Why is iOS faster than other operating systems

Android vs. iOS: cell phone operating systems in comparison


With Android and iOS, there are only two major smartphone platforms left on the market. But which system is the better choice for you? Netzwelt compared Android and iOS with each other and explained the advantages and disadvantages of the systems to you.

Which operating system is better: Android or iOS? This question polarizes smartphone users worldwide. An objective comparison does not seem possible in view of the overflowing emotions. Even the otherwise reluctant Apple founder Steve Jobs drove out of her skin and threatened Google's cell phone OS with atomic destruction. Nevertheless, we want to try to work out the strengths and weaknesses of the two platforms below.


Without a large, diverse selection of apps, a mobile phone OS has no chance on the market. Firefox, BlackBerry and Windows Phone can tell you a thing or two about that. In terms of the sheer number of apps available, Android is clearly ahead. According to the market researchers from AppFigures, there are currently around four million apps worldwide on Google Play. In the Apple App Store, on the other hand, just under half are available for download.

However, new applications and games are mostly initially published for iOS. For example, iPhone users were most recently able to play Fortnite or Super Mario Run several months before owners of an Android device. The live TV app Sky Go was initially only available for iOS. We do not see either of the two systems as having an advantage on this point.


Much of our life now takes place on smartphones. Our phone book and messengers such as WhatsApp reveal who we are in contact with, our whereabouts can be determined via the cellular network or GPS and, thanks to fitness trackers coupled via Bluetooth, health data is now also sent to the devices. In view of the variety of data that accumulate on the smartphone, you should definitely think about the subject of "data protection" when choosing the operating system.

It is difficult for an outsider to judge which operating system is better or worse here. One can generally assume that Google is more interested in the data of Android users, after all, many of the group's services are based on data. Apple, on the other hand, mainly sells hardware.

A look at the news ticker of your preferred technology magazine seems to confirm this impression. However, while Apple even refused to the FBI, for example, to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino assassins, Android often makes negative headlines in this regard. In August 2018, researchers at Vanderbilt University found, for example, that an Android device in standby mode communicates ten times as often with the Google server as an iOS device with the Apple servers.

On the other hand, there are also reports about security gaps on Apple devices in the network. This shows that our feelings can deceive us. We therefore do not want to give any rating in terms of data protection for the two systems.


The topic of updates has been a tiresome topic in the Android world for years. While 20 percent of all iOS devices were running with the current version just a week after the release of iOS 13, a year after the release of Android 9 Pie, just 22 percent of all devices in the Android world are equipped with the version. The recently released Android 10 does not yet play a major role in the market. The reason for this is the complex update process, in which, in addition to the mobile phone manufacturers, Google and the mobile network operators as well as chip manufacturers are involved. Google has made several attempts to accelerate the spread of the latest Android version - most recently with Project Treble. As a result, the waiting time for updates could be shortened according to the first impression, but Android is not yet moving at iOS level in this regard.

The Android crux: that's why you have to wait for updates. And that's why Apple works faster

Google's mobile OS Android dominates the smartphone market. But users usually have to wait months for updates. Why is that? And why is it running faster at Apple? Netzwelt reveals it to you.

Even if a new Android version spreads faster on the market in the future, the devices will be provided with the latest software for a maximum of two years, if at all. Google and the largest manufacturers in the Android Update Alliance have agreed on this. Google itself has recently been granting updates to its devices for three years. Apple, on the other hand, usually keeps its devices up-to-date for five years. However, it should be noted in this context that the update policy for Android phones differs greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, you can find out more about this in our Android update schedule.


Apple only allows apps to be installed via the App Store. Every application that is to be made available for download here is strictly controlled by the manufacturer from Cupertino. Sometimes too strict. The only risk of catching malware is therefore primarily for users who jailbreak their iPhone.

With Android, on the other hand, you can catch malware even without a rooted smartphone. A multitude of fake apps appear again and again on Google Play. There is also the risk of catching a virus on the mobile phone via sideloading an app from the network. In particular, its widespread use makes Android attractive to cyber criminals.


Apple's mobile operating system iOS only runs on its own devices and these are not exactly cheap. You can get an iPhone in the Apple Store from 529 euros, for an iPad you have to pay at least 449 euros. You can get Android phones and tablets for less than 200 euros. In addition, there are hardly any paid apps on Google Play, these are more common in the App Store. A clear advantage for Android.


In terms of functionality, iOS users are limited compared to their Android colleagues. For example, Apple prohibits file sharing via Bluetooth and the use of NFC is also limited on the iPhone. The installation of apps via the web version of the store is also reserved for Android users.


The operation of Android, however, is not understandable for everyone. In the versions published by Google, users work with apps on two levels. In the so-called App Drawer you will find an overview of all installed applications, shortcuts to popular apps can be placed on the start screen. Not everyone immediately understands this separation, especially since Android previously did not allow you to uninstall apps directly from the start screen.


If you like to customize your mobile phone down to the smallest detail, you would be better off with Android. While Apple only allows minimal adjustments to iOS, such as installing an alternative keyboard, with Android you can completely turn the system inside out and optionally swap the entire user interface for another.

User experience

Numerous mobile phone manufacturers are also making use of the ability to extensively customize Android. Whether Samsung, LG or Huawei - almost every company covers the Google OS with its own user interface and sometimes makes massive changes. Huawei's EMUI works like a clone of iOS. In addition, some companies equip their smartphones with additional functions that Google has not yet integrated into the system. An example of this is the Smart Stay function from Samsung or the desktop mode of the EMUI from Huawei.

That's nice, but it also means that there is no uniform user experience on Android. A Samsung device offers different features and is operated differently than a Huawei smartphone. It is also annoying that some manufacturers provide their own version in addition to the apps provided by Google. It is not uncommon for Android devices to have two mail clients or two calendar apps. Apple's iOS, on the other hand, offers a uniform user experience across all devices.

Netzwelt thinks

When it comes to apps, there is hardly any difference between iOS and Android, and the systems are becoming more and more similar in terms of functionality. Other points clearly show the advantages and disadvantages of an open or closed system.

While iOS is heavily controlled by Apple, Google's effectiveness as a "regulatory power" is limited with Android. This results in a large number of Android devices at prices that iOS users can only dream of, as well as the customizability. On the other hand, this openness of Android is also to blame for the catastrophic update situation and the inconsistent user experience.

Source for cover image: massonforstock / depositphotos.com

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