Apple iOS vs Google Android…do you really know the difference? Part 1

Having used the iPhone since the first one and then a couple of Android based handsets, it is time to share my findings and views so far. I will break this up into some parts instead of making one long article. This, the starting one, outlines the basics of both the mobile OSes and the major differences in usage and configurations. The following ones would outline the basic usage and how to get the best out of each.

Both the mobile OSes have *nix roots. Apple iOS is based on it’s OS and Google’s Android is based on Linux. While Apple made iOS ground up for the first iPhone, Google created Android as a competitor to iOS. Microsoft’s Windows and Blackberry are nowhere in this picture being completely ancient systems by comparison and therefore will not be discussed in these articles.

The basic difference in the approach or Apple and Google is the major difference to begin with. While Apple designed and created a mobile OS, Google simply hacked around Linux to create what would seem to be a mobile OS. While the first release of iOS and the iPhone ran only on 128 MB of RAM, the requirements for Android were far larger to begin with.

Android is more like Windows or DOS that runs on a variety of devices whereas iOS runs only on Apple iDevices. Although Windows and DOS had the same UI/UX across the hardware they ran on, Android, has customisations from every vendors which differs even across the same vendor’s models of handsets.

In short, what this means is that if you ever used one Apple device, you were sure the other would work exactly the same way or very similar. In case of Android based devices, even devices from the same vendor could well behave very differently and you would have to get used to the different UI every time.

Since all these devices come under the category of “smart” phones or tablets, the better devices are expensive. One of the basic things to consider when purchasing expensive devices is updates. While Apple’s iOS had had free updates for at least 3 generations of the devices so far, Android updates are vendor dependent and therefore, in general, have no guaranteed updates for any purpose.

The above outlines the reason for Android based devices concentrating their advertising on hardware specifications when comparing with the iPhone. Android, like the recently announced Ubuntu mobile OS is a Linux hack and needs a far better hardware configuration for a reasonable user experience. Neither of these were created or designed for a mobile device, they are just hacks, with “features” tacked on!

Although it is not quite the time to comment on the Ubuntu side, some of the Android OS variations are almost un-usable compared to iOS. Having said this, it is also a fact that most people with an iDevice are clueless of the actual usage and power that iOS can provide over any other device OS today. The majority that I have come across, there seems to be no difference excepting the UI/UX. This is quite in-correct and is the basis for these series of posts. The intent being to differentiate and provide a basic, working knowledge of the device OSes.

Both the OSes have their own pros and cons. While the Apple iOS is severely restricted by what Apple thinks that users should and should not have, Google’s Android has no such artificial and stupid limitations. While Apple artificially limits functionality on older devices in current iOS releases, Android does no such thing! Of course, to be fair, there is also the fact that Android based devices might never have any updates.

The following posts will start outlining the basic usage and differences between iOS and Android.

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