We’ll explain 15 reasons the iPhone is better than Android with a 2017 iPhone vs Android comparison that includes the newest iPhones and Android devices as well as Android 7.0 and iOS 10.
The iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may not deliver super screen resolutions, but they hit the right notes for many buyers and with iOS 10 there are even more reasons the iPhone is better than Android for many users.
iPhone competition includes the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, One Plus 3, the LG V20 and other phones that deliver a bigger challenge for Apple — but there are still places where the iPhone is clearly better than Android and iOS 10 is better than Android Nougat.
Many of these could change with the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 later this year, but for now – iPhone has an edge.
You need to learn what the iPhone does better and how Apple delivers a better experience than Android to see if an iPhone is the best smartphone for you in 2017.
Use our list of reasons the iPhone is better than Android to figure out which new smartphone you should buy this year. Read our iPhone 7 review to learn what sets this phone apart from the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
You can buy the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus at a discount with the best iPhone 7 Black Friday deals.
Even if you think you know which phone is best, you might be surprised to learn about all the reasons the iPhone is better than Android.
iPhone Apps Are First and Better Looking
Most of the popular apps are on both platforms, but many top games and apps still come to iPhone first. We’re seeing more apps come to both Android and iPhone at the same time, but there are still way more iPhone only apps that we see than Android only.
When apps are available on iPhone and Android we still often see a better design on the iPhone version than on Android. This is something that still rings true in 2017. For example, we still see some new Snapchat features and Spotify features come to iPhone before Android. iPhone owners are enjoying Super Mario Run, but the Super Mario Run Android app is still on the way.
Apps are an area where the gap is closing, but the differences still exist and are noticeable. We also see Apple take better care of the App Store. Recently they purged 47,300 apps from the app store that were simply bad or abandoned.
Fast iPhone Updates for All
iPhone owners enjoy quick and regular iOS updates for the iPhone no matter what carrier they use.
Android updates take months to arrive on all the devices. After an Android device is 18 months old, you may need to wait for a new Android smartphone to get the latest software.
Apple delivers iPhone updates to devices that are three years old. Apple offers iPhone 4s iOS 9 support. It is unheard of to see support for an Android phone that old. iOS 10 is available for the iPhone 5.
When you look at Android devices support ends much faster. Google promises at least two years for Nexus devices, which means Nexus 6 support ends this fall and the Nexus 6P in September 2017. Google may push farther out, but it is not a guarantee. Other Android device manufacturers don’t typically match the longevity of iOS updates.
On top of the added update support, Apple does not allow carriers to hold up the updates. As soon as the update is available from Apple it is available on every carrier.
If you really want Android Nougat, you may need to simply buy a new Android phone.
Works Great with All Your Devices
If you own an iPhone, iPad and Mac your information flows smoothly from one device to the other. You can quickly sync photos to all of your devices, answer a phone call on your iPad or Mac and send text messages from your other devices. There is also support for Handoff that allows you to start a task on your iPhone and continue on your iPad or Mac.
Overall the connectivity between these devices is something Android doesn’t yet match without relying on a collection of third-party applications and services to hodgepodge together a similar feature.
Sharing a file from your iPhone to your Mac is also faster and easier thanks to AirDrop. This built-in service sends the file wirelessly directly to the Mac, even when there is no other WiFi around.
No Carrier Bundled Apps
There are no extra carrier apps installed on the iPhone when you buy it. On many Android phones, there are a dozen carrier branded apps, and there might be another dozen apps that you will never use but that someone paid the carrier to install.
Many times you cannot uninstall these extra apps, only disable them. This means they still exist on your phone and take up space. This is a small issue on day one, but after a year when you need more memory, and you cannot delete Candy Crush and VZ Navigator, it’s a problem.
Apple isn’t perfect when it comes to pre-installing apps, like the Apple Watch and Apple News app, but the iPhone app experience out of the box is more of a blank slate. With iOS 10 you can at least remove the user data portion and hide Apple apps.
AppleCare+ iPhone Warranty
Apple offers an iPhone warranty for $99 to $129 that extends the manufacturer’s warranty to two years, adds two years of accidental damage coverage and support by phone or in store. This is AppleCare+ and it is a service that you need to buy, but it is something that most Android phones don’t come with.
HTC offers a free one-year UhOh protection that covers a cracked screen, water damage or carrier switch. Samsung offers a Galaxy warranty program for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy Note 4 for $99 and $129 depending on the phone. This offers similar features to AppleCare+, but you cannot take it into a store for a replacement. On the upside, you can get next business day replacement shipping after the claim is approved.
The rest of the Android smartphone world must rely on more expensive carrier plans or go to third parties. We’ve already come across users paying $9.99 a month with a $99 deductible to get a replacement for a Galaxy S3 Mini.
Apple’s option is a better value than what you will find from most carriers and from what you will find for most Android phones. With the new $29 screen repair option and $99, repair deductible AppleCare+ is an even better value.
Sharing to Other iPhones
When your friends have iPhones sharing everything is a bit easier. For instance, if you want to share your location with friends on iPhone it only takes a tap or two from the message you are sending to share it. Sharing a photo, link or file is also simple with AirDrop.
This seems like a small thing, but once a friend switches to Android you’ll quickly find out that you need to download several apps to maintain the same level of sharing that Apple builds in.
Samsung is making it easier to share between Samsung phones and Android Marshmallow does a better job of Android to Android sharing, but the odds are some of your friends will still be a phone behind you or an update behind you.
We could see Android Nougat help close this lead, but that will only help users if it arrives on their phones.
Worth More When You Resell
The iPhone holds its value better than an Android phone. If you sell your one-year-old or two-year-old Android smartphone, even a flagship device, you will often get much less than you paid.
When you sell an older iPhone, it is easy to find offers of almost double the value of an Android phone that came out at the same time.
For instance, an entry-level Galaxy S5 from 2014 is worth $70 in flawless condition on Gazelle. The iPhone 6 that came out a few months later is worth $210 in flawless condition.
With better build quality and higher demand on more recent Android devices, this is changing in some instances, but for now, the iPhone still offers a better resale value over time.
Lightning is Miles Better than Micro USB
Apple uses a reversible Lightning cable to charge and sync the iPhone. Lightning is vastly superior to the Micro USB cable that most Android phones use to charge and sync.
With a Lightning cable, there is no wrong way to plug it in because there is not a top or bottom. Micro USB cables force users to attempt to plug the cord in multiple times before finding the right direction and proper angle.
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge get around this with support for wireless charging, which is better than Lightning, but there is still a Micro USB cable needed for some activities.
With USB C now in the mix for many new smartphones like the LG V20, there is a serious contender, but for now, it’s still not the single standard across Android. When it is fully supported it will match the Lightning cable.
Apple Stores for Support
When something goes wrong or you break your iPhone and need a replacement fast, there is no substitute for the Apple Store.
If you need to replace your iPhone a trip to the Apple Store can resolve the problem in a few hours instead of waiting a day or two without an iPhone.
Customer support at an Apple Store is often a step above what Android manufacturers can provide over the phone or at specialty shops inside Best Buy.
Apple Store staff can also use some flexibility in helping users who need a replacement device and there are even out of warranty replacements that are significantly cheaper than buying an iPhone off contract.
Ease of Use Wins Over Android
The iPhone is still easier to pick up and use without issues than most Android phones on the market.
Google delivers more ease of use than in older versions of Android, but not all phones run these updates yet. Samsung has come a long way in making Android easier to adopt with an Easy Mode, but there are still issues.
While helping friends and family with iPhone and Android there are more instances where I need to help turn a setting on again on Android than on iPhone and it takes users longer to understand how something works.
This isn’t an issue for power users, but for the average user who doesn’t want settings to change randomly or for WiFi or Cellular to randomly turn off crippling functionality it is a real issue.
My in-laws are constantly coming close to data overages because they inadvertently turn off WiFi on the Galaxy S7.
If you love to listen to music and you constantly need to control what you are listening to, the iPhone has an advantage thanks to headphones that can control many aspects of playback.
The standard iPhone headphones, and most third-party ones can play, pause, skip forward or back a track and that’s just music. iPhone users can also control volume without grabbing the phone thanks to volume up and down buttons. Apple includes an option to launch Siri so that users can make a phone call and perform other activities.
This is a small win, but it is a very convenient one that we miss when we switch to most Android phones. We are seeing more Android headphone control options, but it’s far from universal.
iMessage, FaceTime & FaceTime Audio
Apple makes it easier to communicate with other iPhone and iPad owners with a trio of services that allow for fast and simple connectivity.
iMessage allows users to send longer messages at one time and the messages can go to any Apple device that user owns.
FaceTime delivers an excellent way to video chat. Unlike Hangouts, it is built into the phone app so it is easy to switch from phone call to video call with the push of a button.
FaceTime Audio also helps iPhone users call when coverage is spotty, by using data to make an audio call. FaceTime Audio calls also sound better much better than a normal call and work when you have a poor cell signal, but still have WiFi.
Better Control of Notifications
The iPhone still does a better job of managing notifications. Android makes it easier to clear out your notifications, but we still prefer Apple’s separation of notifications, options and what’s happening now to what Google and Samsung offer.
With the iPhone, you can see a short summary of what’ happening today and access widgets that keep you up to date and then tap into Notifications. Unlike with Samsung devices and stock Android devices, there are no settings options to accidentally toggle while looking at notifications.
Storage Use and Carrier Options
No matter what carrier you walk into in the U.S. you can get the same color iPhone as any other major carrier and the same storage options.
Sure, Samsung simplified things with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, offering similar colors and only one storage option across carriers, but there are still issues.
You can add a Micro SD card to the Galaxy S7 Edge and S7, but the phone won’t treat it the same as if you had a 64GB or 128GB iPhone.
The Galaxy S7 does not support an Android feature that essentially tricks the phone into thinking your Micro SD card is part of the internal storage. Because of this, you cannot move all apps to the SD card (although you can move many) and apps that you use widgets for are not good to move to the SD card.
When you compare this to a 64GB iPhone 6s that treats all storage the same there are still clear advantages despite the higher cost of upgrading to more storage on the iPhone.