Android has several advantages compared to iOS when it comes to users having control over the device. One of the biggest benefits of Android is that it allows users to download apps from several different sources, including support for the side-loading of apps.
However, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has spoken out against the side-loading of applications. Answering the question about side-loading apps on iPhone, he said: “That [side-loading – ed] would destroy the security of the iPhone and a lot of the privacy initiatives that we built into the App Store, where we have privacy nutrition labels and app tracking transparency, where it forces people to get permission to track across apps.”
He added that Android has 47 times more malware than iOS but has not cited a source for this data. A report from Nokia in 2019 had claimed that Android was responsible for about 47% of the detected malware compared to 1% for iPhone. But the very next year, malware for Android fell to 26.6% and iPhones rose to 1.7%.
While Tim Cook is criticizing the practice of app side-loading, Apple itself allows this if the user has a developer account. Also, another report from Washington Post claims that almost 2% of App Store’s top 1,000 grossing apps were scams with over 120 million customers downloading those apps.
It’s noteworthy that Android doesn’t allow users to side-load apps or install apps outside of Play Store by default and user needs to give permission before installing an application from somewhere else. Also, Android has over 70 percent of the global mobile operating system market share and malicious actors tend to target the most popular platforms.
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