In the mobile world in recent times, there are different forms of mobile phones. Advancement in technology has now influenced several people’s decision in purchasing the type of mobile phones which are otherwise known as Smartphone. Smart phones are one of the most common types of phones that are being used globally now. These sets of phones if you look at them always resemble a minicomputer in terms of the hardware and the software that is associated with it.
Since a Smartphone is a complex entity that can’t just be described easily, this paper would be focusing on taking a part of the device and then analyzing it. This would be achieved by considering two different operating systems that seems to be the most commonly used now in the world of Smartphone. These operating systems are the iOS (Apple mobile operating system) and the Android (Google's operating system). These two operating systems have their merits and demerits and the paper would be comparing the two and selecting the one that is better out of the two OS.
Smartphone and the mobile operating systems
The increase in the demand for Smartphone in recent times can be attributed to the interest people now have in social networking features and the ability to send instant messaging which are features that are restricted to either personal computers or laptops before but are now features of the Smartphone. Initially Smartphone are mostly mobile phones running on java applications alone but technology has now precipitated the rate at which those devices now make use of operating system.
As we all know, when considering the computer world, there are different operating systems i.e. Microsoft and Linux. Taking an exploration into the world of the Smartphone we could actually see that there are different operating systems that have been made for those Smartphone to work on. Such operating systems include; the symbian, IOs Apple, Android, and RIM Blackberry. All these operating system have their major merits and demerits and they also have their hardware requirements when compared to that of the operating system that works on a personal computer.
The main purpose of this paper is to explore the two most important of the mobile phones operating system which are the iOs Apple and the Google Android. This exploration of the software will focus on comparing and contrasting the OS and also evaluating the ecosystem surrounding their devices and finally discuss which one is better out of the two OS and then stating the reason behind the decision for that option.
Apple iOS and Android operating system; comparing and contrasting
The Apple’s iOS operating system is a mobile operating system which was developed originally for iPhone but was later made to work for other Apple devices such as the iPod touch and iPad device. One major feature of this operating system is that the operating system was not design to allow the installation of other third party application being design by other external programmers. This operating system was based on the Mac OS X type of design and it is made up of different major feature that differentiate it from other major software. The operating system was first release to the market in 2007.
There are several limitation found to be associated with the use of apple operating system. This ranges from the Walled Garden Philosophy when it comes to installation of application. This limit the entrances of third party application and this from my own point of view limit what could be done by the user because of the false sense of security which prevent use of unlicensed application.
In the case of android operating system, there is nothing like that. The user is allowed to install various forms of application to the device without any form of restriction and the users are allowed to monitor the installation and the type of application that are being installed by the users. The users also have the option of analyzing the code used in making the software if such is needed by the users and this is never found in the apple operating system.
Another important aspect of the application security that has been designed to be used in android is that aspect that ensured that the application that is being installed by a user must inform the user the part of the device such application will be using before being finally installed and this is an important aspect of application that is lacking in apple operating system. This property that could be considered as an open discussion is not with apple's applications.
Google now makes platform software known as the new App Inventor which is software that would allow an ordinary person that is not even a software engineer to create an application that can actually work on Android operating system unlike what we see with apple operating system.
Comparing the user interface of both the android and the iOS, it could be seen that android is better especially when we are considering the android Honeycomb versus the Apple iPad devices. This has been linked with the next generation multitasking ability possessed by the android OS generation. This ability was associated with the possessing of the true full multitasking ability by the android operating system when compared to that of Apple (Melissa, 2010).
The importance of this is that the android user will have more ability to play several movies at the same time and then switching between those live running videos compared to what can be done on the apple operating system. When we look at this feature, it would attract a simple user when considering the ability to do several things at the same time without being hindered (Kent, 2010).
Another major disadvantages of the apple's mobile operating system is the refusal to accept the use or support of the multimedia flash technology which is what is normally required to support various application that needed to play video or operate some other kind of multimedia function. This refusal to support the technology is another major shortcoming associated with the operating system because that implicate that several devices would be restricted from operating or using the technology and there are also several website that needed that multimedia technology to play the multimedia files that are on the website. The implication of this is that the user would be limited in the type of website that he or she would be able to visit or use.
The iOS operating system now has some nice features that make it more competitive. These features include; their ability for Airplay supports video, home sharing works and personal hotspots (Kent, 2010). These major addition effects are a plus for the operating system when compared with the Google android. This feature allows the OS to work wirelessly with the Apple TV which is a feature that is unique on the operating system compared to other OS.
The second additional feature that is unique to the operating system is that of the home sharing feature which allow the synchronization of the media with other devices such as the Mac or PC that are on the same Wi-Fi networks. The use of the device is also very impressive with the home sharing technology because of the speed that is required to load the media and play it on the library.
There are several factors that could be considered as important for the development of the apple and android ecosystem in recent times. Those factors ranges from the abundance of applications, the hardware issues, the amount of devices that are using the operating system, The business relationship environment which allow for effective competition among the developers and investors. Taking a look at the android ecosystem, there are several companies that are supporting it and those companies are making several offerings that provide a greater influence on the changes that occur within the ecosystem.
Steve Jobs usually provide a solitary direction to apple ecosystem unlike that of android that is by those companies supporting it. Another important consideration towards the influence on the two ecosystem is that of direct hardware control which is absent in relation to Google android but present to apple iOS. The influence of this is on the amount of the device that would make use of the operating system while enhancing a third-party compliance solution unlike the apple OS which is dependent on only apple devices.
The abundance of applications is a characteristic that widens the ecosystem of apple compared to android and apart from this factor. The people’s perception towards the apple product is another factor that could also be attributed to the larger ecosystem and this affect the rate of purchase. Those factors that make Google android ecosystem a threat to that of the apple recently include; the presence of multiple companies that are contributing to the enhancement of the company, the thousands of mobile phones and tablets devices that are using android operating system, and the increased third party application access. Those factors are expanding the android ecosystem at a greater speed and making a major threat to the dominance of the apple operating system which is only a run on few devices which are the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch devices.
Critically looking at the two operating systems and considering those factors that have been highlighted regarding the features of software, I can conclude that Google android will surely be better. The android operating system, with the present state of ecosystem which is now a major threat to that of apple iOS, I will have to say that within the next one or two years, it would dominate the Smartphone market worldwide because of those factors that are expanding its ecosystem recently. Any consumer interested in purchasing a Smartphone should go for any device in the android market because I can advice users to buy device with such operating system.
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Kent, G. (2010). Apple iOS 4 review. iPhone Atlas. Reviews.
Retrieved 15 May, 2011 from http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-20008259-233.html
Melissa, J.P. (2010). Apple iOS 4 vs. Android Multitasking: Which Approach Is Better for Users?. PCWorld.
Retrieved 16 May, 2011 from http://www.pcworld.com/article/199830/apple_ios_4_vs_android_multitasking_which_approach_is_better_for_users.html
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Retrieved 15 May, 2011 from http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/software/operating-systems/apple-ios-4-3-935076/review