Szabó Barna is the Android team leader. Marius Pantea, the iOS team leader. Both are our colleagues at Reea, and if you talk to both, you would be convinced that Android is the best or that iOS is the best. It depends on who you’re talking to. So, we brought them together and asked them simultaneously something about both operating systems, in order to understand better this so-called competition. Here’s what we got:
What smartphone do you use and why?
Marius Pantea: iPhone 6 S Plus, because I work with it all day long, and I need it to test the apps.
If it weren’t for you to work in the field, what would be your choice?
Marius Pantea: Probably because I got used to the ecosystem, to the operating system and to iPhone in general. It seems much simpler to use than an Android. You don’t have to beat your brains out.
Szabó Barna: I use a Samsung S4. Firstly, for photos, because I am passionate about photography, and secondly because it shows a greater flexibility. When asked what I’d use for personal purposes, the answer is…
Marius Pantea: iPhone 5.
Szabó Barna: Yes, I’d use iPhone 5S because it’s cuter. Anyway, I wouldn’t use a smartphone if I didn’t work in this field. That’s because I know that sometimes I have to tell myself to put down the device so it doesn’t take me too much time. Anyway, there are moments when I use my time for crap.
What are the flaws in Android operating system?
Marius Pantea: I think the biggest problem is the compatibility between diverse versions. This is the biggest problem of Android! Android 6 showed up. Are there any devices rolling on Android 6? No. For iOS, the system shows up and 50% of the market rolls on the new operating system within a week. This is somehow good not only for the apps but also for the user. Besides, Android has problems with all kinds of viruses and trojans that have occurred. Probably that open source is too open, and that’s why it’s vulnerable.
Szabó Barna: I will not repeat what Marius said, the fragmentation is the biggest problem, considering the fact the producers don’t guarantee that they’ll update like Apple does with the older smartphones. For example, Samsung, which is a year and a half now, after time passes, even if the phone supported a newer version, they don’t offer one because they don’t beat their brains to work with the soft. It’s pure marketing. There’s also the instability of the operating system, as meaning that some producers limit the hardware to fulfill the demands of Google. This means that the operating system is working, but not at a high level. Let’s say Android 4 works well, but the smartphone doesn’t. Yes, there are problems with viruses, it is open source. You can do anything. You can steal personal data, especially if you root your Android phone. Once the phone is rooted, if you install an application, your virtual identity can be stolen. However, further steps are taken: beside the operating system, Samsung had Knox, a security system, and now they are working together with Google to provide an upper layer. This means that security will be more available for everyone. Furthermore, Google wants to provide smartphones with a chip used for encryption, which will run faster. Now you can add an encryption system to your Android smartphone, for all you write, for all the files, but it will make your device move slower.
The same question, but what are the flaws in iOS in this case?
Marius Pantea: The phone price. The phone price for less-developed countries, like Romania. Probably this is the biggest flaw. I can’t see another one right now. In terms of software, it moves very well. You don’t have anything to blame it for.
Szabó Barna: My opinion is that another flaw is encapsulation. For example, you can’t change the smartphone’s battery, you can’t add a memory extension, actually you have to change the smartphone in order to update…
Marius Pantea: Even so, you don’t need extra memory. It rolls just fine with what it has. Why would you change the memory?
Szabó Barna: I want to make a one our full HD movie, but it doesn’t fit.
Marius Pantea: You get one having 128GB, where it fits. So, there’s an answer for everything.
Let’s talk about advantages now. What are the advantages of Android?
Marius Pantea: The price. It’s cheap, accessible. You can enter the market on certain segments, and you’ve never thought that this could be possible. For example, I bought an Android phone for my mum. It’s perfect for her: Facebook is working. She’s happy. Accessible, cheap phone. It works reasonably. Ok, I struggled for an hour to set something, and I wanted to throw it, but that’s part two. Games and apps roll pretty well on both platforms, so it’s good…for many people.
Szabó Barna: I don’t think that Android and iOS can be exactly compared, because iOS automatically means iPhone. If we talk about Android, we have Samsung as a flagship, for example, S6 which works extremely well, and it is the same price as iPhone 6S.
Marius Pantea: It’s more expensive.
Szabó Barna: Or more expensive. You can’t say it’s cheaper. I mean, you can say there are cheaper smartphones.
Like the brands from China…
Marius Pantea: We also have Romanian producers who create Android smartphones. A producer will never be able to build an ecosystem from scratch because he will not sell it, that’s clear. However, if you use Android, you have all the chances. And that’s how you stimulate many countries to create their own product. You take Android, conclude a contract with Google, pay something to them for the market, and it’s all cool.
Szabó Barna: In addition, the intercommunication between the devices. Android can connect to a 50 years-old Nokia, to a TV, or you can use it as a remote if it’s fitted with infrared, so it can be interconnected with almost any kind of device that has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and so on. Well, for more advanced users. If I weren’t using the phone at work, I would choose Android for personal purposes. Let’s not even mention file copying, because you don’t have to copy everything using iTunes. You have widgets, you can add widgets that show the weather or the news, if you’re interested, on your home screen. You have at hand a lot of stuff that is still missing from the iOS system. On the other hand, much simpler, you use custom. That means you have a customized operating system. The idea is that all the apps you’re not using, are removed. Like you can remove the preinstalled apps of Windows or Linux, in order for your phone to work better.
Marius Pantea: You buy a smartphone, and then you start to remove its apps to work better?
Szabó Barna: I disable all the native apps that I don’t use on my Samsung. Why should they work?
Marius Pantea: But a normal user who buys the phone from the store doesn’t remove the apps.
Szabó Barna: You take the phone and read a bit about it. If you search on Google for ‘Android performance boost’, you automatically find articles about what you should do. That’s my opinion.
What are the advantages of iOS system?
Marius Pantea: You don’t have to do that in order for your phone to work. The ecosystem is surely more well-developed, so you have apps for everything, and they work better. Generally, the compatibility between diverse versions. I think that its strength consists in the ecosystem and in that store that brings value. That’s why it is developers’ favorite. Many game producers prefer to release the first version on iOS because it is hard to pirate a game. You can’t download it on torrent, practically there’s no way to do that. Only if you jailbreak it, and that is hard to do on the newer versions. It looks good, very good.
Szabó Barna: Turning to iOS disadvantages, I wanted to point out that you can’t use the smartphone without creating an account on Apple. That’s why you don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes. There are people concerned for their safety, and they simply don’t want others to know their location, preferences, and so on. You can deactivate some things on iOS, for example, the location services, but you can’t control the others. On the other hand, an Android gives the possibility to stop everything. It allows you even not to have a Google account. In my opinion, the advantage is the phone, physically. It would be perfect if there was an iPhone with an Android system. Its quality is flawless.
What would you recommend someone who uses Android?
Marius Pantea: To switch over to iPhone? It depends a lot on the person who uses the phone and what for. For example, I have friends who had used iPhone, but they bought an Android, and now they’re using Android. It’s true, you have more freedom to do certain things than you have on an iPhone. And you can’t do those certain things on an iPhone for security and safety reasons. Security is already different. It’s not like Barna says. For example, there’s a trial in the USA now and Apple was summoned before the General Court to give access to a device. They said in a General Court that it’s impossible, and it’s not like in our country. It’s impossible because up from iOS 8, they have no such possibility: the encryption key is on the phone. It doesn’t go back to Apple. So, from this point of view, it’s a bit more secure. It’s hard to jailbreak the system because it’s closed. For someone who uses Android, the idea is that they have to be aware of the apps they’re downloading from the store. It is better to download them only from Google Play, not from other sources because those may come along with surprises. Otherwise, buy a nice smartphone but not Samsung.
Szabó Barna: Besides the advice to not install apps from another source but Google Play, if the phone can carry that, I would recommend them to update the operating system to the newest version. To uninstall all the unused apps, otherwise the resources are being easily consumed. Even if the app is not on, technically speaking it consumes resources because it’s rolling in the background. If you use an app once a month, uninstall it and install it back only when you need it. Again, deactivate the preinstalled apps that can’t be uninstalled. Sign out from your Facebook app if you don’t use it more than once a day. The main problem of Android smartphones comes up when we talk about resources. The devices are multitasking, like a computer’s operating system, and they lack resources. When you buy a smartphone, even if it has 3GB RAM written on it (that is catchy marketing), it doesn’t mean that apps can roll on 3GB. They are limited to 60, 70 MB, and those on a tablet to 100 MB. So if marketing says 3GB, there’s no such thing. The coolest app will use a maximum of 100MB.
The last question: what would you recommend someone who uses iOS?
Marius Pantea: To update their apps. There are many users who don’t do that because it’s convenient. The community is highly developed, there are new available updates all the time. Many bugs are being fixed, and it’s really important to have your phone updated. It will work just fine after that. A lot of friends ask me ‘Can I update it? Won’t it break?’. There’s no problem in updating your smartphone to a newer system, it should be updated to the last version all the time. Now, if you own an older device, for example, iPhone 4S, and you want iOS 9, don’t do it. It’s ok if you have iOS 8, but not with iOS 6 or 7, ’cause…
Szabó Barna: The phone won’t work!
Marius Pantea: It will work slower. Look, an iPhone 5 with an iOS 7 on it. It flies. It works incredibly.
Szabó Barna: And that is also a marketing strategy.
Marius Pantea: Apple allows you to update, and they tell you if there are any problems.
Szabó Barna: That would be something… To be able to stop it like you can on Windows, where you can stop all the animations with a performance boost.
Marius Pantea: How would they sell it anymore? Apple creates a nice product, which looks good, and it works well…
Szabó Barna: Even if you don’t make the absolute calculation…
Marius Pantea: The idea is to be up to date. A client asked me ‘how can we make sure that everyone will use the app after we update it on the store?’. I told him we could push them, but pushing the user is not a good practice. Let them do whatever they want. We have to make sure that the old app works. I had a final client with 214 apps that needed an update. He didn’t update anything, nor he’d set his phone to update the apps automatically because you can do that on iOS. The best advice is to update and backup! It’s very easy to backup with cloud and then if something happens to the phone, it disappears, or it breaks (it doesn’t break, but maybe it falls to the ground) you can make your phone work exactly like as before.
Szabó Barna: To me, it’s hard to give advice because I’ve never used iOS, especially that Marius told you everything.
Marius Pantea: So they should install Android.
Szabó Barna: I always said that if someone gave me a 5S, I would use it for the photos, ’cause I know it takes good photos.
Marius Pantea: Check out this one’s photos!
Szabó Barna: It’s too big for me.