A mobile operating system is the system used to operate a smartphone, tablet, PDA or other digital mobile devices. With over 243million iPhone’s been sold to date (segall, 2012) and over 500million android phones (Knight, 2012) it is fair to say that both IOS (Apple’s mobile platform) and Android (Google’s mobile platform) are the two most popular/common operating systems currently on the market. The high demand for these two systems makes them number one and two in the Smartphone market share (Velazco, 2012).
With both systems being so similar and having so much to offer it is hard to decided which one can be given the title as ‘best operating system’. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Some features are effective for some but not all. With both systems offering similar features, there are often accusations that Android is in fact a stolen product and the reason the two are so similar is because the Android idea stemmed from Apple’s IOS (Lynley, 2011).
These accusations have been proved to be just that, ‘accusations’. As according to public reports and surveys, many of the android features are said to run more smoothly and effectively than IOS.
IOS was released in 2007 as a mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPod touch (Bohn, 2011). With new generations of the system, IOS is now able to support all Apple hardware. Unlike other mobile operating systems, IOS is blocked and unable to be used on non- Apple hardware (apple, 2012). With the launch of the new generation IOS 6 in 2012 more features were added to the already impeccable list.
As well as the basics of telephone calls, Mail, camera and web browser. IOS offers media player, YouTube, facetime, maps, Siri, and Appworld, just to name a few (apple, 2012). The user interface is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi touch gestures (insight, 2012). Users take control of the system using a mix of hand movements such as sliding, tapping, pinching and the reverse pinch. Some applications even respond by a simple shake to the system. IOS allows the switch from Portrait to Landscape to be done in one simple rotation.
Simply rotate the iPhone, ipad or iPod in the direction of your choice and the contents of the screen follows. An app (application) is a computer programme. Apps allow the device to do almost anything within technical reach (BBC, 2012). IOS allows general members of the public to create and add apps to the store, meaning that today there are over 500,000 available apps in Apple’s built in appstore and more than 25billion apps have been downloaded worldwide. Functions and Features
Siri is a popular app owned by IOS. It almost works as a personal assistant, allowing the user to make voice commands. Siri can be asked to do things by talking normally. It can be told to make voice calls, schedule meetings send messages and even more technical things such as inform of weather and time (apple, 2012).
Multitasking is a function used to access more than one app at the same time. For example using the media app audio can still run in the background whilst moving onto another app. This multitasking feature was only introduced in the 3rd generation of IOS after users were finding unethical methods known as “jailbreak” to unofficially multitask (Whitham, 2012). Do not disturb
The do not disturb feature provided by IOS puts a stop to any notifications or calls when you do not want to be disturbed. When you decide to deactivate the don not disturb setting it makes you aware of all the notifications or calls which were missed (Klosowski, 2012). Face time
Face time allows video calling between Apple users using Wi-Fi or cellular data services (apple, 2012).
Android mobile operating system was introduced commercially in 2008 (Mag, 2012). Android is designed for touch screen devices such as smartphones and tablets and is a development made by Google in conjunction with Open Handset Alliance (android, 2012). Google released android as an open source meaning that it can be used by many different manufacturers. Samsung, HTC and Asus are some of the users of Android (Anon., 2012), using the platform to develop their on-going range of smartphones and tablets. Samsung has recently introduced the galaxy s3 using androids most up to date system known as jellybean. Other users of jellybean (android 4.2) come from HTC’s newest smartphone HTC one and also Samsung’s tablet known as the galaxy note. Before the updated version of androids 4.2 jellybean, we saw android icecream sandwich, Honeycomb, Gingerbread, Froyo, Éclair, Donut, Cupcake and Beta (android, 2012). With each new release android has offered something bigger than the last, it is now “faster, smoother and more responsive” than ever (developer, 2012). Major features on the new version of jellybean consist of multiple users, expandable notifications, beam photos, widgets, Google now and gesture type smart keyboard. A widget is one mini app on the desktop which once opened contains several other apps. Android widgets come in all different shapes, sizes and ranges. To date there are over 700,000 apps available on android (Hildenbrand, 2012). Functions and Features
The multiple user function allows more than one user to use the device, but keeps individual user information, setting and content separate like a PC desktop. Currently this feature is only available on android tablets (O’hear, 2012). Google Now
‘Google now’ works as a computerised assistant. It uses Google now cards which provide information such as journey times to work including any traffic, popular nearby places, your favourite team’s score and many much more useful information (Anon., 2012). Offline voice dictation
This is a form of voice typing with an advantage of working even whilst offline (Lawler, 2012). Android Beam
Beam allows the easy transfers from android to android. By simply touching two android smartphones or tablets together images, videos, music, webpages and many more can be transferred (mobileunlimited, 2012).
Tablets and smartphones are increasing more and more in popularity. IOS and android are the two biggest competitors in this market (Kirk, 2012). With the growing generations of iPhone’s, ipads and iPods alongside the ever changing versions of Samsung, HTC and Asus smartphones and tablets there is no surprise that the consumer figures have been on the rise since 2011. In 2011 there was a 57.7% increase in the sales of smartphones than 2010, bringing the total to approximately 472million units sold worldwide (Gartner, 2011).
Android dominated the smartphone market share in 2011 with 52.5% compared to IOS 15% (Islam, 2011). Although worldwide IOS’s figures are low, when you look at some of the individual countries figures on a whole the percentage is a lot higher. For example in 2011 the market share for IOS in the US was 36% (8.3million out of the overall 23million). While the US android share was 58%. In 2011 (Arthur, 2012). In 2012 there has not been too great of a shift in figures for IOS and android in the smartphone market. So far worldwide 75% of the market share is owned by android and just 14.9% owned by Apple. The last 10% is owned by falling platforms such as Blackberry’s RIM (Yarow, 2012). Not included in these figures is the percentage for the tablets owned by the platforms. By the 3rd quarter of 2012 Apple had sold approximately 14 million ipads giving them a total market share value of 56.7%. Google owned tablets were close behind with 41% (Fingas, 2012).
It is fair to say that there are many similarities between the IOS platform and Android platform. But the few differences that stand are enough to make consumers choose between the two. When the Android powered Galaxy Nexus was compared to Apple’s IPhone 5 there were quite a few noticeable differences. One minor difference that left Android at a slight advantage over IOS was the way notifications were handled.
The notification process was a lot more user friendly on the Nexus as users were able to pick and choose which notifications they would like to clear from the list and which they would like to save till later. On the iPhone it was pretty much only keep them all or clear them all as an option (pocketnowvideo, 2012). Another feature that worked to android’s advantage when these two smartphones were compared to each other was the ‘play store’. Google’s playstore is the equivalent to Apples appstore. However Google’s play store gives the option of downloading apps, music, books and movies all in the same place whereas with apples appstore each of these are placed within different apps meaning the user has to go in and out of the app required (pocketnowvideo, 2012).
Also as part of Google’s playstore search process, if you enter a search that comes up with plenty of options the user is able to scroll through many of the options at the same time unlike the appstore where if a search comes up with many options the user has to scroll through each option one by one until they come across the one of choice. Overall when it came down to Google’s playstore and apples appstore, playstore was a lot faster and easier to navigate (pocketnowvideo, 2012). The web browsing experience was very positive when tested on these two platforms IOS was at a slight advantage when it came to speed in loading the web browser; however the scroll mechanism was a lot more efficient and steady on the android. Android’s ‘Google now’ was tested against IOS ‘Siri’ (pocketnowvideo, 2012).
Both features had minor step backs whether it is speed or voice recognition but overall Google now was more consistent. More discoveries where made when apples latest tablet the ipad mini was compared to android powered Nexus 7 tablet. Both tablets are the smallest in size for android and IOS with the Nexus being 7 inches and the ipad mini slightly wider at 7.9inches. The first advantage goes to the Nexus for compatibility (pocketnowvideo, 2012). The small size means that the user is not only able to carry it in a bag or briefcase, but it is actually small enough to fit in most pockets. Testing the web browser performance on both these tablets, the ipad came out on top. The scroll and pinch gesture was recognised more easily on the ipad and overall it was slightly quicker. Voice recognition and performance was once again tested using ‘Google now’ and ‘Siri’. Overall android came out on top with Google now being a lot faster and informative.
An application developer is the person responsible for taking a basic concept or idea through the process of becoming an app. There are several different approaches to application development but the main concept is to identify, create and define the application requirements (Anon., 2012). Consideration needs to be made to data structure and solutions to any application problems need to be solved. Customer requirements are also a major part in developing applications. With there being so many apps available already, market research needs to be carried out to make sure any new apps will be beneficial. IOS developers
As IOS is a closed Operating system, the only way in which to develop apps for Apple is to use the software development kit (SDK) and Xcode. Everything needed to develop apps for iPhone, ipad and iPods is provided in Xcode. It includes features such as a source editor, graphical user interface editor and many more (apple, 2012).
Taking into account all the research findings and analysis within this report it is clear to see that there is a very fine line between the two mobile operating systems Android and IOS. Overall the IOS platform appears to be very consistent and steady but with it being a closed system it is fair to say that ideas to reinvent this platform and take it to the next level are slim. Android is on the rise matching IOS in everything it already provides and taking it even one step further to ensure that it comes out on top as the most popular platform. Consumers are excited to see what else is yet to come and whether the improvements and alterations that have already been seen within these operating systems can continue. With android opening its system to allow tweaks and suggestions from big branded manufacturers, they could be in the running to keeping the title as best mobile operating system.