In the world of mobile operating systems, two platforms stand head and shoulders above the rest: Android and iOS. Traditionally, Apple’s iOS has always had a distinct advantage over Google’s Android. Compared to early versions of Android, iOS was more intuitive, smoother, less buggy, and just an all-round better piece of software; however, with every new version, Google has been able to close the gap. When 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released, Android showed the world an operating system that was every bit as good as iOS 5, now with version 4.1 Jelly Bean upon us, the Google-owned OS has taken things to the next level, surpassing what was offered on the iPhone 4S. Never one to be outdone though, Apple has unveiled the iPhone 5 with iOS 6 with a various improvements and upgrades from their earlier operating system. Both OS’s are undoubtedly great, but which one is the best?
With today’s dual- and quad-core processors, both operating systems run as smooth as butter, so deciding which is the better of the two comes down to the all-important list of features. Siri was one of the most hyped features of iOS, but ended up becoming a bit of a novelty. In iOS 6, Apple has made a number of improvements. Siri can now tell you sports scores, make restaurant table reservations and list movies that are playing at the local theater. Siri’s new rival in speech recognition is Jelly Bean’s Google Now, which also happens to be much more advanced. Google Now has the ability to do everything Siri can do and more, getting to know you personally and tailoring to your interests. Unlike Siri, Google Now is a truly useful feature.
Apple has decided to do away with Google’s apps on iOS 6 which means no pre-installed YouTube and no Google Maps. Instead iOS 6 comes with Apple Maps which is a decent feature but nowhere near good enough to compete with what is the world’s best and most popular mapping system. While Google has updated Maps to include 3D and offline mapping in Jelly Bean, Apple’s app doesn’t lacks basic features such as walking and transit directions.
Apps are what Apple does best and the trend continues in iOS 6 with over 700,000 apps in the App Store. Android’s Google Play Store has long played catch up to the App Store but the distance between the two has closed considerably. Google’s revamped Play Store looks great and comes with movies, TV shows, books and music, but is still lacking in comparison with the redesigned App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks store.
It is Safari vs. Google Chrome in the browser stakes and both are well-designed and work efficiently. Safari comes with an excellent new iCloud Tabs feature for iOS 6 allowing users to keep tabs in sync across all devices. Of course this feature is nothing new for Google Chrome, but is nonetheless welcomed on the new Apple OS. Chrome is as fluid and responsive a browser that you are likely to find but Jelly Bean users still have the opportunity to change the default browser should they wish, something that is not possible on iOS 6.
Jelly Bean comes with the all-new Android Beam, a feature which takes advantage of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to allow rapid sharing of photos, videos, and almost every type of file you can think of. iOS 6 comes with Shared Photo Stream which as the name suggests, only allows you to share photos in a similar way to Instagram. The fact that the iPhone 5 comes without NFC puts iOS 6 at a disadvantage to Google.
Android is the operating system that made notifications awesome and Jelly Bean provides quick and easy access to everything you could possibly want quick and easy access to. You can also reply to emails and text messages direct from the notifications bar, which is a very useful feature. Apple’s Notification Center has been given some new social features but is still pretty bland compared to Google’s offering.
Apple’s FaceTime has pretty much defined video chat but is one of those features that is rarely used. In direct competition, Jelly Bean introduces Google+ Hangouts which lets you view video streams of all Hangout participants and converse with up to nine people at once. While FaceTime remains pretty much the same as ever, Google has surpassed it.
Apple’s iOS 6 vs. Android Jelly Bean Verdict
With the release of Jelly Bean, Android has finally surpassed iOS as the best mobile operating system on the planet. Both Android 4.1 and iOS 6 are packed with cool features, but while Google have created something fast and dynamic, iOS 6 seems rather boring.