iOS 7 vs Android 4.2

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by iDan, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. iDan

    iDan Administrator Staff Member

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    Yesterday was Apple's big software announcement at their WWDC event, and obviously the launch of iOS 7 stole the show. The new OS from Apple takes on a number of new features, enhancements and general tweaks. Across the web there has been a wave of hyperbole thrown at the new OS ranging from glowing praise to damning vitriol. The truth is, (as usual), somewhere in between, and we wanted to share an article across our own network of mobile phone websites which attempts to distill it down to as fair a comparison as possible. Below we will share the primary new features which debuted in iOS 7 and will compare them as closely as possible to their Android 4.2/Jelly Bean equivalent (if one exists yet). This breakdown is in no particular order.

    First: The Control Center in iOS 7 vs. System Setting Quick Toggles in Android 4.2/Jelly Bean - Even though it took a while for this feature to show up in stock Android, it has been a standard feature already on Android for quite some time already. Apple's iOS 7 control center is definitely a great new feature and it has some added functionality which Android's version does not. For the most part though, most of the functions are the same, but the text included with the buttons makes the Android version a bit easier to use. One could argue this is subjective, but ultimately there are a great deal of average consumers out there who might have a problem memorizing the icons for the system settings buttons on iOS 7 whereas that is not a problem on Android.

    Second: The iOS New Home Screen and Lock Screen vs. Android's version - the trademarked and patented Lockscreen for iOS is now gone. Apple is definitely focusing on a minimalist approach for this now. You still have some valuable info, like the time, date, day and charge icon of the battery. You also have the text "Slide to Unlock." We aren't sure why Apple abandoned their previous lockscreen, but their new approach definitely does hold to their minimalist design aesthetic. It's obvious they want you to be able to get to your home screen as quickly as possible. The lock screen on Android 4.2 can be customized and can have widgets added. It also depends a bit on which phone you have from which manufacturer. With Android, since several OEMs do their own custom Android UI skin, there is a greater range of customized options on the lock screen. Some of these features are relatively handy if you need a quick glance at information without having to go all the way into your home screen.

    Speaking of the home screen, this is where Apple has brought several changes, although at a precursory glance, the differences are not readily apparent to a person who is inexperienced with iOS. Still, Apple has gone to great lengths to improve the UI by including parallax scrolling with a cool 3D effect underneath when you tilt the phone. The new look is very fresh. It is bright and colorful and includes more rounded and organic looking edges with flatter icons.

    As far as how the UI for Android 4.2 compares, some of the same UI features could already be found on Android, like the 3D effect, and/or the flat rounded edges; however, this was only if you downloaded third party add-ons from the Google Play Store, like live wallpapers and MIUI. This means it isn't exactly a direct "apples to apples" comparison (forgive the accidental pun). Still, the fact that our amazing community of developers already had these similar features available for Android long before Apple says great things about the open nature of Android. We still applaud Apple for tightening and evolving their design. They are the masters of "tweaking."

    Third: The Camera App on iOS 7 vs. Camera Apps on Android 4.2 - Apple updated their camera app to make it easier to use, by again focusing on a minimalist approach with some interesting transparencies. They made it easier to select and crop a photo ahead of time for quick and easy posting to Instagram. Filters are now viewable in real time so you can post them to your social networks faster. Of course, these are functions which have been available on Android 4.2 through third party apps or OEM UI skins for sometime, but they are still great to see.

    Fourth: Safari Improvements on iOS 7 vs. Google Chrome on Android 4.2 - this one is a definite case of Google doing it first. Apple just added a smart search field that works like Google’s omni search bar. It also now has 3D-style tabs, just like in Google Chrome for Android. If you want to see this now on iOS 6, you can easily just download Google Chrome for iOS and see these features already.

    Fifth: Siri on iOS 7 vs. Google Now on Android - Apple went an odd direction with this one. They switched the default search for Siri from Google to Microsoft's Bing. Obviously this was a move to distance themselves from the competition, but Microsoft used to be Apple's arch nemesis, so really this only seems like a minor strategic tweak. Politics really do make strange bedfellows. Regardless, Siri also follows Apple's new minimalist design aesthetic. It has a semi-transparent UI that allows you to still see your homescreen underneath, which is pretty intriguing. It now has better Twitter and Wikipedia integration, and can now have either a male or female voice. Of course, Google is the undisputed leader of search. That expertise coupled with superior voice integration makes Google Now stand out. Plus, because Google Now is being updated separately from Android, it continues to evolve at a rapid pace and is much closer to being a virtual AI assistant than anything out there, including Siri.

    Sixth: Weather and Messages on iOS 7 vs. on Android 4.2 - We are happy to give Apple big props for what they have done with these apps. The new swiping left and right for extra functions in both the Weather app and the Messages was very impressive. We have seen similar functionality to the Weather app on HTC's Sense 5, and on Yahoo's Weather App for Android, but the way Apple brought together and beautified it is noteworthy. The one complaint we have is that they could have made some of that functionality available in the Lock Screen or on the Home Screen instead of having to launch a separate app.

    The extra functionality in the Messages truly includes some innovative new features and tweaks, especially the swipe gestures to go back to your SMS contacts and/or to delete specific messages. Some of these ideas are not duplicated in Android right now, and it would be great for Android users to see something similar eventually.

    Seventh: AirDrop for iOS 7 vs. Android Beam in Android 4.2 - Airdrop is a welcome new feature for iOS 7, and one we are glad to see come to the OS. Being able to instantly share pics and videos and other media files with nearby friends is a super-handy and very social friendly feature. While it can be argued that Android had this first with NFC enabled Android Beam, to be fair, it is a bit buggy and doesn't always work as easily as advertised. Additionally, because it requires NFC hardware technology to work, this means some folks will be left out since not every Android has NFC. While the current iPhone also doesn't have NFC, with Airdrop it doesn't need to, and the process is simple and flawless on iOS 7.

    Eighth: Multi-tasking on iOS 7 vs. Android 4.2 - Well, this is an easy one. There's just no way around the fact that Android has had true multi-tasking for years now and Apple only just caught up with this feature. Still, it's a welcome and appreciated addition, and will improve productivity immensely on iOS 7 for those who need to take advantage of it. Apple's way of handling it is pretty cool too. The user can bring up cards of all the apps that are already running in the background. You can then swipe them up off the screen to close them out.

    That's the big list of primary new feature comparisons. We didn't hit everything mentioned by Apple yesterday, but we covered the gist of it. Feel free to chime in with anything we missed (like notifications & iRadio). For the most part Apple will have a hit on their hands. The changes in iOS 7 aren't earth-shattering, but Apple did bring some much needed and appreciated improvements. Apple is super-skilled at continuously improving their product without drastically changing it. This helps many customers transition easily into new functionality. This is especially important since we all learn at a different pace.

    Still, while Apple's iOS 7 excels in bringing a great deal of polished tweaks and enhancements, it also takes away choices and removes options. Many of the new features in iOS 7 have already been available on Android 4.2 for a while now, although to be fair, several of them could only be found by downloading third-party apps or using the custom UI overlays of specific manufacturers. This is definitely a polarizing topic since some folks desire the minimalist functionality and some prefer gobs of options. Neither side is right or wrong... it just boils down to what you prefer.

    Ultimately we are getting to that point where it is nearly impossible for these companies to avoid copying ideas from each other. Things have grown so far that it is tough for new ideas to come forth. In fact, one could argue that some of the ideas we have seen are reminiscent of some of Microsoft's mobile OS as well. It will take some previously unknown tech to come along and truly innovate. Regardless, in the interim we the consumer will reap the benefits of this dance between competitors as our user experience will only continue to evolve because of it.

    As originally posted by dgstorm over on iphoneforums.net.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2013
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  2. skimonkey

    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    Great comparison post, iDan! This will be very informative for all of our members as we get closer to this new iOS update!
     
  3. I_luv_Apple

    I_luv_Apple iPad Enthusiast

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    Yes! I totally agree. I love the new design and am looking forward to updating!
     
  4. skimonkey

    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    It's always an exciting time to see a new update come our way for our idevices! At first glance I wasn't keen on the look, however after the keynote and further reading--it looks great! Looking forward to the Fall with this release! :)
     
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  5. BocataDeChoped

    BocataDeChoped iPF Novice

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    I think the seventh point is not accurate, the comparison should be between AirDrop and Wifi Direct which is the built-in protocol for wifi adhoc sharing.
     
  6. ardchoille

    ardchoille iPad Addict

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    Especially a drastic UI update such as this. This fall is going to be a very exciting time!
     
  7. skimonkey

    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    It certainly has changed significantly. I'd like to see how I feel about the change/update once we can download it in the Fall--than I can have a better handle of the change and see how I feel about it! I'm sure like any Apple anything, I will love it! :)
     
  8. s2mikey

    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    I have to use it for a little while first and then ill decide if I like it or not. Looks can be deceiving, both good and bad. Probably take a week or two of usage to really flesh it out. It's all about usability. The OS has to impress me with how it works. Simple as that. I can get used to a new look and can even accept a look I don't care for. But, I can't deal with a clunky user experience. I'm sure apple will come through. Anxiously waiting..... ;)
     
  9. leelai

    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Excellent write up Dan. I've learnt so much here on the differences between the iPad and android devices! Thank you!!

    And now I'm excited to see it launched also!
     
  10. scifan57

    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As good as iOS 7 is now, it will only get better as it goes through several beta versions on it's way to public release this fall.
     
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  11. I_luv_Apple

    I_luv_Apple iPad Enthusiast

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    Apple are innovative in the fact they make their software better. Just take a typical car. Is a Ford car better than a Ferrari because they churn Ford cars out ever year? Whilst yes they are both vehicles that allow you to travel from A to B, Ferraris cars are by far superior. The same principle applies to Apple and IOS 7. Innovative by definition means ahead of its time, forward looking which is exactly what iOS 7 is. It took the best bits from Android and made it better!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2013
  12. BocataDeChoped

    BocataDeChoped iPF Novice

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    I don't mind letting the Android guys have it first, as a matter of fact I kind of like it because it provides the competition a large pool of test subjects for free. It's not like there is much room left for innovation when your main competitor updates its OS on 6-month basis anyway.
     
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  13. s2mikey

    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    Actually, I'm a Ferrari fan but saying a Ferrari is a better car isn't accurate. They are faster and subjectively better looking but aren't better cars. This me OS isn't even out yet so let's wait and see how they do. Android has a decent chunk of the market so they must be doing something right. There's obviously room for both out there.
     
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  14. The OB

    The OB Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Tim Cook called the iOS7 "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone".

    It will have that new Control Centre that WE will be able to access with one swipe from the bottom of the screen to control some marvellous new features incorporating basic settings.

    With those settings WE will see multi tasking and a nice improved camera app with choice of filters, and an easy switch between shooting modes, albums etc.

    WE will have the pleasure of experiencing the new music app which will include free streaming iTunes Radio. And WE will experience a nicely improved Safari.

    WE will also see Apple present us with a new UI which in their careful research they figured will add to our enjoyment of iPads. They have been pretty successful on that score in the past. Myself, I am quite excited about all this upcoming stuff as I own an iPad, enjoy it and, because of that, I am on this forum.

    I say WE, CoreDump, because it is probably doubtful whether you will experience any of this, as it seems likely you are or will be using an Android product in future if you are convinced your assessment of matters is correct. I hope I'm wrong and that you joined this forum as a fellow iPad enthusiast like me. But I just can't shake the feeling that you may not be quite in the right forum with your denigrating comments about Apple and the iPad iOS particularly.

    Again, I hope I'm wrong and, if I am, I apologise.
    Regards, Andrew








    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2013
  15. AdmiralAdama

    AdmiralAdama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm feeling so superficial. The flattened look is going to bug me, just like Window 8 panelled dashboard makes me spontaneously combust. So I'm hoping the iOS 7 'user experience' offsets the aesthetics.

    AA

    Sent from my iPhone using iPF
     
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