Android and iOS are unquestionably the two leading operative systems (OS) in the mobile device world and this year they both have new versions coming, with expected release dates close to one another. So we have decided to compare them with each other to try and figure out which one is better or, at least, a better update.
In order to keep users satisfied, both Google and Apple release small updates of their OS on a regular basis. But eventually there comes a time when the OS requires a more thorough remake and a new version is born. Google has already started the update process for Android 8.0 (or “Oreo”, if you prefer) making it available to some of their own products, while Apple will most likely release iOS 11 in mid-September, along with a new iPhone. There is still some waiting to do to have a full picture of what they have to offer, but there are a few key points that should be analyzed on both OS.
Google’s OS maintains the same look, based on the current “Material Design”, with some minor adjustments on the outside but some relevant changes underneath. The Settings menu has been regrouped and reduced in size and number of categories, notifications are more streamlined and have a greater number of actions and options. Another key point in Oreo is the possibility of managing battery consumption by background processes, a clear effort to make Android a more battery-friendly OS.
iOS 11 looks promising for both iPhone and iPad, with some additional focus on the latter as an eventual laptop replacement. iOS 11 looks to make multitasking easier, with the new Control Center looking to emulate the Dock on Mac computers, Drag and Drop with split screen mode and improved Apple Pencil options for the iPad Pro. For the iPhone, this new Control Center translates into more customization options, as you can choose which controls you wish to have on display.
There are also new camera options, tools for an easier use of the keyboard, syncing of messages with the iCloud (to improve free space on you device), updates on Siri and hints at Augmented Reality (AR), which could be a part of the rumored iPhone 8, set to be the first Apple smartphone to enter the AR world.
Every new iteration of an OS aims to be faster than its predecessor, and both have come up with ways to keep this tendency. For Oreo, besides the simplified Settings menu and notification management options, you can also manage how much your apps are draining your device’s resources (battery, RAM, etc.) and benefit from the new addition, Vitals, which gives you security tools, OS optimizations and further options to monitor how both your device and the apps are performing.
Besides the new Control Center and Files app, iOS 11 will bring improvements to some of the most popular stock apps: Maps are smarter, Siri is also improved (and now has a male voice option!), Live Photos has the new “Loop”, “Bounce” and “Long Exposure” options, as well as new compression technologies which reduce the amount of storage your photos will take up.
Android is playing “catch-up” with its rival in security details and has been adopting some interesting measures: “Find my Phone” (formerly known as “Android Device Manager”) to track, lock and erase a lost device, “Google Play Protect”, which scans apps before downloading to make sure the source is reliable and the ability to manage app permissions are some of the key security features on Oreo.
Even though the final version of iOS 11 is still to come and there are beta versions available, some new security measures are already known to be part of the final product, such as app-free payments through Apple Pay (with a little help from Touch ID and iMessages) and the Do Not Disturb mode, which estimates when you’re driving and shuts down notifications to keep you focused on the road ahead of you.
In terms of availability, the rules of the game will probably be the same as usual: Apple will make iOS 11 available to all customers willing and/or able to update on a specific date (which will, most likely, be announced at the Apple Event scheduled for September 12th) a faster process which, however, isn’t crash-proof and could result in some delays, due to server overload.
Android, on the other hand, will space out the availability of Android 8.0, starting as usual and as expected with Google smartphones (the rollout for Nexus 6P, 5X, Nexus Player and Pixel, Pixel XL and C started August 21st) then regular partners such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Huawei, Motorola or HTC, leaving other brands for last or, as it has happened before, wondering if they will get the update at all. This rollout process will also depend on the agreements between brands and carriers, so we will surely have some news on the following months.