Jelly Bean vs iOS 6 supremacy comparison
Over the last few months we’ve been bringing you news about the next Apple mobile operating system, iOS 6, which we now know is due in the fall. Finally last week we also saw the unveiling of the next Android iteration, 4.1 Jelly Bean, due to release later this month. We thought it was time to look at Jelly Bean vs. iOS 6 in a supremacy comparison.
Since details of iOS 6 were revealed at Apple WWDC last month we’ve been bringing plenty of news about the improvements and additions coming and with Jelly Bean being announced at Google I/O last week it’s now possible to take a balanced look at one against the other and what they each have to offer. Just some of the new things coming to iOS 6 are Facebook integration, improvements to Siri, the Apple Maps app, Safari changes and changes to the FaceTime app. Meanwhile some of the improvements coming to Jelly Bean are Google Now, expanded notifications, Project Butter and resizable widgets. So which of these two significant operating systems will come out top?
A report on Wired takes a careful look at Jelly Bean vs. iOS 6 and comes up with some helpful pointers by splitting up the comparison into 6 categories. First off we’ll start with Jelly Bean’s Google Now Voice Search vs. Siri on iOS 6. Apple’s Siri voice recognition and search was one of the factors that made the iPhone 4S such a success, although it has been more successful in some regions than others. However the voice search used for Google Now (which hasn’t been given a name) was ushered in relatively quietly. Wired rates the Voice quality on Google Now as better than Siri’s but says that for trivia at least, then Siri has the edge as it uses Wolfram Alpha rather than Wikipedia which Google Now favors.
However Google Now offers more chance to expand upon the information once you receive it with quick access to Google search via an upward swipe. There are big improvements to Siri in iOS 6 though and it offers a more stylish service than that of Google Now as well as the ability to use Facebook and Twitter within Siri. Although Android does have Facebook and Twitter integration it doesn’t work within Google Now’s voice search. Another plus for iOS 6 is that apps can be opened with your voice, something lacking in Google Now’s Voice. These extras are what gives Siri the edge over Google Now at present.
Moving on to Maps and it was a big surprise to many to hear that Apple had bypassed Google on its new Maps app. So how does Apple Maps stand up against Google Maps? The verdict is that Google wins out here although there is praise for Apple’s first attempt at a mapping app. Apple earns points for its satellite 3D views but lacks Street View for navigation and location searching. It was also judged that Jelly Bean’s turn-by-turn navigation (pushed to another app) still knocks spots off the same function on Apple Maps and other plus points for Google Maps on Jelly Bean are the ability to create routes avoiding tolls and freeways, user- defined mapping layers (such as transit lines) and geo-location for friends using Latitude. Another major Google benefit is offline map viewing, not available on iOS 6. In the maps respect then, it’s definitely Google that wins out.
A look at notifications was next and the aspect here that puts Apple firmly in front was seen as the ability to push notifications to the lock screen, possible since iOS 5. Although Jelly Bean has an audible alert there are still several steps needed to get at the information and although the expanded notifications in Jelly Bean is a good step forward, Wired still felt that iOS 6 beats Jelly Bean in this category.
As far as social networking is concerned Google just wins out here because of deeper integration in Jelly Bean that allows any image from the Android Gallery to be shared via Google+, Facebook or Twitter as well as various apps including Foursquare and Dropbox. With iOS 6 though, users will still have to launch a third-party app to share from the Photos app, even though it also features Facebook and Twitter integration.
The penultimate category was Google Play vs. iTunes store and it was here that Jelly Bean and iOS came to a dead heat. Neither was seen as perfect with Apple apps being split into various locations thereby reducing discovery and Google Play lumping all Android apps to access from one cluttered main page.
Finally the last category in the comparison was Apple’s Safari vs. Google’s Chrome browser, Chrome having just been introduced as the default browser on Jelly Bean. Praise for Chrome came in the form of its unlimited tabs as well as its unified search and URL field. Safari lacks a unified typing field but does give the user the ability to post photos from the mobile browser and also offers a Reading List to ‘read it later.’ Both have positive and negative points then but Safari was placed just ahead because of its Reading List.
Overall then iOS came top in 3 categories of the Wired report, Jelly Bean in 2, with one category resulting in a tie so iOS takes the supreme spot, but only just. That being said we have to say that both platforms have a great deal to offer and there are so many other features and additions to also take into consideration. Which is genuinely best then is likely to vary depending on different users’ needs. We know from experience that many of you will staunchly defend the Android platform over Apple and vice versa but really as long as you are happy with the OS that you are using, then that is the best choice for you.
One other important thing to consider though is that Apple device users can easily upgrade to the next iOS when they release but Android device owners are at the mercy of carriers and manufacturers as to when, or if, they can get their updates. All things considered we can’t wait until both Jelly Bean and and iOS 6 come out to see the verdict of the general public on each, once they are being widely used.
What are your thoughts on Jelly Bean vs. iOS 6? Do you automatically favor one over another? Maybe one for you has a killer feature not offered by the other in which case you could let us know what that is? We’re always interested in the opinions of our readers so send your comments in.