Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Versus - iOS 7, BB 10, Android 4.2, Windows 8 Phone

Apple has landed with its iOS 7 update which is the biggest leap forward for iPhone maker since its inception. There have been many iPhones, iPods, and iPads but the one thing that Apple never changed in terms of the looks and UI was its set of icons. Last year, iOS6 had many flaws and was criticized for not being up to the mark, and this one, well let us see how well this will be and how important it is going to be in the Smart phone market.

We will compare it with the existing 3 mobile OS which are currently trying to over shadow each other, Google’s Android, the all new BlackBerry 10 and Microsoft’s desperate Windows Phone 8 OS.

In terms of looks, some of the iOS 7 icons are shabby, while some got a completely new look. Passbook, Reminders, Photos, Game Center, Safari, Contacts, Compass, Camera, Calendar and Weather icons are noticeably changed. While the Phone, Mail, Music, Videos, Messages, Maps, Notes, App Store, Stocks and Clock icons has just a plainer background compared to iOS 6 icons and can be mistaken as the older ones.

Following is the iOS 6 and iOS 7 icons Face off.

iOS 6 vs iOS 7 icons
Similar Icons in iOS 6 and iOS 7

iOS 6 vs iOS 7 icons
Different icons in iOS 6 and iOS 7

Overall, icons in iOS 7 are a noticeable change but the use of colors could have been better. The color look dull and though we were bored of the icons in iOS 6, they were bright and vivid, but iOS 7 icons, different but not impressive.

Coming out from icons to comparing it with other mobile OS, below is the table comparing some important aspects.

Home Screen: iOS 7 vs BB 10, Android 4.2, Windows 8

iOS 7
BlackBerry 10
Android 4.2(Jelly Bean)
Windows Phone 8
Control Center System access settings Yes, varies by phone-maker No, settings
Notification center BlackBerry Hub, badges Detailed notifications Live tile
Multitasking preview Active Frames grid Recents list Multitasking preview
Apple Maps Native BB Maps Google Maps Bing Maps
Surfaced camera modes Video, Time Shift modes Varies by Android skin Third-party
Photos grouped by
years, location
Albums, recent Albums, other filters Albums, date
Peer-to-peer sharing (AirDrop) NFC sharing Android Beam (NFC) Tap + Share (NFC)
Unified browser bar Yes Yes Yes
Personalized radio/discovery Third-party app Google Play Music All Access Nokia Music
Voice access to
system settings
No systems access Phone maker specific No systems access
Automatic app updates Individual Optional, by app 'Update all' option
No No No
In-dash integration
(iOS for cars)
Third-party apps Driving mode/S Drive Phone maker specific(Nokia Drive)

Apple seems to be very confident and proud of the way its new Control Center will impact users' lives. The same goes for other new features like the larger preview panes in the multitasking mode, rather than the small icons tab at the bottom, a unified browser search bar, and for peer-to-peer sharing via AirDrop.

There's a lot in iOS 7 that we've seen before in other mobile platforms, in similar if not identical forms and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that so long as Apple executes well and brings value to the user. The difference is that Apple's most advertised iOS 7 software additions either play catch-up or are relatively minor, like a way to filter apps for kids or surface camera settings in the app's top layer.

Apple does push the industry forward with some capabilities that are all its own -- like iOS 7 for cars and using Siri to toggle system settings. Even with driving modes for individual handsets, such deep car integration will be tough for the others to beat and even match without strong automotive partnerships.

iTunes Radio may not be a new concept, but it's free for everyone, and integrated into a native app that people already use. Google Play Music All Access does about the same, but costs $10 per month, and Nokia Music is free, but that is specific to only on Nokia's Windows phones.

Could it be a winner?

Well, a one word answer would be NO, because with ever improving and competitive mobile OS market which has been stirred by new BB OS 10 this year, and the ever improving and the toughest competitor Android, it would be really hard for Apple to claim the crown. We know no matter what Apple does creates a stir in the market and what we know of iOS 7 today makes a big splash when it comes to its refined interface design and a smaller impact when it comes to its new feature set.

iOS 7 will continue to formidably challenge Google, Microsoft, and BlackBerry with its new visual design and its total haul of features but will also get a strong reply from them.

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