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Android 4.0 versus Apple iOS 5: Battle of the sweet treats

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Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:00 am

The Google vs. Apple debacle continues with the release of Apple’s iOS 5 updates and the newly redeveloped Google Android 4.0 release, dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich.”

This might not mean much to people who use their phones for basic purposes, but to those who can’t live without their phone, this means everything.  Apple allows those “phone addicts” minimal customization capabilities, while Android offers the most modification options.

It seems as though originality has left the competition between these two groundbreaking companies.  Now they both are competing against each other rather than taking hold of a specific user niche.  Both operating systems serve their purpose well, though for my money, I’ll choose Android.

It’s easy to see why the creative, imaginative minds go for Android.  Since the new software versions have been updated in nearly every aspect, so, what’s different and how do they compare?

For both, the camera capabilities have been updated immensely.  Both systems now allow the camera to be used from the lock screen, though Apple has added full grid lines and pinch-to-zoom features.  Android, on the other hand, has added a much sought-after feature to their camera: a new panoramic stitching feature that makes a single wide shot from multiple photos that renders Apple iPhone users speechless.

Apple’s new personal digital assistant, Siri, lets you do various tasks via voice command.  Siri is much more advanced than the Android voice command feature.  Though it was at the forefront of voice commands for quite some time, all Android brings to the table for battle against Siri is the ability to activate voice command actions by speaking rather than starting an app or pressing a button.

Browser capabilities have been enhanced for both phones as well.  Android now offers a mobile browsing experience parallel to the Google Chrome desktop interface, while Apple introduces an iCloud-enabled “Reading List” syncing system.  I don’t think that either device should need such a caching feature if they are on a reliable network, though Android has the upper hand.

The iPhone now features a screen-topping notification system and a pull-down notifications area, similar to the one featured on Android; Android 4.0 offers notification enhancements, such as well the ability to pull down the notifications window from the home screen.  Now, Android’s notifications pane shows thumbnails of currently running programs that you can easily switch between; Apple’s multitasking feature doesn’t come close to this.

Android even offers developers and users more free and open-source technologies to add in to their systems.  Apple puts their thumb down on user customization, though with Android, everything can be personalized.  What more could you want?

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