Android users: how does App quality compare to iOS?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by petvas, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I think the title says it all. How are Android apps compared to iOS apps? Should I expect similar quality or not? What I have seen so far on the Internet isn't that much encouraging..
    I am getting an HTC One M8 tomorrow and I plan to test it for a week and compare it with my iPhone 5S....
    I will probably sent it back, but I am interested to see what Android is doing and how it has evolved. App quality and availability is important, so this will be one of the things that I will be checking this week..
  2. Dontazemebro macrumors 68020


    Jul 23, 2010
    I dunno, somewhere in West Texas
    Really not much of a difference to be honest. Unless we're talking about Tablets.
  3. petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    No, I am referring to phones. I have read a lot of bad things about Android apps. I also saw that many popular apps and games come very late to Android..
    I am not exactly someone that will download and use that many apps, but I need a specific set of apps and that must be of top quality..
    Tomorrow I will begin testing the HTC One M8 and will compare it with my iPhone 5S. I will post a comparison video and my initial thoughts here in this forum..
    I am an Apple fan but got tired of iOS, maybe because it just works...We will see how it goes I guess..
  4. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    dont have problems with any of the phone apps i use

    fifa 14 has multiplayer on ios but not android
    probably my biggest issue, personally
  5. Dontazemebro macrumors 68020


    Jul 23, 2010
    I dunno, somewhere in West Texas
    Between my iPhone 5s and Note 3, I have every app available on both platforms with no hitch. Some features were slow to arrive to the Android counterpart but eventually they made it over like notifications on the Chase bank app or feed on Tapatalk. Don't believe everything you hear.
  6. xjosh macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My experience has been that like any app store, you're going to have a lot of crap that is poorly written and that doesn't really highlight the platform's strengths and then there are apps that are well written.

    The apps I've used for the most part have been good, but I have run into some that were POS.
  8. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    I bought a M8 on release day and sold my 5S 6 hours later. Have all my apps i had on my 5S and there is some great apps that suit android that you couldn't use on iOS. Good luck.
  9. p3ntyne macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    I just switched to android (nexus 5) from an iPhone 4S and I find the app quality pretty similar - some are better on android, some better on iOS and some the same. It all depends on the developer.
  10. Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    Yes if only we Android users could afford an iPhone we wouldn't have to put up with this.
  11. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    Same or better. I say better as in many cases the numerous benefits of Android OS over iOS shine through giving you greater capabilities such as save as, printing with ease, etc. Otherwise, in terms of appearance and functionality they are the same.
    The days of 2009-2010 are long gone. If you're still reading discouraging things then my guess is the dates of those posts and factoids is quite old. The only app I miss is Motion X Drive, a great GPS System. Otherwise, every single app of the hundreds I had on my iPhone were on Android when I switched.

    My guess is the only thing you'll find better on the 5s is the camera.

    I will probably sent it back, but I am interested to see what Android is doing and how it has evolved. [/QUOTE]

    I've owned several iPhones and moved to a Note 3 last fall. I can say I'll likely never go back. IMO the newer larger size iPhones will be a bit hit but the overall functionality of iOS will still be the biggest hold-back in terms of it being a great device.


    Sarcasm I hope....
  12. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Buy a decent android handset and this is not the case. Attempt to run them on the myriad of low end budget android handsets and this can be true, but in any event it's not the app but the hardware.
  13. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Do us all a favor. Wait until your phone gets here and make up your own mind.

    I have read for years on this site how iOS apps were supposedly superior even though the data showed that it is iOS's apps made iOS crash more often than Android.

    I am not sure what everyone is doing with their phone and their apps, but you can usually find what you need on either platform
  14. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I haven't had any issues with apps on my One (M7).
  15. 0000757 macrumors 68040

    Dec 16, 2011
    Only thing is that I think iOS apps are more elegant. See: Tumblr, Facebook, Spotify.
  16. HiDEF macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2010
    Miami, FL
    iOS apps are a bit more polished than Android but nonetheless, Android developers are stepping their game up.
  17. Espeonia macrumors member


    Sep 10, 2013
    For the most part, apps between android and iOS are basically the same. The only major one I've noticed that's different is skype. On android, you can quote and the organization is more in line with the desktop program; the iOS app is its own thing, with less functionality.
  18. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    What are the apps? That would allow everyone to help better.

    As for requiring certain apps, we've all been there. For example, before the iPhone came out, I was dependent on having a Slingplayer app for watching video over the air. I could not switch until iOS got the same ability.

    Nowadays, I use the same primary apps on both iOS and Android... everything from Flipboard to Mint to eBay. There'll about the same now, but again it depends on what you need. For example, iOS has no widgets, so if an Android user likes those, they don't have any comparable iOS choices.
  19. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    No difference at all to be honest. In fact Alot are better depending on what available
  20. Wide opeN macrumors 6502a

    Wide opeN

    Aug 27, 2010
    Even though Android has stepped up it's game tremendously, and iOS can get boring at times, the quality of apps on iOS is generally much better than that of its Android counterparts.

    BGR is a joke on Android. Suntrust, laggy as heck on Android. Chrome, simply can't match the coding of Safari. Pandora, laughable on Android, with it big wall of massive artist, with no headers or breaks.

    I have the Galaxy S5 and a brand new galaxy gear right now, RIGHT NOW, and I'm about to take them back, because I just can't stand how the little things on Android make for a SECOND RATE experience.

    iOS, even though it can be stale, simply works and delivers a FIRST CLASS experience, APPS and all.

    The initial newness of the GS5 has already worn out, and I can't wait to take it back to the store today.
  21. Lloydbm41 macrumors 601


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    If you are an app person, meaning if you live in specific apps and need that content, then iOS is probably for you. This is also true in the sense that apps come to, and are refreshed first, on iOS (in 9 out of 10 cases anyway).

    If you operate outside of specific apps and in a more agnostic ecosystem, like say using the notification center and Google Apps for almost everything you do, then Android is probably the better fit, simply because it works with almost all platforms in a fluid manner.

    iOS has a very boring and stale interface, but the apps are generally built very well and are never ported from another platform, unlike with Android (or the bastard step-child known as Windows). But Android is and has been changing. Many, many apps are very polished now and hold their own against iOS. Not all, but most.
  22. Oohara, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    From the apps I use:

    Major apps like Pocket, Evernote and Flipboard are equally good on Android.

    Less widely used apps tend to look less polished on Android, but some have better functionality there. My Data Manager is the best data manager I've found - on iOS this doesn't let me track the data used by individual apps, but on Android it does. The Android version is also more reliable when it comes to staying in sync with my actual data plan.

    Generally I get more out of the Android versions of many apps because of how freely you can share to/from them. Comparing iOS/Android versions without taking the general functionality of the OS itself into account is often quite pointless. Android also has swipe typing - for me that makes any and every writing app superior on Android, no matter how slick the best writing apps look on the iPhone. The fact that there are Android phones with larger screens can't really be overlooked either, which is why I also prefer any office type app, reader, or streaming/video app on Android. (Obviously this might change with the iPhone 6.)

    Many apps are of course lacking on Android, notably many games titles, and basically all good multitrack music recording apps, if you're into such things. This is one of the main reasons why I still keep my iPhone 4S around (for the FourTrack app).

    Android on the other hand has some apps that iOS doesn't. Google Keep for example is one of my most loved apps and the best note taking app I know that syncs well with in-browser editing. This is even my go-to app for longer writing, because of how simple it is. (Actually the Notes app on iOS 7 is impressively ugly, I still can't understand how Jony Ive let that one slide :eek:)

    So, I didn't structure this post very well but you get the general gist: you have to take the whole of the experience into account when comparing app quality on these two platforms, IMO. So far I think devs in general have spent more time polishing iOS apps because that's where the big money has been. That is clearly changing though, and as others have said, app quality on Android is improving by the day. Many things that irked me when I got my Note 2 one year ago have since been dealt with and the whole Android experience has improved remarkably in just one year.

    Lastly a word of advice, from experience - it may be that you don't like how Android is on just one particular phone. For instance the experience with TouchWiz on the Samsung phones can be very different from the stock Android on a Nexus 5. If you really want to give Android a chance, you won't make up your mind after testing just one phone ;)
  23. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2011
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    I just recently had my BB upgraded to an iPhone for work. For personal use, I use an Android. I've only had my iPhone for less than a week and as it is a work phone, I only have a few apps that I use on both so far. These apps are Pulse, Google+ and Yahoo Weather.

    With Pulse, it seems that the Android app has a few more features. For instance, on Android I can configure Pulse that certain sources should be opened in the web browser mode. I cannot do that on the iOS version. I have to open the article and then use another few taps to open the app in web mode. Other than that, both are pretty much the same.

    With G+, I also noticed that I could do something on Android that I cannot do on the iOS version. On Android, I can reply to a comment of a post and it will automatically tag the author of the post. I cannot do that on the iOS version. Other than that, they are more or less the same.

    For Yahoo! Weather, I found that the iOS version had a feature not available on the Android version. The iOS version had some written synopsis of the forecast in the details section where it says what to expect in the next day or so. This written synopsis is not present in the Android version. Other than that, both are the same.

    A few general observations as a whole is that Android uses a back button on the bottom right of my Galaxy S3. It makes it easy for me to go back to the previous screen. I often use it. There is no such back button on iOS apps. Generally, in iOS there is a button somewhere on the screen that you can tap on to bring you back to the previous screen. iOS apps also seem to have alternative gestures to go back to the previous screen depending on which screen you are on. In some G+ screens, if you are at the bottom, you can try to scroll down more by dragging the screen up and then release and it goes back to the previous screen. In Pulse, you side swipe from the left edge inwards to go back on certain screens. These gesters only work on certain screens and not all screens and appear to be inconsistent across different applications.

    Another general observation is that with iOS, there seems to be a lack of a landscape mode sometimes. In Android, there seems to more places in apps where I can turn the phone to landscape orientation. In iOS, there are fewer instances that has a landscape mode.

    As for smoothness of apps, I'm comparing a Galaxy S3 and an iPhone 5S. The iP5S is a year and a half newer than the SGS3. I would expect that the iPhone would be smoother. The difference to me is noticeable, but not by much. The SGS3 is a really good phone even though it is now 2 generations behind the latest models from Samsung. What surprised me about the iPhone 5S is that I had experience lag a few times while typing on it. I noticed that I would hit a few keys, the phone would suddenly pause for a second and then catch up. On my SGS3, I use Kii when typing in landscape and I don't experience lag on it. I experience a little lag using Swype whenever I put a double space after a period.
  24. kenypowa macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    Phone apps on iOS and Android are on par with one another; tablet is another story.
  25. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    For some reason, some apps I use, such as the one for my gym, have never received updates since the iPhone 5 was released, but have evolved quite significantly on the Android side.

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