What is your core concern when you’re choosing a smart phone or a tablet? A light body or its exquisite appearance? I think the operating system is of great importance, for it determines your experience. When it comes to operating system, it is quite necessary for us to talk about the two operating system developers and giants in current market: Apple and Google.
Still remember WWDC 2014 held at the beginning of this June? Apple made its big decision to release a brand new operating system – iOS 8. And in this autumn, the full version iOS 8 will be released. Compared with the old operating system, iOS 8 has more new functions.
Another big conference after WWDC is Google I/O which will be held at the end of this June in San Francisco concerning the release of new Android operating system – Android 4.5.
Let’s take a close look at their unique features.
1. Input method
The new iOS 8 has a suggested vocabulary bar which has been included in Android 1.5. However, iOS can provide smarter vocabulary advice than Android 4.5. For example, when one of your friends asks “dinner or movie?” iOS 8 will automatically provide “movie”, “dinner” or some other advices for you. iOS 8 is more precise when inputting relevant vocabulary.
2. Third-party keyboard
Finally iOS 8 allows users to install a third-party keyboard, which has been adopted by Android system for a long time.
3. Group chat
As one of the most frequently used apps in iOS, iMessages has been improved greatly. The updated iMessages can not only send and receive messages and pictures but also can send voices and videos, allowing message group chat and sharing your location and albums with your friends in the group. This time Apple really makes its iMessages a live chat tool in iOS 8.
Hangouts is a message application that Android system uses. Though it integrates Google + and People, iMessages in iOS 8 is better and more powerful.
4. Family sharing
This new function of iOS 8 supports music, movie, photo, schedule and message sharing among 6 family members. And two important points are that purchasing items on iTunes store can be shared and it also can control your children’s expenses on apps. For example, when children want to buy apps on iTunes, permission from the primary account number shall be passed.
Previous Android systems and 4.5 have the similar sharing function. However, sharing on Android systems can be realized unless the same Gmail account is added in various devices.
5. Application package
iOS 8 allows users to buy an app bundle at a lower price than one app.
Google Android 4.5 can learn from Apple and sell those popular apps as a bundle when a festival comes.
6. Fast visit top contacts
In iOS 8 operating system, users can fast visit their top contacts by double clicking the “Home” button on iPhone.
In Android system, users need to open Hangouts or People to contact with each other or use a third-party app to fast visit their top contacts.
7. App battery consumption monitoring
iOS 8 provides better consumption percentage over the recent 7 days, however Android systems only shows the current batter consumption status.
8. Notification center
In iOS 8, the Interactive Notifications allows users to make replies directly in the notification center. And when communities like Facebook has upgrades, users can comment or praise in the notification bar.
Android system has this function for a long time. However, iOS 8 allows users to handle messages without exiting the current application.
9. Icon flattening
From Windows phone to iOS 8, icon flattening design is always the trend over the past years. This time Android 4.5 will still follow this trend and decide to make it better. It is said that Android 4.5 will adopt new designed icons which are more flattening and with bigger color blocks.
From the WWDC, we can see that there is no big icon revolution in iOS 8.
10. UI modification
Compared with icon flattening, UI modification really counts a lot. Android 4.5 may replace the Home button with Google service. However, it doesn’t mean the Home button will disappear forever, and when users come to App, the Home button will appear.
11. Voice helper
According to the upgrade list of iOS 8, Apple has made several improvement of Siri. In iOS 8, Siri has more functions such as Shazam song recognition, purchasing iTunes content, streaming voice recognition and supporting 22 new dictation languages.
When Apple released Hey, Siri, you might think of OK, Google by Android. Yes, the two functions from two different companies are almost the same in functions.
This time Android 4.5 will be designed with a more powerful voice helper – KIIT. KIIT can read users’ instructions and let them browse website and send messages step by step. When users use voice to get their search results via KIIT, KIIT will not only show the results in words but also read the results for users. So KIIT is quite useful for those drivers.
12. Device Interaction
The new iOS 8 allows users to interact with other apple devices nearby. For example, when users put their iPhone with iOS 8 close to Mac, the two devices will connect automatically, and users can use Mac to dial and send messages.
Android 4.5 may be under the development of the similar function called “Nearby”. Users can connect their Android devices with other devices nearby.
13. Health and household management
A new health management app called HealthKit has been added to iOS 8. It is able to integrate various health data such as heartbeat, sport and diet to help users better understand their health status.
HomeKit in iOS 8 allows users to control household affairs such as opening and closing door and windows, cooking, air conditioners, etc. Really an automatic family helper.
Android 4.5 may not cover the functions regarding users’ health and household management.
Apple iOS 8 focuses more on the revolution of functions while Google Android 4.5 seems to make a big revolution of its Android Design. Though some iOS 8 features released by Apple are quite similar to Android systems, iOS 8 seems more complete. The Google I/O is just around the corner. Let’s wait and see which giant will be more attractive and practical.