Without a question, the two giants competing for first place in the world of mobile operating systems are Apple iOS and Google Android. Apple’s iPhone was released in 2007 and rocketed to the top of the polls and dominated the US smartphone market for several years. But in early 2012, Android phones inched ahead for the first time and took 50% of the market share. There are other players, such as Windows Mobile and RIM’s Blackberry but they just can’t get close to toppling Apple or Android from the top position.
Clearly Android OS is increasing in popularity but Apple iOS still has a firm hold on the market with many devoted fans. For some time there will be devotees of both platforms so you'll want to be prepared to address each of them for the mobile web.
Here are some
Operating System - Apple likes consistency and control. It has only one operating system, iOS, which is dedicated to Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. This operating system cannot be used by any other platform, only Apple. At the other end of the spectrum, Android prides itself on its open source operating system which can be used and customized by any mobile company, resulting in a whole host of different versions. iOS is acknowledged to be easy to operate even for a techno-phobe with its clean, easy interface, whereas the android phones offer more variety but can be slightly more complex.
Variety - the only smartphone produced by Apple is the iPhone and you are further limited in your choice as there are just four basic models on offer: the 3G, the 4, 4S and the new 5. On the other hand there are more than 70 Android phone choices to tempt you.
Apps - Again Apple insists on complete control and the Apple App Store is the only place you can download iOS compatible apps. But saying that, the selection of apps is supreme. Each is checked and tightly controlled by Apple guaranteeing safety and reliability.
Coming from a completely different mindset, Android positively encourages the publication of apps by any manufacturer and believes in the freedom of choice approach. No checks are made on these, so there could be some security concerns and some apps may not be as reliable as those in the Apple App Store. If you do opt for an Android smartphone, make sure you only download Android apps from reputable sources, such as Android Market or the Amazon App Store to avoid giving a rogue app access to create havoc on your phone.
Multimedia - For those of you who already use iTunes you will adore the integration of the iPhone with iTunes. iCloud provides a central storage space for all your music and films and is accessible across all your Apple devices. Android offers Google Play which is similar, but if you are one of the many already hooked on iTunes, it might seem like too much effort to change to another system.
Both Apple iOS and Android have pros and cons so you need to make your final decision based on what you want. Those who love Apple products and the nicely integrated world of Apple will likely stay with what they know and purchase an iPhone. However if you want to choose from an array of devices and the availability of third party apps to plug any gaps you find, then an Android version could be the perfect fit for you.