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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.