Droid Apps vs. iPhone Apps

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I hear the debate has been raging between our members on which device has the best app support. That depends on how you define “best apps.” Here is a list of what some of your criteria could be in determining which marketplace rules:

  • # of free apps
  • # of total apps available
  • Amount of memory space the app will need on my device
  • How fast does the app run?
  • Does the app slow down my device?
  • Does the app run all of the time, draining my device’s battery?
  • Is the app a supported, verified app from Apple or Google? (keep this one in mind)
  • Does the app require more security privileges to my device than necessary?

Ok, back to the debate. I have used both devices and here are my unbiased thoughts on each platform and its app marketplace:

Apple’s process for approving apps and allowing them into its app store is, in a word, difficult. Almost everything they do is proprietary, which makes it hard for developers to create apps at times. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Apple prides itself on knowing that when users go to its app store to download an app, the end user can be sure that the app has been thoroughly vetted and I mean thoroughly. It really puts the responsibility on developers and app creators to create feature rich, secure apps Apple’s customers base. Sure the process is not super-fast and that great app may take some time getting to the app store, but when it does you have a very nice app. However no app is totally secure, and even apps in the Apple app store have been compromised and caused issues for their owners.

Google, on the other hand, believes in an open architecture in which developers have access to the Android code and are encouraged to develop a plethora of apps. I mean really, if you can think of something you want on your phone, the Android marketplace probably has an app for it. While this method creates competition and innovation among developers it certainly has its drawbacks. Because it is so easy to get an app into the Android marketplace, apps for Android phones ARE far less secure and more vulnerable to security threats than iPhone apps.

Just the other day a massive amount of Android users (over 200,000) were hit with a Trojan virus that stole data and otherwise compromised the security of their devices. If you would like to check out the details of the story, it’s reported here at Android Police.com. More and more malicious apps are sneaking into the Android marketplace that are not verified and certainly would not be supported. To its credit, Google did have the rogue app pulled within 5 minutes, but look at the damage that was done.

So there you have it; does this post mean it’s a slam dunk for the iPhone? Not necessarily, as I mentioned, all smartphones are at risk for having their security compromised. It’s in your best interest to purchase security app software for your device. Check out our latest Technology Resource Guide for some suggestions.

In conclusion, the war is far from over, but this round or battle has been won by Apple.

Paul

2 Comments

  1. Steven Louchheim says:

    Paul,
    Great post, this is valuable information for all smart phone users. Where do the other phones fall into this, Windows and palm?
    Steven

  2. Paul Galloway says:

    Palm apps are almost non-existent. This may change since HP purchase Palm a year ago. HP seems to have made a committed effort to the WebOS and developing applications for their platform. Since there is nothing to compare against, I cannot really speak just yet as to their approach to App security and integrity.

    Microsoft on the other hand comes in around the 10,000 mark for number of apps in their marketplace. However, since the Windows Phone is still trying to catch up to Android and iPhone for number of users, it will take some time if ever for the apps to leave the market place. Microsoft has also taken app security very seriously. They should, as many hope they have learned the hard lessons of constant Windows security breaches, when the company did not invest a lot of resources in operating system security.