Android vs. Apple iOS – The Great Debate

This week, we're having ourselves a show down to compare the world's most-known operating systems. That's right, we're deciding Android vs. Apple iOS - the great debate.

Android vs. Apple

As you know, the Android vs. iOS debate continues to break the internet. And through it all, we're finding that the real test for app users and brands, boils down to Mobile App Security. 

How secure a mobile app is, determines how well it will do on the market. Plus with users becoming increasingly more aware of data breaches, they want to protect themselves from cyber threats.

One of the biggest factors for determining who's security is better depends on the operating system you choose.

Best Smartphone Security in 2022 

When it comes to security, iOS has always been the undisputed leader. This is thanks to its strict security guidelines. However, with the addition of Android Q in 2021, Google presents a glimmer of hope that it is on the brink of becoming a brand that people trust with their devices and personal information.

So does that mean 2022 will be the year Google's Android will emerge as the most secure of the Android vs. iOS ecosystems?

Let's go over some key factors to determine if so. 

Boot Up Process

As any Android App developer will tell you, the Android platform includes Linus Kernel and Inter-Process Communication facility security level. 

You get a verified boot guarantee because the platform is coded with Application Sandbox. Every stage gets cryptographic verification of the integrity of the next stage before it occurs.   

On the other side, iOS boots up with a Low-Level Bootloader or LLB, iOS kernel and iBoot. Apple Root CS Public Key mainly verifies LLB using Boot ROM program.

They do this to make sure that the iBoot Bootloader has been signed by Apple. That's when iBoot is able to verify and execute the iOS kernel. 

Updates for Security Software

Android provides monthly security updates on something they call The Security Bulletin. Even though Android releases these updates once a month, users are under no obligation to perform the update until they feel like it.

The option to disregard the update and continue to use the device in the same way problematically opens you up to greater chance of security breaches.

With Apple, they release numerous security updates all throughout the month. They make it a requirement to download the most recent security update. 

Touch and Face ID

Only recently, has Android begun to engage with manufacturers who offer Fingerprint Scanning options. 

Not with Apple. When it comes to biometric verification on their devices, Apple has always been very particular. And it's not just Touch ID. Apple is the first to introduce technologies like Iris Scan and Face ID. 

Hardware Integration 

Unlike Apple, Android app security is solely dependent on their hardware manufacturers. 

While some vendors make it a priority to ensure that all of Android's devices built-in security features are functioning properly, others may place a lower priority on it. 

Apple, on the other hand, has complete control over the security of its hardware. This makes it hard to believe Android stands a chance in security comparison. 

Device Fragmentation 

Basic fragmentation means that files are stored in various areas of memory throughout a hard disk. The more fragmentation there is, the more hacking and data breaches.

Apple minimizes the likelihood of an iOS app developer facing hacking issues by keeping both its devices and operating system versions on the lower fragmentation side.

This is not the case with Android. Both the number of device variants and OS versions are on the high side. The large number of fragments lends a breeding ground for hacks and breaches. 

App Store

Without question, Apple has more control over the apps that are submitted for approval. The company approves, rejects, and removes any app that does not meet its criteria. 

For a long time, Google neglected the importance of adhering to strict guidelines when approving Android apps. However, it has recently made significant progress to change that. 

Now, the approval process for the Play Store will be more extensive in order to test every aspect of the application thoroughly before allowing it to go live.

As you can see, there are plenty of differences between Apple and Android when it comes to security. With that being said, there are some specific factors we should care about. The major deal breakers in all this.

Market Place Security 

For Android, the market is the Play Store. The Play Store has a much larger selection than the App Store, which is both a benefit and a drawback. While the diversity provides Android users with a large number of options, it also provides hackers with more opportunities to leave malware.

Apple, on the other hand, monitors the App Store very closely. The level of scrutiny that each app must undergo does end up limiting the number of options available to users while reducing the threat of malware attacks.

So weigh that as you will, but the overall census gives the marketplace win to Apple. 

Platform Popularity 

Android, without a doubt, has a massive share of the global smartphone market. Apple is only the second best player by default. 

The more popular a platform becomes, the more users it attracts, and ultimately the more risk there is of a security breach.

Device Manufacturer Count 

If there is one thing that keeps Android behind Apple in terms of our 'Android vs. Apple iOS Security' debate, it's the hacks that are directly related to the amount of outside manufacturers. 

Different devices prioritize different security features, and it's impossible for Google to lay out a consistent set of protocols for all of its partners with thousands of devices.

Apple simply never has to face this issue because of the tight control they have over in-house device production.

Who Will Win?

Despite the fact that Google's Play Store Security is now available, the feedback of its device update is fairly negative.

With some of the biggest security breaches in the last year, 2022 has faster updates taking a prominent position. Android is already behind in the updates.

Apple, on the other hand, has been consistently improving their security year after year. Especially with its Touch ID and Face ID software, they are taking device security to the next level. 

Apple even takes measures to encrypt all data in iMessage and other Apple apps. While Android encrypts some data, users' privacy is safeguarded only to a limited degree. 

Despite the fact that Android will be adding new security features in 2022, iOS might very well win the Android versus iOS app security comparison again this year.

Overall the security of the Android vs iOS debate rests on the users. It's your devices that need to be protected overall, so take some steps into your own hands.

Here's some things I would tell my own clients to remember: 

  • Use the app stores that are native to your device
  • Don't install an app unless you've verified it's safety
  • Update the OS versions when they become available
  • Set up a remote wiping facility
  • Turn on Muti-Factor Authentication

Check out our blog post on Mobile Device Threats you should be aware of

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