Better for Lawyers: iPhone vs. Android

Well, I had to get to a product review sooner or later (in order to finally make my blog useful to someone other than myself), so here is my first: which mobile OS is better for lawyers, Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android OS?

Disclosure: I’m an Apple guy; I have the iPhone 5 (and two prior models), I have an iPad 2, and a Macbook. I acknowledge my loyalty to Apple, so in order to provide a more unbiased review, I give you the opinions of others!

silver-apple-logoandroid iconAn analysis in Law Technology News compared iOS and Android based on the following criteria: 1) available apps, 2) screen size, 3) interface (connection to other device), 4) text and data entry, 5) file attachments, 6) security, and 7) copying files.

The outcome was a landslide for Android. The iOS was only superior to Android for security, and the systems were rated as “even” in terms of available apps.

However, I was unable to find any other reviewer that was willing to give either system a clear win. Most reviews fell back on that all-too-familiar adage within the legal profession: “It depends.”

My research did turn up a few surprises, though. The biggest surprise was that the iOS’s advantage in security is likely worth more than the weight it was given by LTN. In fact, some experts suggest that Security should actually be the most important factpr for lawyers…

Andrea Linares, in her ihearttech legal technology blog, recommended users purchase an iPhone based on some frightening statistics on security vulnerabilities in the Android OS, including a study showing that 79% of new malware discovered in 2012 was Android OS-based (whereas iOS’s share is 0.7%).

The explanation? It’s two-fold: 1) Android’s significant market share advantage likely makes it a bigger target for hackers, and 2) Android allows unofficial 3rd party applications, which are easy targets for malware distributors.

Compounding any potential security problems, Android does not have a uniform software update system in place like iOS does. Google, when it licenses Android to manufacturers, apparently allows the manufacturers to decide when updates to the software will occur. By requiring uniform updates, Apple is able to constantly assess new types of security threats and address them universally. On the other hand, depending on service provider, one Android phone may be less secure than the next, depending on when the provider decides to update the software.

Although, it’s not like Apple hasn’t had its own issues as well. (Here and here)

So which is best? It depends. What do you think? [poll id=”2″]

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