Clash of the titans: iOS 7 vs Android 4.3 comparison


One of the most heated "debates" within the wireless industry is the one between iOS and Android fans. In case it isn't obvious, we've put "debate" in quotes, because it's much more of a flame war, rather than a civilized debate, but anyway, you get the point. So here we are, not trying to start yet another flame war, but wanting to make it easy for users to find out what the meaningful differences between iOS 7 and Android 4.3 are. And without further ado, let's dive straight into it.

Lock and home screens


The lock screen (if enabled) is the very first thing a user sees upon turning their smartphone on, which is why its flawless execution is of utmost importance. And it is hard to decide which one we like more – the one on iOS 7 or on Android 4.3, but we're pretty sure they both leave room for improvement. The iOS 7 lock screen is minimalist, providing instant access to the camera, the Control Center, or the pending notifications. However, it would have been better if one could slide either way to unlock it; only a swipe to the right takes you to the home screen. The Android 4.3 lock screen is flexible when it comes to customization, with its widgets and all, and it doesn't matter which way you swipe to unlock it. However, the selection of widgets one can place there isn't as broad as we wish it was. Overall, both lock screens are great, although they could have been better.

On each home screen of an iPhone 5, 5S, or 5C there's room for 24 icons in total. Interestingly, a stock Android home screen on a Google Nexus 4 leaves room for only 20 app shortcuts even though the smartphone has a larger display with higher resolution. Of course, that's not too big of a deal, especially when both interfaces allow apps to be sorted in folders. Speaking of which, the iOS 7 approach to folders is more elegant as there is virtually no limit to how many apps the user can place in one. On Android in its stock form, there's a limit of 16 apps per folder, which isn't bad, but it is a drawback nonetheless.

The layout of an iOS 7 home screen is well designed, but perhaps it's all a bit too static, which is why we tend to like the versatility of Android. It is just that widgets are a pretty cool feature that Apple's mobile OS has yet to adopt in one form or another, and we don't see this happening anytime soon. But there are things that Android might learn from iOS 7. One of them is that the text, which is used to display the names of apps, changes color depending on what wallpaper image is being used (but it doesn't work with dynamic wallpapers for some reason). If the image is light, the text goes dark, and vice versa, which makes app names much easier to read. On Android 4.3, there's a shadow under the apps' names, but still, text isn't as legible as it is on iOS 7.

Quick controls and notifications


Control Center adds functionality that iOS sorely needed. Simply put, swiping up from the bottom of an iOS 7 home screen brings up a list of toggle buttons for turning things like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, controlling music playback, adjusting the screen's brightness, even using the camera's LED as a flashlight. But Control Center isn't really a groundbreaking feature. Options like these have been available on custom Android UIs for a long time, and the stock Android 4.3 interface has many of them as well out of the box, located in a menu accessible from the notification bar. Furthermore, Control Center might be triggered accidentally if one is scrolling on a page or trying to launch the camera from its lock screen shortcut, located in the lower right-hand corner. Yet nevertheless, Apple's solution to adding toggles in iOS 7 is still pretty elegant and it is at least as good as Android's approach.

The Notification Center in iOS 7 has been overhauled and now takes the user straight to their agenda. That's very convenient for people who actually use the Calendar app. Those who find it too crowded in there are free to pick what notifications are to be displayed there – stocks information, unread email, Game Center alerts, reminders, and more. Android's notification bar is a bit different for it doesn't display much if there aren't any pending notifications. But on the other hand, the user does get updates via Google Now.

A noteworthy advantage for iOS 7 versus Android is that both the Notification Center and the Control Center can be accessed from any screen, even when they are hidden. Yup, even if you're playing a game or watching a movie. However, a double-slide is required in order to do that, which prevents the user from accidentally pulling out either of them. In Android, the notification panel is often not visible if a full-screen application is running, which renders it inaccessible.

Customization features


When it comes to customization, Android is still king with its widgets, live wallpapers, and custom launchers. Tons of them are available for download from the Play Store for anyone bored of their Android device's interface. However, Apple has done some progress and is now catching up, without making things too complicated for iOS 7 users. The latest version of the platform features the so-called parallax effect, which shifts the background image depending on the angle, at which the handset is being held. That creates an illusion of depth and the effect is really nice in our opinion – pretty, yet unobtrusive. 

In addition, we have Apple's dynamic wallpapers (yup, they are just like Android's live wallpapers) – these can be set on both the home and the lock screens. Unfortunately, all you get out of the box is a single dynamic wallpaper in several different colors, and the wallpaper is suspiciously similar to Android's stock Phase Beam live wallpaper. We hope that someday, more dynamic wallpapers will be released for iOS 7, but this could be just wishful thinking. 

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130 Comments

1. Yubnub

Posts: 100; Member since: May 23, 2013

4.3 > ios 7

19. AnTuTu

Posts: 1621; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

iOS looks damn cheap. Yesterday we did the update on one phone and oh boy apart from their lock screen the whole OS looks so kiddish n cheap. We showed it to others and they didn't want to update it, 4.3 >>>>>>>>>> iOS 7

41. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Antutu: did you ever make your app't with the eye doctor? When asking for new glasses, make sure your get the right precription. If anyone needs helps with his eyes, it's you.

60. Striker13084

Posts: 128; Member since: Mar 30, 2009

I don't think the author used an objective eye. They definitely showed apple favoritism.

126. pilfro

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 30, 2013

Well they compared things Apple can do to things android can do. Like the Calendar review is fair until you realize you can put your calendar in one of your home screens or on your home screen etc. You dont need to open your phone application to make a call, you can just click on someones picture on your homescreen. My wife just switched to Iphone from s3. She wishes she didnt. I went with S4.

62. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

No doctor needed here, Except for you. Poor Iboys. They even don't dare to compare the TouchWiz version of Android 4.3 vs iOS7 . LOL It would be a great fun.

71. tman123

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Why don't you do it for us? You seem to have great knowledge of both OSes.

45. taikucing unregistered

Android can be modified into iOS look & feel, but not vice versa. There are many Chinese iPhone 5 clones.

58. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

You lie quicker than a cat lick its a**! So you updated and walked the streets and showed people and they didnt wanna update? You kind sir are lying and its not even funny!

111. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

My brother didn't really care for the changes in iOS7 as well and he went from an iPhone 4S to 5 to 5S. The only thing that bothers me about iOS7 is the super coloful Playskool icons on a device that looks pretty professional. If the iPhone 5s came with a 4.5" screen and a more staid color scheme in line with OSX I would probably consider it. Also, despite running on Android 4.1.2 with LG's UI, my Spectrum 2 is just as fluid as my brother's iPhone 5s in scrolling, typing and browsing. So there's no lag on this Android and maybe I'll keep the phone long enough to see 4.3.

54. PootisMan

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Yeah, just wait until Android 4.4 comes out. Then it would be 4.4>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>​>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>​>>>>>>>>>> ios 7

63. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

There is no chance for ios, android is powerful.

93. designerfx

Posts: 76; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I don't think we even needed an article to articulate this. As is, the article is really short on actual review.

96. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

What elegance?!? iOS 7 more elegant than Android 4.3? iOS 7 is just the app drawer for Android 4.3, nothing else. lol C'mon PhoneArena.com.

2. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

agreed, the title should be the little os that couldnt, if they can put android on an iphone, holy c*** ill but it, looks of iphone epicness of android

3. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

buy it, autocorrect again

4. Naruto_Uzumaki

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 22, 2013

ios7 looks like winphone 8

27. Gdrye

Posts: 111; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

i dont know what OS your talking about cuz the two are not even close. as far as someone saying that it looks cheap?? are you kidding, lets be honest here the transition effects are pretty nice, the way they implement the folders is a nice thing to see. honestly i know this is a mostly pro android site by no fault of the site creators, but damn, i like what they did and they closed the gap is a pretty big way.

5. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

"routs texts over the web instead of eating up the user's monthly SMS allowance. " Barring the typo, I disagree that this is an advantage of iOS. It's a major disadvantage. Everyone and their mother has unlimited texting. Few smartphone users have unlimited data. My brother repeatedly hits his data cap of 2GB, and has to disable mobile data often. iMessages no longer come through, and he misses texts from other iPhone users because of it.

9. Sauce unregistered

Wait, so what exactly is it's major disadvantage?

15. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Stock message app for android is dated, I can't wait for hangouts to be the default messaging application

37. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Needing a data connection to receive messages from iPhone users. People run out of data and have to turn it off, so they stop getting their texts. Meanwhile, Android users generally keep getting their text messages, because text messages are unlimited on just about every cell plan in the last five years.

48. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I kinda disagree here. Text are a few kb to maybe a meg for a mms. But I have to pay 30 a month for unlimited texting on my 3 lines. So I would take it over my data plan anyday. Plus, at the place I work when I have to go out on to the manufacturing floor (not very often) I don't get texts because I don't have cell service. But there is WIFI out there.

103. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

Not mine it isn't. I pay for texting and data.

130. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Doesn't imessage switch back to regular text messages when there is no internet connection?

28. Gdrye

Posts: 111; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

i dont agree with you either, because one thing imessage does that i like so much, UNCOMPRESSED images and videos. i hate the fact that android does it, hey lets be honest, whats the point of a great camera when you send a picture mail compresses the image so much that you might as well send it with a flip phone. As far as iMessages going over the data cap i think your missing something else, i would send about 10,000 text messages a month and never go over my data cap, so its not iMessages doing it i would take a longer look in to the phone and see where the real issue is.

35. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

thats y theres email dumass

36. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

It isn't iMessage causing it, but iMessage is affected. He burns data through Facebook or whatever, and then shuts down mobile data, thus blocking iMessage and every one of his iPhone contacts.

40. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Umm, he can turn off iMessage. There, done.

46. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Why, he sure can. A. Kinda kills the point of a feature, and B. iMessages still attempt to send to him, which holds things up.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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