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After 10 years, Android apps are still worse than their iOS counterparts

Instagram on a OnePlus 6
Instagram on a OnePlus 6 (Image credit: Android Central)

You probably have a handful (or more) of apps installed on your phone. Apps are a big part of what makes a smartphone "smart," and whether for business or pleasure, an app store is what keeps a platform alive. Every person who ever owned a Windows phone knows the sting and that it's true. Even the best smartphone platform will wither and die without strong developer support.

One of the more awesome things about Android is that anyone can develop an app for free, and publish it in the Google Play Store for just $5. You don't need any specific equipment outside of a phone to test it on, and even that can be done virtually through testing services. And we've seen some small independent developers make some amazing apps for Android; browse the application development forums at XDA next time you're looking for something to do. You'll love much of what you see.

On the other hand, some apps from names everyone knows are, well, total crap when you compare them to their iOS counterparts. Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and others with millions and millions of Android users don't look as good and more importantly, don't run as well or have the same features as they do for iOS. I'm not just talking about fun or social apps, either. Apps that you would use for work or personal finances, to book a flight, or control the smart devices in your home can be and often are the same way — not as good as they are for iOS.

With more than 10,000 different devices running Android, working with the hardware can be difficult.

There are valid reasons for this reality. When it comes to things like using the wireless radios for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi it's easier to develop for iOS because you know exactly what every single device can and will be able to do. For Android, those sorts of apps have to be written to work with the latest models from Samsung and hope they work for everything else. I get it. Android is diverse, and that's great almost all of the time — writing apps that need to interact with hardware isn't one of those times.

This is something I always thought had gotten better recently because I haven't used an iPhone in a while. I was wrong. My wife picked up an iPhone 8 before Christmas and some apps we both use are still much better on iOS. Android has more than 80% of the smartphone market. Why can't these big developers get it right? I fully expect an app installed on a Galaxy S9 (or Pixel, as they are still "reference" devices) to be just as good as it is on her iPhone, but many aren't.

I've seen and used Google's development and layout tools for Android apps. They're fine. I hate working with Java but know it's more than capable as a development language. And we know it's entirely possible to have great apps on Android because we use some every day. I'm just not able to understand why there is such a disparity when it comes to apps. I'm not an app developer, but I have to think there is a reason or list of reasons.

The "money" argument fails when the product isn't worth buying.

Are your favorite apps better on the iPhone? Or if you're an app developer, care to shed some light on this? We've all heard the bit about money and how iOS is the only way to make any, but I like to think that an app needs to be worth paying for first.

Anyone with any real insight, please share. This bugs me.

Now back to the Wemo app (opens in new tab) and hope I don't have to borrow my wife's iPhone again to get things set up.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

206 Comments
  • It's very true. Almost makes me want to get an iPhone!
  • Me too.
    Also privacy
  • Privacy powered by the icloud f*ppening celebrity nude leaked
  • Real reasons why apps are better on iOS
    1. Android share is no where near 80% in the US, and most popular apps are American and/or American focused.
    2. iOS apps are more lucrative per user
    3. Fragmentation. Tons of different devices running multiple OS builds.
  • Number one is wrong, it's over 80% in the US.
  • No sir. You are wrong. Android Market share in the US is about 42%.
    Obviously you don't live in America or wouldn't even question this, nearly everyone has an iPhone. http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/united-states-of-america
  • If Android accounts for 42%, then how can "nearly everyone" have an iPhone?
  • Not sure how you can say that "nearly everyone has an iPhone" when the market share in the US is ~55% iOS vs 45% android. That's hardly a majority split.
  • Android rules in the US as it does everywhere...
  • This is why Android is my primary device but I also have an iPhone. If you ever compare the same apps, there's usually no contest, which is why iOS would never go away. The average user does not care why the app is better, just that it is.
  • I agree and I also have two devices. I have an iPhone SE as my daily driver but I also have an android device (HTC U Play) that I use occasionally use for things that can’t be done on my iPhone (like USB Tethering to a Billion Router and sideloading custom apps that aren’t horrible).
  • Yea. I moved to the Note 9 from the iPhone 8 plus, but I'm going back with the next iPhone release. Yhe App Quality is just not there. FilMiC Lro is completely broken or dysfunctional on most Android devices. Coach's Eye no longer supported on A droid and Dartfish Express is terrible. Plus, one taste of the "Update Lag" from carriers and I'm already over it May even update early to the iPhone Xs Max, honestly.
  • Curious about the Coach's Eye comment - I've had no trouble with the app (I used it on Sunday) on a Note 8... I know some of the group discounts are better for Apple, but I've never used the packages. Is that what you are referring to? (this isn't about iOS vs. Android - just curious)
  • The Android app is awful. How many different resolution and framerate options do you have? Have you ever used it on iOS? Like... ever? What is your basis for comparison, to the point that you'd be so curious about that comment. The Android app is terrible, and TechSmith will blatantly tell you that Coach's Eye is only supported on Apple Operating Systems. I asked them. They responded. I've owned Coach's Eye on iOS since I had the iPod Touch 4th Gen... when it was new. I've owned it on Android since the Galaxy Note 3 was out (maybe even the S3... it's been so long, I cannot recall perfectly). It has ALWAYS been Awful on Android, compared to iOS.
  • Agreed. I just looked, out of curiosity, and Coach's Eye hasn't been updated on Android since December of 2016.
  • I have been on the Android Echo system as well use iPhones the latest versions. My daily driver is only Pixel 3 XL and I am extremely happy with that. I will not go back to the iPhone echo system at all. Most of the applications work very well for me.
  • I would not know, never look at an iPhone to know the difference.
  • Perish that thought!!!! :)
  • I'd put up with a little less than perfection in an app to be able to do what I want with my device, to make it look and behave as I want to. Things Apple won't let you do...
  • RonnieBinns - We have five iPhones, up to and including the XS Max. You can have 'em. I still prefer the U12.
  • Interesting take. Coming from Windows Phone, I find Android apps to be great for the most part. The biggest negative to me is more adds :-). While there are some downsides to Android - battery life on my Note 8 in standby is atrocious - the apps I use most (work apps like Box, MS Office apps, Outlook, etc.) all seem to integrate better than they do for my wife. Same with LastPass. A few shopping apps are marginally better on my wife's iPhone, but for the most part the gap isn't bad enough for me to notice. Other than battery life, my biggest issue isn't with Android but with the fragility of my device - that curved screen is beautiful, but hard to protect. So I guess it's so much better than the app experience on my MS 950xl (which I loved for the OS), and doesn't hold me back. So I don't mind the gap so much.
  • Toggling off the Sync in your Settings dropdown will give you good standby
  • Sure coming from a windows phone….
  • You didn't bother to read his comment because he did compare it to an iPhone as well. Comprehension skills, you need them.
  • Your opinion contains sulfur rich compounds!
  • Ide definitely check your setting on your note 8. I get a full day out of mine on general usage and I play atleast 1 hour of music a day when I am biking to work as well as use all the apps you said. It was one thing that worried me when I got the note was the small battery but I've been happy with the results. I do agree about the screen though I have the official flip case and has no screen protection and I don't like the curved edges on the phone causes issues when selecting things that go down it with the spen. I moved from Lumia 950xl to the note and even though I perfer the window mobile os Android is not a bad os to use and has all the apps I need. Also dex is not a bad option to.
  • Look through the Play Store for launchers that mimic the Windows Phone experience... Take into consideration that some are better than others and some contain ads and whatever else. As an Android user who's been (or was) interested in the Windows Phone I used one for a while just for kicks...
  • This is the second biggest problem Android has, #1 being slow to get Android updates if at all. There are over 20 manufactures of Android devices ranging in size from 5" to 10" inches (counting tablets). I have noticed that developers update/add features to their iOS app before their Android app. Android users have to wait to get the update. Also, not all apps are optimized for Android tablets. While they'll work on Android tablets, they may not display very well on bigger screens.
  • Just behind the fact that scamdroid steals all your data.
  • "scamdroid"... what are you, 5?
  • That's harsh. At least 10.
  • 4 but I can understand one year older than you, and yes the only product of the whole goofus/scamdroid organization is to steal your data/Info/etc and sell it to anyone that will give it cash. I hope you understand that!
  • Put your pacifier back in your mouth and stay quiet as adults discuss.
  • So you don't know that the goofus/scamdroid business model is to steal your info and sell it! Most people have no clue thats how they work.
  • Android does not "steal your data". A company would have to install something additional to do that. This is rare however but does happen in China, some Blu phones had this problem. I think you are referring to the data gathering that Google uses with it's services. Google is not stealing data, you agree to let them have it. The same with other companies. And yes Google will gather the same info from you if you use an iPhone if you use there services.
  • If you use a Samsung, just as secure as an iPhone hands down. Hard to beat Knox
  • This is a joke right? Government agency/police dept wants access to your phone. Android says “Sure here you go!”. Mean while Apples been sued and they won retaining the users privacy of not unlocking devices.
  • lol android (the OS) doesn't "say" anything... it's on the OEM what happens... smh...
  • Child molesters, murderers and terrorists are all very grateful.
  • Apple always does this drama....They have access to every data and have also given access to Govt.
  • Because iPhony are all liberals who think people shouldn't go to jail, lol. Why are you using this as a bragging point?
  • It's not stealing when you agree to it. It's not Google's fault people don't read terms and conditions. The cure for cancer could be hidden in there and the world would never know.
  • I use both platforms and while I do find this mostly to be true, there are also some pretty important exceptions. Several of the apps I use most are either better on Android, or don't have an equivalent on iOS. Mostly this comes down to how the app behaves and functions on both platforms. A notable example is Reddit. Joey and Boost will auto-hide posts you have viewed, but the best Reddit apps on iOS only let you do it manually. The Google Podcast app is better for me than the iOS one. I have also experienced a lot more app crashes on my iPhone than any of my Android phones these last few years.
  • I agree with this 100%. I am living in a household full of iPhones since they work at Apple. I was with Apple Eco system at the start but I will no go back to the system. Android has evolved in to a stable and matured system and I have Pixel 3 XL and Google Pixel Book and I am extremely happy
  • Pixel and Pixelbook are Google hardware, so no doubt they show Android at its best. I’m a longtime Mac and iPhone user, but if ever I do jump ship, it would be to a setup similar to yours. I haven’t had hands-on with the Pixel 3, but a family member has a Pixelbook, and I can see why you are “extremely happy” with it. It’s awesome.
  • Google Podcast is absolutely no match for Apple's. Why would an iOS user even use that, to begin with? And iOS apps certainly don't crash as much as Android apps. I don't even know how you people come up with this stuff.
  • I find Android apps to be just fine. Maybe iOS has a bit more glitter on them, but I don't give a f
  • Exactly! Maybe I'm just not as picky, however, I've owned both iPhone and Android phones. My brother-in-law is an Android and IOS developer, but abandoned IOS a couple of years ago. Arguably iPhone has the best hardware, but the gap between apps on both platforms are negligible. As you put it, a little more glitter. Hardware on most newer Android phones are near identical. Other than skins from manufactures, the core OS is the same. So, this article is hogwash!
  • That hardware part of your comment depends heavily on what you like to do. If you like to listen to music then it is definitely NOT the best.
  • iPhone has trash hardware you brainlet. Do some research first.
  • There processors consistently outperform Qualcomm at every angle. That is not opinion but fact. Research for yourself. But, I'm not an iPhone fan. My point was the apps aren't that different in operation.
  • Trash?
    If that's what you need to tell yourself. IPhones are very well built and always have been. Are the features and technologies always cutting edge? No, but they are usually only an iteration away.
  • Having just used an iPhone XS for a few weeks just to see how iOS has come along I would disagree mostly. Yes some apps are a bit better but overall I didn't feel they were superior to Android equivalents. One thing is they rarely follow the font size of the OS. I'd have the font really big on the phone but the app wouldn't even recognize it. This was especially obvious in the Google apps. Going back to my OnePlus 6 the fonts behaved exactly as they should. Also I don't use all the social media apps so my experience is with all the other day to day apps.
  • Agree 100%. I just posted a comment that disagrees with this article.
  • Use apps for: - Camera (like Filmic Pro)
    - Video Editing
    - Video Analysis
    - Document Workflow (like Scrivener)
    - Multiple Banking Apps (MANY Don't even support fingerprint properly on Android, do on iOS)
    - Communication (Often drain more power on Android)
    - Social Media (Ditto, and take advantage of every anti-consumer loophole on Android)
    Etc. I just came from iOS. The difference in App Quality is massive, and cannot be understated. I'm not sure what types of apps you use, but it can't be much. Every athlete and coach has iPhone and iPad here. Android is borderline unusable for what we need out of a device. There are certain apps that literally don't have anything on the play store that can approximate what iOS had - a d definitely not at the same level of quality on the App Store.
  • Can you elaborate further -Filmic pro is on Android as well and theres also other simliar apps like cinema fv-5, proshot etc. What's the difference that makes ios better.
    -there lots of good video editing apps on android as well like power director and kinemaster again name specific thing that ios app in this category does that makes it better.
    -Video analysis :there are video analysis apps on android hudl technique,coach's eye,playsight again can you give a specific reason why ios has better apps in this area
    -Document workflow:novelist,jotterpad and writer tools again can you explain why document workflow apps are superior on ios
    -banking apps:can you name just a few banking apps that don't have support fingerprint authentication on android I know the bofa app I use supports fingerprint scanner I login with my fingerprint all the time.the chase app also supports fingerprint scanners as well so i just want to know which apps your talking about
    -"communication apps drain more battery"do you have any proof
    -social media not sure what you mean "There are certain apps that literally don't have anything on the play store that can approximate what iOS had" Can you name some of these apps I'm sure your right but generally this is more true the other way around since android is a more capable os there a plenty of apps on android that are simply impossible to have on ios due to the limitations of the os.also ever your gonna name has the potential to come to android or have some equivalent app in the near future because like I said before android is a more capable os than ios.i can't say the same the other way around
  • Go use some of the apps. Buy them and see. That's what I did. I'm not going to do the work for you. I'm going back to iOS, personally. The apps are borderline unusable for me in many cases, and in others there are simply no alternatives to what exist in the App Store on Android. Certainly not any usable alternatives. The fact that you simply state uselessness like "FilMiC Pro is on Android as well" just displays how ignorant you are. It's completely broken on half of the Android phones out there, including thousand-dollar flagships. Read the reviews. Try it on your phone. The Android OEMs don't implement full Camera2, so the app is basically broken as a result. This doesn't happen on iOS devices, because Apple doesn't put out iPhones that iOS version have APIs ripped out of them - unless the phone simply lacks the hardware completely (i.e. FaceID on iPhone 8 series devices).
  • Hold on so let me get this straight your the one making the claim that ios app quality is superior and you listed a bunch of app categories and apps and then when I simply ask you to backup your claims this is your reply. "Go use some of the apps. Buy them and see. That's what I did. I'm not going to do the work for you" I'm not Implying that the Android apps are better or worse I'm simply asking you to backup your claims because all you did was list a bunch of apps(some that were also on android)which is not very helpful. As for the filmic pro app I guess that's a fair point the only thing I have to say is that don't you think that the Android manafacturers should the blame rather than the app developers?it's not really a flaw of the app but the oems that don't implement the required api properly.im sure on some phones it works good and did read a review from a pixel 2xl owner that said the app worked flawlessly.i was hoping you were going to tell me about a feature that the developers of the android app purposesly left out but this good too I guess. The rest of your points don't even count since you didn't back any of them up and you still haven't told me what ios apps exist that have no android alternative.
  • I was keenly waiting for some hard evidence as well and was disappointed you took the lazy way out. I laugh whenever someone uses the retort "XXXX is broken on half the Android devices". The reason being, Android doesn't stop working when a phone gets older and you don't actually have to replace it like you do with Apple. So sure, many people who haven't upgraded since Galaxy S7 might not get good use out of Filmic Pro, but they also haven't had to plunk down another grand just to have a phone that works, because theirs is still going strong for other reasons.
  • Mainly it comes from the fact that it takes too much to manage an Android app. iOS teams can be smaller just do to the fact that the devices are the same, but it'll take more to maintain the Android counterpart at the same rate. While yes, there are just a few phones that they should have to focus on, the sheer number is too big with others making the same demands. Say they were to focus on the few big phones (Pixels, Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and Motorola), that's already more work than iOS and not to mention the other companies that are starting to sell more. This requires checking those same functions on every skin of Android with their unique features. That's more money
  • I don't agree. My brother-in-law has developed for both platforms and abandoned IOS. Making milions from Android and he said iphone is not easier. Has a computer degree from Georgia Tech. Think I'll take his word for it.
  • Millions? In US dollars?
  • Yep... In US dollars. Not making this up. Also works for a computer hardware company developing software to run on their systems.
  • I'm a developer with a little Android development experience and don't get the app gaps. A. There are some good cross-platform tools out there. Write 90% of your code once and then build specializations for the different OS's/OS versions for the remaining 10% (mostly UI or special OS features like badges, live tiles, widgets, etc). Having 2 or 3 separate apps built from the ground up seems silly to me. B. Code to lower versions and avoid fringe/undocumented features. In my experience most new API's/OS features for Dev just make things that were already possible in older OS's easier. Avoid undocumented features because they can go away the next version and break your app.
  • I've had more apps crash on my iPad than on any of my Android devices. Is that what makes them so much better?
  • Sure you did!
  • I have the same experience in my iPad, so yeah.
  • Had an iPhone before the switch to Android, and yes I didn't have any better experience with iPhone. In fact you're right, more crashes with iPhone.
  • Repeating stuff that others say…… just makes you look silly!
  • I sure do, especially with my dish Network app. If I try and adjust the brightness it completely stops streaming and has to reload what I'm watching every time. My cheap old hp Android tablet doesn't even do that. That's just an example..
  • And exactly why do you think he's lying?
  • I think part of the problem is what Jerry said, the hardware variety. I still remember using a particular API when I was writing an app. On every device I had the API worked properly. Except on my Samsung device. There the check to see if the API was supported returned true, but actually calling the API would always return zero. So I think that's part of it. Hopefully that part is better than it was back when I was developing apps more regularly. I think another part of the problem is that a large percentage of app developers are in the US. In the US iOS has a larger market share than it does in most of the rest of the world. So the perception at least is that iOS is more important than it actually is, at least compared to the rest of the world. And iOS did used to have a much higher market share. So the managers and other folks who decide how many iOS developers and how many Android developers to hire and which features to work on first have the perception that iOS is a lot more important than it is, relatively speaking. That combined with the hardware challenge mentioned above means that compared to iOS, the Android side of things is understaffed. I'm sure that's not the case in every situation, but I think it is in some at least.
  • Again my brother-in-law develops for Android and his apps run great. Extensively tests them using AWS and pulled out of IOS because it is not simpler. I disagree.
  • Not simpler... when iOS puts the latest version on almost all devices and supports devices dating back 5 years. Ask the Filmic Pro developers how much simpler Android is. You're lying. You aren't even approaching believable, so stop trying. iOS is definitely simpler to develop for, due to the way the platform is managed. They also have better developer tools - they just happen to be macOS only, so there is a significant buy-in for developing iOS apps.
  • One of the things to keep in mind is that Android diversity is two-dimensional -- there is a hardware dimension and there is API level dimension, the latter being no less, if not more, important to the developer than the former. I don't know why you think of Pixel as a "reference device" with API 28 not making it to the distribution chart as of January 2019 (https://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/) -- the true target for Android developer, who wants to reach sizeable chunk of consumers, would be API 23, maybe, API 24.
  • The chart you linked lists the API level introduced with each Android version but that's not the API level a device actually supports. Play services supplies new APIs and services to devices on OS versions as old as jellybean.
  • Unfortunately, your statement is not true, which is somewhat obvious for the chart that I have linked.
  • There are tons of Android devices that don't support the full Camera2 API, so apps like Filmic Pro cannot access all the resolutions and framerates; or even the telephoto camera on the device. This includes devices like the S9 and Note 9 - and tons of others. There is all sorts of inconsistencies when it comes to API support, which leads to dysfunctional apps even on thousand dollar flagship devices.
  • I agree that the apps on the iPhone are slightly better, but I would never use an iPhone just for that reason. I guess the apps are better because every iPhone is the same as far as running the latest version of iOS. Android is so damn fragmented that if I were an app developer, I'd rather create iPhone apps than Android apps for that very reason. Many Android devices are still on Marshmallow and Nougat, FFS.
  • The whole point of using a smartphone is to run apps. Otherwise, just use a dumb phone and save yourself a ton of money...
  • Some of the bigger developers just don't care for Android. Specifically Snapchat. That guy said he hates Android and didn't want to add them to his platform.
  • Yep see below comment
  • I think of this more as a developer problem. Too many devs put their all into getting that iPhone app out there 1st instead of working on both platforms together to make a consistent product, thus they put little to no effort when it's time to get the Android app done. There are plenty of apps that are page for page very similar and just as great when done in conjunction and developed/launched on both platforms together when taken the time to do so.
  • I got on the iPhone XR recently. Yes, the apps and the messaging are better on iOS. Password management is also better but I couldn't last for a month on iOS. The limited functionality and the archaic grid icons that force you to place all your apps on the home screen. Notifications are still useless. You have to go-to settings for everything. Including camera settings! Not in the camera app. Android has better notifications and the customizability makes everything faster and function better how you want it. I'm probably the minority Android has a better keyboard for input and drop down menu. I never ran out of memory for Android. iOS I ran out of storage on a 64 gb model. When I cleared it out. iOS is still telling me I ran out of storage. Everyone at work telling me iOS is better but I experienced the exact opposite. It's funny they never cared to try a Android device.
  • Not sure how password management works on iOS but between chrome remembering every password for secured websites to Android pies password auto fill functionality for apps, I have no problem on my Pixel with those features
  • Maybe learn the diff between memory/storage!
  • Don't play technical when you're not(dumb). Heard of RAM and ROM?
  • Technically they are both storage!!!!
  • I wished the author had spent a little time listing some specific examples of where iOS Apps are better than Android Apps instead of just spending the entire article elaborating on his simple assertion that Android Apps are worse than iOS Apps. Very disappointing and a waste of time.
  • Yep. Hard to argue against generalities.
  • Here are few things in no particular order: * A few banking apps I use will send OTP to the iOS application, but will insist on SMS or callback for Android
    * A few music playing apps (like Spotify) will use external Bluetooth controls (like you car) on iOS, but not on Android.
    * A few communication apps (like Skype) will use external Bluetooth controls (like you car) on iOS, but not on Android.
    * On iOS, incoming call will always pause the playback (music, podcast, stream, whatever), but on Android it heavily depends on the app.
    * (Unfortunately named) Here WeGo navigation app will allow in-app volume control on iOS, but will insist on using master volume on Android. Disclaimer: I do not use iOS and Android devices interchangeably, so it is quite possible that some (or all) of the examples above are no longer true.
  • Yeah it's obvious you don't use
    Android.
    Most of the things you listed are incorrect. Only about Here Wego I'm not very sure but thta could be wrong too.
  • Checked today -- Spotify doesn't respond to my car Play/Stop control and WhatsApp doesn't respond to the call Pick-Up/Drop-off. Pocket Casts didn't pause podcast when voice guidance kicked in. Phone is Nokia 3.1 running Android One version 8.1. Which phone did you, actually, try it on?
  • That's not Android's fault, though, that is because you have "CarPlay" which is an Apple specific product, and not a regular BlueTooth connection.
  • I do not have CarPlay, I have dumb Bluetooth headunit. If your device behaves differently, could you, by any chance, tell me what the device is?
  • It's hard to take you seriously.
    If you are saying the truth you should check your car or your phone because it definitely works for me. And I've tried it with multiple cars and android phones.
    Spotify even has more options on Android than on iOS like the ability to save songs on an SD card. There are no additional functionalities for ios.
    Whatsapp also just works, I constantly use it with my Bluetooth headphones etc.
  • I just checked this with iPhone 8 Plus and Note 9. You're lying. It works as he says it dies. No CarPlay, just vanilla BT in a Hyundai.
  • No it doesn't hater.
  • If you would provide make, model and API level of the phone you tested with (as n8ter#AC and I have done) you would be taken much more seriously. Just sayin'
  • The main issue in these comparisons is the fact that the iPhone app can not be used on any other smart phone, whereas as an all made for Samsung or Pixel can work on any smart phone based on Android AOSP. This is basically reaching out to billions rather than limiting smart phone usage to few elites. I am talking about phones costing 10-20 % of the price of iPhones or high end Android phones.
  • > all made for Samsung or Pixel can work on any smart phone based on Android AOSP. I think what you are saying is "developers can create apps that will work on any smartphone based on Android AOSP, including modern day Samsung phones and the Pixel line" which is slightly different from saying that every app targeting Pixel (or last model Samsung) will work on every AOSP based phone. The former statement is accurate, the latter is not.
  • There are several apps on Android that I feel are more functional than iOS. I feel they have better menu navigation and offer more options. But that's just one man's opinion. Lol
  • It's not as good as iOS but it still works just fine and at least on Android I have choices
  • That moment tu you're at dinner with a bunch of friends and your iPhone users start sharing pics from their snapchat saved stories. Ok wait a min, we both have the same snaps but why does yours look way better? 😒
  • What exactly does it mean "Worse than IOS" ? In which way ? Give examples.
    I can't understand how this entire article is about it, yet no example is given.
    I've watched actually various videos of how Android apps are better. Providing better sharing experience. Providing better integration between apps. Providing automatic stuff in the background. Better alternatives to keyboards...
  • As an owner of a Note 8 and an iPhone X, my selection of apps is about 50/50 when one is noticeably better. Android intigrations and app interactivity is far superior almost across the board, though.
  • I DISAGREE Big-time! In fact I've seen more proof that some Android apps are better than their iOS counterparts.
  • You answered your own question Gerry. I bounce back and forth between Android and iOS and definitely see the difference in the quality of the apps. It believe it truly boils down to the app developer needing to target 1 device versus a multitude. Androids biggest strength is also its biggest problem. Apple tells developers exactly what they need to do to make sure an app works the same in all of its devices. Google can’t do the same because Android devices are produced by every Tom, Dick and Harry with all manner of hardware and software deviations.
  • That's not true though. Apple has many iPhones. They just keep things more consistent between them. Android, not so much. See comments above.
  • I don't have an iOS device to compare, but tablet to tablet some apps have become better for Windows 10 than their Android counter part as well. It's 2019 and Instagram is still locked to portrait orientation on my Android tablets, while Windows 10 will rotate. Facebook seems to be missing features on Android compared to the Windows 10 app as well. Again portrait orientation is a problem, my feed will display in landscape but open a page I manage and it flips to portrait. Issues like this are why I haven't updated from the Tab S2, and why I find it pointless to use a bluetooth keyboard with Android.
  • I've owned both iPhone and Android phones. My brother-in-law is an Android and IOS developer, but abandoned IOS a couple of years ago. Arguably iPhone has the best hardware, but the gap between apps on both platforms are negligible. As you put it, a little more glitter. Hardware on most newer Android phones are near identical. Other than skins from manufactures, the core OS is the same. So, this article is hogwash!
  • Oh by the way, the author of the article claims smartphones survive because of apps. True, however, if his argument held water, Android would be fading into the wasteland. Not true at all! IPhone has struggled in sales just as other manufacturers. And it's not just cost. Look at Samsung phones. Very expensive, but they have great hardware and the apps run great. Don't believe everything you read.
  • Example: Windows Phone.
  • True but Windows Phones failed based on more than just apps, advertising is just as important.
  • But given the size difference in the apps - ios 3 to 5 times the size of their android counterpart. I guess i would need a 64 or 128gb iphone to have the same apps i can have on a 16gb android for way less money. Oh, and i can add an sd card to the android to store my media and documents, too.
  • I just compared app size on between my iPhone and Pixel.
    And I didn't see a single app that was 2x the size on the iPhone, much less 3 to 5 times.
    I did, however, see a few that were actually much smaller on iOS.
  • Generally speaking, view any of the popular (mostly social media) apps on iOS and you will be amazed at the quality of design and presentation over the same app on Android. Didn't Snapchat used (still does?) just take a screenshot of your camera (pic on screen) instead of using the ACTUAL pic the camera took? I know I read about that lazy a$$ coding on Snap's part. That would NEVER be allowed on iOS. If you think Android apps are better, just look at all the meme's that compare iOS camera to Android's. There is a prevailing view Android experience is inferior. Now a GOOD portion of that is iSheep propaganda, but there are kernels of truth in it.
  • Just the other day I have a coworker that went from the iPhone to the Note 8 back to the iPhone xs. I have the Note 9. We were looking at Facebook side by side with her phone and my Note 9. The readability was better on the Note 9 and the look and navigation were better also. We had them side by
    side on the desk. I'm not speculating. She was considering going back to the Note and this convinced her.
  • Yeah Snapchat everybody knows about Snapchat and their d0uche CEO who hates Android. What else? What other example there is?
  • What is the purpose of comparing apps written for different platforms? You have chosen your OS platform and install apps that meets your needs from the ones available. I don't install apps unless they serve a specific purpose. The apps I have installed serve my needs.
  • Well of course. The point is that people can, and do, change platforms. If a bunch of apps are working better on another platform, and I noticed that from one of my family members, then I may switch over to the other platform. That is why this is important. Personally, I will always be on Android. But there are many folks that are not bound by this.
  • Another article with a clear bias.
  • Funny how Jerry speaks the truth yet the fanboys are quick to dismiss it as biased or flat out deny it like fake news.
  • Amazing isn't it. If we were all fans of 1 product there wouldn't be a need for innovation. Stick to your IOS and quit condemning someone who has a different choice in a product and point of view.
  • Truth? Them why can't I see any arguments? Weird.
  • Just because it's "better" doesn't mean it isn't good. I used both Android and iOS and I agree apps are better on the iOS but they are still good on Android. I rather deal with something good on a phone I extremely love rather than having a more smoother user experience of these app on a phone I want to throw at the wall...
  • Articles like this piss me off. If you're going to take the time to write something like this, give me exact names of apps and EXACT scenarios, and what works better specifically. Why even waste people's time with articles like this if you're unwilling to do the work?
  • That top of the line note 9 is going to stop getting os updates after Android Q. Most people who spent $1000 or more on a phone aren't going to ditch after 2 years. iPhone x will probably still get updates at least 5 years after initial release.
  • WRONG!!! Samsung guarantees 3 years of monthly security updates with the Note line. Do your research fan boy!
  • Oy. Calm down. He said OS updates, not security patches. Pot/kettle much?
  • Security patches,performance optimisations and bug fixes are also OS updates.
    dkmtchlls is right, Note 9 won't just be abandoned after the Android Q update.
    And looking at Samsung's interface they are already well beyond any other mobile OS in terms of features. Most of the leaked Android Q features are things Samsung's software can already do: things like dark mode, desktop like experience when connected to a TV, more launcher settings etc.
  • I agree with this. Hello Weather gets updates 6 months or more after iOS got the same update. I pay for both yet I have to wait for the updates iOS gets. Foodmarble app just got an update and is still inferior to the iOS one. These are apps I use daily. I have a Pixel 3 XL and iPhone XS Max so I do have both phones to compare. This honestly at times is a reason I don't use an Android phone on a daily basis, the app quality is inferior on Android.
  • You're right if it's apps you depend on. However most apps I have get regularly updated on Android. It's all a personal preference in apps.
  • Never heard of that app.
    For what it offers it's quite expensive, maybe that's why it has only 10,000 downloads. There are way more popular and better whether apps in PlayStore.
    Foodmarble? That apps that only has 13 review in Playstore?
  • This article showed up as recommended in my news feed. I knew it would be click bait with such an absolute title, but I still clicked on it. Of course, it's absolute unresearched, unsubstantiated thrash. After I post this, I am clicking "back" and block this site from my feed.
  • It's true depending on what kind of apps you use. I use mostly audio apps and file managers and browsers with add on capabilities like Firefox. these types of apps are far better on Android because this is what iOS can't do or can't do very well because of limitations placed on iOS by Apple. This is why iOS just can't work for me. I know, I tried an iPhone 7 last year and almost went insane because I was no longer able to do things that I was able to do in 2006. The last time I used iOS I was not able to even use a decent torrent client. I love using torrent clients to download certain files (other than media you pirates). I guess I don't feel the sting because I don't use social media. I just don't care about them.
  • this is not true and right comparison. many apps in android don't have iOS version or equivalent and some work & look really ****** on iOS, some major and famous apps might run smoother on iOS devices if you compare them to low spec android devices that is because of vast variety of android devices that the app might not perform good on lame hardware,
  • Developers just do not want to do the same work in Android as they do in iOS mostly because Android users do not want to pay and I will argue that ChromeOS has not evolved in a way to create full screen apps like you can on the iPad. Hell, Android Apps cannot even run or access and an SD card on a Chromebook which limits its value. The ChromeOS still lives in old days of the thin client where everything is in the Cloud and Google does not want acknowledge that people want to work offline too. Apple focused on the education market and then focused on the creative market and finally on the productivity market. Google focused on what? Getting more OEMs to use its OS so it can get more license fees search hits on Google. IMHO, Android is the Windows 95 of its day. It does nothing particularly well. It relies heavy on others to innovate and Google cannot figure out if wants to be a hardware company or is taking the MS Surface route to developing hardware hoping OEMs will do better. Problem is that trained people that everything should be free or cheap. A better Android eco-system on a great ChromeOS. Something they seem to be half hearted about developing. When in 2019 you have Chromebooks that only have 32gb of storage and Android apps cannot access the SD card, and parts cannot be run unless it is connected to the internet, they are not being serious. I love my Android phone, but if I need to do real work, I use my iPad and the Apple Store.
  • I've been thinking this a lot lately as well. I'm almost considering switching back to an iPhone. Perhaps im in a minority here, but I care a lot about how apps look and feel and that's where Android developers fail for me. Specifically, email and calendar apps - nearly everything outside of Gmail, Google calendar, and Outlook in Android looks unfinished, cluttered, and simply ugly to my eye. I experienced something similar when switching back to windows after dabbling in macos for a few years. Becoming spoiled by the likes if Airmail, Polymail, Fantastical, Bear, Byword, and others I came to find What I apps often look dated, out of place, or like the devs don't care - even first party ones. Maybe I'm being too picky but there are clearly people out there who care - and they develop for iOS.
  • I agree with you. The look and ease of use on apps on ios is paramount to me! That's why I use a XS Max as my daily phone. My Note 8 is used when i have the need to tinker a bit.
  • On desktop I don't tend to use many utility apps, so this is less of an issue there. My iMac is in the closet and got replaced by a 25" monitor for my laptop. Less power use, less keyboard hopping :-P I do like how the iOS a d macOS apps work together, and Apples developers are ahead in using their cloud services to glue things together. There are still A droid apps that bias to Dropbox, which makes little sense a d just introduces more unpolished, fragmented feel to the experience (not to mention another account requirement!)
  • Amy time you wanna type more than a word or two, iOS simply sucks, total crap!
  • I would say the same for android. I find I make tons of spelling mistakes on android or it insists on a certain word i didn't want to type but thinks it knows better than me . Typing this from my Alcatel Idol 4 S windows and this isn't all too great either. Windows 8.1 was the best typing experience i ever had on a smart phone using a Nokia Lumia 925 with accurate autocorrect and prediction...WHAT HAPPENED ? Isn't tech supposed to get better ?
  • And after 10 years Apple phone are still out dated pieces of crap.
  • Personally I don't think this comparison matters. If you're on Android why would you care how the app works on iOS and Visa versa. The most important issue is that apps work well on whatever platform you are on. My Android, banking, and social and all other apps work just fine for me
  • This is the most sensible and logical comment yet. Kudos to you!
  • Yes. People have friends and they have family. They can see those same apps working on the other platform. Sometimes they see it working on the other platform everyday. If they do, they may go ahead and switch platforms. So this actually does matter
  • The issue why is two-fold. First, people already mentioned fragmentation. More screen resolutions, camera hardware, interface types, bus types = more complicated development with more room for error. Secondly, and I think most importantly for the developers is revenue return on their time. If we think back to the olden days of Android (Say Google HTC Dream with the slide out keyboard) There wasn't REALLY an app store to speak of. And the apps that were there were free. They used to include links on their screens saying "If you like this app, contribute to my paypal!" It was necessary to do this because Android was still trying to break into the space of RIM, WM5/6, and Apple. So they needed to be inexpensive. Used to be you could publish to the Google Apps 'store' for free. And - that's what people did. They published. And published. And published. And some great apps came out of it. But in reality - we ended up with a LOT of crap. But it was FREE CRAP, and we were okay with that. If it didn't look right, barely worked, or slowed our phone to a crawl - hard to complain because we downloaded it and it was free. Iphone never did that. They charged developers from the offset, kept tight walls on their little garden, and as a result - developers could charge the users for those apps. They were higher quality because they HAD to be, or they wouldn't sell and be pulled. "1st place is a Cadillac Eldorado, 2nd place is a set of steak knives, and 3rd place is you're fired." Apps either performed or were removed, so developers had to create good apps. That meant that the development corps could actually count on the revenue (because they could track the sales of the app) and therefore they could determine how much time to invest in it) however Android apps were still largely free because that's just how Android's app store is. So while both app stores would get say, Facebook or snapchat or Wells Fargo - you're going to put more effort into the app that generates more revenue. It boils down to this : you have two websites. One is no-nonsense, boilerplate, and may not get as many hits, but those hits turn into sales. Your other is fun, and you enjoy spending time with it, and it gets 10 times as many hits, but it doesn't generate any sales. Which one are you going to put more effort into ?
  • I have had iOS devices since the iPhone 4 but was a diehard android user prior to that. The company I worked for at the time provided us with android phones but whenever a new software update came out we had to delete our company business software and reinstall it due to inconsistencies because we didn’t all have the same phones. Some had Samsung, some had LG and some had Motorola ( as well as others). This was a rather large corporation with many offices and there was no set corporate policy as to which manufacturers to use corporate wide. Many times I would end up doing my reports and field notes on my iPhone and downloading them on the office computer when I returned to the office. Android is more customizable but critically unstable when compared to IOS.(In my experience).
  • The person who wrote this article is biased first of all he says that android apps are inferior to ios apps and doesn't even provide some examples to prove what he is saying is true. im sure there are some ios apps that are superior to there android counterpart but to just throw out a general statement saying that ios apps are superior to android apps is a huge exaggeration. when ios users say ios apps are better than android apps they mostly bring up subjective things like designs and animations they never actually talk about the functionality of an app.when i used an iphone 6s for the first time i was expecting to be blown away be these high-quality ios apps ios users always brag about but then i found out that most apps were pretty much the same as the android version maybe the menu layout would be different but other than that there were no functionality differences. so saying that ios apps are superior to android apps in general is just flat out wrong as a matter of fact i would argue that you will find more android apps that are objectively superior in terms of functionality this is because android is a more capable os,with more app permissions.this means android apps can have a deeper level of system integration than ios apps making them more capable.i can give you three examples of the top of my head of android apps that are better than there ios counterparts Netflix-The Android app has smart downloads but the ios app doesn't Twitch-The Android app lets me play audio in the background and play videos in pip even if im not running android 8.0 which has native pip support the ios app can't do this Web video caster-The android app allows you to cast files stored locally on your device the ios app doesn't Then you can you also factor in alot of apps that there are simply no ios equivalents for because like i said ios is less capable than android.apps like tasker,universal copy,parellel spaces,flynx,fluid navigation gestures,slidejoy, etc. then there are other apps that are simply not on the appstore because apple does not allow them this includes things like emulators,torrent downloaders,most game streaming apps like steam link,parsec,and gloud etc.
  • Developer here. I develop Jollyturns, a skiing and snowboarding mobile app, both for iOS and Android. Unlike other shops, I am a one-person shop: I do all the development myself, both for iOS and Android, and the server side too. In many respects Android is easier to work with than iOS. There are however few things that drag my morale down when it comes to Android: • Tons of restrictions imposed recently in Android. The most terrible one is the fact that location services are no longer working as they used to prior to Android 7.0. I spent more than a month exclusively trying to figure what's going on, and I'm still not sure everything is as it should be. iOS has restrictions too, but it's a lot easier to work with. And their API has been rock solid since they launched. Very minor developer friction because of policy changes. • The attitude of the users. I don't show ads in the mobile apps. I don't like them so why would I impose them on my users? I charge money for ski resorts. I do have a fair number of 1-star reviews in Google Play from people complaining I charge money. Google has made a bad decision marketing Android as an OS with lots of free apps, this ended up hurting a lot of developers. iOS users tend to understand nothing is free and they pay more often than Android ones. Having said this, developing on both platforms does require a lot of time, energy and money to make things happen. I develop features for iOS first, Android second, since most of my paying customers are on iOS. Each platform has its own things that I like, and things that I dislike.
  • I found https://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/AndroidDevelopersBackstage to be invaluable resource on quirks and dark corners of Android. If you already know it, please, accept my apology for the noise.
  • Excellent resource, thanks so much for the pointer @_incanter_!
  • Nice to get a fair representation from a developer. Thanks!
  • The apps are pretty much the same. Apple fanboys like you should get off the internet permanently.
  • Its weird but i have always felt the opposite to be true. I have currently been using an iPhone X and a Galaxy s9 plus for work and personal use respectively. In the past few years i have used an iPhone 6+, 7+, 8+, and note5. For context i travel a lot and i have a lot of travel and entertainment related apps on my phone. Most of the ios apps don't seem to be very intuitive and require a lot of clicks to do even the simplest of things. The only apps where i will give ios an upper hand would be games which run better. Other aspects like build quality, screen, camera all seem inferior on the iPhone. Another thing apple is clearly the best at is having amazing lawyers and marketing people.
  • Not only do the iOS apps that I use get new features before its Android counterparts, but there's seems to be more stability compared to the frequent Google app changes, like Wallet becoming Pay, and the revolving door of messaging and music streaming apps. I'm annoyed with the current fragile smartphones from both platforms, though.
  • Jerry should just buy an iPhone already; I think he'd be happier there.
  • IOS works better with apps like DJI's app, Filmic Pro, ZhiYun's app.
    It's a sad realization when you watch these apps work flawlessly on the Iphone reviews , buy the product, then get short changed because it does not work well with Android! Super disappointed!
  • I agree, apps are better on the iPhone. Theough my job with customers (I work for Enjoy Technology) I often joke that iPhones make the best Google phones. All of the Google apps you can get on iPhones just work better. Until this year that is, the Pixel 3 camera just killed it. But are they really "better"? Better maybe for people that look at quality and compare the phones. So to you Jerry, the folks at AC and similar companies and techies who follow you all. But to the majority, the average day to day user, they don't care or even notice. So since the majority don't even notice/care about the difference in quality of apps between the two platforms, doesn't that mean iOS apps aren't better (I ask the question for the sake of thought, not my own opinion). But as many have already pointed out, the fragmenting of apps and services through Android is the biggest culprit because developers just wouldn't have the time to get every app to the same level as iOS for every Android device in recent circulation.
  • IG is the same... snapchat may have issues on other phones but i have a pixel... "visual core" takes care of the quality issue...and i don't use fb... ive seen a couple apps have some cool features on ios but nothing to make this a discussion anymore... ive also seen some i prefer on android...
  • > "visual core" takes care of the quality issue That is exactly what article's author talking about.
  • Amen and will always be the case. DJI has to make one app for Apple that works across their ecosystem. For Android they need to make different variants for different phone hardware. So the experience is sub par for us.
  • yeah...iOS is awesome right up until "this app is no longer supported on this version of iOS. please go buy a new $1000 iphone to continue using this app"
  • It is hard to tell, but it sounds like you had iPhone 5 and developer dropped 32-bit support for their app... Google is behind on this, but will cease support for pure 32-bit apps in August 2019, at which point developers will have an option to go dual 32/64-bit or drop 32-bit altogether. We will see which way this will go.
  • Won't happen, Android is multi architecture x86, arm 32/64bit
  • Not sure which part you do not think will happen... Google requiring 64-bit support will happen (https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/develop/64-bit). There will be developers that will choose to move 64-bit and leave 32-bit behind as there were developers who have chosen not to support x86.
  • Google will drop support for 32bit in 2021 when the wast majority of the phones on the market will be 64bit capable.
    They won't cease support for pure 32-bit apps in August 2019 like you claimed, they just won't accept a new app in the App Store that it's only 32bit compatible. Existing pure 32bit apps will still work until 2021.
  • The quote from the link above: "Starting August 1, 2019, your apps published on Google Play will need to support 64-bit architectures." Kindly point us to the part where it distinguishes between publishing a net new app and publishing an update for the existing one.
  • Whereas that can take years to happen look at all of the complaints on Google Store about that with the reviews. "I bought this phone 6 months ago and this app/game keeps crashing or won't work." Pretty common complaint. I've played apps and games on my XS Max from 5 or more years ago. I'd say that complaint is aimed usually more at Android users who need to update every 2 years to get the latest updates, IOS, and hardware to run those apps and games. Buy a $1000 phone now that'll last you for years with all the latest updates and features, or buy a $900 Android phone now and maybe get an IOS update at all sometime down the road if at all so you can buy a new one in two years to say you finally have the latest features and IOS. And buy that $900 Android phone now that in 3 months will have half the value or less than what you paid for it. Google Pixels are made by 2 different companies and even that can't get it right in that department.
  • Child molestors, murderers and terrorists are all very grateful.
  • GBoard by Google was on iPhone first for quite some time before going to Android. What does it say when even Google releases new apps/features and updates to them on IOS first? I have the XS Max and only seen 1 crash. So for me no different than Android when I had the Note 9. The hardware argument only goes so far. The CPU and GPU smoke most Android phones. Fact. Look it up. iPhone doesn't need as much memory because it's optimized for IOS. When I got the Note 9 half the memory was already gone to the operating system and apps on it before I even started using it. So 6 GB was effectively 3. The camera on the XS Max is considered one of the best. Period. However each phone for iPhone and Android will yield different results depending on the users own opinion. But your opinion also doesn't mean much to more than just you for multiple reasons in that department. So just go with what makes you happy. There's a reason converting a 4K video takes significantly longer on Android and not IOS. IOS and Android are two different beasts. Fact. iPhone hold it's value much better and longer than most Android phones For
    for a reason. Phones depreciate in value the minute you buy it. Androids usually see steep discounts in the first few months so if you're financing unless you got a good deal right away, within a few months while I'm saving $200-300 or more right away, you're still paying full price on that device. Androids depreciate in value so quick it's ridiculous. I would never buy one new at full price. Ever. It's a waste of money to do so. IOS apps and Android apps have differences and in some cases Android apps have gotten better. But I agree with the article many of the same apps on Android are inferior. I blame this due to fragmentation. Just visit the Google Store and read the comments. "Why doesn't my 1 yr old Android phone work work this app?" While both OS have their flaws and both have something that's better than the other, there is simply no denying how good of a job Apple has done at creating an ecosystem whereas Android is fractured. IMessage is beast. And I love how everything is backed up to iCloud when I sleep so all of my texts, contacts, pics and videos, settings, etc and even home screen layout are all preserved so if I do a restore it's almost like nothing happened. And switching between iPhones is super easy compared to Android. Put the 2 phones near each other, scan the symbol that pops up, log in to iTunes, click a few 'Next', and within 30 seconds everything is being restored likes nothing changed. Most experts will tell the fanboys that specs actually don't mean much of the OS isn't optimized. If you have 6GB of Ram and a top of the line processor, their purpose is negated when something else causes things to be slow. If I can download a simple 4K video onto my phone in 25 seconds but it takes 2 minutes and 25 seconds to do the same on a top of the line Android, there's a problem. Especially after bragging about the specs in comparison to iPhone. And what good are those specs if you end up with half the useable RAM due to the OS anyways. It's just marketing hype for those that think specs equate to quality. They don't. I can go to bed with 100% battery on my iPhone and wake up to 100% battery 8 hours later. With the Note 9 and multiple things disabled I would still lose 10-15% of my battery just sitting there. There are things I love and hate on both IOS and Android. Right now the XS Max is the one I prefer. The Note 9 was nice but I can clearly see screen stutter, average battery life, and the SPen was neat but felt easily breakable and the IOS needed some help. And the camera was God awful slow in comparison. I prefer the IOS store as the apps and games are generally better quality and with fewer crappy ones. And why is it when I watch YouTube on IOS I get fewer ads than when I watched it on Android. It was weird. Neither are perfect and I like how iPhones are all updated at the same time so everyone is on the same page with many of the same feature updates and bug fixes even if it's 4 years old. Whereas Android you're lucky to get the newer OS and features with a 1 year old phone or tablet. It's a crap shoot. Go with what works best for you.
  • "GBoard by Google was on iPhone first for quite some time before going to Android.
    What does it say when even Google releases new apps/features and updates to them on IOS first?" LoL absolute nonsense. You don't know what you are talking about(and this is clearly reflected in the rest of your comments).
    GBoard is Google default system keyboard app, how can it be first on iOS? It doesn't even make sense.
  • > GBoard is Google default system keyboard app, how can it be first on iOS? You are right in that the GBoard is the default keyboard *today*. However, GBoard replaced original Google Keyboard in late 2016, about 6 months after being published on iTunes.
  • Over on iMore they pride themselves in telling people that iOS is the better "Google Phone." And I'm inclined to agree with them. The Google Apps on iOS are fantastic, and far less glitchy or buggy than their Android counterparts... And they're properly sandboxed on that OS, so you get better privacy, as well. I really moved back to Android for one big reason... I like being able to plug my phone in and just dragging my videos out of it to my Desktop. I use my phone for VLOGing and for recording footage to load into video analysis programs. iOS makes this a pain in the ass with the way it auto converts/downscales/etc. things. That being said, the experience outside of that is not cracking up to be, at all, competitive with the user experience on Apple's platform... so I'm going back and never returning. I've never used a third party KB on iOS. The default seems to work well for me. I am still using Samsung's KB on my Note, but Feeling a bigger itch to switch to a third party...except it has some nice system integration that third parties do not replicate. Also, I do not want my software KB to have Google search built into it. That's just kind of creepy. I might try SwiftKey, soon.
  • As a cyclist several apps I use are better on Android (using a pixel 3 XL). Not only is the UI better on Strava in my opinion, but it uses Google as the base map. This is critically important when out on a ride and needing to see trails on the map. Apple maps rarely have trails on them. Also, when using a Garmin edge 1030, I can reply to text messages with canned messages, assuming the unit is connected to the app. This feature is not available on iOS. Finally, I think the UI is better on Ride with GPS on Android.
  • So question… what version of scamdroid were you running in 2007?
  • I have been an android developer for the past 9 years and here is my take on it.
    1) apple screen sensitivity is 100 times better. Scroll a list back and forth or touch the keyboard. Android just does not react as well. Why? I believe apple uses hardware rendering lists object in more places than Android. This was stated a while back by Dianne H. The leader of the Android UI development team. And a while back she said it would never be as good. Strike one.
    2) Of the last 10 jobs I have had most companies favor IOS and managers use IOS. They rarely care about android and the first platform that they design for is IOS. Almost All of my jobs the UI designers hired to design the app were IOS designers and have never used Android. The product manager use IOS and testers sometimes don't even know how to use Android. Often they make us try to design the Android app exactly like IOS instead of following the UI design guidelines for Android. (confusing for android user to use the app)
    3) There are 10480 android devices. Google rarely obsoletes old OS versions. We have to design an app for OS 4.0 up to OS 9.X for 10480 devices. OEMs (that sell phones) take google code, fork it and change the UI. to make it look like their platform design. They create different launchers, completely different settings pages and features. Since this is the case they introduce bugs. If you buy phone made by one of the top OEM's 2 years later you never receive updates cause they just abandon the phone. I use the google pixel (running pure android) cause you get updates immediately when Google pushes Security updates or new features. Also , different manufacturers make hardware that supports different features. Apple makes their own device. They know how it will run when in your hands.
    4) Android supports so many sizes of displays it is time consuming to develop and get right. When we test and write and app we usually run it on our own phone. Companies don't give us phones. Since testers rarely use Android they don't know all the above problems don't test it on the top 20 phones nor tablets. Usually it is tested on one or two devices. This has been my experience developing for android and that is a few reasons why Android has apps that sometimes perform terribly when compared to their IOS counterpart.
  • The post from mssdev taught me a lot. Based on that info, I suppose we shouldn't expect iOS and Android apps to deliver the exact same experience anytime soon. Still, as long as I get the result I want from an Android app, I can overlook a certain degree of polish as long as the developer has done their best. The freedom Android affords me to use my device my way is worth the trade off.
  • I have a galaxy and a iPad best of both worlds I'm not a heavy social media user to notice much of a difference but I do appreciate the polish ios apps have on iPad specially the iPad exclusives
  • I don't use social media at all. The differences aren't confined to there. There isn't one decent video analysis app on Android in comparison to iOS. This is the last time I've tried A droid (Note 9). Once I go back to iOS, I will never come back. Switching is yo damn expensive, especially if you buy outright. I could have just stayed on the 8 Plus and still be getting a vastly superior user experience due to the superior apps. I couldn't care less about platform wars. Have better things to do. The OS is just an app launcher to me. I want great apps, and Android doesn't deliver. The idea that it's mainly social media apps is a lie perpetuated by fanboys who like to compartmentalize people a d make it seem like only "certain types of people" notice this. Blatantly untrue, and intellectually dishonest to boot.
  • I have absolutely no problems with any of the Android apps I use. But I don't use any social media apps. My son hates snapschat and instagram on Android and thinks they are better on iOS. I wouldn't know. What I do know is that the apps that I use are significantly better than anything I ever used on iOS in workflow efficiency. Things may have changed in he last 6 years, but I have no interest in verifying. I use Google Voice which is totally integrated with the phone dialer. Just that alone would be a deal breaker for me. I have been sending text messages from my PC for close to 10 years. Solid Explorer allows me to transfer files back and forth to Dropbox, Drive with a left/right swipe. I can't recall the last time I opened the Contacts app since Google Gesture search is a quick flick down and an icon on Notification Toggle (which itself doesn't exist on iOS). A quick scrawl and I have the contact to either view or dial with a tap. For frequent contacts, I have a page of direct dials or direct contacts. I can toggle between them with an upward swipe on the icon courtesy Nova Launcher Pro. I use Tasker to automate a number of actions. iOS has IFTTT, but due to the sheer nature of Android's open architecture, there is simple so much more that I can do on Android that I can't do with iOS. Google Play Music used to be incredibly efficient for navigation and listening to music that Google screwed up beyond recognition 5-6 years ago. But even in this miserable form, it's still easier to navigate than Apple Music. The BOA app is just as good as the iOS one. KeePass2Android was much better than the KeePass app I tried on iOS 5-6 years go. All these apps open with much more efficient fingerprint sensor on my Pixel 2 than on iOS. I have 2 factor authentication on most of my accounts and I expect Authy works just the same as the app on iOS. I could go on and on. But finally, the other two big deal breakers to me is Google Assistant and Android Auto. Just about the only app that I think iOS might have an edge over is their Messaging app, but I wouldn't use it since it wouldn't support Google Voice.
  • I don't think that I agree. Snapchat, yes, but I don't give a crap about it. Instagram, no - my wife has an iPhone, we both use Instagram and I see no difference whatsoever. And what about uploading a video from phone to Google Drive and then sharing it? My daughter wanted to share a video with me and I wanted to share one with her. I uploaded the video to my Google Drive, shared with her, bam! She couldn't upload hers from her iPhone to her Google Drive, no matter how many times we tried (and I know what I'm doing). Then there's also the fact that some apps are for Android and not for iOs, like WiFi testing apps or speed testing apps.
  • You can upload video to Google Drive. Just make sure you give it permission or Photos. It's not hard. Can upload and share from OneDrive as well. And DropBox… and iCloud. Or you can just use iCloud Photo Sharing with other iOS/macOS users to share, and get Likes and Comments as well, completely with Push Notificaitons. Like Apple's own little "Instagram" built into their OS/Services. Your example is a non-example. Clearly you do not know what you're doing. You have to be stupid to not know how to upload a video to Google Drive on an iPhone, or unable to figure it out. Just make sure you have given Google Drive permission to access your Photos. Some Android users may forget about that, since that is fairly new on their OS of choice. iOS has WiFi and Speed Test apps. Most Routers have iOS apps for that stuff, anyways. Internet Speed test apps have always been on iOS... since they became a thing.
  • It's real simple: Xcode/CocoaTouch is the superior IDE/development tool compared to Android Studio. There's a lot of frameworks/APIs in the Apple ecosystem that are easier to use, and far more sophisticated than their Android counterpart. It makes developing on iOS much easier for most devs (assuming they know or are comfortable with ObjC/Swift). Apps generally fall in to 2 categories - full natively developed (using Xcode for iOS or Android Studio for Android), or apps that are generated by a tool that spits out cross platform binaries - ie, one codebase is used to generate both the iOS and Android app. A sampling of tools that will do this are Xamarin (now Microsoft owned), Titanium, Cordova, or pure web based tools like React Native or Ionic Touch. Apps built with native iOS tools like Xcode, CocoaTouch get a lot of slick tools 'for free'. Meaning, the toolchain provides for things like Apple's slick date picker, or Cloud sync/storage, and visual tools for building a scalable UI. These are all areas that Android Studio lacks, and it's why development cycles for iOS are generally shorter than Android. The cross platform frameworks that allow people to develop apps quickly for both platforms can save companies the cost of having a dedicated iOS and Android dev, but they also spit out lower quality applications than pure native solutions,. It's the main reason that while Android still accounts for the vast majority of installed base, iOS apps generally come out first and are of higher quality than their Android counterparts. The other factor is related to the spending patterns of each platform. It's been generally true that the average iOS user spends 4x more on applications and products purchased with the mobile device. This means that you have a better chance of making your investment back by banking on iOS first.
  • Agree. I was buying content from the iTunes Store, App Store, iBook store regularly before I switched to the Note. After switching, the apps are so bad that my phone sits on the wireless charger 22 hours a day, and I don't buy anything on it. There is nothing in the Play Store worth spending money on... Not if you come from iOS and actually know what a quality app, looks, runs, and feels like to use. I hate this phone, and it has nothing to do with the hardware (fabulous) or base stock FW (like it). The app ecosystem is just absolute trash (to me). It's a $1,000 feature phone, as far as I'm concerned. I get app crashes just swiping up to go to the app launcher screen, FFS (apps that really shouldn't be running in the background to begin with...). This is like having an app crash out of the blue (even when you rebooted your phone and never launched it) simply because you swiped to a different home screen panel on an iPhone.
  • I agree that it's disappointing to be looking at companion apps for programs I use and see that there is no Android app, especially when they keep promising one as they've done for the last five years. However, every time I look at the iPhone, I'm stymied by the things that I take for granted on Android that iOS still can't do. I'm also annoyed by the attitude that Apple knows better than I what I'd like to do and I should be grateful for what they give me. Although most times I'm quite happy with what I can find available for Android, there are a few apps that are iOS only that I'd like to run. It's just not enough for me to try to work with two phones and nowhere near enough to make me switch.
  • I guess it's what apps you use? I don't do social media, so that eliminates most of the examples in this article.
    I use both platforms and have about 148 apps on the android right now (11 on the iPhone), with a lot of them technical or media focused. I don't use music on the iPhone because the quality is not worth it, and when it comes to technical aps, Android definitely has iOS beat. I tried to match apps so both phones would be similarly equipped, but 52 of my apps don't exist in the iOS world, so now I'm kinda stuck having the Android as my primary phone when it comes to work. Not that I mind, however. Until last week, the two top phones we had were the HTC U11 and the iPhone 8 Plus, and the U11 was such a joy to use that I rarely put hands on the 8 Plus. So now it's a week later and we have the iPhone XS Max and the HTC U12. The XS Max is definitely more interesting than the 8 Plus, but the screen makes gaming a pain in the rear, and the gestures frequently screw up racing games and scrollers. The U12 is better for gaming, but not perfect because the bezels are too slim. And then we have the problem of my apps not being available for the Apple, so it's fortunate that the U12 has turned out to be far better than we were told. By the way, MY buttons worked fine out of the box before any updates, and I sometimes play with the power button because it feels cool and I know I'm not wearing anything out ;)
  • Can you name these companion apps or apps on ios you would like to run.im just curious
  • I, obviously, don't know which ones OP meant, but if all you are looking for is an example -- Scoche Rhytm+ heart rate monitor (about a year ago) had iOS companion app, but no Android. Disclaimer: this might have changed by now.
  • That discussion, actually made me look, so... good news: there is "Rhytm Sync" app on the Google Play, bad news: it fails to update firmware on my Scoche Rhytm+. I have borrowed iPod Touch (the latest -- 6th gen?) and the firmware updated with no issues. Android device in this exercise was 2016 Pixel XL, Android 9.0 January patch update.
  • The people on this blog who have noticed the massive quality disparities between Android and iOS apps aren't an isolated case. Go to Facebook, Twitter, etc. and check for yourself. This is probably the absolute biggest selling point of iOS - not even iMessage is as important, IMHO. The Apps are fantastic, and the developer support is beyond top notch. Telling people to name this and that won't change it. Stop trying so damn hard, and try to be less religious about smartphone platforms. Being less of a fanboy has its benefits... like objectivity.
  • While you and I seem to agree on things throughout this thread, unlike you, I think the questions on specific examples are not unreasonable. There will never be a $200 iPhone and, if the trade-offs are acceptable, Android might be a good choice for some people. With that in mind, discussion like the one here, is a valuable resource for someone deciding where to go (or steer a relative, asking for advise).
  • Exactly he rarely gives specific examples to backup his claims so most of what he says doesn't even count he just list a bunch of apps that he claims is better on ios with no proof. I can name an Android app that's better than the ios version netflix because it has smart downloads I don't have to refuse to give specific examples because I can actually give solid objective reasons why a particular Android app is better than the ios counterpart I don't have to rely on personal annecdotes.
  • I sadly do have insite on this and I will speak as a developer and working in the field of mobile development for several years. My background at this point is I am an iOS developer and was a long time android phone user as my daily driver until it back an issues in interviews. I still like android but like Jerry said iOS apps are just better. My strongly held belief is it was a cause by companies would do iOS first as early on it was easier to develop for and make this look good so it was iOS lead and android followed (most of the time) . Well new feature drive things so Android did not always get the catch up and fell farther behind. They also had fewer resources put into them. The other thing I saw was they had B team developers so the app's internal code bases became a mess.
    The same item as said above also causes your best developers to just go after iOS because more glory which means more money and more promotions. Also the ones who work on a new feature first tend to get a lot of say in how it works. Android devs just got to do the make it work like iOS. Those items cause the better devs in large parts to focus on iOS.
    It sad but true. Companies have to start pushing good Android work and even have some android lead and not follow.
  • If you never use an apple phone you never know and don't care that the app is better than on an android. That's my take. Who cares? Elegant apps are nice but I can get the job done without it being elegant.
  • Right. And everyother year Apple comes out with a device with higher resolution or taller screen size and I was stuck with magnified apps for at least half a year until most of the apps gets updated for the new resolution. IPhone 4, 5, 6 Plus, 8, X and not including my iPad. No more waiting for me. But there are some valid points in this article. If you use a less common Android device u run into some app issues because the developer doesn't have your phone to test run it on. And theyd rather spend the time optimizing their app on the most commonly used devices.
  • and what's making the app quality situation less of a thing than comparing to say 5 years ago is that the apps market has saturated already. Research shows that people download apps much less frequently comparing what it used to be. Most of the apps that are really practically useful have matured. They first focused on iOS during the first years, then releasing android app and then optimizing it as well. The apps that are still not available or optimized on popular Android devices is a clear sign of unprofessionalism. If their app is great, theIt company should have grown Sizably and have the resource to complete their apps on other platforms. This overall make the gap between the quality of Android and iOS apps smaller than ever. Of cos there is always a young iOS developer coming up with an app of a wonderful new idea and it's not on android yet but like I have said again. Most of the apps we practically need have matured already. I still keep my iPhone X As a backup while using a Huawei Mate 20 pro and a Samsung note 9 myself.
  • Would like to see some examples. I don't use an i-phony, nor associate with anyone who does. How about some screen shots or something so I know what you are talking about?
  • Ok, coming from someone who regularly uses both iOS and Android (iPhone XS and Pixel 3XL), here are my personal observations: The parity between apps on both operating systems, with a few outliers, has gotten dramatically smaller over the past few years. Companies that used to lag behind their iOS releases by months or years, now lag behind by days or weeks. Autotrader is one good example. Performance of most apps, at least the ones I use, are now pretty much on par with one another. One problem with all of this - I genuinely DON'T think it's because the Android counterparts have gotten that much better - I think that iOS has gotten worse. I remember from even just a year ago, with my iPhone X and Pixel 2XL, when I would put my SIM in the iPhone, there was an immediate sense of 'holy crap, this is so much better', ESPECIALLY when launching apps. It was always instant on the iPhone - period. My banking app was one major pain point, because it seems like it takes a month to login on Android, and only took about a second on iOS. Now, it takes just as long on iOS as it does on Android. I think that, rather than companies upping their game to make parity on Android (after all of the outcry), they are going the opposite way, and being just as lazy on iOS. Let's be honest here - in terms of raw power and storage performance, the latest iOS devices still have a major edge over Android in raw horsepower. There is absolutely no legitimate reason why apps on iOS should feel slower now. Anyway, pardon the digression - there are still a few really big outliers - Snapchat being one of them, from what I hear - that make iOS very attractive for a lot of users. I finally convinced my daughter a few months ago to switch from her iPhone 8 to a Galaxy S9, after she fell in love with the screen on my wife's phone. Now? With the stellar battery life she's been experiencing, the screen, and the sound quality, she has told me that she will never switch back. If she runs into an app that's sub-par, she just stops using it - Snapchat included. If more people took that approach, apps would get better in a hurry! Every time I think about sticking with iOS 100%, I realize... No more Wifi Analyzer, NFC toolkit, etc, etc, etc... iOS is a beautiful walled garden, but it's just too sterile at times. Also, I like a screen with color saturation, and Apple thinks they know best, as usual!
  • Only thing I miss about Apple is their watch, and I still am up in the air about going back to IOS in August
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