How Do Apple and Android Differ When It Comes to Security

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For years, iOS has had the best reputation for being the most secure mobile operating system. However, Android 10’s granular controls over the app permissions and the extended efforts to make their security system stronger have not gone unnoticed.

Both iOS 13 and Android 10 have security features that give you more control over how often applications view or access your location, preventing apps from scanning nearby Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices to try and figure out your location, as well as a new method for signing in from third party applications.

What Are the Major Security Differences Between iOS and Android?

When it comes to security, Android offers monthly security updates. Pixel device users get the Android software patches soonest. However, manufacturers tend to slack behind in pushing these updates.

So, most of the time, Android users are using outdated OS software. On the other hand, iOS offers occasional security updates. And iOS users barely get Security threats as the iOS is locked and getting apps from anywhere else but the App Store is a bit complicated.

iOS and Android Updates

If you are looking to keep your device always secure, then your first and easiest solution is to keep your OS up to date.  This is considered a strong defense on its own. But when it comes to getting updates from the manufacturer to you, Apple remains in control of its manufacturing chain and makes it happen quickly. While some users might complain that the iOS lacks customization, Apple has ensured that iPhone users stay way ahead of malware.

When it comes to Androids, in May 2019, the android security updates started running in the background automatically like the rest of google apps updates, and the new process does not require the device to reboot anymore.

iOS and Android Permission Control

Other than keeping your OS updated, one of the biggest threats to your device security is the apps that demand excessive permissions to access your mobile’s data, which would be in danger of leakage. Even though Apple ensures that iPhone users do not get any malware, iPhone users are still vulnerable to attacks. In June 2019, researchers from Positive Technologies found iOS apps that had security weaknesses even more than Android apps.

iOS has a mandatory privacy tool for signing in, which is Apple ID. It goes a long way in helping Apple maintain its good reputation. The Apple ID is used to log in to your apps, helps keep your information and private data secure as well.

Android, on the other hand, has an entirely dedicated section in the settings app for Privacy controls. It allows Android users to monitor and allow or block permissions requested by any of your apps. Let’s say a shady-looking app wants to know your location: you can easily deny permission now.

In the past, keeping track of your application’s permissions was quite a difficult task, but now, you can do a one-click reject button for an item in a condensed list. This makes Android in the lead when it comes to permission controls.

iOS and Android Geotracking

Both OSes have a privacy booster when it comes to geo-tracking.  They both now have new location blocking options. iOS 13 offers the option of sharing pictures without sharing the user’s location data. Now that the option to take the location off the photos is in place, it means that your location does not leave any trail when it makes its way across social media, apps, emails, or messages. 

The option to geotag a photo still exists privately though. To turn off the location from your pictures, select the photo or the multiple photos you would like to share in the Photos app, then tap on options from the top of the screen and turn off the location under the section labeled included.

No More Bluetooth Sniffing

When you stop an application’s permission to access your location, it still goes around and tries to connect to Bluetooth or Wifi to sniff out your location. Bluetooth has become a vulnerability when it comes to security because smart home connections outpace the security fixes.

What Do iOS and Android Have in Common?

Ios and Android are very similar when it comes to a few things.  Here are the most similar features in both:

  • The basic functions are the same in both iOs and Android. Both of them have messaging, calling, video chat, web browsing, voice commands, maps, etc.
  • The user’s interface in both iOs and Android are similar on their phone screens: both of them support tapping, pinch and zoom, swiping, etc.
  • Both iOS and Android have a status bar that shows the battery life, notifications, time, wifi, etc.
  • Both iOS and Android support 4G cellular networks, which is very important for faster browsing.
  • Both offer great privacy settings. Both iOS and Android have app permissions to decrease the risks of data leakage.

How to Stay Safe on Android and iOS?

  • Always keep your OS up to date.
  • Limiting permissions to apps that are trusted and downloaded from the Google Play Store or the App Store. Try not to download any untrusted apps as they might hurt your device with a virus.

Which One Should I Choose?

You cannot make the wrong choice between these OS giants. Choosing one over the other is probably based on branding and status for many people, while others might want to look from the perspective of security and speed. You cannot have all of the features in one device as both OSes are full of amazing features, so check them out to make the best purchasing decision.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best mobile is definitely not easy, however, knowing the systems, the security and all the different features in both OSes will help you make a better decision.

About the Author

jason thompson