iOS 11 vs. Android 8.0: Which is better? Well...

iOS 11 vs. Android 8.0: Which is better? Well... />

14/03/2016

With Apple's magical and revolutionary new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X devices now official, the world is about to get its first full look at iOS 11 — the most advanced, beautiful, and amazing software release to emerge out of Cupertino since, erm, the last one.

And you know what that means, right? Whenever we see a major new mobile OS release, we see a flurry of feverishly crafted arguments working to answer the eternally burning question: Which is better — Apple's iOS or Google's Android operating system? Who wins this round of the mobileOS battle? Who, gosh darn it, is the best?

I'm here to give you the honest-to-goodness truth — the genuine answer to what's become a silly and sensationalized subject of discussion. Are you ready? Hang onto your knickers, gang, and prepare to let out your most dramatic how-dare-you gasp:

At this point, neither operating system is inherently "better." Neither company categorically "wins" in a "competition" between Apple's iOS 11 and Google's Android 8.0 Oreo effort. Neither mobile software option is universally "the best" — and in the real world, on a practical level, virtually no one thinks about the platforms in such binarily bellicose terms.

Now, I'm not gonna lie: I've written my share of "iOS vs. Android" stories in the past. But most of those were penned six or seven years ago, when the mobile tech landscape was radically different from what we know today. Back then, the contrasts between using an iPhone and using an Android device were immense. The two operating systems were racing to define their identities and draw in new users — the countless citizens who hadn't yet committed to any particular platform and were still blank slates waiting to be won over — and they were miles apart in both form and function.

Back then, believe it or not, Android was the underdog — the barely-hitting-double-digits blip on the mobile market-share radar. Most pundits were still treating Google's mobile effort like a flash in the pan, a small-scale game that could never touch the rapidly rising Holy Grail of Apple. At the same time, each new Android release felt like a roaring war cry, a collection of possibilities so powerful you'd have to be crazy to ignore it and focus only on the button-upped, turtlenecked Apple alternative.