The Big Debate: Apple vs. Android as a Trial Attorney

By Tad Thomas | Dec 22, 2020 | Tad's Tech Corner

Technology is an essential part of any modern practicing attorney’s toolkit. In Tad’s Tech Corner, join me as I discuss how to best utilize technology– both from a device and software standpoint– during your daily lawyering tasks and during trial. Discussions, as always, are welcome in the comments section below.

— Tad Thomas

No matter where we are, whether we’re in the office, with a client, or relaxing at home, we’re glued to our devices—especially our cellphones. While these devices help us communicate with coworkers, peers, family, and friends, they’re also crucial when it comes to being a successful trial attorney.

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), mobile technology, which includes laptops, tablets, and smartphones, has been an essential part of law practice for years. Nearly 100% of lawyers use mobile computing tools in at least some areas of their practice, which is why it’s crucial to ensure you have the device that’s best for you. So, Apple or Android? Let’s take a look at the big debate and help you decide which mobile operating system is right for you.

Apple and iOS

When the concept of mobile operating systems was first introduced, Apple was the only one worth mentioning. Apple’s iPhone OS, which later became known simply as iOS, was and still is only available on Apple devices—making it an exclusive market. The ABA’s 2017 Mobile Technology report notes that 75% of lawyers have iPhones, while only 23% of attorneys have Android devices. Today, those who swear by Apple devices refer to their security, speed, and regular updates.


In general, iOS products are far less susceptible to viruses than Android. This has to do with Apple’s level of exclusivity. iPhone apps can only be installed from the Apple Mac Store, which provides a level of control over the malware that gets through. As a result, a much higher percentage of mobile malware targets Android devices.

In regard to what you need as a trial attorney, you know that security and privacy are paramount—especially when it comes to protecting clients’ data and information. When you have to worry less about mobile malware and losing data, you’ll be able to focus more on preparing for trial.


While there have been issues in the past regarding the speed of iPhones, most current devices, like the iPhone 11, run on an A13 Bionic chip. This chip provides unparalleled speed and power compared to its predecessors. In addition to the speed factor, phones equipped with the A13 Bionic chip have four to five extra hours of battery life and a 20% performance boost.    

Regular Updates

Compared to Android, Apple is better when it comes to updating devices with the newest operating system. In addition to that, Apple tends to offer better support for older phone models than Android does. For example, when iOS 11 was released at the end of 2017, it was installed on 66% of compatible devices within six weeks. With Android’s Oreo, which was released around the same time, only 0.2% of Android devices had the software installed more than eight weeks later.

Google and Android

When Android announced its mobile operating system a year after Apple, the reception was not as high. Today, however, the company lets consumers have more freedom with their devices in regard to hardware and software and gives access to keep technologies like USB-C ports and 3.5mm headphone jacks. Lawyers who opt for Android devices often mention their variety and compatibility, price, and user experience.

Variety and Compatibility

Compared to Apple, Android offers over a million more apps. This is because the Android platform is an open-source system. In addition to that, any phone carrier can create devices for Android and users can download any available Android system. This makes it much more accessible compared to Apple products.


Android holds almost 75% of the market share around the world. Overall, Android provides quality at a lower cost. Android provides low-cost, quality handsets that are hundreds of dollars cheaper than iPhone’s newest models. In addition to that, publishing apps is more affordable for developers through Android. For only $25, developers can publish an unlimited number of apps in the Good Play Store. iOS, however, costs $99 for the same.

User Experience  

When it comes to voice interfaces and AI, Android’s Google Assistant is considerably more advanced than Apple’s Siri as a virtual assistant. Google Assistant offers more accurate responses to questions and tailor-made services, like reading text on images and converting it into calendar updates or notes. In addition to that, Android is coming out with phones that cater to individual consumers and various industries, with features like removable batteries and walkie-talkies.

When it comes down to it, there are positives and negatives associated with both Apple and Android. In order to determine what’s best for you as a trial attorney, you’ll need to weigh those pros and cons in relation to your practice. The main question you’ll need to ask yourself is what kind of phone will you buy next?