Apple’s iOS 12 for iPhone and Google’s Android P.
Although Apple and Google are located about 9 miles away from one another in the heart of Silicon Valley, their philosophies are worlds apart.
Google’s Android OS is about openness (but that can lead to fragmentation) and Apple’s iOS is about making a tight system work well (but many services only function within Apple’s relatively narrow device ecosystem).
Now that both have had a chance to unveil the next versions of their operating systems, we can look at their current features side by side. However, since both Apple and Google like to save some surprises for the actual phone launch, this won’t be a final evaluation by any stretch.
We expect the first iPhones with iOS 12 to touch down in September and the first phone with Android P to arrive in September or October.
Notches and gestures
Advantage: iOS 12
The iPhone X wasn’t the first phone to sport either notches or swipe gestures, but was the first to popularize both. (The Essential Phone was the first with a notch, and the Palm Pre in 2009 introduced gestures with WebOS.)
Now, Google has officially embraced notches and navigation gestures in Android P, even though Android phonemakers have already off-roaded with their own experiments. Google’s official support is a pretty good indication that use both notches and gestures are coming.
Android P isn’t fully gestural, though — it still relies on the back button — which makes the experience feel less fully formed than it is on the iPhone X. Since Android phonemakers like to leave their own mark, gestures and notches will have less uniformity on Android than on future iPhones. Case in point: Android P supports a central notch, a corner notch and a notch on both the top and bottom screens — you know, just in case.
Voice Assistant: Google Assistant versus Siri
Advantage: Android P
Siri’s upgrades in iOS 12 focus on making your iPhone predict what you want before you seek it out. A new app called Shortcuts lets you set up profiles that run through a step-by-step routine when you say certain keywords. For example, “Headed home” can text your spouse, play your preferred radio station and start navigation to the day’s least trafficked route.
While Siri Shortcuts scootches Apple’s devices closer to Google Assistant, which supports routines, too (so does Amazon Alexa), Apple still hasn’t done anything to close the gaping chasm between Google Assistant and Siri.
Siri was already dragging behind. The quality of information and the way it’s presented pales in comparison to Google Assistant. But after Google’s I/O developer conference in May, Siri is barely limping along. Google has developed six new voices for Google Assistant. It can handle a string of questions or a grouped command, and teach your kid manners.
Google is also working on ways to make Assistant sound human enough to maintain a short conversation with other humans, while making a reservation or appointment on your behalf.
In 2011, Apple rocked the mobile industry when it backed Siri into the iPhone 4S. This race was Apple’s to win. As of late, it’s doing anything but.
Messaging: iMessage versus…er?
Advantage: iOS 12
Apple’s iMessage app keeps getting better and better. In one corner we have Animojis.(Animojis you make of your own face). Peer-to-peer payments. FaceTime video calls you launch from the app, Wi-Fi texting with other iMessage users, cross-platform SMS texting between the phone, iPad and Mac.
And in the other corner, there’s…. what, exactly? Google Hangouts is extremely limited and underdeveloped. The Android Messages texting app is phone-only and doesn’t have an app or a website for your computer (e.g. it’s not cross-platform). Google Duo does good video calls for your phone, but won’t open on your desktop or Google’s other messaging apps, like Hangouts, or Messages.
Playing in the same AR app with friends
Advantage: Android P
iOS 12 is getting a really cool multiplayer feature that will let you and your other friends with iOS 12 interact in the same AR environment at the same time. Imagine building something out of Lego together, or playing virtual ping pong.
Google goes further, giving Android and iPhone users the ability to play together no matter which OS you have. Cloud Anchors, as it’s called, isn’t tied to Android P, but Android P phones will also benefit from it.
Face unlock: Secure versus convenient
Advantage: iOS 12
Android’s version of Face Unlock is noted to be convenient, but not as secure as a fingerprint. Secure face unlock through Face ID is Apple’s world, and its iPhone X was the first phone to use a 3D front-facing camera.
The iris-unlocking that exists in Samsung’s phones like the Galaxy S9, is considered secure, but also exclusive to Samsung phones (iris-scanning on Microsoft’s Lumia 950 predates Samsung).
GOOGLE PIXEL 3 AND COMPUTATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: HOW SOFTWARE IS DRIVING THIS CHANGE
Google’s camera team executive Marc Levoy think that software-driven approach is the new trend when it comes to improving smartphone photography.
There is a general move towards software-defined camera on smartphones, rather than just relying on fixed hardware, according to Marc Levoy, distinguished engineer at Google and currently leading the team responsible for modes like HDR+, portrait mode on the Pixel smartphones.
HUAWEI CFO FREED ON $7.5 MILLION USD BAIL, TRUMP MAY INTERVENE
APPLE EXPANDING HAPTIC TOUCH FEATURE IN IPHONE XR WITH IOS 12.1.1 UPDATE: REPORT
Apple’s new iPhone XR comes with Haptic Touch as a replacement for the 3D Touch sensor. This allows consumers to launch the camera app or turn on the flashlight by using a long-press gesture, though it is not as functional or as quick in terms of response as 3D Touch, which has been part of the iPhones since the iPhone 6s.
Right now Haptic Touch capabilities are limited on the iPhone XR, but Apple could be expanding this with future iOS 12 updates. A report by 9to5Mac says they have spotted new features in the iOS 12.1.1 beta 2, which will increase the capabilities of Haptic Touch on iPhone XR and allow users to expand notifications by long pressing them.
On the iPhone XS, thanks to the 3D Touch display, long pressing on a notification opens up a pop-up menu and action buttons. With the iPhone XR, the rich content will soon be visible thanks to a long press and users will be able to reply, market an email as done, etc depending on the type of notification. Currently users have to swipe left to view the message to take any action, which is tedious on the iPhone XR.
However, the Peek and Pop feature on 3D Touch displays which is used by many apps will not be possible on the iPhone XR. This shows a rich menu when a user long-presses on the icon of particular app. Once again the reason for this is that Apple iPhone XR does not have pressure sensitive display like the other two new iPhones.
Given the iOS 12.1.1 beta has the feature, Apple should add the capability to the iPhone XR when the next iOS update is formally rolled out. The iOS 12.1.1 update will likely start rolling out to the public by the end of this year, though Apple has not confirmed when it will be officially released. The company just released iOS 12.1 which added the Group FaceTime feature, new Emojis, as well as the dual-SIM feature to the iPhone XS and iPhone XR