Tired Of Apple? 11 Alternatives To iOS-Based POS
In 2012, Apple became the most valuable company in the history of the world. In recent years, the company has sold more than 590 million iPhones and (since its debut in 2010) 338 million iPads. Over 1 billion people currently use their products.
The point is, there are a lot of iOS users out there. Whether you like it or not, Apple has probably infiltrated your life in one way or another. But as a business-owner interested in POS, Apple’s iOS is not the only solution despite the company’s behemoth presence. There are other options you can consider when deciding which platform you would like your POS to run on. Even considering Apple’s enormous global popularity, there are distinct advantages to using POS software systems you can run on desktop, Android, and Windows devices. Namely, non-iOS hardware is cheaper and more customizable. But perhaps the most compelling reason to ditch Apple is the significant price disparity between its products and others.
Interested in sidestepping the iPad POS revolution? Keep reading for an explanation of the advantages of available alternatives.
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At first glance, iConnect looks like just another Apple product (it doesn’t help that it begins with the iconic lower case “i”). But while iConnect’s name gives it the deceptive iOS look, this system works exclusively with Android systems. One of the real advantages to choosing iConnect, is that you have the option to use the all in one iConnect Register. Because the iConnect Register is a comprehensive, Android-based proprietary POS system, it eliminates the need for additional hardware. If you choose not to use the iConnect Register, you can still run iConnect software on any 4.4, 5.1, or higher Android device with the iConnect app. iConnect does start to get a little pricey if you need more than one register, but the company offers their system at $75/mo per register (for up to three registers). Users with multiple locations can contact iConnect for more info.
Long story short, if you’re looking to simplify your hardware and get the most out of iConnect’s many features, it’s a great non-iOS solution. Besides, iConnect really is worth a look; after all, we gave it a whopping five-star rating (not something we do lightly). For a full review of iConnect click here.
iConnect may be for you if:
- You run a small to medium-sized business
- You are looking for a system that is fairly easy to use
- Your business deals with rentals and/or appointments (iConnect offers some competitive features)
- You like the idea of an all in one Android POS register
Toast (see our review) is a food service POS. It is a relatively new company with excellent customer service – arguably its biggest selling point. Toast is a fantastic, robust solution and has a lot of great things going for it (read our full review of Toast here for more information), but for the purposes of this article, I care about Toast for one reason: it runs on Android.
If you don’t feel enthusiastic about Apple but still want a great food service POS, Toast is an excellent choice. The Android operating system gives you more freedom to customize and lower hardware costs. And because Toast is designed for Android, there are no disadvantages or limitations to using it with any Android device. Toast is a little on the expensive side, so that is something to be aware of. When starting out, Toast costs $100/mo and each device you add on is going to cost an additional $50/mo.
Look at Toast if:
- You are in the foodservice business
- You are ready to pay a relatively high subscription cost (at least $100/month) and are in need of a robust feature set
- You are looking for top notch customer service
LivePOS (see our review) is designed for retail and runs on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10. It was the first company to ever release a cloud-based POS system and primarily caters to SMB multi-store businesses. LivePOS has four pricing tiers, the Starter $99/mo, the Small Chain $129/mo, the Large Chain $169/mo, and the Enterprise which has custom pricing.
I would recommend LivePOS to anyone who fits the following three criteria:
- You are a medium-sized business (or growing in that direction)
- You are interested in a POS that is loaded with features (LivePOS offers over 900)
- You want to get away from Apple and like Windows
Quid (see our review) is aimed squarely at small or micro business. There are three pricing plans, including a free plan which allows for $100 worth of transactions per day and up to five inventory items (great for a tiny business just starting out). When compared to Imonggo’s free plan, Quid’s free plan supports more overall transactions but lacks Imonggo’s larger inventory option (up to 1000 items). That being said, Quid also offers a premium plan that will give you 25 inventory items and the ability to process up to $500 dollars worth of transactions per day ($12/mo or $9 if billed annually) and an Enterprise plan that offers unlimited transactions and inventory ($39/mo or $33 if billed annually). Quid can be run on any browser but users will likely have a better experience on Android devices due to a downloadable App that is not available on iOS devices. For a complete review click here.
Look at Quid if:
- You are looking for an Android POS solution that saves money and does not sacrifice on quality
- You are looking for a system that is extremely easy to use
- You are looking for an internationally accessible register. Quid can be used in 6 different languages and has up to 165 different currencies
Epos Now (see our review) is a versatile POS for both retail and hospitality needs. While Epos Now can handle larger businesses, it works best for the small business owner. I’m including it in this list because it is compatible with any device that is able to run Google Chrome or Safari web browsers. So as long you have a stable internet connection you will be able to use this system on any Android device. Epos Now offers three pricing tiers: Standard for $39/mo ($24 per extra register), Premium for $69/mo ($45 per extra register), and Enterprise that offers customized pricing. The system offers a robust set of features and is easy to use.
Look at Epos Now if:
- You are looking for a versatile POS. Epos Now can handle both retail and hospitality needs. If your business is a mix of both or would benefit from a POS that is designed for both, Epos Now is a great solution
- You currently have a small business but are looking to grow. Epos Now can handle small and large businesses
In order to function, Pose (see our review) needs only two things: an internet connection, and a device that can access that internet connection. Pose does say it works exclusively with Chrome, so that is something to consider. That being said, it is designed for smaller retail businesses but can also work as a hospitality POS depending on your needs. And while it does offer an iPad app, because it is browser based, you can completely stay away from iPads if you choose. It is also priced on the lower end of the spectrum at $49/mo/register and $19/mo per additional register. Click here for a more detailed review of Pose.
I recommend Pose to anyone who:
- Runs a smaller retail business
- Is looking for the simplicity of a POS that can be used anywhere that has a stable internet connection
- Wants a clean, friendly user interface
There are several universal languages in the world and free stuff is one of them. Bearing that truism in mind, Imonggo (see our review) offers its users two pricing points, one at no cost; gratis; 100 percent free. The free version is a great solution for the small single-location business owner with one terminal, who does up to 1000 transactions per month and who has an inventory that is under 1000 items. The company also offers a premium plan at $30/month per branch, which is extremely competitive.
Imonggo is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. If you’re looking for the cheapest possible way to purchase a POS for a single-store business, I recommend Imonggo’s free version, paired with an Android device. That said, going the Enterprise route isn’t going to hurt your wallet either.
Imonggo would work for anyone who:
- Is a new small-business owner looking to keep expenses low
- Does not have experience with POS. You can think of Imonggo as a kind of gateway into the world of POS. Working with the free software option can help you figure out what features you both need and don’t need for zero cost
Ever wondered if there was a POS that would allow you to combine multiple platforms together? Would you like to be able to use an Apple device and an Android device in the same location? You’re in luck! One of Kounta‘s (see our review) biggest selling points is the ability to do just that. In fact, cross-device usability is a major part of this POS’s appeal. Kounta offers a free Lite version, which is limited to ten daily transactions and operates as more of a never-ending trial. The company also offers three other pricing tiers: Sell for $50/mo, Manage for $100/mo, and Extend for $150/mo and $25 per extra device. For the full review, click here.
I recommend Kounta to anyone who:
- Is in food service and cares about having plenty of integration options
- Wants to use both iOS and non-iOS hardware
Once again we have a Point of Sale system that is offering a free option. eHopper (see our review) is similar to both Imonggo and Quid POS in that, in addition to its free option, it also offers an upgraded paid plan for those interested in more advanced features. eHopper’s paid plan, Freedom, is offered at $39.99/mo or $34.99/mo when billed annually. eHopper is currently compatible with only Android and Windows, although the company says they plan to add Apple compatibility in the future. For a full review of eHopper, click here.
I would recommend eHopper to anyone who:
- Has recently opened a business
- Is looking to expand (but not too much). eHopper’s paid plan can provide additional features but larger companies may wish to look elsewhere for more robust capabilities
The most important thing about Loyverse (see our review) is that it is completely free. Loyverse is simple and easy to use but, as expected, lacks the level of sophistication other (paid) POS systems can boast. That being said, if you are a small business owner with a single terminal, Loyverse is a great way to enter the business game. It is compatible with both iOS and Android.
Look at Loyverse if:
- You are a new small-business owner looking to gain experience with a POS
- You want an easy-to-use POS with a great UI
Quickbooks (see our review) is different from other POS systems on this list (and other POS in general) in that it is locally-installed. It is also fairly unique in that it runs exclusively on Windows (Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows server 12, to be exact). It is more expensive upfront because it is a one time fee. You have the Basic option which is $1,499.95, the Pro option which is $1,999.95, and the Multi-Store version that is $2,199.95 and can be used in up to 20 stores.
Look at Quickbooks if:
- You prefer to work with Windows
- You want a locally-installed POS
- You want to pay a onetime fee versus a monthly payment
While there are certainly many wonderful POS options for iOS out there, you don’t have to limit yourself to the Apple universe. Multiple alternatives exist from which to choose, and in some cases, you may find that your business’s needs are better attended to by a non-iOS platform.
Apple products are generally more expensive and don’t permit the level of customization you can get with Android or Windows products. iOS has its place, but when it comes to entry-level POS, there is nothing better for a business owner concerned with price than a non-iOS platform.
Know of any other great non-iOS POS solutions? Let us know in the comments below!