Android vs iOS security

Which is safer? Android or iOS?

What is the most important role for you when buying a smartphone? First class camera, crisp screen or low price? When security is at the top of the list, the choice is at least easy.

The question must be allowed: What does Apple's multi-billion dollar development department actually do all year round? At least not much is innovative about new iPhones. "New" functions are usually available much earlier from other manufacturers in the Android group. The iPhone is only absolutely great when it comes to computing power and price. But what about security? Maybe that's not the first thing most people think of when buying a smartphone, but it's an important one nonetheless. After all, the smartphone represents the center of their digital life for the majority of all users. Contacts and appointments, places visited, passwords, photos, chats - there is a huge amount of personal data that needs to be protected. The operating system plays a major role in this. In this regard, iOS does a lot better than Android. Mainly for the following reasons.

Reason 1: Market Share - iOS not a big goal

The proliferation of systems or programs has always been an important factor in security. From a cybercriminal's point of view, the point is clear: why should he attack a system that few use? The approach of targeting the market leader is therefore very promising. For this reason, Windows is the most attacked desktop operating system and, among smartphones, clearly Android. No wonder, given a market share of around 75 percent in Germany. In contrast, Apple is a little fish with iOS and around 24 percent market share. Even if Android were the most secure mobile operating system in the world, Google would have no chance of warding off every malware and attack. That is the fate of dominant platforms. Conversely, a low market share is beneficial for security.

Reason 2: Viruses and Malware - Less is more

Android is therefore the more lucrative target for cyber criminals, and the number of viruses, hacks and malware is correspondingly high. In view of the market share, this may not be a big surprise, but it is how high the number of Android malware threats actually is. Experts estimate that around 10,000 new Android malware threats appear every day. Although there have been malware cases on the iPhone again and again in the past, they can, in principle, be enumerated on two hands.

reason 3: Open versus closed off

Apple and Google have designed their operating systems very differently. Apple uses a technology called sandboxing. This means that each app runs in its own screened area, where it cannot interact with other apps or the operating system. In this way, malicious code contained in apps cannot cause any damage. In addition, Apple has largely sealed off the operating system, made it hardly configurable and only allows certain interfaces. Google, on the other hand, has trimmed Android for maximum transparency and flexibility. Although this has advantages for users and developers, it makes the platform more susceptible to attacks.

reason 4: The App Store factor

There are also differences in the security of the Apple App Store and Google PlayStore. Apple's strict control mechanisms for the App Store meet with criticism from many users, but undoubtedly ensure more security. In addition, unlike Android, apps cannot be installed from other sources. So the only way is through the App Store, whose contents Apple scrutinizes meticulously for all kinds of malware. Symptomatic: While it can take several weeks from submission to publication of an app at Apple, the same process usually only takes a few hours at Google. The result: the number of known Android apps with malicious code runs into the millions.

reason 5: Update Policy

Apple provides iPhone and iPads with new updates for a relatively long time, usually around five years. It looks different with Android. Depending on the manufacturer, new versions can be over after about two. In this case, there is no reason for the owner to dispose of the equipment. As a result, there was a great deal of fragmentation in the operating system used. The current Android 10 is found on just eight percent of all androids, even very old versions such as Android 5 (9.2 percent), Android 6 (11.2) and Android 7 (12.9 percent) are more widespread . The other way around: Over 90 percent of all Android devices run with an outdated system that sometimes contains more, sometimes fewer security gaps.


Ultimately, everyone has to know for themselves what kind of smartphone they would like to have. Many see the things that can cause security gaps in Android as features and reasons to use such a phone. Fortunately, you can still protect your Android device well - for example by installing a virus scanner and only downloading apps from the official Google Play Store. And even if the iOS looks much more secure at first glance - it is not 100%.