 2019 :
    I am using the 6th Gen iPad and my One Plus 6T.

    I love the look and feel of iOS on my iPad (or iPad OS from now on).
    And I love the customization and the possibilities (from sharing, saving files etc) on Android.

    Good Android is catching up on the look and feel of the animations and stuff.

  5. Danielarr45
    Honeycomb Sep 17, 2019

    scotty137 and TonyTechBytes like this.
  6. aalsiBanda
    Gingerbread Sep 18, 2019

    scotty137 and TonyTechBytes like this.
  7. Naren2167
    Froyo Sep 18, 2019

    Naren2167 , Sep 18, 2019 :
    the only reason i prefer android is because of Oneplus....the presentation of android through Oxygen OS is outstanding...thumbs up...

  8. Aarav Sahni
    OnePlus TV Product Ninja 2020 Sep 18, 2019

  9. J1550114960822
    Donut Sep 18, 2019

    你好朋友 and G_plusone like this.
  10. Q1568707899850
    Cupcake Sep 18, 2019

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  11. gneitingable
    Gingerbread Sep 18, 2019

    gneitingable , Sep 18, 2019 :
    Well written! I follow both very closely and appreciate what Android and iOS have to offer. My reasoning for choosing Android is the cost of hardware and being unique. I am the only one I know (where I live) that owns a OnePlus device. My OnePlus 5 has served me well over the past few years and I know it will last for several more!

    TonyTechBytes likes this.
  12. Red Bearded BA (Jason C.)
    US Brand Ambassador Sep 18, 2019

  13. Red Bearded BA (Jason C.)
    US Brand Ambassador Sep 18, 2019

    Red Bearded BA (Jason C.) , Sep 18, 2019 :
    Yeah there a are certainly a lot of reasons to love Android!

    Aashish Kumar Shaw likes this.
  14. Red Bearded BA (Jason C.)
    US Brand Ambassador Sep 18, 2019

    Red Bearded BA (Jason C.) , Sep 18, 2019 :
    Same here man. OxygenOS is one of the biggest reasons I stay with Android. It brings incredible speed and fluidity while adding a few extra features that are actually useful.

  15. A.Woodbury
    Gingerbread Sep 18, 2019

    TonyTechBytes and scotty137 like this.
  16. Achman
    Gingerbread Sep 18, 2019

    Achman , Sep 18, 2019 :
    What I hate about Android for that matter Oneplus is the inconsistency. Why should Oneplus ditch a feature as important as ONEPLUS ROAMING, POCKET MODE just to mention a few. Sit up Oneplus if you really want to stay in the game for long.

  17. wlonsdale
    Froyo Sep 19, 2019

    wlonsdale , Sep 19, 2019 :
    I read an article that apple isn't that secure. it was an interview with Edward Snowden

  18. Xcutioner
    Honeycomb Sep 19, 2019

    Xcutioner , Sep 19, 2019 :
    I love how OnePlus one got the latest updates but iPhone 6 doesn't have the lastest ones.... oh wait.... that's backwards...

  19. W1568854248505
    Cupcake Sep 19, 2019

    W1568854248505 , Sep 19, 2019 :
    I have been a hardcore Android user ever since the beginning of smartphones, that being said, almost exactly a year ago I decided to upgrade from Android to an iPhone xs max. Fast forward to yesterday and I switched back to Android and the OnePlus 7 pro. Honestly I know that this 7pro is leaps and bounds better than the xs max but I'm having a difficult time and I now understand those who say they will never make the switch to Android because their iPhone is simple, clean, and " it just works". I miss having my iPhone but at the same time, I was itching to switch back to Android because I missed having the freedom to use my phone as I please and not be heavily restricted by Apple. Now that I have switched back I'm torn. What is wrong with me?

    TonyTechBytes likes this.
  20. G_plusone
    Nougat Sep 19, 2019