Android vs iPhone: Which Should You Buy?

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Tethering yourself to a smartphone is never a grab-and-go decision. If you’re in the market for a phone, you’re probably going to go over your options before committing to any contracts. That’s fine. That’s the way you should shop for a smartphone, but at some point you’re going to have to stop and ask yourself, “Should I get an iPhone or an Android phone – which one to buy?”

For some people who are especially devoted to modern tech, that’s like asking, “Should I give up my lungs, or my heart?” Really though, there’s no wrong answer—it all depends on your own needs, plus your budget. 

Here’s what you ought to keep in mind while waffling over the Android/iPhone decision: 

Want games? Go with iPhone – If you want your phone to double as an on-the-go gaming system, then there’s no question that you’ll want an iPhone. Apple monitors and approves games on a case-by-case basis, and game developers seem to prefer the organization and discipline that Apple’s App Store offers—or, in any case, the iPhone has such a lead on the mobile games market that game developers are more inclined to gravitate towards it. 

That’s not to say that the Android game scene is hopeless. Gameloft in particular puts forth a lot of support for Android phones, and many of the iPhone’s biggest hits—including Angry Birds, Where’s My Water? and Plants vs Zombies—can be found on Android as well as the iPhone. 

Google apps are cheap, plentiful, and useful – Though the mobile game market belongs to Apple, don’t forget that Google is behind the Android operating system. That means Google’s most useful and interesting apps, like Google Maps (which works as a full-fledged navigation app in some phones), Google Sky, and Google Translate, are readily available, or come pre-installed on Android phones. Anything you don’t have can be downloaded for free. 

Android is far more customizable than iPhone – If you love to fiddle around with your phone’s menus and customize them in all sorts of cool ways, then there’s no contest here: Android is the way to go. With iPhone’s menus, what you see is basically what you get—unless you jailbreak your phone. 

It’s much easier to find accessories for an iPhone – On the other hand, if you want to, ahem, pimp your phone, there are oodles of adorable and amazing iPhone accessories on the market. iPhones subscribe to set measurements, whereas Android powers phones of varying makes and models. Therefore, shopping for cute iPhone outfits is a breeze, whereas it’s more challenging with an Android-powered phone. 

What are you more familiar with? – If you already own a smartphone and you’re simply looking to upgrade, think about what you need. Then think about how your current phone has made you happy, and how it’s made you unhappy. For instance, do you already own an iPhone and you’re just looking for something faster? Then there’s no real reason why you’d be unhappy with an iPhone upgrade, and you wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of learning how to deal with a whole new smartphone operating system. If you’re aching for a change of scenery, by all means, go ahead and bat for the other team. Otherwise, remember that in most cases the grass only looks greener in the other guy’s yard. 

For more iPhone vs Android battle plans, visit: 

App Showdown: Android vs iPhone at MSNBC

How to Decide: Should You Buy an iPhone or an Android Phone? at ZDNet

Why You Should Buy an iPhone Instead of an Android Phone at Business Insider

Why You Should Buy an Android Phone Instead of an iPhone at Business Insider 

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About author

Nadia Oxford

Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com's Guide to the Nintendo DS.

View all posts by Nadia Oxford

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