iOS vs Android: the standoff
Breaking news: compare mobile OS has become more interesting. Google and Apple made their OS easy, functional and indecent similar to each other and focused on other projects. Other players, including Microsoft, BlackBerry and Canonical, one after the other go the distance. All that can be done with iOS or Android in a new version to tighten up the gears for greater performance, finished software, which is less brings the revolutionary changes and everything is a dead end. As the most popular mobile OS has come to this, and waiting to see whether their revolutionary changes in the future — try to understand.
First, some materiel and history. It is well known the main difference between the two operating systems: Apple, unlike Google, controls fully source code of his creation, opening up to third-party developers access only to individual elements. While Steve jobs has repeatedly criticized Android for its openness and as a result, excessive complexity, but history has shown that either approach can turn out as a boon and a curse. To this we shall return.
iOS was first introduced as iPhone OS 1, “a mobile version of Mac OS”, along with the first smartphone of the company on 9 January 2007. As desktop OSes Apple iOS is built on two primary components, designed by Apple and NeXT is the core of XNU and Darwin system, which formally corresponds to the specifications of SUSv3 “UNIX”, not being them as such ( “X is Not Unix”, after all). At the same XNU and Darwin, unlike iOS and macOS systems with open source.
The closeness of iOS allows Apple to control not only your own software, but third-party developers. For example, despite the free iOS SDK and Xcode development environment, each developer has to pay 99 dollars a year for the opportunity to use the emulator device and post your apps in the App Store. Until March 2008, when the SDK was made public, third-party developers could write applications for iPhone OS in principle, the app store appeared only in the second version of the OS, and this step Steve jobs, who did not want to get into his system dug someone out of Apple, went reluctantly.
The way Android on the mobile market was much more arduous. Originally acquired by Google in 2005 Android Inc. worked on OS for keypad phones with GPS. However, the presentation of the iPhone broke the team headed by Andy Rubin all the plans. The system had to redraw, and only in September 2008 with the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) was presented the first fully working version of Android. To fix the most obvious mistakes and the key improvements have gone a whole year only to the end of 2009 it was possible to talk about the possibility seriously compete with iOS. An important role was played by Motorola and Samsung, to support Google and began in that year, the release of devices with a “green robot” on Board.
The basis of Android is the Linux kernel and, therefore, accompanying the brainchild of Linus Torvalds philosophy of open source. This means an opportunity for everyone to take from Google as a basis and modified in accordance with their ideas, paying a total of $ 25 at a time. It was here that a whole host of third-party firmware, and even “their own OS” based on Android, the most famous of which is Cyanogen OS (and today OS Lineage), which grew out of the firmware CyanogenMod. That’s just at the moment of the Android market into it, few believed, and even HTC released their famous smartphone just because Google paid her.
Apple, by contrast, had a reputation of a successful revolutionary: on account of Steve jobs was listed as the first mass PC the Macintosh, the first monoblock iMac, and about the tandem iPod+iTunes, which upended the music industry and has affected several neighbouring, and say nothing. It was enough that millions of users wanted to “Apple’s phone”. Steve jobs understood that he had no right to deceive the expectations of fans, so its mobile OS was originally supposed to be perfect. Hence the reluctance to release the SDK and closed source.
Two of the casket, with the same person
Despite the fundamentally different starting points and approaches to the development of today iOS and Android have become very similar to each other. How does it work? In fact, everything is simple. In a world where technology is developing with a crazy speed, and user needs are growing almost exponentially, past achievements are important, but the next day they are history. It’s not what has been done, and the fact that the manufacturer makes on where to move, planning an evolution or a revolution. In the six years since the release of the first iPad, Apple has not made anything radically new, including on the part of the software. What we are seeing today — evolution as it is.
The similarity between iOS and Android becomes obvious if we put aside the lyrics and endless disputes, to dig deeper and understand the main tasks that it performs on any operating system. Three of them: ensuring the correct functioning of the hardware, the satisfaction of user needs and finally providing the opportunity to properly manage all that goodness. For convenience, we reduce this list to the keywords: optimization, functionality and interface.
Optimization. We, the users, no matter how the developer optimizes their hardware. It is important that everything worked, and even better — “fly”. Google and Apple do the task at the same level — not perfect, but to demand more, apparently, is useless. Note that before the search giant in this case is much more serious task: to ensure the OS is not only on top-end devices, but the budget options that “Apple” the Corporation does not issue in principle.
We all know that after a couple major updates to the devices with any OS started to slow down, and then their support stops altogether. However, in the world of Android there are many third-party firmware and some allow you to comfortably use the device four or five years ago. These are not empty words: the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which is used by the author, adequately installed and is running Android version 7.1. Released in the same year, the iPhone 5 officially updated to the latest iOS version, however, subjective assessment is noticeably worse the second “laptop”.
Functionality. In terms of meeting user needs iOS and Android is also approximately equal to: they support all relevant types of wired and wireless communications and, accordingly, all opportunities to use their benefits. Except that iOS is an artificial restriction on the use of NFC and does not support OTG. If to speak about the software, it is absolutely impossible to imagine that this can be done on one of these “axes” that could not be done on the other. In the App Store and Google Play equally present application for solving all imaginable tasks, starting with professional and finishing all kinds of entertainment, as well as programs to work with external hardware like Apple TV or Google Chromecast.
Fragments of the main pages of the App Store and Google Play
Interface. Hardly anyone will argue that on this part of Apple for several years was on the whole light years ahead of everyone else, including Google. The design of Apple’s OS was not only truly beautiful but also functional: the skeuomorph (similarity with similar real objects) helped users to learn the intricacies of the operation. However, after the release of iOS 7 “flat” design and Android 5.0 with material design (a year later, we note for the sake of justice) the gap was minimal. And business not only and not so much in appearance — still confused of the system will fail (we omit some third-party Android firmware) — and the principles of interaction between user and system.
Settings Windows 10 Android and iOS 7.1
Both systems have almost the same structure with a minimum internal hierarchy similar to the notification center at the main screen and the lock screen, very similar to the centers that control basic functions, voice assistants and so on — the list if you wish, you can continue. Manages the user-system logical and natural way — a tap and swipe, interacting with the content are actually “directly”.
While still in Apple’s system gives the user less freedom to configure the interface than the “green robot”. So, immensely annoyed by the inability to enable/disable the transmission of data on an iPad in the quick settings menu, whereas with the Android device such difficulties no longer exist. Have to constantly use a combination of Flight mode and Wi-Fi included — perhaps Steve jobs would let this happen.
Despite all the imperfections, Apple continues to enjoy a giant loyalty of their users, much more than any manufacturer of Android smartphones. This is not surprising: historically, iOS has offered a harmonious blend of functionality and convenience. Once set up the device in accordance with a comprehensive user manual and more not thinking about anything: everything works as decided by the developers, and nothing else. It would seem that the developers know better, only this is a typical example of a double-edged sword.
Every major iOS update brings new features that can be extremely useful but can be uncomfortable. For example, called swipe the right menu, Slide Over to the iPad, a good thing, but interferes with reading e-books where the page turns… that’s right, too swipe to the right. Is it possible to disable Slide Over application reader?.. No. It can neither disable, nor to configure. This is just one example: unfortunately, in the 9th and 10th versions of iOS such controversial decisions that are not going anywhere, too much. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why we really don’t want to know what awaits us in iOS 11? Offhand it’s hard to say what exactly we expect from this update. It may be significant functional extensions of the Home button? But with Tim cook will become trivial to embed in her additional small screen as the latest Apple laptop.
Examples of questionable decisions in recent versions of iOS: fast player,
in a separate menu, and unmuted Slide Over
Thanks Google released the beta version of Android O, we know most of the upcoming innovations. The changes that will go into a decent major update: optimize work of hardware and battery consumption, new codecs, small changes in the interface… All great. Just bored.
Evolution has led both OS to a common denominator and brought to a logical impasse. Users already have in their device everything that can offer a combination of “hardware+software”, and that’s why the next innovation of the mobile OS have little interest. At least until the next revolution, until the next serious challenge to the developers, when again it will be important who, how quickly and how adequately react to the changed circumstances.
Meanwhile, for the user there is no difference between what to choose “axis”. If you omit the factor of loyalty, until such time as the developers will not allow you to transfer purchases from one platform to another (which is partly done through the subscription model), perhaps that is the quantity purchased in either the app store will be decisive when choosing the host operating system.
In the battle between iOS and Android wins… friendship. Fighting to the blood during the first five years of life, these two mastodon mobile software wearily wander in the direction of the sun, and then supporting each other. Despite the fantastic number of users, the revolutionary changes left. And it seems that Google knows this and is working on a new, very interesting, but yet very mysterious project Fuchsia, which could eventually replace Android and Chrome OS and become the first truly universal operating system.
Write in comments what you would like to see future OS, what cool features the developers are still not implemented, but have, and what do you miss the OSes on your devices.
The author of the text: Max Dvorak
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