Few days back on April 26, Apple reported that its sales and profit both fell last quarter, something that never happened since Q1 2003! That was still a time of PowerMac and iPods and definitely no iPhone.
Today more than two-thirds of Apple’s revenue is made up of iPhone sales. So iPhone pretty much decides the course of the company. While the pundits have pointed several reasons like weak Chinese market, strong dollar, sinking iPad sales and flat-lining Mac demand even the most die-hard Apple fan might have questioned whether this is a turbulent time in market or the products are losing it’s appeal?
The concerns are worldwide for Apple’s slow innovation, post Jobs; as well as rising low-cost competition that are launching new products at a much faster rate, that the tech-giants can ever imagine. The anxiousness is genuine, since Apple, with iPhone, changed the concept of smartphone (or rather any mobile device) since its launch in 2007. Since then thirteen iPhone models have been launched facing various accolades and criticisms. However one thing that has remained constant is the operating system of these devices, iOS.
The first version was launched with the iPhone in 2007 while the most recent update, iOS 9.3.1, was released on March 31, 2016. iOS 9.3.2 Beta 3 was released on April 26, 2016, featuring bug fixes and improvements, coincidentally on the same day Apple announced the decline in quarterly sales!
When it was launched Apple simply stated that their iPhone runs a version of OS X, a reference to iOS’ parent operating system and name iPhone OS. Much later in 2010, Apple named the OS to be iOS with the introduction of iPad and iPod Touch. This was also the first time Apple expanded the iOS to multiple mobile devices.
Apple provides free updates to the OS for the iPhone through iTunes and major updates have historically accompanied new models. With the announcement of iOS 5.0, on June 6, 2011, a USB connection to iTunes was no longer needed to activate iOS devices; data synchronizing can happen automatically and wirelessly through Apple’s iCloud service.
Unlike Android that released a year later in 2008, iOS is not compatible with any non-Apple devices. So while Android is available to various phone makers and devices across wider price bracket, Apple has kept iOS much niche having only about a relatively minuscule number of devices running on it. Gradually as Blackberry and Windows phones have exited the market, iOS is up against the giant Android and still maintain a healthy share of global market.
In spite of its loyal fan following the critics are still vocal about the â€œpremiumizedâ€ approach of Apple to price their product at the highest end of mobile mass-market and having an almost snobbish attitude to select the market and launch of their products. With the hardware not having a universal charging port, the software is equally non-flexible when it comes to connectivity with non-Apple devices or software.
However the Android market is extremely fragmented with various devices running several versions, manufacturers having their own UI overlays, the environment looks confused and complex. Contrastingly iOS updates are prompt, synchronous and works efficiently in all iOS (and even OS X) ecosystem.
Although Google provides all its app services to iOS, they keep a few tricks up their sleeves in terms of overall integration of these apps. In simple words, Google search, Maps, Mails and Calendars are more integrated versus any one of these with iOS counterparts.
In a world when living without Google Search, Gmail or Google Maps is getting increasingly impossible, Apple’s iOS does not have eligible competitions yet and hence still overlaps with these apps to deliver some of the key features.
Here’s an interesting infographics showcasing differences between the two operating systems.
In geek’s terms the iOS can be complete no-no with lack of customization available, while in Android one can pretty much do everything they want. That also increases the risk of malware compared to the well-guarded iOS. Apple does not permit third-party app stores, and has stringent measures to prevent malicious apps from entering the app store.
While Android has always been a mass-market product, Apple has still maintained a premium segmentation especially in developing nations. Gradually the differences are diminishing as Android is getting more polished over time while iOS is becoming more flexible.
The Android and Advanced Android session is a complete hands-on training, encouraging participants to build increasingly more sophisticated and meaningful mobile applications for Android and to use some of the more popular Android APIs such as Audio, Video, Location, Wifi Direct, Sensors and many more.
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