The rivalry between Android and iOS platforms is continuing to shape the trajectory and the future of the mobile app ecosystem. Since they represent the ultimate boundary of mobile OS platforms with no other options to go for, we return to this famous rivalry to understand the evolving value propositions in the mobile landscape.
In recent years, Android, because of its wider presence across the vast majority of devices in all range, dominates the smartphone space in terms of popularity. But despite this popularity, Android has its limitations in terms of security. On the other hand, iOS, with its legacy iPhone devices and closed ecosystem, is far less popular. But particularly because of this closed and strict ecosystem, iOS is more secure than other mobile platforms.
Did you ever try to understand the key factors behind Android’s respective popularity and security of iOS? Well, here we are to explain the reasons.
Uncovering the Popularity Factors for Android
At present, Android is the operating system for the vast majority of mobile devices, and the Android Play Store boasts of the largest app marketplace with the greatest number of apps irrespective of publishers and niches. But this unparalleled popularity has not become possible overnight; it almost stood the test of time throughout all these years.
The Overwhelming Number and Variety of Devices
The greatest specialty of the Android platform is that everyone gets something through this platform. You have the world’s biggest mobile brands on the Android side and the platform boasts of a multitude of flagship devices with diverse features, capabilities, and configurations.
From the latest smartphone with a foldable screen and rotating camera to the most basic internet phone, the Android ecosystem boasts of all kinds of devices. As CEO of Indian App Developers, Mr. Juned Ghanchi explains, “Android offers such an inexhaustible range of choices for everyone that it became the mass platform for mobile users now.” He continues, “Android also boasts of devices of all imaginable features that populate the smartphone market.”
More flexible platform
Android is a more flexible platform for app developers as well. The developers can build apps still targeting the users of basic Android devices and the latest flagships. This is why you can find multiple Android versions in the Android ecosystem that continue to run across devices.
On the other hand, Android apps put fewer restrictions and more flexible quality parameters for publishing apps. This flexibility put Android developers in a more advantageous position for releasing their apps. Android enjoys a distinct advantage in terms of faster time to market.
The mobile app security: who is the winner, and why?
In terms of popularity, Android can stay ahead of the competitive curve, but iOS as a platform always stays ahead in quality and user experience. No wonder better security and stricter quality parameters helped the iOS platform gain that elitist stigma.
Now we will see where iOS stays ahead of the Android in terms of security.
Threat Level and Vulnerabilities
Apple’s iOS operating system comes as a closed ecosystem that doesn’t allow developers to access the platform’s source code. Thanks to this, developers cannot modify the source code, inject malware threats, and make apps vulnerable.
In complete contrast, the Android ecosystem is completely open-source and offers anyone access to the source code. This always exposes the Android platform to a malicious tweaking of the platform-specific source code.
Thanks to this exposure to security threats and vulnerabilities, Android becomes frequent security attacks and malicious threats. In contrast, iOS has become the least victims of security threats.
iOS is More Strict
iOS, in comparison to Android, is more strict and far less flexible. Apple enjoys total control on the platform and all aspects of user experience. It also makes it mandatory for the developers to comply with its stringent quality guidelines and principles that cannot be violated. On top of all, the zero possibility of tweaking with the source code makes iOS more stable.
Only Internal Storage
iOS doesn’t allow increasing storage by adding outside ROMs with the mobile. You cannot use memory cards, USBs, and similar storage accessories with iPhones and iPods, preventing security threats from entering the devices. In contrast, external storage attached to Android devices always increases security vulnerabilities.
iOS Default Apps
iOS has an ecosystem of default apps for various features and common actions. These apps being built by Apple enjoy better maintenance and security features and reduce the security vulnerabilities from third-party apps. From Safari, Mail, Note to Messenger, Apple iOS offers various native apps that come with the OS by default.
Less Lucrative for the Hackers
iOS is a less tempting or less lucrative mobile platform for the hackers to target just because iOS has a limited user base compared to Android. On the other hand, hackers need to work hard and long to break the iOS security barrier. Android, in contrast, is more lucrative as it boasts of a large user base and device ecosystem.
iOS is a more organically consolidated, reliable, and well-maintained platform with robust security features. In contrast, Android is a more scattered, decentralized, and less maintained platform with many security vulnerabilities, though Android security is getting better over time.