HOW ANDROID AND iOS ARE BECOMING ONE OS IN THE FUTURE
The fan boys are screaming out loud waiting for the fight between Google and Apple’s upcoming mobile Operating System updates In the past month these two companies have shown us their upcoming versions of their mobile operating systems Android L and iOS 8. So I bet most of you are wondering, which is the better update, and which has the “to die for” features. We got our hands on with these two early developer updates and had something to say about each despite several app crashing on both OSes. This is the Developer Preview Smackdown between the two mobile giant operating systems updates and how these two will be one OS in the future.
“iOS 8 on the other hand looks very identical to iOS 7”
Visually, Android got a larger treatment in this update, the User Interface (UI) overhaul for iOS came last year with iOS 7 which we also reviewed. In iOS 7 Apple cleaned up the 3D elements, flattened the visuals and gave the entire UI and a visible hierarchy. iOS 8 on the other hand looks very identical to iOS 7, not much has changed visually with the exception of a few minor tweaks like notification center or spotlight search.
Android’s New Material World
This year Google introduced a new design language called material design. In contrast to recent years where practically all software deigns have become monotonously flat and blunt. Google took strides to find a common ground between over done 3D skewomophisim and an utter flat UI like that on Windows Phone 8.
Android L has depth and nearly every tap results in a water-like ripple if you ask me, it’s somewhere between HTC’s sense 6, Android KitKat, and LG’s new custom UI on the G3 all of which are pretty superior in their own right. One of the visual changes in the upcoming Android release is the notification shade. It’s been more tightly integrated with the lock screen. Any pending notifications you have will appear on the lock-screen and they can be swiped away or double tapped to be opened.
Swiping down from the top edge of the display on the lock-screen or when there are no notifications, will bring up the quick settings panel, which looks a lot like ASUS’s Android custom shade. Among the settings you will see is brightness adjuster, Bluetooth, Wifi, orientation lock, screen-cast, Airplane mode and location. There are many minor and major tweaks from top to bottom in this version of Android.
The software navigation buttons are also different and look more like PlayStation buttons, composed of a triangle for Back, square for recent apps and circle for home. As far as settings go, we like the direction both operating systems are headed. It took us a while to adjust to iOS 7 last year, but now both OSes are looking better than ever and we can’t wait to see the finished products.
Under the hood works
Many of the most import changes for both operating systems are behind the scenes, this is probably more true for iOS 8 since it arguably needed the update the most. The two big features you will see in iOS 8 is continuity and extensibility. Continuity is what will make all of your Apple products work together better in the near future. You will be able to start typing your message on your iPad and finish it on your iPhone. Or start an email on your MAC from the mail app and finish it on the iPad. Also you will be able to answer calls from the iPhone on your desktop or open a document you have been editing on the iPad on the MAC using iCloud drive.
There will be lots of extended functionality and interoperability between Apple devices once iOS 8 and Yosmite are ready for consumer release. But a much more important feature is what Apple calls extensibility. This will allow 3rd party developers to integrate their Apps to iOS you will soon be able to send pictures to Evernote, from with in the Photos app. iOS users will also be able to share to your 3rd party twitter client from safari or open iCloud drive files in dropbox, all without ever leaving the app. What’s even exciting is that 3rd party keyboards will also be allowed for the first time of iSO.,cant wait to try out my personal favorite keyboard Swiftkey on iOS 8.
Android has a fair share of behind the scenes magic too. One is anticipated project Volta, which focuses on giving Android a better and improved battery life. In this you will find a battery saver mode in the battery usage menu as well as more in-depth information on what’s eating up your battery. Other battery improvements are present as well.
Google also announced that the next version of Android will run entirely on it’s new ART run-time engine, no more Dalvick, and it comes with 64 bit compatibility. Even more all the animations and visuals run at 60 frames per second. Like continuity on iOS 8, Android L also work closely with chrome OS. You will be able to run Android Apps on Chrome OS and notifications will also sync. Basically Android is now running buttery smooth and has a team dedicated to improving battery life and iOS will soon give 3rd party developers some control over the UI experience. Crazy right?
Other User focused features
That isn’t all though iOS 8 and Android L come with several other user focused features. iOS for instance takes families into consideration with the family share feature. You will be able to set up family accounts in iTunes linking various iTunes accounts to one main account so that everyone in the family can buy anything they want from the App store or iTunes with one main account, so this eliminates the need to buy multiple apps, songs or books if you are in the same family. Great isn’t it?
Spotlight search now delivers inline information cards from various sources, simply begin typing and spotlight will give nearby locations, Wikipedia pages, IMDB entries and more info right from within spotlight. You can also activate Siri hands free so long as your phone is charging. There is also a quick access to contacts in the recent apps menu above it looks more like Facebook messenger’s floating chat heads.
Back to Android L, one of the cools features it has is personal unlocking, something I think they borrowed from Motorola which they used to own. Now you will be able to set your particular trusted environments like your home or office Wifi, specific Bluetooth devices or your Android wear watch to by pass your device security lock. For those looking to separate work from Play, Google has collaborated with Samsung to give you Samsung’s Knox security features and will come baked in all Android devices.
Notifications on Steriods
Heads up notifications on Android or Actionable Notifications on iOS are coming in both updates. Without leaving the app you are in, you will be able to answer to notifications. By flicking the notification banner down and quickly replying to an SMS on iOS or dismissing an incoming call on Android without leaving the app.
Both iOS 8 will carter to fitness fanatics with their new Healthkit, the application doesn’t do much now but will start working once the compatible hardware starts coming out. The same can be said for Google fit a health focused APIs for better health tracking.
“Android and iOS are nearly blow for blow”
One thing is for sure, the more Google and Apple update their mobile operating systems, the more a like they become. Between Google’s current KitKat and the not yet named Android L release and iOS 7 and iOS 8, Android and iOS are nearly blow for blow. Both look hot, run better and faster than ever and address their biggest shortcoming to date. The final releases of both of these updates cant come soon enough.