Since it’s inception, Google’s Android OS has occupied the prime position in the mobile phone market share, and seeks to further this with it’s release of Android 4.0, commonly called “Ice Cream Sandwich”. The beautiful new operating system comes with a host of new features and upgrades, bringing it very close to the iOS, which unintentionally thematizes this as an iOS vs. Ice Cream Sandwich article.
Previous versions of the android operating systems were just minor upgrades from one to another. From Froyo to Gingerbread, the number of upgrades were limited enough to be counted on one’s fingertips. This is similar to the iOS where, as far as looks go, there were limited upgrades, even between iOS 3 and 4. The new ice cream sandwich brings a host of compelling new upgrades to the playing field, which might not match up to the class of the iOS, but is still more than commendable. Fluid animations , new scrolling styles and it’s great multi-tasking abilities make it a serious competitor for apple in the future.
Getting to the interface, the first thing you will notice is the dock to keep your most-frequented applications, something which is clearly an iOS trait, but something that cannot be neglected. However the middle button opens up your entire application library, so as to effectively control what you can and cannot view on the home screen. This is because one may want to hide apps that are not used regularly. Most of the navigation buttons to bring you back home, manage running applications, go forward/backward while browsing a page are all easily available in the row of function keys at the bottom of the screen, making multi-tasking a breeze. There is also a google search bar at the top of the home screen which is androids answer to spotlight. You can decide whether to search data such as pictures, music, videos or contacts, etc. or the web – it’s all there in one convenient location, a feature lacking in spotlight search.
With the new ICS update, there is virtually no task that an iOS can do that ICS can’t. From running bucket loads of android applications to in-built applications, ICS is competent in every way. Especially the Google apps such as Gmail which come integrated with the OS feel more crisp and responsive than before, including an ever-so-useful task bar for tagging , forwarding, replying or deleting messages . The Google Calendar has also been updated, with great support for a “several calendars” type of person – different calendars have different colors and the length of the reminder on a particular day depends on the duration of the task ! Another interesting upgrade is the copy-paste feature which allows the user to tap the word and drag it to the desired location. ICS also includes Google’s facial recognition software, however it still has some hiccups and is not the safest way of protecting your phone , considering that a picture could fool it :p
While the Ice Cream Sandwich is a brilliant and refreshing new upgrade with several innovative features, it just cannot match the iOS ….. yet. Firstly, the responsiveness to touch on the OS is slightly sluggish as compared to the iOS . It also doesn’t dumb down it’s interface to a level where it is as user-friendly as the iOS. Even the wide-selection of applications available on the app-store is something hard for any android upgrade to compete with, let alone the clarity and quality of the apps.
The android 4.0 operating system is a quantum leap above it’s predecessors in terms of specifications and features. However , a lot of work can still be put in to this operating system, which would make it a worthy competitor for Apple’s iOS one day. But as for now, it seems like like the ice cream sandwich isn’t really that tasty !!