With its big release of iOS 8, will Apple slow down the explosive growth of Android? This question is popping up in nearly every mind these days. So, here we are going to take a walkthrough of the contrasting features of iOS 8 and Android 4.4 to get clear of the actual picture.
• Actionable Notifications
Apple has been trying for long to fix the notifications section. On the other hand, Android has always had great notifications. Right from the Android 4.1 launch, Google made it possible to add actionable buttons to notifications. Apple is doing almost the same thing, but with an extra tail.
While Android uses expandable lines in the notification shade that keeps notifications with buttons and text take up less space, iOS 8’s buttons seem to be expanded all the time, but they have quick-reply ability. This feature can be implemented by third-party tools on Android, but Apple’s native functionality gives it an edge over Android here.
• Spotlight Search
Spotlight search facilitates searching content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. But, the search bar in iOS 8 will now provide instant search across a number of different services now. It will search for the apps installed on your device, your messages, and songs in the music library. Not only this, it will also list content on iTunes, movie show timings, maps, and a lot more.
Android’s search interface, on the other hand, varies a little bit depending on the device. Generally, both of the local and cloud results appear when you start typing. For more, you can easily switch between different categories including apps, images, books, and other content.
Android can do all the things iOS Spotlight Search does; it’s just the organization that is different. Also, Google’s predictive search pulls content from your data like plane tickets, appointments and other stuff to show you even before you type anything. iOS Spotlight is still far away from this level.
• Continuity framework
Apple’s new Continuity mode makes your iOS and OS X devices feel connected, somewhat like a single continuous client. Practically, you can work on a document or browse a web page on one device, then pick up another one and then get back to where you left off.
Android has features similar to this; but it’s not that clean or consistent. It is, actually, more universal.
• Keyboard changes
The iOS 8 keyboard will have a default feature called QuickType now, which is a word prediction feature. Although Android had this feature for years, the iOS solution is different in the sense that it will be smart enough to select words depending on who you’re talking to.
Also, Apple is opening up iOS input to third parties now; quite a big change.
• New graphics API for gaming
Until now, OpenGL has been used as the standard for 3D gaming on mobile devices for both Android and iOS. But, according to Apple, it is getting too heavy and the overhead is affecting the gaming experience negatively. Hence, it will be using a new graphics API, Metal, that will enhance the rendering of games.
While Android will keep using OpenGL, use of Metal might make it much more problematic for developers to port games to Android.
• App Extensions
Apple’s new App Extension framework might result in big user interface improvements. The third-party keyboard support as discussed above is one simple way that Apple is going to use to make iOS 8 more Androidy.
iOS 8 Extensions will allow apps to mingle. Android apps, on the other hand, have always been able to interact freely. Also, Apple is working to find ways to get data and features from one app to the other app without security holes; and the apparent result is Extensions.
Android should fear now?
Although, the new iOS looks much similar to the Android on the surface, but the internal improvements are really impressive. It has got better search, enhanced notifications, and Continuity framework which will help bring iOS 8 closer to Android; plus extra features like faster gaming with Metal will surely widen the Apple’s lead.
But, Android has a huge market share as of now and that’s not going to change anytime soon. So, to really steal away the Android users, Apple still has a long way to go.