The Android v/s iOS war is useless. And you should get over it too

If you do this often then you are fighting a war that doesn’t exist anymore.

From time immemorial there has always been the fight. It’s like this has been there all around us and we are bound to the continue the trend. Whenever someone shows his/her preference for one kind, the other kind starts to trash and bash them everywhere. But believe me when I say this – We have reached the point where this fight is just as unnecessary as the trash in your bins. Here’s why.

Let us first understand the history of both these ecosystems. Apple launched iOS with the release of its first iPhone in 2007 whereas the first commercial Android Smartphone was released in 2008. Granted there is a year difference between this two launches but you should also know that Google bought Android Inc. in the year 2007 because it saw the potential of the OS that Andy Rubin originally started developing in 2005. It is indeed a coincidence that both Google and Apple ended up having a similar user interface but that’s definitely not how you have been hearing it in public media, have you? Google is often accused of copying Apple and so did Steve Jobs but in reality that is all just a coincidence. We all need to appreciate all of them because the world today is shaped by them.

Moving on we see another major difference. Apple made the iOS for touchscreen devices only whereas Android was created keeping keypads and qwerty pads in mind because Google’s targets were BlackBerry and Nokia – then kings of mobile space but due to the iPhone’s popularity, Google had to switch its entire focus to touchscreens only. This itself shows that both the OS were headed in different directions.

In those years since Apple was a veteran company and had a great deal of experience in building Operating Systems they exactly knew where they were headed and how to build things, that was the primary reason why Apple devices were smoother and faster than Android counterparts. They designed the hardware and the software and so they knew how to do it. Google, on the other hand, was an amateur in the field and to the fact that different manufacturers had different requirements to suit the OS in their phones and hence, it all became fragmented and buggy and full of bloatware. The inexperienced Google had no way of dealing with this issue at that early stages. This created a much wider gap between users of iOS and Android devices.

Furthermore, even though Google couldn’t provide the smoothness, it provided something else – customization and open source. The entire Google project was open source to work with which attracted a lot of developers since they could do whatever they wanted. Unfortunately, this also meant the smartphone OEMs could also do what they wanted and they did it too. Everyone put their own UI layer on top of the existing one and preloaded it with their own software many of which were completely useless and uninstallable. This let down a lot of people but since the costs of most of these smartphones were low, people ended up buying it eventually. To solve this issue, developers built their own versions of Android, one where they promised that if used will lead to a much more lag-free experience. Some nerdy people tried it and it seemed to work. Word quickly got out and soon the internet was filled with tutorials about how to unlock the bootloader and install these custom OSes. This showed two things – that people hated the OEMs fork of Android and this open source nature meant anybody could slip in a virus without the knowledge of the user. This further fuelled the Android vs. iOS debate in terms of security and stability.

Similarly, Android OEMs took their time to catch up to Apple’s camera and battery capabilities. And over time Google learned its lessons and started programs like Android One and Nexus to encourage OEMs to put less bloatware and allow Android to showcase its strengths. This worked but it took a lot of time to reach there and by this time, the debate and turned into the fight of the century.

Fast forward to today and we see that there a lot of brilliant Android smartphones which capture the perfect photos, last longer and also perform faster than anything else. We also see that the dissimilarities of Android and iOS as two separate platforms have disappeared. Android borrowed features from iOS and similarly, iOS has borrowed features from Android. Both have App store, notification center, settings menu and probably the list will go on. On the hardware side, we now see the iPhones and Galaxies and Pixels go side by side in terms of raw power, camera prowess, battery life, storage capacity and so on. You can easily get away with anyone of them cause honestly, 90% of the popular apps are cross-platform. It’s very rare apps that are exclusive to one.

And this becomes all the more similar when you see the ecosystems that they have built. It’s all the same – smart speakers? Check! Voice Assistants? Check! In-Car systems? Check! Music & Video? Check! In your TVs? Check! Name any area and both of them will be present there ready for you to dive in.

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preferences because you have to choose the ecosystem you want to be in. No matter where you go, this same ecosystem will affect you. Also, iOS as a whole has always focused more on simplicity and Android has always focused more to offer a little more of everything it can. Granted apps launch first on iOS devices but that gap is closing very fast now (almost not noticeable). No matter which platform you choose you will live happily and never feel sorry for your purchase.

So stop the fight and start appreciating the technology.

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