Android vs iOS: the battle for business: Apple releases iOS 10.3

iphone android

The big question: which is better, Android or iOS? With Microsoft continually failing to make Windows Mobile a success, the two big choices in the mobile game are Apple and Google.

But since smartphones are such an essential part of life these days, you need to make sure that whichever one you choose is right for you. From visual design to apps, we put the two mobile operating system titans head to head.

Android vs iOS Latest News


Apple releases iOS 10.3

Apple has launched the iOS 10.3 update for iPhones and iPads, making the operating system faster than its predecessor.

Although there's not a whole lot to report from the latest version of iOS, Apple engineer Renaud Lienhart‏ tweeted: “iOS 10.3 feels ‘snappier’ because many animations were slightly tweaked & shortened, for the better", showing that off as the major new change Apple users will experience.

The new animations are most evident when you open, close or switch between apps. Another factor that will make iOS 10.3 seem faster is a new file system Apple has added, making it faster to read and write speeds to the disk inside iPhones and iPads. Although you won't be able to see this is operation as you can with the new animations, you should start noticing a faster experience.

iOS 10.3 also irons out a number of bugs found in iOS 10.2 and adds a few other funky features including Find My EarPods, updates to CarPlay, hourly weather forecasts in Maps and a new Podcast widget.

One not-so-exciting feature of iOS 10.3 is it takes a long time to update and although the file size is only 600MB, users are saying it takes a lot longer to install compared to previous versions.


Android bearing down on Windows

Android is closing in on Windows as the most popular operating system for internet use, according to the latest data from StatCounter.

The analytics firm's 2017 statistics found that, despite Windows remaining the most-used OS with 38.6% of the global market, Android has closed the gap considerably with a 37.4% share.

The data incorporates internet usage information from laptop, desktop, mobile and tablet platforms -- and marks an astonishing rise for Android.

"The idea of Android almost matching Windows would have been unthinkable five years ago," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO at StatCounter. "In January 2012, Windows held 82% global internet usage share compared to just 2.2% for Android."

Cullen attributes Android's rise to the growth of smartphones and their increased access to the internet -- as well as a "slowdown" in PC sales and Asia's impact on the global market.

In Asia, Android commanded a majority 51.8% share of the market in February - with Windows notching up just 29.8%.

Android's share in North America, however, was considerably lower with just 20.3%. Windows and iOS both held larger shares, achieving 40.7% and 24.9% respectively.

Europe painted a similar picture, with Windows' 51.8% share more than double that of Android's 23.5%.


iOS 10.2.1 reduces shutdown bug incidents

Apple says its iOS 10.2.1 update has significantly addressed the unexpected shutdown issues that have been plaguing a number of iPhone models.

The bug has affected a number iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus handsets, causing screens to go dark without warning. The only way for affected users to turn their device back on was to connect the handset to a power supply.

The shutdown issue was caused by older iPhone batteries delivering power to the smartphone unevenly. Now, however, Apple says its latest iOS update has reduced the number of these incidents by 80%.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Apple said: "With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone."

Apple says over half of all iPhone users are now using the latest iOS update - and the company has now collected information about its effectiveness against the bug.

"iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we've received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we're seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down," Apple added.

The tech giant also says users can now restart their iPhone "without needing to connect to power" should they continue to experience the bug.

"It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue," the company concluded, "but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare."


Battery issue persists with iOS 10

The latest iOS 10.2 update allegedly failed to fix an iPhone battery drain problem - with some even reporting the update has made the bug worse.

The issue appeared to surface last month when iPhone 6s users began reporting that their handsets would shut down upon reaching the 30% charge mark.

Users of other iPhone models are also now having the same issue, according to Forbes, and are unable to revert to the iOS version they had been using before updating to 10.2.

Apple Support Communities user ricardo jb explained: "iOS 10.2 actually made the problem worse. The battery percentage seems to get stuck at some level for a while, even with battery draining apps such as Pokemon Go running, then it drops different percentages at different moments, it's really random."

Apple is apparently working on solving the battery drain problem and, with iOS 10.2.1 now in beta, some testers have already reported improvements.

User hko2333 offered some encouraging feedback in the Support Communities, saying: "My iPhone 6 is on 11% now and should've died. It has drained fast but it seems like it doesn't die at 30-50% anymore."

Channel Pro approached Apple for comment but had not received a reply at the time of publication.


iOS boosts market share

Apple's iOS recorded its highest rate of growth for two years, according to the latest quarterly figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The operating system grew year-on-year across most regions, with the exception of Germany and urban China, research revealed.

Data for the quarter ending October 2016 also showed that Japan was the region in which iOS had the greatest market share (51.7%) - followed by Great Britain (44%) and the United States (40.5%).

Kantar further added that iOS's US market share jumped 7% year-over-year (from its previous total of 33.5%) - marking its highest percentage since January 2015 (42.8%).

While Android achieved similar growth to iOS globally, its share in the US fell by 5.6% - the fifth consecutive year of decline.

Android does, however, remain the dominant operating system in the country with 57.9% of all smartphone sales.

"Android remains the dominant ecosystem, topping 75% across much of the globe, the excepted regions being those with markets most focused on premium devices, chiefly the US, Great Britain and Japan," concluded Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director at Kantar World Panel.

"This is not a surprise, nor should it be, as Android's business model provides consumers with a variety of brands and price points from which to choose," Guenveur added.

"It's unlikely that any other OS will ever reach this level of penetration. But the apparent lopsided market share figures are not a reason for doubting the strength or future of the position held by Apple's iOS. While Android dominates in terms of the raw number of devices it powers, Apple remains the most desirable smartphone brand in the world."


iOS 10.1 causes battery drain

Apple’s latest iOS update is causing battery life to drain suddenly, users have claimed.

On Apple’s Support forum, users have been reporting that their devices suddenly shut down once the battery reaches 30 percent.

The problem surfaced upon release of iOS 10.1 and has remained an issue since. The subsequent rollout of iOS 10.1.1 – designed to correct an existing Apple Health data issue - did not address the bug, either.

User Mjolcresure explained: “Updated my iPhone 5 to iOS 10.1 and have been having battery problems.

“It jumps from 30% charge to 1% in a few seconds then shut down. Now here is the stranger part.

“As soon as it reboots after connecting to a charger it shows 30% charge. When I unplug it right away it still shows 30% and runs like nothing happened for a good few hours.

“So it goes from zero charge to 30% in the time it takes to reboot? Strange.”

The user also added that they have been having another issue when turning off their device. They wrote: “Shutting down the phone at night with a good 80% charge, it won’t reboot in the morning due to no battery charge. I plug it in and it’s back to 30% in a few seconds.”

Other users are also reporting that iOS 10.1.1 has still not solved an existing audio issue, according to Tech Times.

The problem, which surfaced back in September, causes no sound to be heard when making and answering phone calls – and affects both the phone speaker and EarPods. Other iPhone owners claim the problem also affects their speakerphone.


iOS and Android updates roll out

Both Apple and Google have rolled out updates for their respective mobile operating systems.

Apple's update - iOS 10.1 - includes several bug fixes and new features -- and also marks the launch of the much-anticipated 'Portrait' mode for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The addition of Portrait mode will mean users can utilise the device's dual cameras in order to take photos in which the background is blurred out (also known as bokeh).

The Verge notes that the new feature is still in beta, however, and that "early examples of Portrait mode's results seem pretty hit and miss".

Also included in version 10.1 is a fix for a bug that prevented iTunes music from syncing to the Apple Watch - as well as Bluetooth connectivity improvements.

Google is also rolling out a new Android Nougat update for developers - with the updated OS to follow for all users at a later date.

Android 7.1 includes a new 'night mode', custom shortcuts for application functions, a quick restart tool and a host of new emojis.

Google says that memory management is also improved, with Nougat now allowing users to select several applications and delete them in one swift command. Compatibility with Google's virtual reality platform - Daydream - is also now included.

Owners of the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Pixel C devices are the first to be offered Nougat 7.1, with further handsets to be added in November.

Users can update to 7.1 by signing up to Google's Android Beta Program.


iOS 10 surpasses iOS 9

Apple's iOS 10 is now running on more devices than iOS 9, research from Mixpanel reveals (via AppleInsider).

The research firm found that adoption of the latest operating system stood at 55.29 percent as of Friday, 30 September - two days after surpassing its predecessor's share.

In comparison, iOS 9 trailed behind on 43.8 percent and older iterations of iOS collectively dropped to a lowly 4.71 percent.

AppleInsider also reported that AppLovin similarly finds iOS 10 enjoying a 55 percent share.

Mixpanel had also previously revealed that iOS 10 could be found on 14 percent of devices just a day after it launched - growing to 33.64 percent a week later.

The figures do not quite reach the impressive rate of adoption that iOS 9 achieved when it was launched last year, however, when Apple's previous OS was found to be running on 50 percent of devices just four days after its debut.

Official figures are yet to be revealed by Apple, with the company yet to update its iOS statistics on its Developer support page.

However, the company has now released the latest beta version of the operating system for the iPhone and iPad - iOS 10.1 public beta 2.

Among numerous new tweaks and fixes, the beta also includes some new features, such as the Portrait camera for the iPhone 7 Plus.

This mode makes use of the 7 Plus handset's dual-lens setup, creating a photo effect that mimics high-quality DSLR cameras.

Users can sign up and download iOS 10 public beta 2 through Apple's website.


iOS 10 release date announced

Apple has announced that iOS 10 will be released on Tuesday 13th September.

The operating system will be available to users of the iPhone 5 and later, iPad Mini 2 and later and 6th-generation iPods and upwards.

The update is already available for public beta testers, however, with Apple having already released the iOS 10 golden master build (GM). This is likely to be the same software that will roll out to general users next week – providing no major bugs are found.

The latest iteration of Apple’s OS was unveiled at Apple’s developer conference back in June, where various major updates were announced.

One of the biggest improvements is Siri: the digital assistant will now be able to perform tasks such as transcribing voicemails, writing text messages and enhanced image searching.

With Apple opening the assistant up to developers, users will also be able to send messages in third-party apps and even book services (such as Uber) using their voice.

The user interface has been given a refresh, with the expansion of widgets and 3D Touch elements providing extra functionality. Apple’s built-in apps also receive a refresh.

Other new features include a Universal Clipboard that enables users to copy images and text from an iPhone to another Apple device (such as a Mac), a ‘raise-to-wake’ feature that displays the lock screen and notifications when the device is raised and the ability to delete built-in iPhone apps.

The release of iOS 10 follows the arrival of the latest iteration of the Android operating system – Nougat.

Released in August, Android Nougat features a host of improvements over its predecessor - including multiple-window support, refreshed notifications, improved battery life and support for Java 8.


iOS 9.3.3 released

Apple has now released iOS 9.3.3 to its device users.

The latest update becomes the third for iOS 9 since 9.3 made its debut back in March 2016. The update has been in testing since May 23 and five beta versions have previously been released to developers and beta testers, according to Mac Rumors.

Now iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users can download iOS 9.3.3 over-the-air or via iTunes.

The original iOS 9.3 release (March) marked a significant revamp – adding features such as Touch ID for Notes, a new Health app and Night Shift amongst others.

Being a smaller update, iOS 9.3.3 focuses mainly on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements.

Forbes notes that while Apple has not disclosed which bug fixes are included with this update, some of the fixes have been reported on the Apple Support Forums.

One issue that appears to have been resolved is the blank space where the Beats 1 logo should have been within the Music app.

Some users have, however, reported that they have had issues with battery life, Bluetooth and Apple Music since updating to 9.3.3, according to Forbes.

Major updates and design overhauls are set to arrive in September when Apple releases iOS 10 (alongside MacOS).

Announced at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference 2016 (WWDC), features will include a new lock screen with widgets, increased Siri functionality, voicemail transcription and a HomeKit app that comes pre-installed on devices.

Amongst others, Apple music, News, Photos and Maps will also see major improvements as part of the new operating system.


10m Android devices hit by Chinese malware

More than 10m Android devices have been infected by Chinese malware HummingBad, according to CNET.

Citing findings from cybersecurity software firm Check Point, the website reports that May saw a sharp spike in the number of devices affected.

According to Check Point, the group behind the malware is a team of developers at Yingmob – an “otherwise legitimate” advertising analytics agency in Beijing.

The software maker stated in its analysis: “Yingmob has several teams developing legitimate tracking and ad platforms.

“The team responsible for developing the malicious components is ‘The Development Team for Overseas Platform’ which includes four groups with a total of 25 employees.”

HummingBad was first discovered in February and started as a “drive-by download attack” – triggered when people visited certain websites, reports CNET.

Check Point explained: “The first component attempts to gain root access on a device with [a] rootkit that exploits multiple vulnerabilities.

“If successful, attackers gain full access to a device. If rooting fails, a second component uses a fake system update notification, tricking users into granting HummingBad system-level permissions.”

Once the malware has gained this access, it proceeds to fraudulently generate advertising revenue via ad-clicking and the forced download of apps.

According to Check Point, this revenue could be as high as $300,000 per month.

The analysis also goes on to state that threats posed by malware such as HummingBad do not stop there.

Check Point said in a blog post: “Yingmob and groups like it can focus on honing their skill sets to take malware campaigns in entirely new directions, a trend Check Point researchers believe will escalate.

“For example, groups can pool device resources to create powerful botnets, they can create databases of devices to conduct highly-targeted attacks, or they can build new streams of revenue by selling access to devices under their control to the highest bidder.”


Hardware choice

Unlike PC operating systems, it’s very difficult for users to switch a phone’s OS for an alternative. For most people, this means that they’ll make their decision based on the hardware, and simply take whichever operating system the device comes pre-packaged with.

If you’re dead set on a particular OS though, this means you’ll have to limit your choice, particularly in the case of Apple. The company’s full smartphone release cycle – including both standard and ‘s’ model iPhones – comprises just four devices at present.

Android, by contrast, has absolutely heaps of choice. Google’s software runs on everything from barebones budget handsets to the very finest in top-shelf premium Apple contenders, so you’re guaranteed to find an Android phone to suit your needs.

Apple is slightly more varied in its tablet portfolio. Containing the iPad Air, the iPad Mini and now the iPad Plus, users now have an adequate sufficiency of form-factors and performance levels from which to choose.

Of course, Apple still can’t match Android for choice, but it’s not quite as clear-cut as with its phones. While there is still a substantial range of Android tablets, again spanning various price points, there are few we like as much as the iPad range.

Visual Design

Art, beauty and aesthetics are admittedly in the eye of the beholder, but we think you’d be hard-pressed to argue that Apple has been consistently nailing the visual appearance of its software for years.

iOS’ rounded app icons set an industry standard that has yet to be challenged or equalled. Each successive redesign of Apple’s stock apps inevitably heralds a wave of ‘me-too’ updates as companies rush to fit in with the iOS design language.

It’s not hard to see why. iOS 9 looks clean and crisp, with attractively minimalist sensibilities. The frosted glass of the drop-down menus also lends the software an edge of class.

None of which is to say that Google’s Material Design is bad, however. It also has minimalist elements, although the bold primary colours adopted in recent years are less understated than Apple’s palette choices.


iOS and Android both have some excellent features, and in many ways are now neck and neck with each other. The release of Android Marshmallow and iOS 9 has brought features to both that the respective competitor had been sporting for years.

Android, for example, now natively supports fingerprint readers. It’s also introduced individual app permissions, meaning an app won’t request specific permissions unless it needs them. If you only use Skype for messaging, then the app won’t ask to use the camera or microphone.

iOS has had a similar system for ages, but on the other hand, it’s taken a leaf out of Google’s book and given Siri a turbo-charge. It’s now much more context-aware, and can recognise what you’re looking at on the screen and relate it to your question.

This has been compared to Google Now, which has added even deeper context-awareness with Marshmallow, and the introduction of Google Now On Tap. By long-pressing the home button, users can summon Google now to ask it natural, relevant questions, like ‘how old is he?’ when watching a film, or ‘how far is it?’ when looking at a restaurant.

iOS 9 has introduced split-screen functionality for iPads, too. Select Android devices have had this feature for a while and it’s included with Marshmallow, but Apple is the first to roll it out as standard. It’s also made improvements to the keyboard, which can be used as a trackpad for controlling the text cursor – ideal for editing longer documents, and a feature we wish Android adopted.

Both OS’ now have mobile payment systems built-in, in the form of Android Pay and Apple Pay, respectively.

Broadly speaking, neither operating system has objectively better features than the other. Android has more fine-grained options for customisation, but iOS feels like a slightly more polished user experience.


As Microsoft has found out to its cost, an operating system lives and dies on its apps. For a while, Android was the poor relation in terms of software, with major apps and updates coming to the Google Play store after a months after the App Store, if at all.

Thankfully, Android development has now caught up with iOS, and both feature well-stocked app stores, including games and entertainment as well as office and productivity apps.

Google also consistently trounces Apple in its range of first-party apps. While Apple’s offerings are functional enough, Google’s Drive, Calendar, Docs and Maps software is leagues ahead in terms of quality and ease-of-use. The addition of Apple’s News app to iOS 9, however, indicates that they may be on the right track.


These days, it’s all about the connected lifestyle. One of the biggest features of our various devices is the way they all interface with one another, placing them in a wider ecosystem.

Google has been continuously building up its offering in this area for years, and the Chrome/Android platform is now one of the finest examples of connected cloud ecosystems around. With one account, users can access their office apps, cloud storage, calendars, contacts and web history, regardless of which device their using.

Apple is getting better at this, and iOS 9 introduced some much-needed synchronisation features between iOS and OSX devices. However, they’ve still got a long way to go if they want to beat Google’s web of interconnected services.


iOS has many points to recommend it – the experience is slick, Apple Pay and split-screen view are great features, and it looks fantastic. However, the fact remains that no-one buys a phone for the operating system (as Mozilla found out to its cost), and it’s impossible to divorce the software from the hardware.

With that in mind, it's hard to recommend iOS over Android. While Apple's devices are undeniably top shelf, Google’s OS is simply untouchable when it comes to breadth of choice. From budget essentials to premium quality handsets, Android has something to suit every taste and price point, all backed up with capable and well-designed software.

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.