Apple and Google are two fierce rivals in this industry and with the release of Apple iOs 4 and Google Android 2.2, the competition has become more intense and interesting. Google’s smartphone initiative, Nexus One did not make it big in the industry however iPhones have always had an upper hand when it comes to the superior mobile handsets. But Google’s open mobile OS Android is slowly taking over the market and has become a hot product for the company. It has now given Apple’s iOS 4 a sturdy rivalry with its feature rich Android 2.2 (Froyo).
Apple iOS 4 now sports a bunch of new features ,the absence of which kept its previous versions at a smaller footing than its competitors. Some of these missing tidbits already existed in the Android that further leveraged its performance in the market. But with iOS 4 , things have begun to take a new stride and have raised the most important questions in the industry and that are: which out of the two is here to make a stronger impact? Who is likely to win the mobile OS war this time? Read on to find the answers.
Multitasking: Apple’s previous version of iOS lacked the most significant feature of multitasking, a loophole that has now been fixed in the iOS 4. However it has been limited to audio streaming, VoIP and GPS apps. Android users on the other hand have been basking in multitasking goodness from the beginning and in 2.2, its juts gotten juicier. A small problem though is how this process hogs up the battery life and slows down the speed. Pitching the two together, Android automatically bins unused apps, while iOS 4 offers an easy way to shut them down ourselves.
Tethering: Froyo offers Android users USB tethering and WiFi hotspot functionality where your phone will act as the WiFi, wherever you are. Tethering on iOS 4 is done via Bluetooth and USB only. WiFi tethering is possible only if you are jailbroken.
Handling emails: iOS 4 brings for its users a unified inbox that combines the multiple e-mail accounts of a user. It also gets the feature of threading of conversations, ability to add multiple Exchange accounts and sync Google calendars and contacts with the phone as well. There is no unified inbox for Android 2.2 while threading is available in Gmail but not in other accounts. Another missing feature is the ability to move emails into folders in Exchang.
Adobe Flash: We haven’t forgotten the Apple-Flash strife, have we? So we all know Flash isn’t making it to iOS 4 ‘ever’. But Android offers full support to Flash thus keeping the developers and users happy.
Gaming Social Networks: This was one of the best news for the gaming enthusiasts as iOS 4 bought with it the Xbox like social network for iPhone gamers. This feature remains absent from Android 2.2. Also iOS 4 has a much larger and better gaming base then Froyo.
Music: It is an undeniable fact that iPhone excels is playing music and integration with iTunes which certainly is huge selling point for the company. Android 2.2 however allows Over the Air (OTA) transfer to phone without having to touch the phone from PC or via any 3rd party stores. For streaming, Froyo offers a new Official plugin (Simplified media) that works with iTunes, Windows media player and lets users stream any media onDemand to their Android device.
The App war: Android offers about the third of apps (50,000) that are provided to iPhone users(180,000) in iTunes. But then that is something we expect to be balanced in the near future as its been only a while since Android has made it to the industry and still owns a substantial share of the App market. Plus with the recent Android App Inventor, expect the numbers to shoot considerably.
ChangedWallpapers: Can’t believe we couldn’t do that in iPhone but as its better late than never, iOS 4 now allows users to change wallpapers. But Android has had that for quite some time.
eBooks: iOS 4 offers support for downloading iBooks and read digital books which however is only available through add-on apps in Android 2.2.
That broadly sums up how the two mobile OSs differ from each other as they try to dominate the other with more superior technology and refined features in their software. Apple has always been hard at work with its software upgrades. But sadly it still has some other features left out of its current version that include some significant customization options, free high-quality navigation software, ability to choose a carrier except AT&T, cloud-to-device messaging and so on. With all these features intact in Android 2.2 along with its open nature, the OS positions itself better to innovate in the future releases. Making it more interesting are a wide range of Google products that we hope to see being integrated into the Android devices. Plus being every smartphone makers top choice, Android 2.2 has all its hands dipped in honeypot. And it seems it is half the battle already won.