The battle in the mobile marketplace is not limited to manufacturers of devices. Perhaps the biggest dichotomy is between Android devices and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s proprietary iOS operating system. The format is used by many different mobile devices, and is of course developed by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG), while Apple’s iOS system will never have the reach of Android, given that Apple retains exclusivity for its iPhone range.
iOS 8 vs. Android 5.0 Lollipop
The latest versions of the two operating systems are iOS 8 and Android Lollipop. Today there are so many updates to both devices, that we are already on the second version of iOS 8, even though it only hit the market for the first time in September. Meanwhile, the latest Android system was unveiled under the nickname ‘L’, on June 25, 2014 during Google I/O, but has since been updated to its existing name which will be recognisable to consumers as Android Lollipop.
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Both of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices come complete with the iOS 8 operating system, while the iPod Air 2 also runs off the same system. Android Lollipop is run by no end of devices, and even those mobile devices which are not able to run the most recent version of Android will almost certainly utilise Android as their operating system if they are not manufactured by Apple.
But which of the two operating systems is ultimately the best? This is as big a bone of contention as which smartphone is the ultimate handset. So here is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s two premier operating systems.
Apple has always prided itself on its design parameters in every respect of its operation. While its manufacturing of physical devices tends to be more readily associated with the company, it has also been asserted for a long time that iOS 8 is a supremely well-design operating system. The graphical interface associated with iOS was overhauled greatly for the seventh version of the software, and the operating system has benefited greatly from this as has the iPhone series.
But Android has slowly but surely developed into a very strong rival for Apple’s software in this department. The graphical user interface included with Android Lollipop is extremely pleasing, with nice physical touches such as shadows being cast by every object and items of fading away as they are swiped off the screen of a device. Many people favour Android Lollipop’s design over that of iOS 8, and it is not difficult to see why.
Both operating systems have attempted to improve the way that they deal with notifications in recent releases. This is obviously a key element of mobile devices, which now attempt to constantly update you with phone calls, texts, calendar reminders, multiple social networks and apps, all of which are continually providing you with information. It needs a nifty system to deal with the demands of a modern mobile device, and both Google and Apple have concentrated on getting their particular operating system up to speed in this department
With this in mind, Apple has introduced interactive notifications into iOS 8, which enable you to react to notifications on the iPhone 6 without having to enter any particular app or function. This is an extremely nifty feature which even allows users to replay messages quickly without ever leaving the notification.
Android Lollipop has attempted to match this with a system of headline notifications, which informs users of important events such as incoming calls and text, and these only appear as pop-up windows. This makes it possible to eliminate distractions and continue with your existing work, and is a welcome feature in the Android series. Nevertheless, Apple’s new notification system has received critical plaudits, and these are certainly deserved.
One of the big advantages of the iOS 8 operating system is how slickly it enables the iPhone series to collaborate with other Apple devices. Of course, it goes without saying that Apple wants you to own an iPhone, iPod, iMac and ideally an Apple Watch as well once it’s released! Well, the company has gone out of its way to ensure that iOS 8 makes this spending spree a worthwhile one, with the ability now built into the software to enable users to begin writing e-mails or other documents on one device, before continuing and completing on another. iOS 8 also enables users to answer calls on Macs and iPads. There is improved Wi-Fi functionality coming soon too.
Google has done its best to enable multiple devices to be hooked up through Android Lollipop including a notification system which will work across numerous Android compatible devices, such as Android Wear and Android Auto. This could eventually lead to a significant range of hook-ups for people who own Android devices, but for the time being Apple is clearly in the lead in this department.
This is perhaps the biggest selling point of iOS 8. While a lot of effort has gone into ensuring that Android’s security is improved, the fact is that 97 percent of mobile malware is on the Android platform. Google might defend itself by stating that this is inevitable due to the provenance of the Android system, but the fact remains that statistically you are simply far more likely to encounter security issues if you utilize Android Lollipop as opposed to iOS 8.
Finally, if you’re looking for a device which lasts a long time, then those running Android will almost always come out on top over iOS 8. Apple’s devices are typically very greedy with regard to battery life, and iOS 8 has not significantly improved this. Android is still pretty efficient with battery life, and Apple has a long way to go to close the gap significantly on its great rival.