Android 4.2 Jelly Bean vs iOS 7

by: Adam KoueiderJune 11, 2013

Jelly Bean vs iOS 7

Apple’s WWDC is in full swing, and arguably the biggest part of its keynote yesterday morning was the unveiling of the new iOS 7. Now that iOS 7 has been announced we can formally pit the two biggest mobile operating systems head to head. It’s go time – Android 4.2 Jelly Bean vs iOS 7 – in an all out fight to the death (or at least till one smartphone runs out of battery, whatever comes first).

Disclaimer: I do not absolutely, positively hate iOS. I think it’s a decent operating system, but I do believe Android has surpassed iOS in terms of functionality and user experience (or at least when compared to iOS 6). I own a fourth-gen iPod Touch and a third-generation iPad, and both devices are running the latest version of iOS 6.

UI design

iOS 7 offered the first major change in the design of iOS since its inception, opting for a cleaner, more modern look with flatter icons, and a big emphasis on translucency. Apple has also chosen an ultra-saturated palette of colors that you’ll either love or hate. The overall design is refreshing, yet still familiar, a difficult feat that Apple has managed to pull off.

iOS 7

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean offers a darker, moodier user interface, with black the predominant background, white text using the familiar Roboto font, and accents of blue. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean offers the consistent Holo UI, which has been heralded for its modern look.

Nexus 4 with Android 4.1.0 Jelly Bean


Multitasking is a big part of your smartphone user experience, and it was also one of the places where Android had the upper hand. Well not anymore, as Apple completely redesigned multitasking on iOS to provide a smarter, more efficient multitasking experience.

Now all apps in iOS can open background tasks, moving iOS closer to Android in that respect. But one place where iOS defeats even Android is the fact that the multitasking is intelligent. If you open your favorite news apps every morning and night, iOS knows this and refreshes the app at those times.

It’ll also analyze aspects like the strength of your Internet connectivity so that it will refresh apps at the right time. This is a very cool feature, in fact it’s probably my favorite from the keynote and for that I’ll forgive it for its webOS-like appearance, but of course we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out in the real world.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean offers the same reliable multitasking that’s been available since Ice Cream Sandwich. Click on the multitasking button and you’ll see all of your recently opened apps in a preview. Clicking on the app preview will open the app, and sliding the preview to the left or right will get rid of the preview.

Lock/Home screen

Apple developed a brand new Lock screen for iOS 7, offering a live wallpaper which may or may not look like the Phase Beam live wallpaper in Android. iOS 7 also gives you access to your notifications straight from the Lock screen.

There aren’t many radical changes to the Home screen, besides the ability to add pages to your folders and a new color scheme and design for app icons. Sadly, this means there are no widgets available for use on iOS 7.

iOS 7 Design

The Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Lock screen is a much more eventful place. The addition of Lock screen widgets allow you to get a glimpse of what is going on in your phone without ever having to unlock it. It also gives you quick access to apps like the camera, clock, mail, messaging and Google Now.

Android’s customization is also shown in the Home screen. Here you can add apps, folders and yes widgets too. This allows you to customize your device to exactly the way you like it, and with the thousands of widgets available in the Play Store, you certainly have a lot to choose from.

nexus 4 screen

  • MasterMuffin

    Waiting for KLP to have a similar face lift that puts Android safely on the #1 spot

    • john

      Ey We don´t need new OS with that “updates” of the IOs. Android 4.0 is more that IOs 7

  • MasterMuffin

    Waiting for KLP to have a similar face lift that puts Android safely on the #1 spot

    • john

      Ey We don´t need new OS with that “updates” of the IOs. Android 4.0 is more that IOs 7

    • Ivan Budiutama

      Don’ need KLP, the current one already do. My friend (a dedicated Apple Fanboy) even went as far as saying “Ugly as f***! look like a cheap chinese Android UI” (the cheap chinese Android actually use very minimum modification on the UI leaving it similar to Nexus, it is the middle-end phone like Firefly UI on Oppo he actually mentioned). Anyway, he is not alone, the people at “Wire” said similar tone:

  • Jared Persinger

    Wow, I’m glad android has some good Competition again! This can only make the android expierence better than what it is right now

  • Jared Persinger

    Wow, I’m glad android has some good Competition again! This can only make the android expierence better than what it is right now

  • john

    Poor iphone owners… the future is very dark…. sorry very white.(sarcasm)

  • john

    Poor iphone owners… the future is very dark…. sorry very white.(sarcasm)

  • Dtect

    This is motivation for Key Lime Pie (okay, just a little)!

  • Dtect

    This is motivation for Key Lime Pie (okay, just a little)!

  • AhmedAlalfy

    Great article from AA as usual … but Android ICS was released 2011 not 2010

  • AhmedAlalfy

    Great article from AA as usual … but Android ICS was released 2011 not 2010

  • the Craigness

    You didn’t mention the reliability of ANY of the features you talk about. I have both an iphone 5 and a new Galaxy s4. And by far the iphone experience is smoother, more intuitive and reliable. I would compare the two to a PC running Windows 7 to a mac. The first things you notice is “why is it so difficult to get anything done” on the Galaxy. Plus I gave up on google trying to understand my dictation. The Siri app got a 95% accuracy rating while the google version is more like 70% or less. Overall I find the look and feel of the IOS much more productive and easier to use while you are on the move. The Android is flashier, more detailed and by far more colorful but after the pomp wears off, it comes down to throw factor. When i’m frustrated and under pressure at work, i’m FAR LESS likely to throw my iphone against a brick wall than my Galaxy when i’m trying to get things done and the phone is not cooperating. You NEVER see iphones on the side of the highway smashed up, only droids.

    • Adama Simmons

      So what your saying is that iPhone users are just lazy and dim witted because they cant figure out how to operate anything outside of iOS. The new iPhone commercial should be cave men grunting using the iPhone with ease and then grabbing the S4, slamming it on the ground yelling because “Android….ugh….it complicated! Me use iOS!”

    • holms

      Did you really try to compare windows 7 to os X? Windows 7 blows mac os out of the water when it comes to ease of use… There’s a reason boot camp exist and why a good chunk of the Mac community installs win 7 on their computers… Your argument became moot when you even tried to make that comparison.

    • Ivan Budiutama

      I would do the same, iPhone (even the 4s) cost a leg here, $800 for iPhone 5, I mean who is crazy enough to throw a $800 phone against the wall? When I’m frustrated, I threw my Nokia 3310 (yes, still hold one) against the wall and WOW, it works like magic, usually I am relieved. You can donate your Galaxy if you want to, I’ll trade it with my 3310 for you to throw as you please, and believe me, it will last no matter how many times you throw it against anything you can imagine. I can use some used-android donation myself too.

    • Kevin

      Siri more accurate than Google Now? Really… come on that is naive and stupid, there have been a lot of test and that simply isn’t the case.

      Galaxy S4 is not difficult to use, my wife has one, she used the whole its too complicated I want an iphone…. I ignored that an got her an s4… she doesnt think its complicated anymore, its an argument iphone users use, but is completely untrue.

      You say like the look and feel of IOS, ok then download Espier launcher and look at that, BOOM!! you now have IOS look and feel on android, however I don’t know why you’d do that when it is poor in comparison to other launchers! I do agree that touchwiz is a bit crap though.

      • Victor V.

        lol I’m going to download that espier launcher,and have it ready the next time an iPhone owner asks me to let them play with me S4. it will make them feel right at home, but confuse the hell out of them at the same time.

    • deepen03

      really? I had an iPhone 5.. and sold it to get an S4. and I am never looking back!

    • John Holmes

      I’m not a fan of overlays like TouchWiz & HTC Sense. The S4 is somewhat scattered as far as all the features. You can kind of tell there were different departments at Samsung working on features, then they all kind of just got thrown in to the whole package without much thought to unifying stuff. Kind of like the comparison between S4 & HTC1 says.

      However, just comparing Android 4.2 to iOS 6 or 7…Android is WIN in almost every category. The only 2 things I like better in iOS is the 1) GameCenter and 2) the way push-notifications are handled. Even with jailbreak on iOS6, things still suck. Like keyboards on iOS….where are the custom keyboards like SwiftKey for Android? The iOS keyboard is horrible and I’ve even made it better with $9 worth of jailbreak keyboard apps.

  • mbkarki

    Android 4.2 is better than iOS 7??? What difference does that make??? How much better Android may be, all users don’t get a chance to experience it. Unlike Apple devices, not all Android devices are compatible for latest Android software. Even when they are compatible, customers have to wait years before they get the update. It’s been 8 months since JB 4.2 was released and only 4% of Android users have got it. The rest of us are just reading about how good it is or it is not. Would love iOS if their devices were little more affordable.

    • Adama Simmons

      Its called Rooting ladies and gentlemen! Get it rooted and your phone will be running the OS you want even if the carrier is taking their sweet time. Jelly Bean is far more than 4% my friend, try 33% as of June 3rd. Theres really no excuse not to be running the OS you want on an Android device unless you went for the cheapest oldest phone, hell even my old HTC Thunderbolt is running jellybean, flawlessly might I add. ROOT people, get up and be free ROOT!!

      • Kevin

        Not all apps are available with root unfortunately, 2 of my most used apps are my banking application and sky go, both of which dont work if you have rooted your phone (even if you hide root), so sometimes this isn’t possible. Saying that I have a Nexus 4 so will always be on the latest version anyways! :)

        • John Holmes

          Oh wow, I didn’t know any Android apps cared about root, other than MobileIron. That is super lame, just like the iOS apps that won’t run on jailbroken devices.

    • john

      You are so ignorant! You can keep your jailphone and you doesn´t read the opinions of the people that every day see the difference. Android users can be updated by provider or root and install any android version.

      • mbkarki

        Call me ignorant but I have no doubt the Iphone is a jailphone. However, breaking the android jail is not easy either. Not a majority are as tech savvy as you guys are. I know what you said and I do play a lot with rooting stuff but I have not been able to root my LG Optimus 4x so far even after a few tries. Besides, installing a custom ROM may have its own security concerns and most of them are tampered with, I guess.

        • Ivan Budiutama

          Try Launcher, Nova Launcher (the free one is available) is highly recommended, it is clean, smooth as butter (even smoother on JB). You can even tweak the feel and changing themes are simple. Don’t like the look on the icons (GOD, have you seen the new photos and game icons on iOS 7)? Nova can change them individually (Prime, paid feature I’m afraid). No other prerequisite or rooting required. Try one, thank me later.

  • Joshua

    If you are not using iOS7, then multitasking is quite difficult to accomplish with iOS devices. The competition between these two companies is getting stiffer and tougher each day.

    • mobilemann

      (that’s total rubbish)

  • Jeremiah Burns

    A fair review. Basically it comes down to, “Sure, iOS is still playing catch-up in many respects. But at least they’re playing and therefore progressing.”

  • Thef

    Android suck!

    • xspirits

      So do you, sir… Or do you deserve a “sir”? hum..

    • George Av

      Your mom suck!

      • Anonymousfella

        Dont feed the troll, dude…

    • Nexus

      This guy is jealous because he has an iPhone.

  • Biavela

    AA guys, I prefer scrolling, just letting you know…

  • James Earley

    Playing catch up but let’s be honest, it still hasn’t caught up.

  • End in sight

    Nice review. I want to check our their new icons in more detail. These arguments over which is “better”, to me is a moot point. “Better” is relative and so android is better for some and iOS is better for some. Almost mm point in fighting.

    Here is one area that really irks me: the inability for iOS to talk nicely with non-iOS users and devices. Apple knows they have a minority for iOS and Mac OS. So why don’t they make it so their OS’s can easily shake hands with the Mallor majo majority outside the Apple ecosystem?

    Case in point: was visiting my folks who both have GS3s and love them. I have nexus devices. When we take photos, it is easy to share the raw photo files around. Then my brother and sis in law show up with two iphones. After they take a bunch of photos, I am them to please share them with me, but not via email. They are stuck. I am sure it must be possible and probably easy, but they can’t figure it out.

    If Apple were smart, they would make cheap end devices to capture market share. Then they should make their devices talk nicely with all other ecosystems. Then they would have a chance with places like China and India. As it stands now, they act childish, like some private club only for iOS users. Lame.

  • John


    • Paolo Cervantes

      White Nexus 4 in mine!! with free bumper

    • YOSTA

      I GOT MINE! ;D

  • Chino Kairo Serrano

    It is true that iOS falls behind Android when it comes to features. But remember why many people are still sticking to iOS. Its because of the stability and smoothness of the operating system. And that’s what Android should have in order for it to be the king. I am a proud owner of a Galaxy S3 and I’m a little bit disappointed with its performance whenever I remember how powerful its hardware is. Android said that Jellybean will be fast and smooth. But why lags can be found everywhere? Maybe we can blame Touchwiz for that.

    • disqus_ckr7qVZNP0

      there’s no lag

    • Kash Gummaraju

      kinda late, but people stick with iOS since so many people use it. No one ever buys an Apple product because they actually “want” to, it’s due to societal influence and the need to find a group that they can associate themselves with.

  • shuaijiayou ghjfgj

  • Simon Fearby

    When will the be available for all handsets? iOS 6.3 still works on the iPhone 3G, most androids cant run an OS newer than 6 months.

  • Abdullah

    I admit ios I much much faster and more stable tgan android ( im an s3 holder but previously had a 4s but its smooth because it has nothing no widgets no notification panel no futuristic features no nothing that’s why its stable and I prefer a cool features but slow os than a boring srable os