Hmm Apple or Android? This is a common difficult choice many individuals face on a daily basis! However, as an avid Android user myself, the answer to this question seems pretty clear to me. In my opinion, my Android phone is better looking and has better functions. Of course, there is me being quite superficial and bias towards the Android phone. Moving beyond the surface, the inherent differences between the Android phone and iPhone all comes down to their open vs close softwares.
The Android system is a more open, generative and user-friendly platform which gives users more freedom to change and modify its operating system. For example, Android can be used on different phones i.e. HTC, Samsung, Sony etc. Furthermore, on my Samsung s 6, I can download whatever apps I want on my phone. Similarly, I can install different programs to modify my keypad or change the way I use my phone. Consequently, I have full control of what content I create, how I create it and overall, how I use my phone.
In contrast, the IOS system features a digitally exclusive yet restricted and locked environment. This can essentially be seen by the fact that IOS only runs on the iPhone. Thus everything about the way individuals interact with the iPhone is deliberately tethered to Apple. For example, the centralised App Store is a monopoly point for users: it is the only way users can access content. This reflects Apple’s “walled garden” approach of providing its users with a more consistent, focused and protective user experience at the expense of flexibility and innovation. Indeed, some people may prefer this stable and consistent user experience as the centralised software is more accessible and easy to navigate around. For example, Apple users can easily sync their phones, ipads and laptops which allows their content to be centralised.
Nevertheless, with the popularity of Android phones rising at rapid rates, it seems people prefer having their freedom rather than being restricted by a “walled-garden” approach. In fact, it seems Apple is beginning to realise the benefits of allowing greater freedom and access to their operating systems as in June 2016, the company announced that it would open up some of its platforms (i.e. Maps, Siri and Messages) to other software developers, “marking another step away from holding a vice-like grip on how people should experience the iPhone.” As an Android user myself, I do appreciate the greater flexibility i’m allowed on my phone. I feel as if I have more options and I can truly cater the phone to my own needs. So perhaps Apple taking this strategic move isn’t so much of a bad idea and will boost their sales even more.