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Within the last century, due to major advancements in technological development, mobile usage has evolved into multi-functional devices that have become one of the most popular OS with millions of new users each year. Despite numerous studies, none have provided a comprehensive, detailed description of this operating system. In this paper we present a review of the android OS and iOS interface. We have involved in each release as well as the systems architecture and project structure.
Android OS interface was developed by Android Inc.
, which was then later bought out then released as the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) in 2007. This announcement was accompanied by the founding of the OHA (Open Handset Alliance), a consortium dedicated to developing and distribute Android. The software has been released under the Apache license as a free open source license (Android Developers, 2019). Due to fast development, there is always a release of Android that occurs every season of the year.
The OHA is a group of several hardware, software and telecom companies including Google, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Motorola, HTC and T-Mobile, for which Android is the flagship software.
Their main goal is to develop technologies that will significantly lower the time and cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services. The Android platform, being a complete set of software, that is an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications, is the first step in this direction. Android is a young platform; the development takes place very quickly.
These releases came out in the names of deserts and other sweets. Table 1 will represent the percentage of active Android devices with access to Google Play (Gilski, 2015).
The Android Market, which is now called Google Play Store, is a platform for distributing android apps through a digital app and is monitored by Google. This service itself provides user an experience that allows them to access and brows music, books and various application, published and checked by Google. According to the data already presented, the most common version of Android OS is Jelly Bean, with more than 58% distribution. However, the KitKat interface is evident within 13.6% of devices.
Cupcake: The UI (User Interface) refinement has updates of all the core elements that are within the framework, accelerometer-based application, springboard keyboards, recording and playback and stereo Bluetooth support;
Donut: quick search box, VPN (Virtual Private Network) and 802.1x support, battery usage indicator;
Clair: Bluetooth 2.1 support, additional camera modes, multiple e-mail and account support;
Froyo: tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot capability, JIT (Just in Time) compiler, Adobe Flash support;
Gingerbread: NFC (Near Field Communications), additional sensor support (gyroscope, rotation vector, linear acceleration, gravity, barometer), multiple camera support, large screen resolution support (tablets), Google Talk;
Honeycomb: This android update only occurs within android tablets; it aids with the connectivity for Universal Serial Bus (USB) accessories and the high-performance Wi-Fi locking;
Ice Cream Sandwich: This interface configures and updates Wi-Fi Direct, Face Unlock and other improvements needed such as stability, optimization, screen rotation, graphics;
Jelly Bean: Improves the functionality of the Google Wallet, Google Now, USB audio, Photo Sphere panorama photos, multiple user accounts, Miracast wireless display support;
KitKat: Primarily places importance upon NFC hosting emulation, experimental runtime virtual machine (ART) and Bluetooth mapping tools.
Android OS is used on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; being available on devices by a variety of manufactures. This gives more choice to the consumer on the style and pricing of devices. It is a mobile operating system developed by google, based on the Linux kernel, which is a Unix-like OS that constitutes the core of a computer OS, other operating systems to be widely available for smartphones and other devices. (Pcmag.com, 2018)
With the android OS, it gives android devices like Samsung and LG multiple ways to customise to match their preferences. In addition to this, using your Google account you can sync and transfer contacts from multiple devices; to do so you must have those contacts on the original device linked to a Google account. (Verizonwireless.com, 2018)
The iOS platform was originally called the iPhone OS in 2007, when the first iPhone was released, however as time as progressed and Apple has realised iPads, iPods, etc., it had gone through major upgrades and it was reinvented to what is iOS now. The iPhone OS 1 was introduced by Steve Jobs; he referred to it as OS X as it had shared similarities to that of a Unix core, compared to the desktop version OS. This was important due to being the first smartphone invented and made user interface more friendly; compared to BlackBerry (which was the leading brand), it provided a multi-touch screen with a SpringBoard app, which is a grid of apps on a screen, which was the first to do so of its time (Gizmodo, 2016).
When the 4th generation of iPhones was created, the user interface (UI) technology change the name to iOS instead because of the releases of iPad’s and iPod’s, plus it was the beginning of the development cycle that would make Apple the brand it is today. Apple helped introduce to society a futuristic styled of communication called facetime; it was not matched by anyone else till skype made a mobile app years later (Gizmodo, 2016).
In todays current times, developers can make apps on the current iOS, but must follow the Human Interface Guidelines set by Apple. In terms of interface essentials, majority of iOS apps are made via uses of components from UIKIT, a programming framework that enables developers to define common elements, while offering a high level of customization (Developer.apple.com, 2019).
This advises to people where they are within the app they’re using, provide navigation and may contain certain buttons and various elements to aid in initiating actions regarding communication and processing information. This contains the main content users’ views; examples of this can be text, graphics, and other interactive elements. This category can also enable behavioural features such as scrolling to arrangement, Initiate actions and convey information; buttons, switches, text fields and progress indicators are examples of controls that can implemented into the app by developers. (Adapted from Developer.apple.com, 2019)
Within the Human Interface Guidelines set by Apple, they cover 6 categories for the design principles; this is to achieve maximum impact and reach, as apple is a customer driven company, hence improve apps identity. Table 4 provides an in-depth analysis on the 6 principles developers must follow when building an app to fit Apple’s UI criteria’s (Developer.apple.com, 2019).
Integrity This represents the apps appearance to users and its behaviour in regard to its functions, An example of this can be for an app that aids others in performing serious tasks through the use of subtle and non-obstructive graphics, alongside simple controls that are easy to use and predictable behaviours. However, an app such as a game can deliver an impressive appearance with high quality graphics to allow users to immerse themselves into a fun discovery and enjoyment.
It is when an app implements recognizable standards and paradigms using interface elements, provided by the system, and incorporating behavioural patterns and features that meets the user’s expectation.
By manipulating onscreen content, the user gains a better understanding of the app, which facilitates better engagement and enjoyment for the user. Examples of direct manipulation are when apps can rotate based of the position of the phone; through direct manipulation, they can see immediate results through their actions.
Feedback Developers interact with users through acknowledging their actions to improve and deliver better results. The in-built iOS apps provide visible feedback through each response in all user action implemented; interactive elements are emphasised as feedback provides information need to help improve the clarity of the actions needed to be taken.
Metaphors Users quickly understand when certain features are used as metaphors to relate towards familiar experiences, whether it’s towards the digital or real world. These work well with the iOS framework as it allows physical interaction for users with the screen. They can discover information covered by content and control how they see information; an example of this can be e-books, where you can flick through different pages.
User Control The iOS framework allows the user, not the app, be in control. Good user control can be evident in the correct ratio of user to app decision making in terms of making actions to avoid unwanted outcomes. Users can enjoy their control over the apps they use through familiar elements, allowing them to predict certain actions and allow them to cancel operations, regardless if they are underway or not. (Adapted from Develop.apple.com, 2019)
In order to design apps for an iOS platform, there are high expectations for high quality and functionalities; Apple say they concentrate on 3 primary themes that differentiate iOS from another platform. These themes are clarity, deference and depth.
Developers must make sure text is legible at every size, icon are precise and relevant, and a concentrated focus must be applied upon the functionality of the app. Other factors such as graphics and interface elements slightly cover the important content that portray the desired interaction expected from users. It must contain fluid motion and an interface that aids UI understanding; a balanced use of colour gradients and shadowing allow interface to appear light, ensuring content is paramount. Motion itself within the app must appear distinct and varied to convey the importance of hierarchy and facilitate greater understanding of the purpose of the app. The use of touch interface that appear within the app must enable access to functionality and additional content without context going tangent and becoming misleading.
The iOS framework has multiple uses; one of these is for when you wish to deliver information flexibly throughout an application because the platform provides an easy and simple interface that brings a less complicated UI experience. Because of this, despite having a slow processor in iOS devices, applications run faster and smooth then other drivers. Therefore, if businesses wish to create easy-to-use applications to attract users, iOS is seen as a first-choice platform. Beside this reason, there’s also Apples excellent customer experience, secure transactions, high security and many more (Oza, 2017).
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