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Android Vs. Ios Comparison Paper: Final Draft

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Ufuomaefe Ogbe
HUM 102-017
Professor Masce
uoo2@njit.edu 
10/21/2012

Android vs. iOS Comparison Paper: Final Draft

Over the past few years, technology has made leaps and bounds in terms of its capabilities. From cars that can drive themselves to computers that can read, the capacity to create amazing devices/services has greatly improved. Among such devices, the smartphone has quickly risen to the top of the chain in terms of sales and it has landed in the hands of over one billion people worldwide (Chen, Elgin). There are those who make simple-minded statements such as “all smartphones are the same.”  However, this is completely false. Smartphones differ in size and quality and, as such, attract different shoppers. But the most important factor to consumers in general is the OS -“Operating System.” An OS is the basic structure of a system; it controls the user interface and other such related features. In terms of computers, the OS could be Windows or a Macintosh.  Among Smartphones today the most popular OS’s are Android and iOS. Today, these operating systems have led to the birth of fanboys or individuals who faithfully stick to one operating system and argue viciously why one is better than another. Nevertheless, before one can decide which is “better,“  several factors and key differences must be explored and analyzed.

The core difference between iOS and Android is the philosophy that guides both OS’s. Android was founded by a small startup company in California which was later bought up by Google in 2005 (Elgin).  Android, from the very beginning, was the underling to other mobile operating systems at the time. It was a completely new operating system that had to garner avid users along the way. Being that Google was the proprietor of they used a Linux Kernel, the kernel basically controls all functions of the phone. This led Android to becoming AOSP or open sourced. AOSP stands for the Android Open Source Project which means that Android’ s code is “open sourced”; it can be accessed by anyone to implement changes as well as add features to their heart’s content. Consequently, Android has been welcomed by manufacturers all over the world. The operating system is free, so manufacturers only need to create hardware that is relevant and competitive for their products to be sold. Companies have often taken the Android open source code and made their own interpretation of the mobile OS. This has led to the birth of various manufacture skins some of which are: Motorola Blur, Samsung Touch Wiz, and HTC Sense.

Within two years, Apple introduces the iPhone. The iPhone was released in 2007 running the revolutionary software, iOS. iOS, unlike Android,  was created by Apple itself so the manufacturer created the software and the hardware. Apple even determines which carriers can sell their phone. Initially, Only AT&T carried the phone, but Apple recently allowed Sprint and Verizon to also carry the phone. Yet, even today, major carriers like T-Mobile still lack the iPhone in their phone lineup.  

Closed source is Apple’s core philosophy. To this day, the code running iOS is probably one of the world’s best kept secrets. The software is only privileged to higher-ups and engineers that work at Apple. This means that only Apple can make revenue off its devices (Lyons). Android being open sourced enables not only Google to make revenue but it also allows manufacturers as well as customers to make money and save when purchasing devices. It allows manufacturers to make money because they sell the products and consumers can make money by developing custom ROM’s and themes that they can sell on the internet. Manufacturers many times hire Android developers to do work for them so that they can produce the best skin or Android overlay that they can. Apple, on the other hand, only requires a select few engineers to work in their headquarters. The customization feature of Android also gives the brand a sense of identity similar to that of iPhones and iPhone users.

When comparing the two operating systems, Android and iOS are quite similar. They are both mobile OS’s, they both run apps, and they both have Markets to purchase apps. They both also feature touchscreens in which the user interacts with objects and programs on the screen. These programs are controlled through touches on the UI, or, user interface. iOS features a grid holding icons that represent an app or program. On the latest iPhone model there are icons in a 6x4 grid, and each icon opens into the app of choice. Over the years, Apple has kept the same layout while Android’s Interface has changed drastically. This emphasizes Apples’ belief in keeping it simple; you can have an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, and the interface will remain the same. This layout cannot be changed due to the aforementioned closed source system that Apple implements. Such work is the appeal that many Apple fanboys love. Apple has taken time in making it simple for its ecosystem to sync with one another. Data featured on one device can easily be shared with other devices in the Apple ecosystem. However, Android is a completely different machine aimed at those who prefer to control and manipulate everything that their phone can do.

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