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Android and iOS: Which System Has Better Permissions?

Android and iOS: Which System Has Better Permissions?  on The Apps Depot Blog

When you compare two of the most popular and developed mobile operating systems, there is bound to be a difference of opinion. 

Hundreds of millions of users use each platform, and all of them have their own preferences and priorities. That is why this article will not serve as a popularity contest, plenty of which you can find online, but rather as a fact-based analysis of two product types. 

Android and iOS have different approaches to user permissions, so picking the best will be up to you.

Warnings

Accessing permissions upon installation

Before you install an app on an Android or iOS device, you will inevitably have to deal with permissions settings. 

After you click to download/install on an app of your choice, you will be informed of app permissions and acknowledgment of these permissions, but the two platforms will do it differently. 

Both Android and iOS will provide a link to the app maker’s privacy policy, but only Android will offer a comprehensive and discernable overview of the permissions an app requires. 

If you install an app on an Apple device, you will first have access to the privacy policy and basic information on in-app purchases while most permissions warnings will only pop up after the app is installed and running. 

On Android, clicking “Install/Download” will usually prompt a simple warning in the form of a list highlighting the permissions the app requires. 

For example, if the app intends to use your camera, you will see it in the list and know what it can do beforehand while other features and operations involving user data will also be listed. 

In this regard, Android is much more informative and transparent than iOS.

Settings

Using settings to modify permissions

If you choose to modify the permissions on your mobile device, your experience will also differ based on which platform you are using. If you keep track of tech news, you’ve probably heard all about Apple’s dedication to ensuring user privacy, and these statements certainly bear weight. 

On iOS, Privacy is one of the top listed tabs in the Settings app, so users generally have no difficulty finding and accessing it. Once you access this tab on an iOS device, you will be able to modify specific app permissions as well as background features like ads and diagnostics. 

On Android, changing permissions takes an additional step not everyone manages to master. To achieve it, you need to access Settings, navigate to the apps section, and choose the App Permissions option after clicking on the Gear icon in the upper right corner. 

From the new menu, permissions can be toggled, disabled and modified. 

In some ways, Android offers more specific changes in permissions but iOS still dominates due to the sheer simplicity of access.

Clarity

 Understanding the specifics of permissions

Choosing, accepting, and modifying app permissions requires a certain level of understanding in the technical language used by app developers. 

On Android, you may be faced with complicated terms and jargon that will be incomprehensible without a web search, but users are still offered a detailed and honest review of permissions, which is a big benefit in our current era when privacy is easily and often compromised. 

iOS, on the other hand, offers a simpler language to its users, but details on app permissions simply do not match the detailed and comprehensive ones provided by Android.

This overview is based on the most current versions of the operating systems being compared, iOS 9.3 and Android 6.0 Marshmallow respectively, so users with other versions may have a slightly different experience.

Nevertheless, the approaches towards permissions have not changed much for Android and iOS over the years. Android has always excelled at transparency and detail, although to a fault; while iOS has always focused on simplicity and minimalism, even though this approach has its own flaws. 

In the end, choosing a platform where apps set permissions to your liking is a matter of choice. 

Hopefully, this article will help you realize which priorities you value most, and make a selection based on this information. 

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to express yourself in the comments below!

Antoine DeGrasse

@freepps_top

Avid rhyme maker, master of ceremonies, lord of the phones. @tequillo

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