Shopify POS

Migrating to Shopify POS? Choose your platform first (Android vs IOS)

Using Shopify POS on IOS and Android devices: a deep comparison guide before migrating POS to your retail store.

Stephanie García

Is Shopify POS Better On Android or iOS?

If you're new to Shopify POS or thinking about making the switch, you might wonder what operating system is better for your retail store. Due to the Shopify POS system's inability to run on a laptop or desktop computer, users must use a mobile device. In this article, you will learn the differences between the Android and iOS versions of the Shopify POS app so you can make your choice based on other users' experiences.

Both versions of the app include the basic functionality, and of course, the extra features will depend on whether you're subscribed to a Shopify Lite Plan, specifically, Shopify POS Pro or Shopify POS Lite. All these plans are attached to a monthly fee.

Knowing this, not every Android or Apple device is compatible with the Shopify POS app. There are some limitations regarding models and their current operating system's version. So, let's see the current compatibility table of the devices Shopify POS supports.

Once you have a compatible device, you can start installing Shopify POS app on it and setting everything up.  Shopify also offers its own hardware devices that can be used to improve your in-store experience, such as receipt printers, barcode scanners, card readers, cash drawers, tablet or iPad stands, etc.  Items like these can be easily incorporated into your sales system, and they offer flexibility in terms of payment methods, including Apple Pay and Google Pay as a payment provider to process sales. You can also use third-party hardware but the compatibility limitations are something to be aware of, and in some cases, Shopify payments are not allowed.

Android App

It's no secret that more than 70% of all mobile devices around the world are running Android, according to studies from January 2012 to June 2021. Being a Linux-based operating system, its open-source nature makes Android OS the most flexible and customizable option compared to iOS. Therefore, Android would be an appealing option if you're looking for a tailored POS solution for your business.

The fact that Android has a larger market share than iOS means your staff and even your customers are likely to be more familiar with Android than iOS' interface. This makes it easier to train employees on Android devices and show them how to use the Shopify POS system and its features.

Can You Use Shopify POS with Android?

Developers have made sure that Android devices are compatible with the Shopify POS app, offering store owners the freedom to choose their preferred operating system. This app is currently available both for tablets and smartphones.

Retail stores using Shopify POS on their Android devices must use the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader that plugs in directly to the device and lets you easily swipe credit cards. Although it works just fine, it gives you little or no choice in terms of card readers. Refunds can also be made, but you'll have to do it using the Shopify app or a computer instead of the POS app.

Which Android Tablet is better for Shopify POS?

Ideally, as a Shopify admin, you should use a tablet with a wide screen that allows you to comfortably interact with the interface; thus, a 10 inches screen would be just perfect. Thanks to Shopify POS' cloud-based nature, you don't have to worry about acquiring a device with a huge storage capacity since every piece of data will be saved right into Shopify's servers. However, you shouldn't be running out of space all the time either. A standard tablet with 64GB of storage capacity or more would be more than OK. Here you have some of the most convenient Android tablets for Shopify POS usage:    

1- Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: This was a very popular tablet in the market since its release date in September 2020. Its technical specifications make it a very nice and convenient POS solution. First of all, it has a 10.4 inches screen and works with Android 10 up to 11 or One UI 3.1 operating system, which is more than the minimum requirements Shopify POS app requires. Additionally, the 32 and 64GB versions include a microSD card port and 7040 mAh battery. You can find them for around USD 261.  

2- Xiaomi Mi Pad 4: Even though this Android device was released back in August 2018, it's still a great choice for the Shopify point of sale system. Mi Pad 4 comes with Android 8.1 and an option for MIUI 10. The versions available are 64GB and 124GB of storage capacity, both of them with 4GB of RAM. They also come with an additional microSD slot. It features a 10.1-inch display and an 8620mAh battery that can last the whole day as a POS system. The costs may vary between USD 280 and USD 310.

3- Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus: As for the M10 plus, it would be a nice addition to your Shopify hardware. It comes with Android 9.0 with 32GB storage capacity and 2GB of RAM, as well as 64GB/128GB storage capacity with 4GB RAM, all of which include a microSD card slot. In addition, this device has a screen of 10.3 inches and a battery of 7000 mAh perfect for bringing autonomy to your android device. You can find it costing around USD 270.

iOS App

Even though having an Apple device sometimes represents a higher cost, they're totally worth it. The limited number of Apple devices gives the brand control of both its hardware and software. This way, developers have the chance to optimize their apps for each specific device, allowing them to create more efficient apps. Shopify POS is not an exception to this rule, according to Appstore and Playstore reviews, the iOS app is way more functional than the Android one, as you can see in the images below.

Playstore Reviews:

Appstore Reviews:

The iOS version of this app was developed to be the standard solution to Shopify POS systems, which is why Shopify store owners have a smoother experience when using it. iOS devices also have wider compatibility with third-party hardware authorized by Shopify, these hardware items can be a card reader, a receipt printer, an external credit card terminal, a barcode scanner, etc.

Business owners should be concerned about protecting their customers' payment and personal data. There is a certain level of security built into all cloud-based POS systems, and all are built with data protection and encryption. However, each operating system adds a completely different layer of data protection of its own.

Apple's iOS operating system has been acknowledged as the more secure option (in both its firmware and software layers) in comparison to Android. Given the huge amount of mobile devices Android currently runs into, they're more often targeted by hackers. If the individual manufacturers are not constantly taking care of security fixes and updates, their customer's data might be compromised.

In terms of layout and design, Apple is recognized for its aesthetics, user-friendliness, and general usability.  From a POS perspective, this means that training your staff would be easier with the iOS app's intuitive interface.  

Another thing you should keep in mind is that, if you have updated your device to iOS 14 or higher and use Shopify apps from third parties, you might need to enable Cross-Website tracking in your iOS settings. The Cross-Website tracking feature allows third-party Shopify apps that are installed in your Shopify admin to connect with Shopify Inbox, Shopify Point of Sale, and Shopify mobile apps.

Follow these steps to enable Cross-Website tracking:

  1. Go to your device's Settings app.
  2. Click on Shopify, Shopify POS, or Shopify Inbox.
  3. Enable Allow Cross-Website Tracking.

Can You Use Shopify POS On Your iPhone?

Shopify's mobile app is supported on your iPhone as long as your operating system is iOS 12.2 or higher. if you have an older iPhone, you won't be able to download the app from the AppStore. Currently, Apple devices that support iOS 12.2 are iPhone 5s and later models.

There are lots of retail store's employees out there using the Shopify POS app on their own mobile phones, it gives them more flexibility to go around the store, easily clocking in and out their shifts, scanning barcodes, and all of that while conveniently carrying the smartphone in their pockets

Which iPad is the Best for Shopify POS?

As mentioned before, for maximum comfort and compatibility for your in-store experiences, it is recommended to use an iPad with a relatively wide screen that allows you to effortless interact with the  POS interface.  You should also consider battery life, storage capacity, processing power, and of course,  the price of the models before buying. Here you have the best 3 iPads for POS usage.

1- iPad Air Gen 3:  With its technical capabilities, this model can be integrated into your Shopify POS hardware and become the best ally for your store. It comes with a 10.5 inches screen, an 8134 mAh battery, 3GB RAM, and 64GB/256GB storage capacity (without card slot). Since it can be upgraded to iPadOS 15.1, it will remain useful for a long time. Prices may vary between USD 300 - USD 400.

2- iPad Pro (2017): This model comes with a 10.5 inches screen, perfect to use as an iPad POS in a retail business. Updates can be done up to iPadOS 15.1, which offers several useful years more. It has 4GB memory RAM, storage capacity options of 64GB/256GB/512GB (without card slot), and an 8134 mAh battery that offers some convenient wireless time in-store, as a mobile POS should. The prices range from USD 472 to USD 490.

3- iPad 5th Generation: Last but not least, here is the classic iPad, launched in March 2017. It comes with a 9.7 inches screen, not as wide as the previous ones, but pretty close though. This device is capable of running up to iPadOS 15.1, and even with its 2GB of RAM, it still has the capability of being a powerful POS solution for Shopify's app.  These models come in 32GB/128GB versions (without card slot), and an 8827 mAh battery. You can find them online for prices between USD 219 and USD 259.

Can I Use Shopify POS on a Computer?

As mentioned starting the article, you and your employees still won't be able to manage Shopify POS on a computer since there hasn't been any confirmed news from Shopify about releasing a desktop app version. However, it is a prediction for 2022 since Shopify users have been asking for it for quite some time, and hopefully, they will get it.

In conclusion

It is always a goal for Shopify stores to offer a personal shopping experience to their customers, so having superior hardware for POS purposes is essential to offer an exemplary service. However, if you properly follow Shopify's guidelines, neither Apple nor Android devices will let you down. You just have to wisely select the one that would be a better fit for your business.

If you're on a budget or maybe want a more customizable device, an Android tablet would be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you don't mind investing some more money in your work tool to guarantee data security and processing stability, an Apple device is the one for you.  

During this article, the 3 most convenient devices for both Android and iOS were presented and explained, so depending on your budget and business needs, you can select one of them or use the information to look for another model of your preference. But try to always keep in mind Shopify POS app hardware requirements.