iOS or Android: What’s in store for enterprise?
written by Robert Feldmar on April 27, 2016
Cupertino vs. Mountain View, the droid or the apple, or simply Android vs. iOS. With the demise of Blackberry 10 OS, and a little over 1% market share for Windows, Apple and Google mobile platforms have effectively seized the entire mobile market over the past years. And even though the debate which system to choose is a long running one among consumers, it has only recently grown to similar proportions among the business community. Take a closer look with us at both systems’ security, apps, hardware & more as we uncover what iOS and Android have in store for enterprise use.
For enterprises, data security has been an upmost priority from the very beginning. With the Bring Your Own Device initiative (BYOD) gaining on popularity, it is evident why company IT admins have grown to prefer the homogenous iOS over the fragmented Android. Even if completely assessing which system’s security measures best fit your business depends on a number of variables, such as the number of devices you need to manage, the industry you work within and the level of regulation a company faces.
Still, iOS provides a unified environment with updates available to all supported devices instantly after Apple publishes them. With Android, each device manufacturer can add their own software extensions which makes the system more vulnerable by default. This also makes the system updates much slower to come by – therefore, even the newest devices can get stuck on an older version of Android with a possible security loophole.
Another significant difference between both platforms lies in how users acquire apps. Both systems have centralized, trusted app stores – Apple’s App Store and Google Play – which are regulated and investigate app submissions for potential security threats. But while the official Apple App Store is the only place iPhone/iPad users can download applications from, Android enables users to get apps also from third-party stores, sites and even e-mail attachments, many of which can covertly facilitate malicious software to a device. By going down the route of a monitored single app source from the very beginning, Apple still has an advantage when it comes to offering a safe download environment for both consumers and business users.
In terms of mobile device management (MDM) and mobile app management (MAM), Google caught up with Apple only at the end of 2014 when it enabled native MDM and MAM through its Android for Work program. In comparison, Apple provides these features already since iOS4 in 2010. Apple’s native MAM solution also provides the single exception for downloading apps outside the App Store – it enables admins to remotely install and update enterprise apps on a device.
Since it is practically impossible to change one operating system for another on a smartphone or a tablet, hardware specifications/price ratio has been often the deciding factors on what mobile devices were purchased.
In that department, Android continues to hold the high ground – used by a vast number of manufacturers on an even broader array of devices. Google’s mobile OS runs on everything from budget handsets to top-of-class premium devices. However, the earlier mentioned manufacturers’ extensions to Android can affect not only security, but the user experience and the hardware’s performance, as well. The so-called “pure” Android, as issued by Google, can be currently found only on the company’s Nexus devices and also on Motorola’s current lineup.
With iOS, your device choice is limited to iPhones and iPads. Yet even Apple, which used to make 1 phone and 1 tablet a year, is aware of the market’s persisting plea for diversity and currently produces its phones and tablets in 3 different screen sizes with slightly varying under-the-hood specs.
Neither the latest version of Android, nor iOS miss any key features that would make one stand above the other. As a matter of fact, each new version of both systems incorporates some features that its competitor has been already running.
For example, iOS9 has brought split-screen functionality to iPads, a feature several Android devices have been supporting earlier. On the other side of the barricade, Android Marshmallow now natively supports finger print sensors as a direct reaction to Apple’s Touch ID. And those are just a couple of the recent examples on how the two platforms constantly react to one-another in terms of providing new functionality.
Overall, due to the open nature of Android and iOS more walled-garden-like characteristics, the general view remains that iOS provides a somewhat more refined experience, while Android still offers wider customization opportunities to its features.
Similarly to the features, iOS and Android stand on a level playing field when considering application availability – there are over 1.5 million apps available on each platform, from games all the way to powerful productivity apps.
Android was able to erase its initial app availability lagging, when apps and updates were coming to the Google Play store months after the App Store versions – if at all. An impressing feat even a company like Microsoft hasn’t managed to accomplish so far, and something that is arguably the biggest drawback slowing down the adoption of Windows on mobile devices.
Even more good news comes to business users who have grown to like Google services from previous use. Google Maps, Docs, Calendar, Drive, and Gmail are all available as apps on Android and iOS alike.
The beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and there’s nothing wrong about Google’s material design approach to Android. But probably no industry insider doubts that iOS set the design standards for mobile OS’ with its rounded icons grille. And after dumping the texture-based skeuomorphic approach, in iOS7 Apple further re-vamped the platform’s visual presentation with an even crisper, flatter look.
To wrap it up – iOS and Android are both viable and mature mobile platforms for modern business. And with the enterprise market still up for grabs, Apple and Google take the needs of enterprise mobile users into account more than ever before. Additionally, if you’re looking to access your corporate CRM data on the go, it doesn’t matter what mobile OS you’re on, because Resco Mobile CRM runs smoothly on all mobile platforms and devices. To prove our words hold true, you can start your free trial right now, whether you’ve picked iOS, Android, or even Windows.