Over the years the great "iOS vs Android" debate has, interestingly enough, morphed into more of a cultural conversation than a technological one. Because nearly every modern mobile device relies on one of these two operating systems, it’s impossible to escape the conversation. It's almost as if consumers must pledge allegiance to either side. It has slowly, but surely, become a lifestyle choice.

We thought it would be interesting (and fun!) to take an objective look at both operating systems.

Before we discuss the most stand-out features in each, it’s worth noting that it is tough to reach a "one-size-fits-all" solution. Like many technological debates, your choice of operating systems is based on preference and the experience you seek as a user. People may value some features over others.

But, there are some objective differences between iOS and Android that we can consider:

  • Customizability: Perhaps the most obvious, and the broadest difference between the two systems lies in their flexibility to be customized by the user. Android is a highly customizable system with roots in Linux and open source code that anyone can expand upon. On the flip side, iOS is a closed system and the average user will never know what tweaking its code would look like. Essentially, Android is excellent for those who like to experiment with or customize their devices, whereas iOS offers a simplified and uniform experience for all.

  • Calling and messaging options: It’s no secret that iMessages and FaceTime are killer iOS features. The ability to text and call via WiFi is extremely convenient. It's also an option Android devices don't offer.

  • Apps: Both Apple and Google have great app stores with around 1.6 million apps each. However, Android devices organize them in a much more efficient manner, allowing us to put important apps on the home screen and less important ones in the ‘drawer’. By contrast, iOS devices list all apps, regardless of importance, on the homepage.

  • Music: While Google Play Music is an excellent music-playing app, Apple’s Apple Music integrates extremely well with iTunes and allows you to synchronize your music to all Apple devices with ease.

  • Maps and directions: With native Google Maps on all Android devices, Android is the clear winner here. Google Maps is available on both iOS and Android, but Siri uses Apple’s ‘Maps’ app by default, which is considered slightly inferior to Google Maps.

  • Voice Assistant: While both Google Assistant and Siri are great in terms of functionality, Siri has the slight edge because of its more personable tone and ability to understand natural languages better than Android.

The "best" operating system clearly depends on what the users want from their devices. While Apple products offer a clean interface and easy communication across various devices, Android’s customizable and flexible operating system appeals to those who prefer a more personalized experience.