Android or iOS: Which is a better fit for your company?

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Companies that want to purchase mobile devices for their employees are often faced with an important decision: Android or iOS? Or should they introduce both types of devices, depending on the employee's tastes? And how well can they be combined with mobile device management?

Both operating systems have undeniable advantages and disadvantages. So in the following article, we'll give you a little guide on how to choose Android or iOS devices for your business

Android vs. iOS: advantages vs. disadvantages


  • Free choice from many different models: from Samsung to Huawei
  • Additional security measures such as Samsung Knox enrollment
  • Special versions for businesses: Android Enterprise
  • Often discounted corporate rates when purchasing large quantities
  • Large selection of available apps in the Playstore
  • Company's own apps can also be installed

  • Each Android OS varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so functionality in MDM is not always predictable
  • Security updates often only around 2 or 3 years, few manufacturers deliver more
  • Due to necessary modification of the updates by the manufacturers, these can be delayed
  • Quality of hardware varies greatly

Apple iOS:

  • Proprietary operating system, changes and updates are rolled out everywhere in the same way
  • Older Apple devices can be supplied with new updates for a long time
  • More consistency and quality control for apps
  • No differences from iOS to iOS version
  • Apple Business Manager own platform for rudimentary management of devices

  • Fewer APIs (interfaces) for management through MDM
  • Devices significantly more expensive to purchase, usually no discounts for companies
  • Even if iOS devices are in MDM, it is also neNecessary to regularly look into the Apple DEP, since the apps can only be obtained via the Apple Business Manager

In summary, there is no direct winner when choosing Android or iOS. Which operating system you want to use also depends to a large extent on which security policies you want to introduce in your company.


Mobile Device Management: Better with Android or iOS?


The world of mobile devices is diverse, as is the number of mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) systems. That's why, of course, we can't speak for every MDM as to whether it's better suited for Android or iOS devices.

So let's take a closer look at MobiVisor MDM. The good news first: both Android and iOS can be managed via MobiVisor MDM. The main differences are in the interfaces (APIs) provided by the operating system.

For the management of Android mobile devices, there is the option to directly set certain restrictions and settings, so-called policies. An example: the feature 'disallow camera' can be selected directly via policy, since the Android interface of the device allows this. If a desired restriction of the Android device cannot be done directly, for example because the required interface is not shared or does not exist, there is usually a workaround that can be applied, for example by combining different policies to achieve what you want.

This is different in iOS devices: since Apple wants to keep its operating system as closed as possible, there is only the possibility to influence the functions that Apple allows. True to the motto: either it works or it doesn't. If Apple does not provide an interface, it will be difficult or impossible to set up a function.

Basically, this is not an omission on Apple's side for the time being: By limiting the influenceability, it is also ensured that iOS remains stable and functional. With Android, on the other hand, you can sometimes put your foot in your mouth.

You can assign many policies for Android or iOS in order to secure the devices optimally. You just have to know clearly in advance what you need in terms of data protection so that you can then create a strategy for implementation via MDM.


Can I switch from Android devices to iOS devices without any problems?


Another important question that comes up again and again: What happens if I want to switch from Android to iOS devices or the other way around? Or if different types of devices are used?

Switching from iOS to Android and vice versa is not a problem on the MDM side. There is even now the option of simply copying contacts, pictures and other data via USB cable. To do this, the USB data transfer must be allowed by policy, which is done with one click. First register all new devices with your MDM, gradually collect all old devices and transfer the data.
You can then issue the new devices immediately, without any further action on the part of the users.

If you want to use different device types in your company, e.g. if the management should use iPhones and the employees Android devices, then of course you have to manage both device types accordingly. Android and iOS devices also differ in terms of registration and the way apps are assigned.
With a little practice, you can manage both without any problems!

Our conclusion: Android or iOS?


There are various factors, advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding whether to use Android or iOS devices in a company.
In addition, it is also important to consider what the intended useful life is and what data protection requirements the company has to meet.

When it comes to Android or iOS, there is no better or worse. However, some industries have special requirements, such as particularly robust hardware. In this case, Android offers far more options for finding the right model. As an entrepreneur, I would also always ask: What do my employees already use? How satisfied are they with their existing devices? Then you have a good indication of what to look for in mobile devices.

Toni, Business Developer MDM at IOTIQ 

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