With Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 releases due to compete with the iOS-driven iPhone 8, the remainder of 2017 will witness a battle of the operating systems. While iOS 11 has a perfectly natural title, we have yet to discover how Android O will be branded. What is for certain is that both mobile operating systems will bring a raft of new features to the table. Other existing devices such as the OnePlus 5 will also potentially benefit as well.
It seems that augmented reality is set to be a big deal in 2017, with Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 mobiles in one corner, and the iPhone 8 in the other, both benefiting from this technology. ARKit arrives in iOS 11, this software being the new augmented reality framework for Apple developers. This will enable Apple to deliver both security and gaming functionality in the iPhone 8 generation, putting the ball firmly in Android O’s court.
There is less known about the augmented reality facility to be included in Android O, but it is believed that the OS will also embrace virtual reality. Samsung has made a major investment in this innovation with its Gear headset, and we can expect to both the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 devices to embrace this operating system feature.
Apple already has the lead in the personal assistant department, and we can reasonably expect its Siri software to be improved in 2017. The digital assistant will benefit from a more natural voice, with the user interface also to be overhauled. Siri will also be more readily available to understand follow-up questions, while users will be able to sync data across multiple devices. Apple News integration will also be delivered, in what sounds like a pretty exciting update for the software.
Notification categories and snoozing
Not to be outdone, Android O will enable Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 users to benefit from an improved notification system in 2017. Android O will debut the idea of notification channels, and even use it to categorize alerts to allow easier and intuitive management. It will also be possible to snooze notifications in Android O, meaning that they disappear for a set time period.
Meanwhile, iOS 11 will provide new storage management options for iPhone 8 users. While this may not sound particularly sexy, it will ensure that Apple fans have more storage space available in the forthcoming generation. Apple has also insured that iOS benefits from its own dedicated Files application for the first time, enabling users to browse and organize files more effectively.
Faster camera shortcuts
Android O will respond to these new features by enabling Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 owners to access faster camera shortcuts in the forthcoming release. In the latest version of the operating system, users will be able to double-tab on their displays in order to rapidly zoom by 50 per cent, for example. Other features will also be included, and when coupled with camera upgrades, it means that Android users can expect to benefit from slicker camera packages this year. This can be considered particularly exciting, with the Galaxy note 8 expected to benefit from a dual-camera system that has been described as far superior to the existing iPhone 7 Plus, and Google also expected to focus on camera improvements for the Pixel 2 generation.
Rejigged App Store
Perhaps the biggest news for Apple fans with the iOS 11 and iPhone 8 generation is the inclusion of a seriously revamped App Store, already the envy of many other smartphone owners. Firstly, the appearance of this esteemed aspect of the iOS system has been improved further still, making it easier to find and identify software required.
For example, the new Today tab highlights new and popular apps that may appeal to the individual user, with separate tabs also available for games, general applications and updates. This new user interface will also be part of the new iTunes generation, meaning a fresh and intuitive look is consistent across all major Apple software platforms.
The baton of unification is picked up by Android O, with Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 users benefiting from an improved approach to data in 2017. Android O will expand the intelligence of the password system included in the software, meaning that it will be possible to migrate more user details across multiple devices. This will require a third-party password manager application in order for organization to be satisfactory, but it still sounds like a highly nifty and useful feature.
One feature that Android O promises which could be of particular concern to Apple is improved battery life across all devices. This is one area where the iconic iPhone range has been regularly criticized, with the most recent iPhone 7 struggling with a rather paltry life cycle.
Thus, it is interesting to note that Google has explicitly stated that the Doze feature that arrived in the Android Nougat generation has been improved ahead of the release of Android O. This will effectively add more limitations on what applications are able to do while in the background mode, improving battery life across Android devices.
Meanwhile, Apple has also updated the critical Control Center for the iOS 11 release, providing a raft of new features and functionality. Again, the user interface has been updated to make the software more aesthetically pleasing, but it will be the customization options that perhaps garner the most attention.
It will be possible in iOS 11 to alter the layout of the operating system, while switches can now be toggled into hidden and shown positions. A specialized Do Not Disturb mode ensures that driving with an Apple smartphone in your car is now significantly safer, while the new Screen Recording feature enables Apple users to grab on-screen activity at any time.
Picture-in-picture and smarter text
Elsewhere, two other new features in the Android O operating system will please both Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 users. The picture-in-picture functionality that has already been included within the YouTube application will be rolled out to the operating system as a whole when Android O is released. This will make it easy to surf the web or check social media accounts while watching Netflix, for example. This new feature will very much compliment the split-screen mode that Android Nougat delivered last year.
Additionally, Android O will also deliver more intelligent text selections. This means that the operating system will highlight entire blocks of text in web addresses in an intelligent fashion, while the operating system will also have the ability to launch relevant apps to deal with incoming data.
Both Android O and iOS 11 will undoubtedly have their own unique features and qualities in the forthcoming year, meaning that the argument regarding which one of the two is the superior will rumble on once more. This battle will be part of a wider and intriguing war between the Android smartphones and the iPhone range in 2017.