PRO: Android

The operating system Android usually is viewed upon with disdain as a less refined, more complicated system to use on your cell phone. While there used to be some truth to this, the modern-day Android experience is far superior to that of its main competitor, iOS, developed by Apple. I switched from an iPhone to an Android phone years ago and have never regretted the change.

Unlike iOS, Android is a free and open source operating system, and anyone with a computer can download and view the code. This creates a degree of trust and transparency with the operating system, since, at its core, any individual with relevant coding experience will know exactly what they are using. Apple makes substantial claims about how private and secure they are, but since there is no way to verify those claims by viewing the code yourself, they remain only claims.

Android is famous for the customization it offers its users. Anything you imagine can be customized, from the icons of your apps, to the shape and color of default text, and more. Every time I look at an iPhone’s home screen, I think about how obnoxiously boring it looks. Personally, I was always frustrated with iOS since I could never change the things I wanted to. Android eliminates this problem entirely.

Android also introduced many things long before Apple ever did. For example, Apple introduced support for widgets, miniature app displays on the home screen, in its iOS 14 update, released in 2020. Meanwhile, Android introduced widgets in its 1.5 update, released in early 2009. This is one of many examples of Apple copying the many things Android has already done. Android has almost always led the charge on software development, which Apple will copy.

Another benefit of Android doesn’t necessarily come with the software, but with the physical hardware itself. Since Android is open-source, different phone manufacturers compete with each other to develop the best possible phones, at low prices. This creates healthy competition between manufacturers and results in a benefit for the average consumer, since they have more (and better) options to choose from, at a variety of prices. This is why Android phones almost always have the leading innovations in smartphone technology, such as always-on-displays, multi-camera systems, and more. Apple, meanwhile, is the only company to produce devices for their iOS system, and thus you are stuck with whatever they decide to offer you.

Android remains the best operating system for smartphones. Its competitors trap you in a closed-down ecosystem, while Android allows you to do whatever you wish with your phone. Constant innovation happens in Android, and its users are almost always the first to experience cutting-edge technology. For those looking to purchase a new phone, I highly recommend giving Android a try.