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apple-android-520x346.jpgAndroid Is a Smarter Mobile OS Choice Than iOS: Some Reasons Why?

Android and iOS are in a battle for outright dominance in the mobile business. However, these days, it appears that things aren't going too well for Apple. According to the latest market-share data for the fourth quarter of 2012, Android was able to capture 70.1 percent of the smartphone space. Apple's iOS trailed far behind with about 21 percent market share. Android's success is due mainly to its strong sales uptick internationally as well the many device options on the market. But Apple's iOS is still viewed as an equal option to many customers. But should iOS be held in such high regard? Apple's platform is certainly well-built, and its security is top-notch. But deciding to go with an Apple iOS-based device over Android isn't always the best option. As nice as the iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini might be they can fall short in comparison to their hardware competitors in some respects. Although Apple's software is a high-quality product, it lacks many of the features customers might find in Android. These days more than ever, a solid argument can be made for choosing an Android-based device over one running iOS. Here's why.

More Hardware Options Are Always Nice

Although Apple has done a better job of getting hardware to customers with its three iPhone options and two iPads, Android is still far ahead. There are literally hundreds of products available for customers who want to run an Android device. And many of them work quite well.

Open Source Matters Quite A Bit

The idea of open source is often forgotten when determining Android's value, but it's an important consideration, nonetheless. Because Android is open-source, vendors can create their own experiences on top of the operating system. Some enterprising users can modify Android to customize their own software experience. It's a great thing that Apple doesn't tolerate.

Pick a Carrier, Any Carrier

Although Apple has steadily increased the availability of its iPhone and iPad, the company is far behind Android when it comes to carrier availability. Any carrier major or regional is carrying Android devices. In many ways, Android is about choice and options. And that should matter.

Near-Field Communication

Near-field communication, achieved primarily through Google Wallet and data transfers, is something that has been a huge selling point for the Samsung Galaxy S III. However, Apple's iOS doesn't support near-field communication or mobile payments. It's a huge omission.

Multi-User Support

With Google's latest Android Jelly Bean launch, the company delivered something sorely lacking in iOS: multiple user support. That means that one person can log in to the handset, log out and then allow another person to get in without changing anything on the previous username. Multi-user support might not be a huge selling point, but it's one that matters to many customers—especially enterprise users.

No App Advantage

There was a time when the App Store was the supreme marketplace for mobile programs. But now that Google Play's growth has skyrocketed, that offering is about even with Apple's. So, don't expect to find anything in iOS that doesn't have its own Android alternative.

No Apple Control Over Apps

Speaking of apps, Apple has been criticized for having too much control over what's acceptable and what's not allowed in its App Store. Although Google does vet apps in the Play store to some degree, its policies are by no means as onerous. In other words, you'll find many more apps in Google Play that you won't necessarily find in the App Store.

A Device the Fits Into Any Buyer's Budget

Price matters in the mobile space. That's why Apple is selling three iPhones that range from free to $399 with a two-year contract. However, in the Android ecosystem, there are far more price points for customers to chose from. There are free Android-based handsets, but there are also products on sale for $50, $100 and $200. High-end products might hit $300. Android delivers broad choices for customers looking for the right price.

It Goes Beyond Tablets and Smartphones

If all the other reasons aren't enough to get you to opt for Android, perhaps you should consider this: The operating system is running on products other than tablets and smartphones. Android is now available in cars, refrigerators and several other products. More importantly, Android devices can easily communicate with others. So if you want a truly connected living environment, Android delivers.

Article Courtesy of E-Week.
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