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Apple and Android are engaged in a no holds barred fight to the finish. This war is being fought on two fronts. First, it is for the mind and wallet of customers. Second is in the courts of law, where Samsung symbolises the Android platform.

For now, Androids sell more but Apple scores higher in snob value. Both have fanatical followers and haters.

Display and office assistant

Android offers larger screens. But its third-party voice control apps are no match for Apple’s Siri, which can understand and process more complex commands.

All Android models have the advantage that they accept an SD card, which allows expanded storage.

Google maps are native to Android and better in quality. Android also scores better on traffic information and customisation. It also gives verbal directions. The difference is crystal clear if you consider the fact that Apple sacked senior vice president of iOS software, Sott Forstall, for the maps debacle.

Music and video

Apple wins on photo and video quality. It also has a larger library of songs. But Android supports Flash and so you can watch all online videos. Then there are free software options that sync iTunes with Android.

Apps

Android is open-source so majority of apps are not only free, but also more innovative and advanced. However, Apple does offer nearly twice the number of apps.

But then, most of the popular Apple games or their adaptations are available in the Android market, and for free. Apple apps are simple to use and often specialised. Also, iPhone customers can use a process called jail-breaking to run apps not authorised by Apple.

Transferring data

The iPhone integrates seamlessly with iTunes. This makes syncing music, applications, and preferences easier. A customer using Android has to sync manually by clicking and dragging files onto the phone as the programs developed by a third-party.

Hardware and performance

Many phone manufacturers use Android operating system. This translates into wider range of phones to choose from for the customers. The iPhone is made by one company, and users have no choice over the number and level of features on the phone.

It is tougher to optimise Android’s performance for a particular phone because it caters to multiple hardware vendors. As for Apple, heavy optimisations are possible. Thus, despite less raw power, iPhone usually outperforms Android rivals. But Androids provide better bang for the bucks.

OS language and developers

Android OS mostly useava, which makes life easier for developers. Apple uses the more exclusive Objective-C language. Only developers already familiar in C and C++ can write apps for it. Android is a multitasker’s delight but that creates a problem for amateur developers. Also, the multiplicity of versions adds to the developer’s problems.

Apple, on the other hand, is exclusive and specifies limits for developers. However, it is choosier and takes more time in clearing apps. Apple OS updates are faster. When Google releases an Android update, manufacturers may take months to upgrade their phones to the latest version as they often heavily customise user interface.