If you’re like most people, you probably already have a dog in the ‘Apple vs. Android‘ fight. Some people love and laud the sleek Apple design and easy functionality. Others love how Android integrates with Google apps, and its significantly lower price point. But in the world of retail, the debate carries on far beyond the smartphone arena, and into Point-of-Sale systems. Though many perceive that Apple devices and software are becoming the industry standard, there are actually a lot of solid reasons that Android isn’t out of the ring.
So we’ve taken the time to tally up the points and list a thorough comparison between these two giants, and see how they stack up against each other in the world of Point-of-Sale software and hardware. What we find might surprise you!
Apple: The Mainstay Option
Apple-based PoS systems all run on an iOS operating system, which can have its own notable advantages. The most glaring of these is that some of the most popular Point-of-Sale systems all operate exclusively on the iOS. These include Shopify, Lightspeed, and Revel. If you’d thought about getting any of these for the Android, it’s a shame, but… tough luck! You’ll need to buckle down and get an Apple device.
Security is another big issue. And though cloud-based PoS systems are believed to be pretty secure, in practice, it’s actually up for debate. The predominance of Apple devices actually ensure that they are a large target for potential hackers, and though Apple is famous for widespread, automatic security updates and vetting apps, it’s also slower to discover malware when they happen. For example, for the single ‘Stagefright’ Android flaw, Apple discovered several security issues including YiSpecter and XCodeGhost. So, Apple in theory has better security… but in practice, not so much.
Another great check in the Apple column is that many users feel they have a better experience on Apple devices. The operating system is sleek and fast, which makes for faster checkouts, and Apple has pretty great customer support. The downsides? Its customer support is incredibly expensive, often costing as much as the device, and if your devices have issues, it’s likely you’ll lose all your data and simply be offered a replacement.
Android: The Underdog
Android might technically be the less-favored underdog in the PoS arena, but it’s got a lot of perks in its corner! One of the most notable is that it also has some great Point-of-Sale software which run exclusively on Android platforms (like Toast and AccuPOS), and others which provide freedom of choice, like Square and Vend.
Another major perk? Android devices and systems are just a fraction of the cost. For small businesses, that can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re needing to install more than one register. And if you need your Point-of-Sale devices for somewhere like a restaurant or bar, where it’s likely a few might get dropped or broken, then having cheap replacements will be a lifesaver which can cost you hundreds. Because they’re so cheap, they’re also less likely to be stolen.
Integrations are another awesome perk of Android systems. They can integrate into analytics and other Google platforms, which can make collating information, schedules, and work emails all a breeze. If a seamless experience and easy data sharing is important to you, than Android might be your best bet!
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of good arguments for both systems! And it can be difficult to pick the best choice for your business. But if you love low-cost options and easily-integrated systems, Android software is definitely for you. If you prefer ease of use or more specific software, than Apple products might be the right choice!