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Both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems are very popular among smartphone users and mobile application developers nowadays. Any smartphone user can select a platform that corresponds to his/her needs and preferences better. Apple announced iOS 6th version recently and its obvious competitor is Android’s latest announced Jelly Bean version. The purpose of the given paper is to provide an overview of both platforms, to describe their advantages and disadvantages and to define current market share, which belongs to each of the mobile operating system.

An overview of iOS and Android mobile platforms

 Currently iOS is stronger in terms of games and consumer applications, while Android dominates at the enterprise market. Android is a multi-vendor OS, whereas iOS completely belongs to Apple.

Apple announced its own Google-free map solution, whereas Android smartphones use Google maps that are well known and easy to use. On the other hand, Apple’s latest voice service, Siri, is also used for the navigation purposes as integrated navigation voice commands. In the Android Jelly Bean voice recognition will get a significant update: it will recognize voice input even while the user is offline.

 Both platforms are integrated with Facebook, however iOS traditionally has wider variety of integration features. Android has built in Google+ account synchronization which is great for people who use this social network.

Android has integrated Chrome Beta web browser with safe and handy Google accounts synchronization, but iOS seems to be faster and more convenient for some users with its Safari browser and the latest iCloud Tabs in iOS 6.

Apple has been recently adding new features and improvements, mostly related to the convenience of the user during a call, such as SMS reply option for rejected calls, a new “Do not disturb” mode etc. But it is rather catching up with Android, than implementing the innovation. However, similar Google features are not the part of Android’s core. In order to get the most of it, one needs to have Google Voice service subscription, which is available not in all countries. Additionally, Android lacks the “Do not disturb” mode.

“Apple delivers a unified mobile OS for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, whereas Google has two Android tracks: one for tablets and one for smartphones”.

As to the mobile payments, it appears that Apple has not much to offer, unlike Android Google wallet that however has only one mobile payment partner - Sprint.

Among the cons of both mobile OS is the lack of dynamic application icons.

Both OS has a lot of similar features, such as media streaming, video and voice chats, instant messaging ability, various call features etc.

Market share

According to Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst at IDC, “the mobile OS market is now unquestionably a two-horse race due to the dominance of Android and iOS”.

Google Android has increased its market share by 1.4% and has 52.2% of market share in total. Thus Android is currently ranked as the top smartphone platform. Apple’s iOS share is 33.4% of the mobile OS market.

“Google’s smartphone platform shipped on 68.1% of all smartphones sold during the second quarter of the 2012 year. In total, Android's market presence grew more than 106% year-over-year” (Reed B., 2012). Apple’s iOS possesses the second place and increased shipments by 27.5% in the 2nd quarter of 2012.

Role of developers in creating applications for iOS and Android

Mobile application developers create new applications that can work under either of mobile OS. Their role is significant for the technical innovations, functionality improvements and creation of more user friendly system interface.

The programming language used in Android OS is Java, and as the common language used by developers worldwide, it makes creating a code easier. “The iPhone OS uses Apple’s Objective-C language, which can mostly be unraveled by app developers who are already familiar with C and C++”.

The significant meaning has multi-platform applications development.  However the tools for multi-platform development are not always effective for the displaying original information on another mobile OS. Cross-platforming particularly becomes a challenge for mobile game developers. In most cases the only reliable solution is to rewrite the mobile application in the original language of the device.

Android developers are allowed to use open development platforms and third-party tools which provide a space for their creativity.

Apple has more restrictions and rules for the mobile developers, who only have a fixed set of tools.

Developer account costs $100 annually with Apple, while with Android its only $25 one-time fee. Publishing an application to the Android Market takes about one minute, whereas an iPhone application developer has to wait for about a week until the application gets approved.


Both the Google Android OS and the Apple iOS have their own pros and cons. Both are equally strong competitors and tend to rule the mobile applications market. The winner among two platforms is not obvious since people have different preferences and needs that stipulate their usage of one platform over the other.

Apple’s iOS will now have Facebook integration, Google has its own Google Play music store, and both platforms have the number of mobile applications, compatible with the OS, increased recently.

Major disadvantages are: iOS still doesn’t support flash, and Android is still less secure than iOS, but is more customizable.

Code: Sample20

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