On one hand, I’m not sure I can accurately express just how bored I am with the iPhone vs. Android debate. The answer in the end is always the same — choose the platform that most closely matches your needs and wants — but the battle rages on. Fanboys on both sides refuse to budge on any of their go-to talking points, and their incessant bickering echoes throughout social media, forums, and the comments sections of blogs. It’s impossible for a levelheaded person to read their fights and not cringe, both sides stating opinion as fact and then convincing themselves they’ve won the argument. Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s just like liberals and conservatives bickering on Facebook or Twitter.
The problem is, there’s another side to this issue. The question of “iPhone vs. Android” isn’t just a battleground for whiny fanboys and fangirls. It’s a serious and important question that normal people ask themselves. I get emails all the time from Android users who are thinking about switching to the iPhone, and from iPhone users who are considering a switch to Android. I don’t have time to answer them all, but I occasionally try to fight through the dry heaving and involuntary eye rolls that occur anytime the topic of “iPhone vs. Android” enters my mind, and cover some bigger questions here on the site.
Yesterday evening, an email from a reader brought me to a thread on Reddit started by a user named “Pretentious_Fella.” Thankfully, this fella doesn’t seem pretentious at all. He’s someone who had been using multiple platforms on different devices, but he recently decided to move entirely to Apple products. He then took to the Apple subreddit to explain why he went all in on Apple, highlighting four main reasons for his decision. They’re all great reasons and I’m going to run through them quickly below. I’m also going to add a fifth reason of my own though, because it’s among the things Apple users love most about the company, but they often take it for granted and don’t even think about it.
This is obviously a biggie, especially in this day and age.
Apple and Google have very different business models, and neither one is better than the other; it all depends on what your priorities are. Apple makes its money by selling you really, really expensive hardware. Google makes its money by giving Android to third-parties for free and then using its free apps and services to collect as much private data as possible, in order to display targeted ads. Not everyone views this as a problem — I sure don’t, and I use plenty of Google’s apps and services — but people who prioritize privacy should absolutely stick with Apple’s iPhone.
This is another issue that people argue about all the time. Apple users love that they have instant access to every single iOS update Apple releases. This is because Apple releases updates directly to end users. When Google releases Android updates, meanwhile, they’re released to third-party smartphone makers who then have to integrate their own apps and tweaks. Once that’s done, the updates have to be thoroughly tested by wireless carriers.
Unless you’re one of the few people out there with a Pixel phone, you’re lucky if you can count your wait for new updates in months and not years. The latest version of Android is currently only in use on about 5% of active Android devices around the world.
This is an area where the gap has certainly narrowed in recent years. That said, there’s still “Apple” and “everything else.” No other smartphone on the planet looks and feels as premium as the iPhone X. No other laptops on the planet look and feel as premium as Apple’s MacBook Pro. And so on.
The iPhone X in particular truly is a cut above everything else out there. Apple really pushed other smartphone makers to up their game over the years in terms of materials and build quality, but Apple’s designs are still in a league of their own, as evidenced by the all-glass and stainless steel iPhone X.
Consistent experience and cross-platform integration
The original poster used the word “consistency” to title this section in his Reddit post, but I’m not sure fully encapsulates what he was going for.
First, he mentioned the quality and consistency of apps in the iOS App Store. Apple gets plenty of guff for its “walled garden” and its strict rules surrounding the App Store, but the result is the user experience we know and love. Even after all these years, the app experience on iOS devices is so much better and more consistent than it is on Android, it’s difficult to compare the two. Apple’s strict guidelines and oversight also prevent disasters like all the malware that’s constantly floating around Google’s Play store.
Beyond that, Apple also offers a great experience across devices. Thanks to things like Continuity, Apple’s smartphones, tablets, and personal computers all integrate so well together. macOS and iOS are nothing alike, and you you can start doing something on an iPhone or iPad and finish it on a MacBook Pro with no trouble whatsoever.
This is the one that the Reddit post in question doesn’t mention, and it’s understandable that it was omitted. Many people who spend most of their time in the Apple ecosystem simply don’t realize how much better Apple’s customer service is than any other consumer tech company in the world.
Whether you visit a genius at an Apple Store or call Apple’s customer care line, you’re in store for a stellar customer care experience 999 times out of 1,000. Apple’s products are typically more expensive than rival offerings, but it’s not just empty markup. Part of that expense helps cover customer care, and I can’t stress enough how happy I am to pay that extra money.
When I have a problem with my iPhone, I go to the Apple Store. I’m greeted by a friendly genius who listens to my problem and tries to fix it. If my problem can be fixed, it is. If it can’t be fixed, I walk out of the store with a new iPhone. Apple also offers all sorts of free resources to help customers get the most out of their devices, like free classes and friendly US-based phone support that’s available to answer any questions for 16 hours each day.
If you’ve ever had experiences with Apple’s customer service and customer service from any of Apple’s rivals, you know exactly how wide the gap is in between them. It’s quite literally night and day.