Android may have grown bigger than iOS from Apple, and Android may have its advantages over its rival. But Apple's mobile OS packs a few punches of its own beyond its new voice-assisted user interface Siri.
Not a direct function of iOS, but a benefit of the ecosystem is Apple's customer support which is among the best of any company. Got a problem with your iOS device? You can call Apple technical support, schedule an appointment with their Genius Bar and drop by a store. If you have the misfortune of having a faulty device under warranty, you can often walk into an Apple Store and walk out with a replacement.
Software support for iOS devices is absolutely unmatched. By comparison, Android updates are few and at times mysterious leaving Android users wondering if their device will ever get an update. Apple's iOS updates are more regular, and they have supported their devices over a longer period of time. The original iPhone was supported through Apple's third iteration of their mobile OS. Even the 3GS gets a version of Apples latest iOS 5 update. Check out this graphic that has been stirring the Android versus iOS fervor.
Smartphones are made for consuming videos, music and information. Love it or hate it, nothing compares to the simplicity of iTunes and the App Store. Though resource hungry, iTunes integration is second to none for now, and it really is an effective media management tool.
The App Store has the largest selection of apps. Early on, Apple was criticized for their stringent approval process, but the chance of getting a questionable or rogue app is much lower than from the Android Market. I've found iOS devices to be more stable than Android devices and I attribute this to Apple's app policy and its multitasking strategy.
Anything you can do I can do better? There are a number of tricks Android and iOS can both perform. Apple has succeeded in making many of these features simpler and more accessible to a wider audience. Sure you can track an Android device on a map and make it stream media to other devices, but the simplicity of AirPlay and Find My iPhone empowers even basic users to perform these tasks.
While largely subjective, most Android fans admit that iOS has a more polished interface. Conversely, Apple fans admit that iOS is rigid compared to Android, but you won't find bloatware on an iPhone or iPad. There are no carrier "notifications" nagging you - like I get on my Sprint branded Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Android's advantages have challenged Apple, but iOS offers a compelling reason to climb and stay within Apple's so-called walled garden. Saying which is better is much less of a case of apples to oranges than it used to be. The two have grown more similar to one another over the years.
Expect the two to push innovation further and even these giants could be challenged by another player in the arena.