Android vs iOS – Which Is Really More Stable? New Data May Surprise You


OS stability has always been a big concern when choosing which device you’re going to upgrade to. When it comes to the battle between Android and iOS, Apple fanboys would have you believe that their mobile OS is a smooth and steady as an ocean liner, but as history has taught us, some titans — sink. In my talks with friends and acquaintances on why they’ve chosen iOS over Android, I’ve heard everything from, “It just works,” to the argument that “Android is just too fragmented,” or “Apps constantly force close.”

Well, then you would assume that data gathered from Crittercism — a research startup that analyzes mobile app crashes — would show that iOS suffers from fewer, if any, app crashes when compared to Android. Right? Wrong.

Surprisingly,  Crittercism’s data (gathered from more than 214 million app launches between November and December of 2011) shows that apps on iOS crashed much more frequently than comparable apps on Android. Just take a look at that pie graph. It’s easily dominated by iOS, covering nearly 75% of total crashes. Yup. I was just as blown away as you. Numbers don’t lie.

Now, the reasons for these app crashes are numerous. Everything from iOS 5 being new to the market, problems with hardware, internet connectivity, language support, or just plain ‘ol poorly coded apps. It can even be argued that because there are so many more iOS devices than Andr– oh, wait. I almost forgot. There isn’t.

Even with this newly released data, I almost still don’t believe it. Android. With all the talks of fragmentation, force closes and incompatible apps, could somehow turn out to be more stable than iOS? Well, slap my momma and call me Sally. Who’d-a-thunkit. Now, I’m sure this will come off as the flames of an Android fanboy but I assure you, I’m not hating. Just found this information interesting and felt like sharing. Did this data surprise any of you?

[Via Forbes]


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Ugh yeah!!

  2. I didn’t believe it! Still pinching myself!

    1.  believe! haha

  3. who is your daddy??? Android……..and iOS is just on 2-3 devices…what a shame :)

  4. Hell YES

  5. The Angry Apple fanboys troll harder too! – And they attack in groups!

    1.  Did anyone actually read this study?   It is a study of “APP” crashes not OS stability.  Did anyone read the disclaimers that Crittercism themselves put in regarding the variables they could not control???

      Just a cursory read of it reveals that:

      1. This is a study of APP stability. Not OS stability. It gives an indication of app performance, not how stable android/iphone is.  You cannot draw any meaningful comparison about android or iOS from this study.

      2. In the highest of their quartiles, being top tier apps, there is no
      statistical difference between iwhatever/android. It is in the second
      tier apps where there is a huge difference. Were I an iphone user I
      would avoid those and stay top shelf.  For android users it doesn’t matter as much.

      3. Crittercism co-mingles iphone/ipad/ipod data.  This is vitally important because this would not be an equivalent comparison, literally an apples to oranges to comparison.

      4. Crittercism themselves state that they cannot control for data connection availability, network
      conditions, signal strength, having too many apps open and overloading
      memory and so many other variables as to make their findings somewhat

      Those are the most immediate observations about the study that are obvious from a cursory read but the bottom line is that you cannot make any conclusions about OS stability at all from this study.  All you can say is that tier 2 level apps crash a lot more frequently on iOS.  Big frickin’ deal.

      1. “4. Crittercism themselves state that they cannot control for data connection availability, network conditions, signal strength, having too many apps open and overloading memory and so many other variables as to make their findings somewhat questionable.”

        So you’re saying that iPhones have poor signal, low internal memory, and users that are too dumb to manage them correctly.  I’ll accept that argument.

  6. Wow that is crazy. 

  7. In the words of Jon Gruber, “horseshit” 

    1. Exactly why would this company lie & make this up? What do they have to gain by exposing these findings? Other than people who love iOS getting pissed & having their metaphorical panties in a bunch. With People who love Android saying suck on that Apple. But that doesn’t really help the company at all. Just releasing their results their independent study results i might add as well.

      So neither Apple nor Google paid or contributed to this research. So it’s not like they’re getting money for this. So i fail to see why anyone who does these Torres of studies & research would want to make this up.

      So in conclusion “Suck On That Apple & Stop Lying Saying That Android It’s Unstable Suckers!”

  8. Probably because android users (myself included) are used to it by now and exit out without sending crash reports.

    1. It’s their own data, not crash reports.

  9. Ios users get a false sense of stablility because ios keeps users in the dark when an app crashes whereas Android announces it everytime. I totally belive this study.

    1. This times 100. Apple doesn’t think their user can handle knowing something on the phone isn’t working right so they don’t let them know. They just keep them brainwashed. Android treats their users like adults and lets them know whats going on with their phone.

      1. I can totally see why some people would want to pay to be treated like a kid.

    2. Having used an iPod Touch I can say from experience, the app freezing, or going straight to the desktop or closing on its own is a dead give away the apps not working, what more do you need?

    3. I agree! just today. I experienced 5 application crashes from my iphone 4 (I am not making things up, I have one and I can easily prove it)…  from google+, instagram, pulse, browser and facebook app. On my previous  android phones I only get 1-2 force closes on average per week. People don’t realize or just ignore the iOS errors because it does not show any “forceclose error message” unlike android.

    4. As a developer I’m a little surprised because on Android there are hundreds of devices you don’t get to test on-hoping it works. On iWhatever there are very few devices and you can easily test your apps on all of them…

      Anyways, go Android!

    5. Am a total android fan. However, apple handles the crashes better, most of the crashes on the iphone just terminate the app, on android the phone freezes for 30 seconds or restarts…

      1. you said “on Android teh phone freezes for 30 seconds or just restarts”

        have you had this experience on ALL the Android phones? cause this neve happens on any of my 5 devices.

        and there have been times when my iPhone 4 becomes unresponsive and I have to give the power or home buttons a few presses.

        1. Ya, thats never heappened to me either. My ipod touch, however, often terminates the app shortly after opening, and goes back to the home screen

        2. The freeze and/or reboot is what usually happens to me, both on my old Evo 4G and my current Galaxy Nexus.
          It doesn’t happen often, maybe once a week if even that.

          1.  That’s your hardware dude. I exchanged two RAZRs till I got one that works like a rock. First one died after 28 days, second one was just like yours – complete freeze and reboot.

          2. Yeah, this is definitely something that’s happened on my older, lower-end Androids (Samsung Moment, Samsung Transform), but not so much on my more powerful one (original Samsung Epic).

  10. idk,i hope this is true,but after owning a few android phones,it just doesnt sound right. i would like to see at least one more study done to verify the results

    1. as an owner of both platform. I can see the truthfulness of the stats. I experienced more crashes on my iphone 4 than on my androids. It’s just that android shows a “forceclose” error message so that people notice it. Unlike on iOS, when an app crashes it will just bring you to the homescreen, so the tendency is that people will either won’t notice it or they’ll just ignore it.

      1. I agree I notice force closes much more on android, because on the message, on apple their is no message no clicking ok to acknowledge it, you just click on the application icon when it goes back to the homescreen and don’t really think much about it, sometimes I thought I had hit the home button by mistake

  11. Ive read iPhone app user reviews and indeed people complain of apps crashing all the time. I assume iPhone users just would deny it in an argument.

    And I do agree that the iPhone wont tell you when an app actually crashes and an android phone will which makes it more obvious.

  12. yes this is totally surprising since Iv’e always heard the oposite, and a friend of mine just finished convincing me to get the iphone 4s and not the Galaxy s2

    1.  That’s not much of a friend.

  13. Wow, this is fantastic news. Now I can share this to all the iPhone fanboys at work :) they’re going to hate even more now.

  14. Ok SALLY, where’s your momma?

  15. What surprised me, I think more than anything else, is the fact that Android has less than a dozen OS updates over iOS. With all the talk about fragmentation within Android OS (and handsets of course), Apple has very little room to talk. Given how they have far less hardware to contend with. Looks like that walled garden isn’t so pretty after all. 

    1.  The difference is android progresses with leaps and bounds. iOS kinda just inches along…so it doesn’t really have a problem. One version isn’t much different than another.

    2. True, but you have to remember that iOS was around for quite a bit longer. And as of the last year, it seems that Android has dropped into the same trend of Apple of only releasing a new OS every year (2.3 came out in 4th quarter of 2010, 4.0 came out in 4th quarter 2011).

      1. …and Honeycomb came out in the 2nd quarter of 2011. That’s about 6 months after 2.3 and 6 months before 4.0.

  16. I’m an Android User (and for that matter a PC User), however, the biggest thing that this report doesn’t take into account is the programs that are run…  Cause there wouldn’t be crashes on either platform if there weren’t programs, would there.  And not only that the number of programs run — if a small number were ran (and crashed) on the Android vs iOS, then the report would be skewed — because a higher number of Programs run on iOS (which is likely the case) would cause the ratio to go up.  I mean hasn’t a report come out that states that Apple Users actually use their phones MORE than Android.

    1. It’s crashes PER APP, so higher number of apps just means higher number of crashes.  Ratio is not affected.

        1. let’s all pone together!

  17. I totally believe it as well! I am an iPod Touch and iPad user my self, but Android lover in secret.  The only reason didn’t buy an iPhone yet is simply because I want an Android phone.. But since iOS 5 came to picture, my iPod touch crasher almost in every app I try to use.. Many blamed the compatibility of apps with the new iOS but I don’t think this should have happened.. It even happens to apps updated to be stabled with the new iOS. But in fact the new iOS should have been faster, using resources in better more intuitive way and more optimized..Instead is slower and sluggier in old gen devices…

  18. Samsunged!

    1. “Samsunged”? Really?!?! Don’t embarass yourself or us, and enjoy the survey.

      1. cry lately..douche…..you have been samsunged…and take it.

        1. That was the most idiotic reply I’ve seen in years. I didn’t even understand that. There is this thing called “punctuation”. You should try it. Either that, or get me an Idiot to English dictionary.

  19. THANK YOU. I have been saying this for the longest. I had an iPhone 4 and apps on there crashed as much as they did on my Dinc. The only difference is at least on android its announced that your app crashes. The weird part is IOS doesn’t even have TRUE multitasking 

    1.  same here.

  20. Well this is helping sway me towards what type of phone I should get when I do decide to purchase a new one.

  21. Are we only talking about third-party apps here? If so, I’m willing to bet that 99% of these crashes have nothing to do with the operating system. The only problems are poorly written apps.

    1. Almost certainly – but its a good counter argument to the idea that iOSs more closed market/os results in a better experience.
      Even in Androids “anything goes” environment, its still just as stable.

    2.  If this is true, then you’re basically admitting one of two things: either all the good app-writers prefer writing for Android over Apple (for some reason only the expert software writers can understand/explain), or Apple is paying the consequences for its closed-source mentality and rigidity!

    3. Most of my iPad/3GS crashes happen in the high quality, top-rated “premiere” apps. I experience at least 1-2 crashes every time I use my original iPad.

      It’s so random that it really seems to have more to do with available RAM than anything else. Once you start doing “too much” within a given app, you know a crash is coming.

  22. All the Apple haters. Lots of talk about the apple fanboys, it’s just as bad on the other side. What else did you expect on an android site? The mobs are restless….

    Get a life you losers…

  23. This is awesome news! Yet another reason why Android is better and why I don’t buy Apple. By the way, ever notice how many Apple fanboys are on this Android site? Jealous?

  24. The most likely reason for this is because the iOS devices have barely any RAM.

    The iPhone 4 only has 1/2 of a GB of memory and the iPod touch 4 only has 1/4 of a GB.

    1. And lack of RAM is whose fault? and if lack of RAM is the problem, why wont apple put more in their devices?

  25. So this data proves there are more poorly-coded apps available for iPhone than there are for droid.  No surprises there, there’s more of everything for iPhone, including poorly-coded apps…

    1. That would only make sense if there was more poorly coded apps as a %, totals wouldn’t effect these graphs.

      1. Hard to say from that data.  What does 1st, 2nd 3rd quartile mean when the title is 11/2011-12/2011?  Are they quartiles of a month or two (i.e. weeks)? If they are as a % as you state, why are the numbers rising, surely they should be consistent, or were there many more poor apps for Android and iOS in week 3 than two weeks earlier!  As it stands those charts and the accompanying blurb mean nothing at all…

        1. If you can’t interpret the data presented, then why did you jump to the conclusion that it showed these results because apple had more of everything?

          What does “apple has more of everything” even mean? It sounds like an unquestioning fanboy response, but if I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just mean “apple has more total apps,” then I have an interesting read for you:

          I even went out of my way to find a heavily apple-biased article for you. We don’t want you overlooking the information just because it isn’t pro-apple.

          1. Fair cop, I interpreted it in a superficial way at first, knowing that there are a staggering number of awful apps on iOS, 
            Thomas Wrobel’s point, to say that it’s about the % of poor apps – not the totals, seems  entirely valid, but when I tried to delve deeper, I found the data wasn’t interpretable.  There’s a little more info on the original Forbes pages, but not enough for it to make sense, so currently I stand by the ‘means nothing at all’ statement.  

            I use both iOS and Android, for me the apps that crash on either do so quite often, so I feel this reflects more on the apps than the OS.  Interesting article you posted, one might imagine that  the ‘lots of free apps and rampant piracy’ might lead to increased Android crashes. The data would appear to suggest the opposite is true, though without clear, open data there’s not much point continuing to make wild stabs in the dark…

    2. yeah, heard you first time dude

  26. Keep dreaming Scamdroids! This is the most biased BS article full of lies I’ve read in a long time.

    1. From Forbes??

        1. That makes it more interesting, but it should also be noted that Google Ventures isn’t the only investor. I also doubt they’re twisting the numbers, because they have customers that work in iOS as well. Where do you think they got the numbers from? They created crash reporting tools for both platforms. It’s simply data from that point on.

          So, it could be that it’s only the companies that use Crittercism whose apps crash more often on iOS than Android, because that’s as far as the data reaches. There’s a big enough difference to be able to safely say the trend carries on outside of their data bubble. We don’t know about the other thousands of apps. Who knows, but since Crittercism is the only one with any amount of data on this, we don’t have anything else to go by, and we certainly shouldn’t be buying some dude’s word on the street over this kind of data.

    2. From Forbes. Which is obviously a highly disreputable News provider.

      Angry much?

    3. Awww… poor widdle fanbio’s butthurt!

  27. Don’t worry Apple will cover this up for the sheep as well: They’ll call it a ‘feature’ – iCrash. ‘Our phones crash elegantly’.

    Having owned an iPhone 3g at one point, this article is totally believable and I’ve been saying it for years.  Apple usually gets a pass on everything, it’s good to see the cat slowly being let out of the bag.

  28. The bottom chart impresses me the most, if I counted right, there’s 22 versions of iOS and only 17 of Android.  Would have thought that totally different with all the iFans moaning of Android being fragmented.

    I’d like to see Google get rid of the force close messages and instead implement an opt in policy of sending crash reports automatically when an app closes.  Jump to the home screen and send the report, simpler and cleaner method.

  29. Apple rather sue then make good products this is a little surprising though.Apple one phone one size no 4g no choice. Im running alpha builds of ics on a tp with less issues then Apple

  30. I am an avid Android developer and totally believe in the future of this platform, yet I can see where this study goes wrong. As a Market developer I have access to Googles web GUI for statistics on my applications, one of these showing number of crashes reported. However, as a heavily user and tester of my own apps, I know that several of my own crashes never turn up on the statistics. I believe they only do that if the user approves the report of the crash to Google. Since this is not mandatory a lot of users (including myself) avoid reporting the crashes, thus causing the android statistics to show a less frequence of crashes. As I am not an iOS developer, I don’t know how Apple does this, whether their reports are mandatory or optional by the end-user. That may have an effect on the outcome of this study

    1. If I’m not mis-reading it Jon, they did their own tests instead of just pulling the crash report data.

  31. Am I the only one who noticed that one of the pie graphs on the original page actually lists “Android 4.1”?


  32. Why would anyone be happy about this? I find no pleasure in someone buying a $600 piece of junk. That’s just mean spirited. Anyway, the only iOS device I have is an iPad, and the only thing I use it for is Netflix. It crashes at least once every 2 or 3 days. The last time I had an app crash on my Android phone was.. I don’t even know when.

    1. That’s their fault. No one held a gun to their head and said to buy a piece of crap. They did it quite willingly, and would still defend their purchase, no matter what data is thrown at them.

      1. It may be their own fault, but why would you honestly be happy about someone making a bad decision? That’s more than just a little petty. It’s immature. Do you find pleasure in knowing people bought Toyotas and got in car accidents too?

        1. If they bought the Toyota knowing it was going to crash, but claimed that Toyota’s never crashed, that it was the best automobile on the planet, that they were smarter than you for buying that Toyota, and tried to convince you while standing in front of the wreckage that the Toyota had in fact NOT been in a crash.. yes, I would be happy that they were getting what they deserved.

          1. a bit extreme in being happy that they crashed, but the point is good.  When they keep bragging about Android apps being crappy, and that being the reason that they bought an Apple, it does give a certain level of satisfaction to prove the opposite to be the case.

          2. Thank you for showing what an immature and hateful person you are. Try not to be a prick your whole life. You’d do a lot better.

  33. Crittercism is a Google funded company. Nothing worthwhile to see here.


  34. So, this data proves there are more poorly written apps for iOS than Android, wow, big surprise!  There are more everything for iOS, including badly written apps.

    1. no, not that there are more.  this data talks about RATES/LIKELIHOOD of crashes.  ie, the likelihood of the app you are about to open crashing. 
      So if there were the same number of iOS and Android, there would be more crashes on iOS.  If there are “more of everything”, as you say on iOS, that means that the number of crashes would be bigger still.

  35. Wow thanks

  36. First Off I enjoy/respect both Android and iOS.  I am aso a software developer.  These clowns are testing App Crashes — apps are written by a third party.  It is these third-party developers who write the apps that are to blame for chrashes.  This is worthless data…

    1. 214 million app launches vs the 2 or 3 you may have developed? come on man.

    2. hmm, I don’t know about that. Most of the crashes on my iPad (and my 3GS when I used an iPhone) happen in the “premiere” applications, not crapware.

      It seems to have more to do with the limited RAM/resources on iDevices than app coding.

  37. Not surprised and on Engadget you are called a liar and a moron for even mentioning that your Android crashes less than your GFs iPhone. 

  38. Yes iPhone fan boy think they have the best lol Android is still building and I love it

  39. I was always under the impression that iOS applications would crash more because its harder to develop on ios since you have to manage your own memory and garbage collection. Granted I haven’t kept up with ios evolution and maybe they were smart enough to stop making developers do that manually.

  40. What’s a “Quartile”?

  41. Myself I can’t confirm or deny that IOS or Android has more force closes, I’ve used both os’s and the results always felt fairly similar, I buy high end Android phones and they tend to experience much less force closes and issues than friends Androids who use mid or low end android phones, Android just isn’t as reliable on cheaper hardware, and it really feels like the manufacturers don’t put the same amount of work into the software on these phones, even the manufacturer matters I feel Samsung and HTC create much more reliable phones that don’t force close a lot. Custom skins that manufacturers make can heavily influence the reliability of Android phones.

  42. @ all the people trying to argue it’s the app not the OS or phone.  Is it not the apps that make these phones what they are?  an iOS device with out any third party apps is really useless and doesn’t provide much over blackberry devices.same with android. 

  43. apple apps don’t crash. It is the user who caused the malfunction.

  44. No surprise there…….the difference though is that android gives me a nasty forced close message, ios app just disappears without a trace

  45. wow, i love android. this is even shocking for me to believe… i just feel bad for iOS now… it puzzles me that their apps cant even run more stable. idk y but i would think that  they would.
    ios doesnt use java though does it? thats probably the biggest reason why.
    poor iOS :(

  46. ios rulZ! Android teh sucks! suck it!

  47. It’s time for apple fanboys to achieve their mental victories… Let’s get it on

  48. app crashes happen rarely on my galaxy s2

  49. See although iOS unstable I’m not worried about an app crash suddenly blasting my iPhone to a forced restart… because my lovely iPhone don’t know how maintains the same exact state before the restart in terms of the apps sure I might lose those few letter I was writing just before the restart, to hell with them I can remember them easily and write them again EASILY, yup Ease of Use.

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