The holiday season is upon us! That means two things: new toys for us and our loved ones, and another version of both the iOS and Android. Combining both, chances are, these new “toys” means new smartphones for a lot of us.
If you’re thinking about buying the latest smartphone today, you’re bound to think of choosing between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android– along with it, what the newest versions can do.
We’ve come up with a list of good and bad stuff for you to decide which is better — iOS 11 vs Android Oreo.
The Good, the bad, and the tl;dr.
Apple iOS 11
With the release of the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and Apple’s new flagship, the iPhone X, the world got introduced to the latest operating software from Cupertino: the iOS 11. Announced in June and was released in September 2017, the iOS 11 operates in 67.78% of all Apple devices worldwide as of date.
With the iOS 11, Apple introduces an all-new App Store, a more intelligent Siri, augmented reality tech (Animoji, anyone?), improvements to both Camera and Photos, a redesign of the Control Center, and new features for the iPad, among other things. (We’ve talked about this before here.) This is great and all but how does this translate to the everyday user?
The iOS 11 comes with an all-new App Store. A major redesign that not only looks great but makes it far easier to discover new apps than the previous version. You can now find new games, see top charts, top picks, and app categories in the tabs.
Apple also revamped its iOS’ Control Center by offering user customization. You can now choose what shortcuts you want to see in the Control Center and although overdue, the fresh look but same feel you get is always a welcome upgrade.
Siri got a bunch of new updates including a more natural and expressive speech, translation updates, an improved AI that can better predict what you may want to know next, and a new male voice!
Also, the augmented reality system. This debut for Apple looks promising. Aside from Animoji which uses your facial expression and put it in the form of an emoji, other apps can use this for a more interactive gaming, measuring physical space, and for industrial design.
And, overall improvements to Photos and Camera. If you want to weigh in the complete details, you can find the official changelog from Apple here.
With the latest iOS update also comes a plethora of bugs and glitches. From something minor as wonky and inconsistent elements in the UI to something that will drive your wits crazy like a completely unresponsive screen.
There are also reported problems with Messaging like the text box not appearing when you are about to type a message or the keyboard covering the last message on the screen. And remember when the letter “i” shows up as an “a” plus a weird Unicode symbol?
Distortion in live photos and videos captured. Photos appearing blurry. “Hey Siri” stops working.
The list goes on. And Apple has been rolling out updates that resolve much of the issues ever since. The latest version, iOS 11.1.2, came out November 17.
The iOS 11 is both a refreshing and a daring version of its former self. It adds those long-awaited updates that you can enjoy in an Android but wrapped in an Apple package.
It has a level of complexity to the new interface and it may be a little hard to find your bearing at first but it will all come naturally as you get to use it more. More excitingly, with the integration of AR tech and machine learning, the iOS has a bright future ahead.
While the iOS update applies to all devices, the biggest winner with this one though is the iPad. With its multi-tasking features improved, it’s not an upsized iPhone anymore. But it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison since we’re talking about smartphones here.
And as with all big updates, it comes with its own set bugs and glitches. While some may be unnoticeable for many, Apple’s following is more into the details and design. The Cupertino giant seems to be on top of this as they are resolving issues with regular iOS updates. But for a company that prides itself on flawless software and obsessive attention to detail, some may think that this went out along with its founder. Sure, they were never perfect, but now they’re less perfect than they were before.
Android 8: Oreo
Android’s latest software, the Oreo was released to the public last August 2017. It was readily available to Google devices such as the Pixel and Nexus, while other manufacturers are scheduled to update or launch their devices with the new OS from Android soon. Sadly, only 0.2% of Android devices are running with the Oreo under the hood.
The Oreo’s new features include Picture-in-picture (PIP), a more noticeable notification, a redesign of app icons, faster boot times, longer lasting batteries, a clever application of machine learning, and a whole bunch of security features.
The picture-in-picture mode lets you miniaturize a video call or a Youtube video in the corner of your screen so you can use what’s left of your screen for other applications. Good for multitasking especially for devices with larger screens.
Google is introducing notification dots to apps. Now, notifications appear as bubbles on the app icons on the home screen. A long press will expand the bubble showing you more info allowing you to see what’s happening without having to open up the app.
The redesign of app icons brings about a more funky way in terms of static app icons. Making them come alive, these new app icons will animate based on user interaction. This allows developers tomake their app icons more interactive and a bit more fun.
Perhaps the most prominent upgrade of the Oreo is under the hood. With Google claiming to double the speed of app loading and boot time, Android 8 is the fastest iteration of its mobile OS ever. And by making the Oreo smarter, it reduces the memory and power used by background apps. This, in turn, will improve your device’s battery life.
Google has also utilized machine learning in the simplest function: copy and paste. By this, the Oreo can now recognize which app can best use a copied text. Like how a copied email address would be suggested in your email app or a copied contact number would be listed at the top of your Dialer.
Along with all of these comes the security update and a lot more cool tweaks like the downloadable fonts and instant apps. You can find all the exciting features of the Oreo here.
Unlike Apple where all software updates are pushed from a centralized source all at once, Google employs a divided approach. This notorious fragmentation problem with Android means that not every device gets the latest update as soon as it rolls out. And many are left without ever seeing an update at all.
Even new devices like the Razer Phone, Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2, and OnePlus 5T are going to be sold without the latest version of the Android OS on board. This is further complicated with issues with microprocessor producers like Qualcomm. With its Snapdragon processors in most of the biggest flagship devices, phone manufacturers are dependent on Qualcomm to integrate the latest OS quickly.
This problem is being tackled by Google with the Oreo’s Project Treble. A major rework of the Android OS framework designed to make it easier, faster, and less costly for manufacturers to update devices to a new version of Android. This aims to reduce the complexity in updating software that’s now plaguing Android phones.
Google’s Android 8 or the Oreo pushes ahead in important ways. Much of the features that was introduced in the Nougat version were improved and found true applications in the Oreo. This is possibly the most refined and reliable version of the Android OS Google has ever released.
Right now, the downsides of the Oreo may appear to be better than Apple’s bug-riddled-iOS 11, but then again we may see more bugs come out of the woodwork when the Oreo has been integrated to most of the devices rather than rounding error it presently is.
With phone manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, Asus, Huawei, LG, Lenovo, and Vivo rolling out the Oreo OS to their brands this December 2017, we can hope for a significant statistical data to compare it to the iOS 11.
If you do decide on getting an Android smartphone, make sure to look at the version of Android it runs on. If it doesn’t, check if the manufacturer plans on launching the Oreo update to their devices as well as their track record for software updates. Top of mind includes the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Huawei P10.
If you still can’t decide on whether to choose a smartphone that runs on Android’s latest, Oreo, or getting an iPhone that now natively comes with the latest iOS version, iOS 11.1.2, you can count that Poundit.com has got you covered with great deals offering both the newest Android smartphones and the latest iPhones.
Still no gift ideas? Check out our 2017 Holiday Gadget gift guide!