Features Head-to-Head - Android 4.1 Jelly Bean* vs iOS 6*
Maps - Winner: GoogleYes, I am favoring Google Maps over Apple Maps (or whatever you call the blobs and helicopter flyover with misplaced landmarks). There is much already written about this fiasco shortly after roll out. Google Street View is simply the gold standard...outdoors and indoors, oh and have you tried "Compass Mode"?
9/23 Update from TechCrunch:
Apparently, Apple is trying to recruit some former Google Maps talent to help them get up to speed more quickly.
Virtual Assistant - Winner: GoogleYes, I favor Google Now over Siri. Speed is better, the Google "Cards" take you to the relevant information faster and has more straight forward answers than Siri thinking for a few moments and return some of the top search results (probably returned from Google)
When you get the response, it just feels more authoritative when you ask "What is the height of Robert Griffin?" and it just responds "6'2" and a picture plus profile of this athlete...instead of just giving me a list of webpages.
Google Now is by far and away the best feature and best reason to upgrade to a phone or tablet that will support Jelly Bean. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy S3 in Oct should be getting the update from ICS over the air, if the carriers keep their word.
New Notifications Bar - Winner: TieAre the Google Enhanced Notifications better - I'd say yes and no; it takes a while to get used to but after some customization, you're in much more control of how and when status updates or new mail grabs your attention.
The Notification Center for Apple is a bit more helpful, but largely unchanged. Yes, you can now use the little "Tap to Post" button to quickly update Facebook, but how often are you going to do that. It reminds me of the now ubiquitous "Share" feature in most Android native apps, represented by the triple-dot icon, where you can post/email/tweet directly.
"Do Not Disturb" Mode - Winner: AppleJelly Bean has it so that you can set certain hours as quiet time - however, phone calls will still go through. iOS6 on the other hand can mute all calls except those by a list called "VIPs".
You can add a person to the VIP list very easily. Edge goes to Apple on this one. Ironically, Apple also has a VIP list for email - a la Gmail's Priority Inbox.
Camera App - Winner: TieAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean now makes it easier than ever to quickly "flick-to-delete" photos so that you don't have to worry about using a Spray and Pray shutter mode setting and clogging up your gallery and memory card later. The highlight for iOS6 I would say is the panoramic mode, which makes it much quicker and easier to "stitch" together a horizon of photos into one seamless panorama.
Cash-less Payments - Passbook: AppleWhat's Passbook? Think (Store Coupons + Gift Cards) in one electronic wallet app.
We'll have to see if this takes off, but right now Apple has some heavy hitters lined up with deep discounts to try to hook people in. Even with the push for NFC devices and the existence of those gas swipe cards and proximity sensors for credit cards, the market has not seen a huge demand for replacing the tried and true Cash and Plastic model just yet.
Summary - Apple's falling further away from the Google TreeI understand Steve Jobs wanted to cut any/all ties with Android/Google and fearlessly separate itself from the pack. But seriously, unless they invent self-levitating bridges that do not need any kind of earthen anchors, it might not be so smart to "chop first, worry later".
So I can see that with iPhone 5, Apple is making a bold and decisive attempt to divorce itself from Google (no more native Google Maps or YouTube apps).
But that's sort of like trying to divorce yourself from the power grid right?
Sure in theory, it sounds great to become a mobile home wind farm and solar company - totally independent and self-reliant of any real infrastructure. Blah - who needs Infrastructure when you've got a big Apple logo branded, smack dab in the middle of your own technology. Yes, "think different" indeed.
But wait until you're trying to find your way through the NYC metro =)
Good luck, brave Louis-and-Clark explorers! I hope you make it out of Grand Central alive before the rats find you first. ;-)
*Brief mobile OS comparison disclaimerFor these comparisons, I have based my opinions of both OS, on slightly aged technology. In my opinion, if it really is well-developed software, it should shine through even without dual/quad core processors and 32 GB of internal memory.
For an Android phone, I still own an Infuse 4G phone from AT&T, which I have successfully "modded" it about 2 months ago to run the CM10 Jelly Bean with Butter. Look - it is NOT the official 4.1 Android OS build and yes it is only single core, but it does demonstrate most of the key features that I wanted to compare.
Also, since iOS6 is available in many other Apple products...I have decided NOT to buy the iPhone 5 yet. Yes, I have tried the iPhone 5 but the iPhone 4S with iOS6 has most of the same features and capabilities too so why not stick with that?
The Kool-Aid is indeed strong with this one...
"The 4S looked the same as the 4," one customer said. With the 5, "everything is different — even the headphones."Again, Apple has blown away its previous sold-out record and the mob goes wild. =) It can practically gross the equivalent of a small country's GDP on just iPhone's launch week alone.
But seriously though - I do see that iOS 6 has added a great deal of new features even in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 that reflects Apple's new approach and path forward.