The first thing to realise is mobile devices have opened up a world where apps are consider King. No longer is a Website sufficient, users need a dedicated native app that works like all the rest of the applications on the platform, whether that is Android or iOS, in order to spend time.
If we look at all the popular Websites of the past decade that are still popular, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, eBay, PayPal and more, they all have made a switch from HTML5 (the language used on the Web) to predominantly native application languages for iOS and Android.
This means that app developers who have an idea cannot code it in one go, it has to first come out on iOS or Android, and once the developer has designed the app for one platform, it may take another few months of edits to make it viable for the other platform.
404: App Not Found
Here we step into the first problem with mixing iOS and Android or switching from one to the other: applications not being available on the platform. This is more an issue for Android, considering paid apps get exclusivity on iOS for a few months before coming to Android and this can lead to certain developers just not making an app for Android at all.
Even worse, the app experience on one platform vastly outweighs the experience on the other. iOS has always been known for making more revenue per user and this leads some developers to make decisions and add new features strictly onto iOS, features that may never come to their abandoned Android project.
If we look at Facebook Paper, Snapchat and Secret, these are three clear examples of app developers preferring iOS to Android. Snapchat is available on both now, but they still roll out features onto iOS before Android, even though they may no revenue from consumers.
Apps will be a nuisance, but as Android continues to grow we are seeing more developers port and the most popular apps eventually get onto Android. The big disadvantage of switching or having two devices is media and how each platform has its own media center.
Music, movies and TV programmes have all become available on iTunes and Google Play Store, allowing users to buy music for £0.99 or a movie or even a full box-set of their favourite TV show. The only issue is sharing and sending these folders over is a pain and cannot be done automatically.
This means if you want to listen to music on an Android device, but have all of the songs on the iTunes library, you are all out of luck. The upside to this is streaming services now offer a gateway for users who like switching platforms, allowing them to keep the library wherever they go with one account.
Controls and Functionality
Being an iPhone user from 3GS to 5, it was hard adapting to an Android device. My first Nexus 5 was rough, I regularly looked for a home button and had a hard time navigating round the phone, even worse once the HTC One (M8) offered yet another change in the skin and functionality.
iOS mitigates the problem by offering the same user interface across all devices, but Android is a cluster of different skins and custom features that make the phone a bit harder to get used to, especially for people switching over from iOS.
Should You Change?
Trying something new is always a good thing – but like anytime you put down money, learn about the device and what you are getting. Does the device offer the features and applications you want and is it better than what you currently have?