A battle as old as smartphones, which is better IOS or Android? One has the versatility over numerous manufacturers, one is catered to the behemoth that is the iPhone. The pendulum of innovation has swung in favour of each over the years, but as time moves on who will lead the way?
Google recently announced the Android 12 developer beta, ready to use by the brave and the strong on OnePlus, iQOO, ZTE, TCL and Asus – to name but a few. The new Android 12 boasts a refreshed and unified UI, with a central focus on privacy and an overhaul of the widgets. The release date has been rumoured to be either September or October.
Apple’s iOS 15 is expected to debut at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference next month, with rumeros of a new iPadOS Home Screen redesign, new notification categories, iMessage updates, privacy enhancements and expanded automatic replies. The war machine is readying for battle but what is the current state of play?
Google Assistant Vs Siri (and the Alexa turncoat)
An interesting starting point in the smart war concerns one of the newest recruits to the fray – the AI assistant. On whatever divide of AI pessimism/optimism you sit most are at the very least intrigued by the potential of AI aissiantce over the years.
Like any war, confusion and subterfuge fuel covert advantages, no more so than Google’s newest development codenamed ‘Guacamole’ during the testing phase. As satisfying as an avocado, the new feature available to those on the Android 11 beta version relays quick commands such as receiving a call, turning off an alarm – all without screaming ‘Hey Google’.
Compared to its counterparts Google Assistant is able to utilise the popular Gmail, maps and of course search engine with its immense database to optimise usage. One interesting option with Alexa is that you can now command “Alexa, join our conversation” suspending the ‘wake’ words engaging the ability to handle multiple voices during commonplace conversation.
The main advantages for Siri in comparison seems to be the fact it is usable on iPads, iPhones, MacOS and Apple Carplay with very similar functionality to its competitors. The innovation battle of the AI assistant has been drawn between Alexa and Google Assistant, with both now operating on iOS or Android Siri sits caged behind its apple prison.
The iOS can put forward the case it has as split screen capability on the iPadOS actually supporting multiple apps at one time, but for now that is it, iOS 14 and the current iPhone do not have this capability. A long held advantage for android users has been the ability to double up on your device.
Since 2016 Android users have been able to split-screen apps since the release of Android Nougat, some suggesting they will go further with this on Android 12 release later this year. Being able to chat on Whatsapp or Facebook messenger while reading a google doc or watching youtube has been an interesting function Apple have not yet decided to capitalise on.
Stylus Vs the Apple Pencil
One major flaw in the pencil war is that not every device on Android supports the Stylus, if that were the case one could say the battle was already won. That being said, it is available on the Moto G Stylus, Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20 so not all bad news. What sets the Stylis apart from the Apple Pencil is the built-in Stylus Support.
The support helps you to edit photos, create sketches and write notes with the precision of a quill. The S Pen may move to further devices in the future as its popularity and everyday usage continues to rise. Samsung has shown the way by making many of its devices S Pen capable, other android manufacturers may follow suit either with the S Pen or an incarnation of their own.
Although the Apple Pen does not have Apple Pencil support on the iPhone, there are some interesting advantages to using the Pen over the Stylus. Reviews have littered the Apple Pen with plaudits for its fast-charging battery life and lack of lagging issues when drawing on the screen.
The Apple Pencil has also been a long-standing and well-established tool for digital drawing due to constant iPadOS software updates. It has been the first port of call for digital designers for a while now, if only they found a way to include some of these big innovations on the iPhone.
Wallpapering the Home
Apple also needs to encourage development in its approach to the home screen, still having the same locked design it’s had for years. If you wish to be creative with your app layout then you’ll be left wanting.
Android, however, has long let you place apps wherever you like, if they could they would break the fourth wall and place an app shortcut on your bonce. Breaking free of the grid layout and following the desktop-style customisation has always kept android a step ahead, with layered folders helping you to organise your favourite apps and widgets.
I don’t know about you, but I love quality wallpaper on my device, keeps things interesting and new. Now although you can schedule your wallpaper to change on the iPhone, the android wallpaper app makes it easier to refresh and change both the lock screen and the home screen daily, as we know – a happy home is a happy phone.
There are endless points of comparison between iOS and the Android application on a smartphone. After using both for many years, these are the ones most important to me and many others. The past suggests that superiority in the marketplace may depend on fighting these battlegrounds on the smaller screen.
We see two possible game-changers releasing this year from both camps, did they pay attention to what the people want? Will they risk it all on something we haven’t seen before? Will they create something that I don’t want to throw out of a window? As with every battle of the tech, only time will tell.
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