The great smartphone war is largely fought on two fronts – Android and iOS. Each represents ecosystems that have millions tied up to them. Also, it is a continuous debate between the two camps as to which offers the best features and services. Those no doubt are reaching feverish pitch now that both Apple and Google are expected to update their respective platforms.
So while Google is prepping Android O, it will be iOS 11 that Apple is readying to renew the battle. Let’s find out how each measure up.
AR/VR: Augmented and virtual reality are already the current buzzwords doing rounds in the Silicon Valley. No wonder, tech titans are in a mad race to incorporate bits of both in their respective platforms. Take for instance Google Lens that acts sort of visual search engine enhanced with augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Apple too is expected to launch an AR camera app as part of the iOS 11 package, though nothing concrete is available on this as yet.
Notification Center: Android has a better-organized notification center than iOS, with similar notifications neatly grouped together. Plus, Android also offers to get rid of all via a single tab.
Things are expected to get even better with Android O as not only will those be grouped together, you will also have the option to split those up and attend to a single notification if you want.
Perhaps, Apple too will attempt something along the same lines given that at present, notifications are lined up serially. So there are chances the older ones will be missed, which negate the very purpose of the notification center.
Vitals: This is expected to be a very important addition in Android O. Essentially a collection of tool, Vitals is designed to ensure your device is optimized for the best performance at all times. That includes scanning your apps to warn against malicious attacks via Google Play Protect. Similarly, there will be Wise Limits that will shut out any app that runs in the background for too long and so on.
Google is already claiming implementing the above will lead to better battery utilization, and enhance processor efficiency.
Default app: One of the biggest issues with iOS is the manner it is closely tied to apps within its ecosystem. Selecting a phone number will resort to the dialler being suggested or selecting an email address will open the Apple Mail app.
Not so with Android as it leaves it to the user to use the app of their choice, not necessarily those that come from Google.
Better AI integration: Smartphones have long ceased to be smart just on account of their ability to connect to the internet. Rather, the trait has already begun to become a core feature of the platform.
Take for instance any text you select launches a shortcut relevant to the content. So if it is a number, you will be provided with a shortcut of those apps that operate with the number as the input. Expect to see the same approach being enhanced all the more in Android O.
In the end…
On the whole, both Android and iOS have already reached a fairly matured level so that there might not be any feature whose addition to the platform will make one light years ahead of the other. Rather, there is going to be further refinements in the features and services it already offers, along with tweaks and enhancements here and there. Of course, there is going to be features that will seek to the make the platform even more slick and slim.
That said, going by all that Google announced during its developer’s conference, there does seem a lot to look forward to with the next Android version. In contrast, Apple is holding its card close to its chest, meaning we have little info on what iOS 11 has to offer. But going by the current trend, what seems certain is that Apple does have quite some catching up to do vis-a-vis Android.