When it comes to technology, one of the main questions asked is, “Apple or Android?” Similar questions are asked in terms of restaurant technology and POS software. This is because these two brands hold a majority of the market share of tablets and smartphones.
But, what makes Apple and Android different? How do you decide what is the ideal restaurant POS system for your business?
Apple POS System vs. Android POS Features
Restaurants often depend on their operating systems and hardware to keep things running smoothly. User errors and glitches can affect overall restaurant success and leave a bad impression on your customers.
Choosing the proper hardware and operating system for your restaurant POS system is essential. First, it’s important to understand that restaurant point of sale systems include software and hardware that run and manage your business. Each system has different POS features that allow you to manage restaurant inventory, customer orders, and similar restaurant operations.
POS hardware includes tablets, such as iPads, printers, and payment devices. Commonly used POS hardware in restaurants is a tablet that servers take orders on as they move from table to table.
POS software is the operating system that is used to run your business. Common operating systems include iOS, Android, and Windows.
When opening a business, there are a lot of things to consider. One of them is the kind of restaurant technology you need to invest in. This is true when opening a restaurant, opening a food truck, opening a bakery, opening a coffee shop, and opening a grocery store.
Each operating system has its perks. However, when deciding between an Apple POS system or an Android POS system, it’s important to pay attention to the features.
Key Takeaway: When it comes time to choose between an Apple POS system and an Android POS system, it’s best to pick the one that will best help you complete specific tasks. Disregard personal preferences when making your choice.
Android has an open and flexible mobile operating system. This allows developers to have extra control over the software and app experience.
On the other hand, Apple has more limitations when it comes to how and when apps make it into the App Store. Apple is also known to restrict developers when it comes to flexibility in the customization of the application’s experience.
Why is this important for restaurants? Because flexibility is crucial for restaurants.
In the restaurant industry, flexibility is essential because no two establishments are the same. This includes their overall restaurant concept, the ingredients they use in their different types of menus, and the checkout process. There are all kinds of customizations that restaurants go through in order to optimize daily operations.
Restaurants are fast-paced environments. The slightest delay in a single operation, like the checkout process, can impact the entire dining experience and customer satisfaction.
An Android POS system offers a more customizable experience for restaurants compared to an Apple POS system. Android POS apps adapt to restaurants and their needs whereas Apple POS apps force restaurants to fit their workflow into what Apple supports.
Hardware and Software Integration
The hardware and software of a POS system are essential in order to ensure that all device communications occur without lagging or glitching. This means that all integrations should be seamless.
In terms of hardware, Apple POS system software is only compatible with the iPad. This is because Apple owns the software (iOS) and the hardware (the iPad). They were designed to work together and ensure seamless integration.
Android operating systems have a few more options. In fact, you have the option to choose between a few different tablets by different manufacturers. These include Samsung, Huawei, and Lenovo.
While having more options for hardware is great, there is a downside. The POS software may not integrate with each Android tablet on the market. This means that there is a chance you won’t have access to all the POS system features.
When dealing with electronics, security is an important factor to keep in mind. This is especially true when it comes to protecting your customers and their personal and payment data.
Cloud-based POS systems have built-in data protection and encryption. That means that they have a certain guarantee of security.
When comparing Apple POS vs Android POS, Apple’s iOS operating system is known for its firmware and software security. Android’s OS operating system can’t guarantee the same level of security.
Apple has complete control over its hardware and software which makes it easy to consistently update and increase security across all of its devices. However, Android left the discretion in the hands of individual device manufacturers. This means that if those manufacturers aren’t consistent with making updates, you may be at risk.
There is an increased chance that hackers will target Android software compared to Apple POS software. That's because Android has an open Application Programming Interface (API).
Android's open API is for integration purposes across different devices. However, Apple keeps its source code closed which enhances the security and decreases the risk of hacking into it.
The user experience of any kind of hardware and operating system should be pleasant for everyone. This includes the front of house staff, back of house staff, and customers if you’re using a customer facing display.
The user experience is affected by the tablet you use. Everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to their ideal tablet. However, the iPad is known for delivering an overall better user experience.
The iPad has a fluid interface that is easy to learn. This is a huge advantage for businesses in the restaurant industry because it requires less training to get new staff comfortable working with the eCommerce accounting system.
Pay at table restaurants also benefits from the ease of use of the iPad. This is because the seamless user experience is ideal for customers to work with when it comes time for them to pay using the mobile point of sale system or device.
However, not all Android devices are hard to use. There are many Android tablet options that create a steeper learning curve.
Not many people think about the need for customer support until a problem occurs. However, this should be one of your top considerations as a restaurant manager choosing between an Apple and Android POS.
Apple has straightforward, quick, and easy support. In fact, it’s considered to be the best in the business, and AppleCare warranties are extensive and affordable. Another plus is that most cities have Apple Stores or Apple-certified sellers making it quick and easy to take care of repairs.
Android support, on the other hand, isn’t as extensive. The customer support and device warranties vary based on the device manufacturer. With a vast range of tablets, it’s more difficult to have the devices repaired.
Price is always a factor when considering any kind of restaurant tech. However, when deciding between Apple POS vs Android POS, the price isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
With an Android POS system, most hardware options are low-cost. However, a low-cost device isn’t always a good thing. In fact, many low-cost devices easily become outdated, and they can stop supporting your existing POS software.
This will result in you having to continuously update your devices in order to have the ideal security and updates. In the long run, this can end up costing you more money.
With an Apple POS system, you’re more likely to make a more expensive investment up front, but it’s one that will last you long-term. In fact, brand-new iPads can support existing software for up to five years. This means that there’s less of a chance that you’ll need to replace the device unless it physically breaks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Apple vs. Android POS Systems
Daily restaurant operations can vary, and you never know what may go wrong. However, having technology issues shouldn’t be something you should have to worry about. That’s why it’s important to have a durable, reliable, and affordable POS system.
Whether it’s an Apple POS system or an Android POS system, you should be able to efficiently serve your customers. Look into the following frequently asked questions for additional information on Apple vs. Android POS.
What Matters In a Restaurant POS System?
The factors that matter the most in a restaurant POS system include:
- Hardware and software integrations
- User experience
- Customer support
Regardless of whether you choose an Apple POS or Android POS, it’s important to choose a system that is functional and efficient.
How Do I Choose the Right POS Operating System?
To choose the right POS operating system for your restaurant, you’ll want to do your research. It’s also a good idea to test out free trials of different POS systems. This way, you can compare different features and evaluate each system based on your needs. You should include the POS system you want to use in your restaurant business plan and specify why it’s the ideal choice.
What Makes a Good POS System?
A good POS system should provide you with detailed reports and business insights such as sales reports and inventory tracking. Each POS report should be easy to understand and provide real-time data for maximum accuracy.