Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek
The Android operating system has been around for a long time, and it’s used by millions and millions of people. Naturally, quite a few myths have cropped up over the years. Are any of these common myths actually true?
What makes a myth a myth? A myth is typically a story or belief that has been around for a long time. It gets repeated over and over until people assume it’s true. Many myths have followed Android’s explosion in popularity. Let’s debunk some of them.
Android Phones Are Cheap
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek
One of the most common myths about Android is that it’s cheap. This is often said as an insult to Android users, especially from those who use iPhones. It’s not just about price; it’s also a shot at the quality of the devices.
The truth is some Android phones really are cheap, but many of them are not. Android is a gigantic ecosystem of devices from many different companies. That means there’s an Android device at just about every price point and quality level.
You can’t make a blanket statement like “Android phones are cheap.” If you compare an iPhone and an Android device with comparable features, the pricing is very similar. Some Android phones are cheap; some are very premium and expensive. There’s a wide range of options..
Android Is Full of Viruses
Another super common myth is that Android devices are plagued with viruses and malware. In reality, Android is very similar to Windows in this situation.
There are more viruses and malware for Windows compared to macOS because of how many people use it. In the same way, more viruses and malware are targeted at Android because of how popular it is.
However, just like with Windows, it’s really not a big concern if you use Android in a smart way. Installing apps from only the Google Play Store and heeding the browser warnings when you run across an unsafe website will protect you. You don’t have to use antivirus software on Android, though you can if you want.
You Need to Close Apps
When Android was a budding new operating system, there was a category of apps that became very popular: task killers. These apps would close all the apps that were running in the background. People thought it improved performance and battery life. That myth still persists today.
The truth is Android is specifically designed to handle apps in the background. Android automatically manages background tasks and closes things when more resources are needed. You simply do not need to manage this yourself.
In fact, constantly closing apps can have a negative effect on your phone. Instead of the app sitting in the background waiting for you, it has to completely start up again. That requires more resources than resuming from a paused state.
Android Is More Complicated Than iOS
There is a general sense among most people that iPhones are easy to use and Android devices are for more tech-savvy people. It’s considered a more complex operating system. I don’t think that’s true anymore.
iOS on the iPhone certainly started as a very simple operating system, but those days are long gone. iOS has gained many of the features that used to be found only in Android. That has caused iOS to become much more complex than it used to be.
As mentioned in other myths, it’s also not fair to compare the entirety of Android to a single device, the iPhone. Samsung Galaxy phones may be more complicated than iPhones, but I wouldn’t say Google Pixel devices are. All smartphones can do a lot these days.
Android Is Ugly
Let’s end with a bit of a subjective myth. People generally consider iPhones to be very aesthetically pleasing, both in the software and hardware. Meanwhile, Android is looked down upon as being ugly. Just like the myth above, I don’t think that’s true anymore.
I certainly agree that iPhones are well designed physically, but iOS has remained largely the same since it launched in 2007. Just look at how little the emoji have changed over the years. Meanwhile, many Android skins have adapted to current design trends.
In reality, I think this myth comes down to personalization choices. It’s easy to make Android look “ugly” with all the personalization options at your fingertips. You can make the system font Comic Sans! Android looks how you want it to look, whereas iOS mostly looks how Apple wants it to look.
A lot of the Android myths that are still around today come from a time when Android and the iPhone were both very new. Things have changed a lot since those early days, but myths have a tendency to stick around.