The iOS 6 from Apple was released at the WWDC or the Worldwide Developers Conference. This was closely followed by the much hyped Windows Phone 8 from Microsoft. Not to be outdone, Google announced their Jelly Bean, the Android 4.1, at the I/O event and now the race seems to be well balanced with a winning horse from each stable poised for a neck-to-neck finish.
The new versions of the operating systems from Google and Apple were definitely improved ones when compared to their predecessors. However, Microsoft’s answer to this hot competition that has attracted global attention is in the form of Windows 8, which they hope will prop up their image to regain lost ground in the mobile sphere.
Apple’s latest offering, the iOS 6 has been equipped with some ingenious features that have been added in the course of the year keeping up with the times and keeping the competitors at their wits ends in the race to catch up. However, in spite of all the hype, iOS 6 is a version that has just a few insignificant changes and nothing major to talk about. Android allows total customizations, like letting you put your most used widgets on to your homescreens, whereas with iOS 6 it is an ordinary menu that still fills up the pages, though it allows you to distinguish apps separately by placing them in folders.
The refreshingly new change offered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 is commendable. You can resize the tiles and can’t deny the all new attractive looks that get enhanced as you can personalize the tiles. Comparatively, the iOS is pretty dull and boring and could do with a bit of revamping. If Apple keeps this in mind and implements it in the next version, it is well and good for them.
This much for the operating systems, and when it comes to Maps, Apple has done the correct thing by doing away with the dependency on Google Maps. They now have Tom Tom to power their own Maps app. Of course, people who have Android can access Google Maps which have been made a part of any Google search.
Microsoft did not have much to offer and was almost left out except for its Bing Maps that did not work out too well for them. They now have a better option after the tie up with Nokia Maps that have now been made available. All the three, i.e. iOS 6, Windows 8, and Jelly Bean have turn-by-turn navigation and latest updates on traffic, and are available in 3D. While you need the Internet to use iOS, Jelly Bean and Windows Phone 8 don’t depend on the Internet as they have offline modes that let you access Maps.
Most people have heard about Siri, the virtual voice assistant that was an important feature in iOS 5. An improved version of Siri is now available in iOS 6. Android does not want to be left behind and has its own version voice enabled features; however, it can be no match for Siri.
Jelly Bean on its part has speech recognition and voice search functions that have been enhanced with a built-in speech recognizer and a knowledge graph which may be good on their own, but not when compared to the matchless Siri. Microsoft’s interface also has voice commands that enable you to make calls, send replies to a text message and search the Internet based on your commands.
Since social networking sites have become a part of most people’s lives, most mobile phone makers have come to realize this and have made sure that there is integration with at least one of the few sites. Apple’s iOS 5 was integrated with Twitter and Jelly Bean has Twitter, Facebook and a few others in addition to its very own Google+.
Windows Phone 8 does not want to be left out; hence Microsoft has ensured that they are integrated with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the home product Windows Live.
Now that ‘mobile payment’ has become a habit with several mobile users, Apple has realized the importance and added the Passbook feature in its latest offering, the iOS 6. This electronic wallet helps keep your debit and credit cards, tickets and coupons readily accessible. Any updates to tickets are promptly conveyed to Passbook. Jelly Bean, of course has its own Google Wallet that enables mobile payments, coupons, rewards and offers.
Apple has added a revolutionary feature in relation to calls. The iOS 6 is enabled to ‘reject a call through a response’. You can personalize the special templates provided specifically for this. When you activate the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature the device is smart enough to know that you do not want to be alerted about any messages or calls.
However, an emergency is recognized when a call is repeated from the same number several times in a row. Android has features that allow ready-made replies to be sent. You can also selectively reject calls and take only the ones that get filtered through as important ones. Windows Phone 8 however, is woefully inadequate in this regard. The only alternatives it could come up with are options to either filter or block a call.
The Face Time feature from Apple can now be used on cellular networks as well. However, the recipient needs to belong to the Apple family and be an ‘i’ device. Google’s answer to this is its own G Talk and Gmail that work on both cellular networks and Wi-Fi, and allows Gmail users to communicate with each other. How the three players will fare in the market is what the markets are keenly watching out for.
About the author: This is a guest post by Samantha Kirk of mytechhelp.com, a site that offers savings and current information on Toshiba Support.