Android and iOS are two of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world. While both have their strengths and weaknesses, Android is known for unleashing creativity in ways iOS simply doesn’t. According to Mahmoud, a writer for XDA Developers, Android OS used to make him think outside the box in ways iOS never could.
Mahmoud admits to being a big Apple fan and having deep respect for Apple products and the tight ecosystem that ties them together. However, he also acknowledges that Apple products can actually limit the imagination of their users. Despite Apple boasting in its keynotes about how these devices help customers unleash their creativity, Mahmoud’s personal experience has been the complete opposite.
The first smartphone Mahmoud ever purchased was a Samsung Galaxy Mini over a decade ago. He feels like he’s learned more from it than he has with his new iPhone, the iPhone 14 Pro. That device ran Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and had less than half a gigabyte of RAM, meaning it was way before we reached the smartphone performance stability we take for granted today. Mahmoud also couldn’t afford to upgrade his hardware enough to keep up with the latest features deployed via newer Android versions. He had to find creative ways to bring these features to his existing Android phone.
That’s how Mahmoud came across XDA Forums for the very first time. He learned about rooting, Xposed modules, and flashing ROMs. He admits that he lost count of the times he bricked his Galaxy Mini attempting to install CyanogenMod without using a computer. But it was all part of the learning process. He was also a part of several Google+ (RIP) communities that made this experience more fun.
On Android, Mahmoud was still decompiling and recompiling apps to learn more about them even after he stopped modding the system. Even in the device’s natural state, he could get creative with app inspection, trying different launchers, and more. Meanwhile, he can’t even sideload an app on iOS, let alone decompile and rebuild it. While you can build and install apps from scratch on iPadOS through Swift Playgrounds, that’s not of interest to him. He’s not a developer seeking to code his own application. He’s just curious about how things work and sometimes likes tweaking existing projects.
Today, Mahmoud uses Apple products because he needs his devices to operate as he’d expect them to, with minimal bugs and hiccups. The hardware quality and software support across all operating systems are two key elements he can’t sacrifice at this point. He’s been sucked in, he’s stuck here, and he recognizes that these devices control how you control them, not the other way around.