The versions of the iOS and Android mobile operating systems (OS) keep rolling out. iOS 11 was unveiled this week and Android O is expected to be released toward the end of the summer.
The Verge starts its description of the new elements of iOS by suggesting that the changes are small compared to some other updates. They are, however, “iterative changes [that] add functionality that some users might have always wanted.” It starts, though, with one that many people will consider major and be very happy to see: Do Not Disturb While Driving mutes notifications if the iPhone senses that it is moving (presumably, fast enough to be an automobile). Whether and, if so, how it will distinguish between cars and trains is not noted.
The piece looks at the six most important new features. The first is that Apple Pay will enable payments via an iMessage or by instructing Siri to do so. Another update is the enablement of Siri to translate into Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The new version also features automatic app deletion, a new control center (which the writer personally likes but says is being called overwhelming by some) and easier screen capture.
BGR reports that Android O is expected to be commercially released before iOS 11. TechRadar noted last month that people with Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X can participate in a beta.
Features of the new OS are picture-in-picture mode, improved boot times, increased battery life (due to restriction of background activities), clearer and easier activation of notifications, a unified visual style across app icons and better audio. A press-to-hold option will make it easier to cut and paste between apps.
CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt runs through the anticipated features of both operating systems. She does so in a side by side piece, and picks a winner. Both new versions have their strengths but, amidst several disclaimers, she picks Android O. The disclaimers are that nothing is completely clear until the final versions are released. She points out that the development teams like to add a surprise or two at the last moment. She also writes that third-party developers can tip the balance.
Dolcourt then gets down to business. Android O ends up on top for new features, voice assistant improvements, “nuts and bolts” related to hardware and software and virtual reality (VR). iOS 11 takes home the prizes in messaging and design improvements. Augmented reality (AR) is a dead heat.
The battle between Android and Google will go on indefinitely. Competition is a good thing that ultimately benefits consumers.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.