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(Pocket-lint) - It's a controversial topic, like asking a football fan to change teams. But when you're team has more money than anyone else in the league and it's still not innovating or entertaining, is changing team all that bad?

Apple hasn't really been innovating for quite some time. When was the last time you remember being truly excited about an Apple product? The first iPhone? The first iPad? The first MacBook Air? Perhaps with the Apple Watch creating a new category that will happen again soon. But right now Android is ruling innovation.

Apple's latest iOS 8.1 operating system adds features that Android came up with years ago. While Apple is arguably more stable, hence being slower, it's only just now opening its platform from the walled garden state. And even that's to make money from smarthome partnerships. Android isn't as open source as it used to be but at least it's innovating first.

So whether you're sick of that cracked iPhone screen, want to be able to swap out your battery on the go or just fancy a change we've got plenty of reasons to reassure you it's a good change to make.


The first and most obvious difference between iPhone and Android is the plethora of devices available with Android. Multiple manufacturers means competition, which brings about innovation and choice. It also drives prices down. As a result there are far more Android phones out there to choose from.

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Apple's latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus do offer size variation at last. Manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony have been improving a varying designs for sometime meaning there are plenty of features you can find that the iPhone just can't manage. Waterproofing, for example, is common on Android phones now with no sign of iPhone going that way so far.

Screen size

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen while the iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch display. But some want a larger, or smaller, screen with easier to use keyboard and more immersive browsing and movie watching experience. Samsung's Super AMOLED, for example, offers rich colours like nothing Apple has.

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There are even curved screen options for Samsung and LG, should that float your boat.


The battery in an iPhone is fixed with no option to swap it out. Sure there are plenty of chargers and cases for extra power but the iPhone is notorious for barley lasting a day on a charge. Not only does Android offer battery saving controls but most devices also let you carry a spare battery, costing about £10, which you can swap out.

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Android also allows users to close background tasks, turn on and off connections quickly (which Apple added only recently), control data exchanges, and clear RAM to help speed up the device while easing off on the battery. In the case of Sony each app can be controlled to save battery, or with Samsung the Ultra Power Saving Mode offers a day's use when down to 10 per cent battery.

Display quality

The Retina display was great when it first came out on the iPhone 4, but that was four years ago now. And at 300ppi at launch it's only managed to reach 401ppi now. Android phones, with larger screens like the LG G3's 5.5-inch screen, offer a whopping 534ppi.

Manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and LG all make TV and specialise in building their own panels. In fact they make a lot of screens for iPhones. But the greatest developments live in the Android phones with Super AMOLED in Samsung, HD-IPS+ LCD on LG and Bravia on Sony. All of these things result in crisp, colourful and clear screens at larger sizes than the iPhone.

Flexible operating system

Android started out as open source. Over the years this has become less the case as Google tightens its grip. But Apple has used a closed wall developer scenario from the outset with every app needing approval from Apple before release.

While this method ensured a smooth running iPhone with perfectly working apps, it meant censorship and ultimate control of Apple. This is starting to change in iOS 8.1 in order for the iPhone to work with the smarthome and all its gadgets. But Android is still way ahead.

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Almost anything you can think of that you'd want to do with an Android phone will have an app for it. Sure it might be a little glitchy at times if you're an early adopter but it will free you up to do what you want and, usually, a better version will appear soon after. Want to use Apple's Air Drop on an Android phone? There's an app for that, because it's open. The other way around isn't so free.

Money saving

Apple is expensive. That's why it's the richest company in the world. Sure it makes high quality products but it also makes huge profits on every device. And, frankly, with the number of broken iPhone screens we see everyday, we're starting to doubt that build quality is as good as the Apple name used to represent.

That all said Android can be the same with plastic Samsung handsets. But at least Android has cheaper options. Apple does have the 5C plastic model, which still isn't that affordable at £319. Android phones like the Motorola Moto E offers decent specs for just £89.


Many handsets on the Android market need to offer unique selling points to compete with the others out there. For this reasons there's plenty on offer including heart rate sensors, fingerprint readers, eye trackers and even smart Knock Code unlocking.

Granted a lot of these rarely get used. But as smart health tracking becomes more a part of everyday life Android will be ahead of the curve on developing these sensors with accuracy and low power consumption.

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Smart watches

While Apple will release its Watch next year, it's currently slipping behind. Sony has had several generations of smartwatch and Samsung now offers its own Gear, the Gear Live for Android Wear and the Gear Fit for activity tracking.

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Lots of developmental head worn displays are also Android friendly like Google Glass or the Vuzix M100 smartglasses. Apple is yet to show love for embracing these cutting-edge technologies, although when the Apple Watch launches that may all change since Android Wear still leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Smart cases

A simple thing like a hole in a flip case front seems minor. But it was a great idea from Samsung that's caught on and can be found on several Android devices now.

The smart cases offer at a glance information like time, date and notifications. This also means the phone doesn't need to fully power up the screen, ultimately saving battery and protecting the screen.

TV platforms

Android is starting to appear in areas outside of mobiles, including TVs. Philips has created a TV with an Android operating system. So for those with an Android phone the transition should be easy as should sharing content from mobile to the big screen.

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While Apple has been rumoured to be entering the TV market with a screen of its own all we've seen so far is Apple TV and its various updates. While is does help for viewing content on an iPhone it is still that walled Apple experience so playing other files or access third-party apps is not so easy.

READ: Philips TV powered by Android: Why these could be the smartest 4K UHD TVs yet

Writing by Luke Edwards. Originally published on 8 August 2014.