The Android operating system and iOS will both receive new updates this autumn- Google is all set to introduce Android L, while Apple plans to release version 8 of iOS. These updates are slated to make several changes to the design as well as the functionality of these two very popular operating systems. Some interesting new features, which we are going to take a look at, are in the works as well. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the major difference between iOS and Android at present as well as some of the changes the new updates will bring.
Android and iOS have been bitter rivals since 2008. The release of the new updates will only take the Android vs iOS rivalry a step further. While both operating systems commanded an almost equal market share in the past (about 23% in 2011), Android has since pulled far ahead of iOS to command a market share of about 80% (mid 2014).
Android seems to be much more popular if you go by sales figures alone, but iOS isn’t exactly out of the equation yet. Apple’s iOS is backed by legions of dedicated fans and a savvy development team. It still commands a very respectable market share that it won’t let go of without a fight. However, Apple only sells premium products, which vastly limits its growth prospects.
If you look at it from a technical perspective, there’s very little separating the two operating systems at the moment. Both the operating systems (iOS 7.1 and KitKat) offer almost identical features and both support similar (if not the same) apps. They also support comparable hardware – neither operating system is significantly faster than the other.
This might all change with the new update, however, so you might want to wait a few months before you buy a new smartphone.
iOS 7, when it was launched, received many mixed reviews from users as well as critics. Some didn’t like the transition from “skeuomorphic” to flat design – a simplistic design style that lacks shadows and gradients. However, now that the dust has settled, most users are satisfied with the flat design style of the iOS. iOS 7 has, on the whole, an uncluttered, vibrant interface with lifelike graphics and several nifty animation features. The parallax feature, for example, slides and moves the background image when you move your iOS device.In contrast, Android looks flat and dull, with the use of too many blacks and grays. However, you can customize Android, which means that you can change the design to one you like better. This is a major advantage that Android enjoys over iOS.
In the new iOS 8 update, Apple will make no radical changes to the design. Thefocus is on brushing up an already complete product. They have introduced a new keyboard, for example, and a new notification system that is more interactive than the previous one. Android, on the other hand, is going through a complete makeover. Google is introducing a new design style called Material Design. Ironically, Material Design makes heavy use of gradients and shadows. In many ways, it is similar to the skeuomorphic style that Apple abandoned. Previews show a slick, well designed interface that can easily give iOS 8 a run for its money.
Apple devices have always had a poor battery life compared to Android devices. The new iOS update does not introduce features to address this shortcoming. Android has, however, gone a step further and introduced a battery saving mode that is supposed to give Android devices a bigger batter life.
AirDrop vs. Android Beam
iOS has always scored over Android when it comes to how data is shared between devices. iOS supports the AirDrop feature, which lets you share data with other AirDrop enabled devices in the area. Android Beam is often troublesome and not as fast. It also has a smaller range than AirDrop.
iOS 8 includes an even better AirDrop feature, dubbed Handoff. You can sync multiple Apple devices (including Macs) with it.
Security and Data Protection
Android and iOS both offer a comparable level of security. Both platforms can be password protected and locked. Both platforms offer a range of apps that can encrypt your data, lock folders, render a stolen phone useless, and even help track a stolen phone.
In the new update, Google has introduced a feature that will automatically unlock your Android device when a recognized Bluetooth device you’re wearing comes in range. Apple has refined the touch fingerprint scanner (present on iPhone 5S) in iOS 8- it now works with apps.
However, data safety is something of a concern on both phones. Old Android phones sold on eBay could be “hacked” and the data on them recovered using special software. It’s a little harder on the iPhone, but it’s still possible. If you ever want to sell your old device, we recommend that you use an app to wipe it clean more thoroughly. Read this article for more details:
iOS 7 works on the new Apple products, like iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad mini. iOS 8 will work on all the devices iOS 7 runs on. What devices the new Android OS can run on will, as always, depend on the manufacturer of the model you own.
An Overview of the Major Differences
|Base OS||Linux||UNIX and OSX|
|Customizable||Yes||Limited, Needs Jailbreak for Extensive Customization|
|Latest Version||Android 4.4 KitKat||iOS 7.1|
|Supported Devices||Many devices, including Motorola, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nexus and Sony||Only devices developed by Apple, like the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch|
|Voice Assist||Yes, with Google Now||Yes, with Siri|
|Apps||1,000,000 + apps on the Google Play Store||1,000,000 + apps in the iTunes store|
|Messaging Medium||Google Hangouts||iMessage|
|Interface||Touch Screen, Voice||Touch Screen, Voice|
|Data Transfer||PC, Android Beam||PC, AirDrop|
|Default Net Browser||Google Chrome||Safari|
|Game Organizer||Play Games||Game Center|
The new iOS 8 will also introduce several other features like a more multi-tasking options, a better notification system and new developer options, as well as a great Health and Fitness app called Healthkit. Android will also get several new features, like AndroidAuto, 64 bit support and a better lock screen that lets you dial quickly.
Which launches from these platforms are you most excited about? Do let us know in the comments below.
Feature image credit: George Thomas via Flickr