Updated 20 Jun, 2013, 3:24 pm IST
What Google can learn from newly announced Apple iOS 6
| by Naina Khedekar
Over the past couple of years, the newest versions of Apple’s operating systems have made their first official presence felt at the WWDC event, taking place in the month of June. Yesterday, at the annual WWDC 2012, makers of the popular and overhyped ‘i’ devices launched their new line-up of Macbooks. The highlight and big surprise was the next generation Macbook Pro, posing in an all new avatar, never seen before in the Macbook Pro line-up. What wasn’t a surprise, owing to the leaks, was the unveiling of the newest iteration of Apple’s operating system – iOS 6.
Compared to the iOS 5, the iOS 6 emerges with a handful of nifty updates. Here are some of the highlights of the iOS 6:
New iOS 6
iOS 6 bids goodbye to Google Maps and now comes with its own Maps app. The app comes with vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming incredibly fluid. There are new turn-by-turn navigation guides with spoken directions, Flyover feature for photo-realistic interactive 3D views and it offers real-time traffic information.
While last year, Siri was the most talked about feature of the iOS 5, this year sees it get updated further. Siri, which is now available for the new iPad and the iPhone 4S will feature additional language support, including that for Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. One also can ask Siri to update their status on Facebook, post to Twitter or launch an app. Siri takes the hands-free functionality, even further with a new Eyes Free mode, enabling one to interact with their iPhone using nothing more than their voice.
The new Passbook app now puts all your passes in one place, for example boarding passes and baseball tickets. Passbook lets one scan their iPhone or iPod touch to use a coupon, get into a concert or check into their hotel. Passbook can even alert one to last minute gate changes or flight delays at the airport.
There’s Guided Access that provides innovative solutions for education and accessibility. This new feature allows a parent, teacher or an administrator to disable hardware buttons to lock an iOS device into a single app, especially useful for taking tests or helping someone with a disability stay focused on learning.
Moreover, there are certain enhancements to Safari, support for FaceTime calls over cellular networks, ability to set up a VIP Mailbox, and more. Click here for the complete list of features.
iOS 5 and ICS lock screens
iOS has been known for its sophistication and superior technology, while Android’s openness has opened doors of the mobile world to various segments of the society, thereby allowing them a better mobile experience, at an affordable price. Going by Apple's latest iOS update and its release cycle in general, Google has a few things to learn from them.
iOS 6 was launched yesterday and will be rolling out in the next two months. It has been made available for devices launched from 2009, like iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, new iPad and the fourth generation of the iPod Touch. Seemingly, Google hasn’t been able to push its partners to make its ICS update, which was released last year to older devices. Though, the update was promised to a list of devices launched last year, manufacturers seem to be keen at launching it only for newer models.
The iOS 5 was released last year around the same time that Google released the Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Many comparisons were drawn between the two. Today, according to Tim Cook, about 80 percent iOS mobile devices run on the iOS 5, while only 7 percent of phones run on the Android ICS. The figures, if believed to be true, say it all. Especially considering that about 50 percent of devices across the world are Android enabled. It's disappointing as the highly anticipated ICS hasn’t reached many devices, even while Jelly Bean is expected to be rolled out soon.
No Google Maps for iOS, the war continues...
We’ve seen that with each iOS release, there comes a list of new features to look forward to. Apple moved from iOS 4 to iOS 5 with new features, like iCloud and Siri. Then again, the new iOS 6 has a list of big features lined up, along with several improvements. On the other hand, Android versions come with few improvements and then Google keeps updating them with small, unnoticeable updates with versions, like 2.3,2.3.2, 2.3.3 and so on.
As much as we like the openness of Android, we also like the stringent rules followed by Apple. This has helped the latter maintain a cleaner operating system. The Android Market a.k.a Google Play store has a list of apps, which only clutter the Market. Android Market is also known to be susceptible to malware while Apple ensures hygiene in the Apple App Store. Also, Android lacks apps fragmentation.
Now, Apple could also take in a lesson or two from Google, especially with some Google-like improvements in notifications. Nevertheless, Apple fans wouldn't bother about it.
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