Last week was the WWDC, Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (their version of Google IO), where they announced OS X Yosemite, iOS 8 and its massive Dev features. The consumer side of iOS 8 wasn’t massive, some nice update to features already in place and some further integration with its desktop counterpart. The bigger announcement was the Dev side of the release which added massive amounts of API’s and services to Apple Dev’s toolbox. In essence, they opened up their OS a little more, pushing the Android Vs iOS battle to new limits.
Android Vs iOS:
Apart from blowing their own trumpet (let’s face it, what company doesn’t at a developers conference?), Apple CEO Tim Cook wasn’t above taking a cheap shot at Android. When talking about iOS and it’s adoption by users, he boasted that 89% of users were on iOS 7, the latest OS available for mobile devices. Then he said that, compared to Android, that was massive, as less that 1/10 were on Android 4.4 KitKat. He even had a nice graph to illustrate his point.
We know that Android is massively fragmented, with many devices still on OS’s from years ago. But as we recently reported, Android 4.4 KitKat was also up to 13.6% adoption in the last quarter alone. Ok, 13.6% isn’t the same as Apple’s 89%, but iOS isn’t on devices from dozens of manufacturers either.
I couldn’t find any definite figures as to what the total spread of Android usage is, but we know it’s massive, and not confined to mobiles either. Because Android is Open Source, you can put it on any device with the correct hardware. As a result, you can find it on TV’s, Watches, Headsets, Tablets, Laptops as well as smart phones. iOS, on the other hand, is only on iPhone’s, iPad’s and iPod’s.
There are also some very big differences to point out between iOS and Android as pointed out by this article from JR Raphael at Computerworld,com:
- Despite fragmentation of updates, timely updates are available if you get the right phone.
- Both iOS and Android handle updates differently.
I won’t repeat what JR Raphael said, but I suggest you read his article, as it’s very well-informed.
Future of Android?:
No one for certain can say what the future will hold for the Android Vs iOS battle, other than it will keep raging till we all stop buying smart phones. There are, however, certain things that Android could do to help give themselves a boost in the fight.
First off, Android really needs to lay down the law with manufacturers and OEM’s regarding the vast fragmentation. Some manufacturers are better than others, some are more consistent than others, but one thing is for sure, with old OS’s like Froyo and Gingerbread still being used, it won’t manage to go forward any faster.
Second, Apple has the a small advantage in that they can integrate their mobile devices with their desktop devices. Android doesn’t quite have this luxury (yet?) but they can get round it with Chrome integration. In last weeks’ Apple Keynote, Tim Cook announced some very interesting features called Continuity, where both your desktop and mobile device will be ‘aware’ of each other, and when you start something on one, you’ll be able to finish it on the other without any set up or saving drafts. Also, text messages and Calls will be able to be answered through desktop devices from iPhone’s meaning that if you’re working at your desk, you can take a call without even taking your phone out of your pocket. There have been rumours that Google is looking into doing something similar to this too, however. The point is, Android need to help themselves to become more integrated with other devices and systems.
Android Vs Viruses:
Tim Cook didn’t just satisfy himself with taking cheap shots at Android’s fragmentation, he also commented on Android’s susceptibility` to viruses. Guess what? He had a graph for that too.
It’s true, Android is more open to virus attack, but not if you take reasonable precautions and use any of the anti-virus programs available in the Google Play Store. My favourite is Avast Anti-virus as it’s free, powerful and full of features like Anti-Theft, Backup and restore and works with your desktop version too, but there are plenty to choose from. If you use one of these, you are less likely (note: less likely) to contract a virus and if you do, you can deal with it through the anti-virus. Let’s not forget that Apple isn’t virus free either! There have been plenty of apps which have stolen user details and caused vulnerabilities, but they have been quickly dealt with too by Apple’s App Store Team.
The final thing to say in this Android Vs iOS article is that although Android is second to Apple in popularity and desirability, Android also has the biggest range of desirable devices running the same software with different hardware and software features than iOS. Only on Android can you get a HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5 or LG G3, each with their own innovative features. And although Apple’s Keynote last week was very impressive, none of it was ground breaking or new. Other’s have done this before them, but maybe with less polish.
You can view the Apple Keynote here, and it won’t be long till Google IO, so stay tuned.