This is a guest post by Jimmy Wentz, a budding freelance tech writer, gadget and gaming enthusiast, and social media junkie.
The war for global mobile Operating System (OS) dominance is definitely in full-swing. Both Google and Apple has set the arena, with Apple’s iOS6 and the recently released Android 4.2 Jelly Bean powering the latest smartphones in the market. These giants are upping the ante in terms of mobile technology and features. The intense competition can only be of benefit to us consumers, however it can also mean a greater difficulty in choosing which OS to go with when purchasing a smartphone.
It may not be the number one factor but operating systems should play a part in your choice of smartphone. With mobile contracts typically lasting two-years it is worth considering every aspect of your potential new smartphone purchase. Below is a quick and comprehensive breakdown of the two megalithic operating systems.
An Apple a Day
iOS6 marches on with the Apple legacy, with its intutitive interface and an ‘elegant smoothness’ to it all that makes Apple gadgets like the iPhone and iPad easy to learn. People of any age can pick-up an iOS device and be able to learn and operate it with little difficulty in minutes.
Like it’s predecessors, iOS6 is restricted to Apple gadgets like the iPhone 5. Whilst such a limitation can be seen as a drawback it also brings with it a significant advantage in that the operating system is guaranteed to work flawlessly with the hardware.
However, iOS6 is not without its problems. Wi-Fi connectivity has been a big issue for many iOS6 users. And let’s not forget Apple Maps, the latest-and-greatest map software that infamously warped and twisted the geography of our known world (at least virtually). These issues have been fixed swiftly and are all relatively small hiccups to an otherwise elegantly designed and well-executed operating system.
Apple has continued to keep things fairly simple. There have been a few minor alterations but much remains unchanged since the original iOS came out in 2007. Customization is still rare. The lock screen can only have its background photo changed. A search Spotlight feature does come in handy but there is no live-updating content on the home screen.
Apple aficionados, known for their legendary loyalty to the brand, continues to swear by iOS6. More than nine out of ten Apple phone users plan to stick with Apple hardware in the future compared to just over half of Android smartphone users.
iOS6 is available for the iPhone 5, the New iPad, and iPad Mini and is compatible with the iPad 2, iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 3GS, and starting with the 4th generation of Ipod Touches.
Tickle Your Sweet Tooth
If you are not bought-in to the ‘an Apple-a-day philosophy’, then Jelly Bean might just be for you. Android Jelly Bean is the latest from Google’s long line of dessert-titled operating systems. In terms of usage Android is a top dog with three out of every four smartphone handsets shipped in the third quarter of 2012 running on its platform, according to leading global marketing intelligence provider, IDC.
Jelly Bean is designed to be used with many of the latest hardware (tablets and smartphones), making it a very versatile beast.
Google worked hard to give Jelly Bean as much colour as possible. There are more options than jelly bean flavours. It also has a set-up that can be customised to the nines. There are a number of home screens for you to present all your apps and icons. Furthermore pages can be doled up with widgets that are both decorative and interactive. Thus you can have live Twitter feeds or mini photo albums that can be browsed directly from the home page.
The eponymous Google search bar resides at the top and a bar at the bottom gives you quick draw access to four app icons or folders. List lovers are also catered for with a button that brings up the complete list of apps installed on the phone.
Notifications are easily accessible and returning home from a hard session of browsing also isn’t much of a drag.
Notable devices running Jelly Bean: Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note, HTC One X, LG Optimus 4X, Sony Experia Series, Motorola Atrix 2, Google Nexus 4, Google Nexus 7 tablet.
Apps and Content
Both operating systems boast apps stores with apps numbering in the thousands. There are roughly an equal number of apps on each and the majority of apps are available on both platforms.
Whereas everything including music, movies, TV shows and other media are available through Google’s Play Store, Apple have split their content across a few different locations including its Apps Store, iTunes and iBooks.
Google phones do pre-install some apps, which may irritate some. In contrast, Apple have opted to keep your home screen as pristine as possible for you.
The Short Verdict
If you appreciate intuitiveness and elegance in design and operation, and you don’t mind a “curated” or closed ecosystem with limited customization options, then iOS6 is right for you. Just make sure you have a deep enough pocket to afford the gadgets that go with it.
If you are the type who insists on tinkering with every nook-and-cranny of your device, is technically inclined, and strongly believes that you should be allowed to do anythin you want on the smartphone that you bought, then go for Jelly Bean.