Apple has now introduced the a lot-anticipated new construct of its cellular software program, iOS eight, so we thought it’d be an concept to see the way it compares to its nearest rival, as is custom. That rival, in fact, is Google’s Android, and the newest construct is four.four KitKat.
Android four.four KitKat
Fact be informed, Android four.four KitKat was not an enormous overhaul to Google’s present method – Google has largely already established its visible type and options in earlier builds and is now steadily tweaking little particulars right here and there over time. In consequence, you possibly can be forgiven for not noticing a distinction at first, anyplace between Android four.zero Ice Cream Sandwich, Android four.1-four.three Jelly Bean and the brand new four.four KitKat.
That’s no dangerous factor although, there’s little cause to vary Android’s design which is cohesive, practical and classy. Google has lengthy embraced clear and minimalist aesthetics because of Matias Duarte’s affect from Android Honeycomb.
With Android four.four KitKat, the primary visible change is the additional simplification of Android – these heavy black bars on the prime and backside of the display (the notifications/standing bar and the navigation bar for the on-display controls) at the moment are clear. The show is not ‘framed’ and you may see extra of your wallpaper or apps behind.
It’s a small tweak, however the impact is to make the platform look cleaner and extra ethereal. Alongside this, the colored notification/standing symbols within the prime bar have been changed with a clear white, one other delicate change which means these won't compete with wallpapers, apps or app icons in your consideration. Likewise Google has modified its font, together with the clock, to be thinner and tidier.
There are two issues Google has carried out behind the scenes to make sure this visible change sticks all through your Android expertise.
- Capability for purposes to set off translucency within the navigation and standing bars
- Means for purposes to make use of "immersive mode" to maintain the navigation and standing bars hidden whereas sustaining consumer interplay
When it comes to UI performance, Android four.four KitKat is identical as its predecessors. You’ve obtained your Homescreen with the power so as to add extra to swipe between, an app drawer for all put in apps, and the drop-down notifications bar on the prime. Contained in the notification bar there’s a Fast Settings menu and fast entry to the complete Settings menu, making it quick and straightforward to get to all of the telephone’s main features. These features, in addition to notifications themselves, are additionally all accessible within the lockscreen, which is useful.
On the backside there’s the trio of ever-current navigation controls – Again, Residence and Multitasking. Residence additionally features as a means of accessing the Google Now interface by way of an extended press, whereas the Multitasking key means you possibly can all the time intuitively entry a carousel of at present open apps, change between them, or swipe away to shut.
Apps & Cloud Providers
Android additionally comes with Google’s suite of purposes constructed-in, which provides you Gmail, Google+, the Chrome browser, Google Maps, Google Play, Play Music, Play Strikes & TV, Play Books, Play Newsstand, Play Video games, Google Drive (aka Drive), Hangouts (previously GChat), YouTube and Photographs. All of which hyperlink up by means of your Google account, collectively together with your contacts if you want, and all this may be linked by way of “the cloud”. You possibly can, for instance, entry your Google paperwork, Gmail or Contacts record by way of a PC, pill or smartphone.
That’s just about the dimensions of how Android’s primary design and performance seems to be and works, and the truth that it’s a reasonably brief description ought to say one thing about how usable and easy Google’s platform truly is.
However there are different key modifications in Android four.four KitKat value mentioning. Notably, the platform has been re-engineered with decrease spec units in thoughts – it’s been optimised for telephones and tablets with as little as 512MB of RAM. That doesn’t imply an incredible deal for the top consumer in and of itself, however it does imply producers can stick the newest Android construct on even their price range units. Whether or not they truly do that or not is in fact a special problem totally.
Constructed-in wi-fi printing is one other little bit of helpful performance Google added to KitKat, which means you possibly can hyperlink your Android gadget on to a printer with wi-fi connectivity functionality, and print paperwork straight out of your telephone. Android additionally options a number of consumer settings permitting you to create totally different consumer profiles with their very own apps and settings – for instance, a household pill can have profiles for each member of the family.
For many who need it, now you can additionally set your default textual content messaging software and launcher from the Settings menu, giving a bit extra flexibility and customisation.
Make It Your Personal
Flexibility and customisation is, in fact, at Android’s core and it’s one thing it has in abundance in comparison with Apple’s comparatively inflexible design. I might spend hundreds of phrases explaining all of the multitude of the way you'll be able to change your Android expertise with full customized interface overhauls and miraculous plug-ins or apps that add plenty of latest performance. However I gained’t - suffice to say, when you have the wherewithal you can also make Android no matter you need it to be.
You are able to do the identical with iOS, in reality, however it must be Jailbroken first, which suggests going out-of-bounds so far as Apple is worried. With Google, modifying the expertise could be very a lot a part of the thought.
Whereas Google’s incremental design tweaks have steadily moulded Android into the spectacular specimen it's immediately, Apple had beforehand let its platform get a bit dated, each visually and when it comes to functionally, previous to iOS 7. iOS 7 noticed an entire and dramatic design overhaul, nevertheless, shifting from the earlier skeumorphic strategy to a flatter, cleaner and extra trendy implementation. iOS eight doesn’t look set to vary that visible type, though it does construct on the key performance additions Apple made in iOS 7.
I’ll come again to performance in a bit, however first I need to handle the visible re-design, and meaning just about happening a little bit of a tangent about what iOS 7 did, as a result of it’s the identical for iOS eight.
As regards to design modifications between iOS 6 and iOS 7/eight, there’s apparently a phrase from touristy elements of Southeast Asia a greater-travelled good friend lately informed me about, that goes “Similar, similar, however totally different”, which appears moderately applicable right here. The general look and “message” of the iOS icons, whether or not it’s a clock, calendar, dialler or iTunes, has largely remained the identical however with the surplus sheen taken off. It’s as if older variations have been nonetheless wrapped in cellophane and Jony Ive got here alongside, took it off, and went “ta da!”
There’s extra to it than that in fact, and I don’t want to sound like I don’t prefer it, as a result of it's a change for the higher, I reckon. Identical to Android, the clunky menu parts are gone in favour of non-intrusive clear or translucent iterations, full with thinner fonts. The shortage of skeumorphic elements in icons, apps and menu elements makes an enormous distinction as properly – Jony Ive astutely realised that, in 2014, no-one needs their smartphone’s calendar app to appear to be Roger Rabbit’s cartoon leather-based-sure organiser, and as an alternative opted for a clear, minimalist strategy which will get the job accomplished elegantly – one thing that’s continued all through the software program.
Apple mimicked Android’s drop-down notifications panel, even calling it the Notification Centre, and it’s accessible from any display, together with the lockscreen, with a downwards swipe. iOS’s tackle fast settings entry was a bit totally different with Management Centre, accessible with an upward swipe from the underside of the show, once more this consists of entry from the lockscreen. It’s a translucent panel with controls for rotation, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Airplane mode, a brightness slider, flashlight, timer, calculator, digital camera, AirDrop and AirPlay, in addition to a music management panel.
Then there’s the multitasking, once more, just like Android (and certainly the a lot earlier Palm OS), however nicely-executed and helpful nonetheless. A double faucet of the House key brings up a carousel and you may swipe to scroll by way of open apps, faucet to fullscreen them or swipe as much as dismiss. Newest contacts at the moment are included within the carousel, too, for even quicker entry to your favorite individuals.
New For iOS eight: iCloud Drive, Widgets & Extra
In order that’s the iOS 7 stuff which continues to be related on iOS eight. What about iOS eight’s modifications then?
Firstly, the Notification Centre has some additional options – now you can work together with sure notifications, together with liking Fb posts and replying to messages. The multitasking menu has additionally been modified and now has fast entry to current and favorite contacts.
Apple has revamped iCloud to compete with Google Drive and different rivals akin to DropBox, it’s now referred to as iCloud Drive and features equally to DropBox as a type of distant exhausting drive – you possibly can customise file construction as you want to hold issues good and organised your means. The compatibility and entry has additionally been expanded, so now all information and paperwork might be accessed by any app on Mac, iOS or a Home windows PC. Edited paperwork are additionally synchronised so any modifications you make could be seen on any gadget instantly.
We additionally lastly have third-celebration widgets on iOS eight. Sure, widgets might have been an extended-standing function on Android, however now Apple is getting in on the motion too. In contrast to Android, nevertheless, the widgets seem within the Notification Centre.
iOS might have already had Siri, however it now additionally has a modfied model of Highlight too. Merely enter a search time period and it’ll search for related info from put in apps, content material in iTunes, emails, messages and the online. It is all introduced in a neat listing and provides fast entry.
iMessage has some additional group messaging options – you'll be able to set a dialog to have an expiration date or to proceed indefinitely, rename the thread, add and take away contacts on the fly, and report and ship video and audio clips. It's also possible to arrange a household sharing group and share content material between as much as six individuals.
Lastly, very similar to the widgets, Apple has added some lengthy overdue help for third-social gathering keyboards - identical to Android has completed for a while. So, it should not be lengthy earlier than in style keyboards comparable to Swype begin showing on the App Retailer.
A few of Apple’s huge reveals at WWDC have been associated to iOS, however not particularly simply concerning the cellular platform. The extension of iCloud for cross-platform synchronisation is one factor, however Apple additionally confirmed how OSX “Yosemite” will work along with iOS units – you'll, for instance, have the ability to reply and make calls in your telephone by means of a Mac, as the pc will decide up the telephone when it’s in vary and synchronise routinely. This extends throughout a variety of performance, together with messaging, e-mail, paperwork – you identify it.
Stuff With Potential
Apple often reveals one thing which isn’t immediately gratifying however has an extended-time period payoff in thoughts. With iOS there are some things which match into this class.
First up, is the enlargement of TouchID, which has now been opened as much as app builders. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere on the location earlier than, this probably has large ramifications. With work from builders, new apps can implement fingerprint scan safety, but in addition the power to make purchases utilizing your fingerprint as you already can on iTunes.
One other factor is what Apple calls “Extensibility” which suggests apps may be created to share info, options and features between one another. Apple gave a demo instance of a 3rd-social gathering photograph app making use of Apple’s native Photograph app’s filters.
Then there’s Healthkit. Contemplating this was one thing hotly rumoured, Apple didn’t spend a substantial amount of time speaking about it at WWDC. All we all know is that it may be utilized by third-get together well being apps, can gather well being metrics after which ship them to a healthcare skilled. Apple stated it has been working with healthcare organisations within the US, however the ramifications for the remainder of the world aren't totally clear simply but. Nonetheless, the concept your iPhone might ship your physician well being reviews shouldn't be a nasty one.
On paper it seems to be like Apple has launched a bucket-load extra options with iOS eight than Google has for Android. It does depend upon the way you take a look at it, nevertheless. A superb chunk of the options added in iOS7/iOS eight have been primarily Apple bringing iOS in-line with present options on Android; issues just like the cloud options, messaging options, customized keyboards, widgets, fast settings, notifications menu, and multitasking.
There's A LOT of different new stuff which Android doesn’t have although and a variety of it provides actual worth to the software program expertise. That stated, it appears loads of the performance Apple is including constructed-into iOS eight is out there for Android via third celebration apps. Apple is increasing what builders can do with apps, with issues like widgets and “Extensibility” between them, however Android nonetheless leads the best way on the subject of customisation and a tailored expertise. Assuming you may be bothered with all of the faffing, that's.
It’s straightforward to fall right into a tit-for-tat battle over options. Android’s constructed-in printer help is good to have, however then once more iOS eight’s means to answer messages from the notification lockscreen can also be ace. This can be a slippery slope, nevertheless, and it goes on and on.
Each platforms at the moment are tremendously polished, with a really trendy appear and feel, and loads of intelligent, straightforward-to-use onboard options, in addition to large app and content material repositories to plunder. It does come right down to, because it has completed for a while, how a lot you worth customisation, and whether or not you fancy investing in Apple’s content material ecosystem or Google’s. What is clear is that Apple is laying the groundwork for lots of fascinating stuff – that isn’t obvious with Google, however that doesn’t imply it isn’t occurring behind closed doorways, we simply don’t find out about it but.
As a ultimate word I’ll say this (as an Android fan, no much less), there'll inevitably be those that see a few of Apple’s options as copying Android or different providers reminiscent of DropBox. I can definitely see the place that comes from, however on the similar time lots of this stuff have been completed earlier than anyway. For instance, the multitasking carousel Apple apparently pilfered from Android pre-dates Google’s platform on the Palm OS. All’s truthful in love, conflict, and software program improvement, it appears.
I’ll agree Apple’s approach of saying issues as in the event that they’re model new is considerably irksome. You need to admit, nevertheless, that although Apple could also be introducing present options the flawless execution is spectacular nonetheless.
Turning up late to the social gathering issues little once you arrive in a limousine filled with Champagne and supermodels.