Monday, November 23, 2020

IOS VS Android

 I am a UNIX person. I therefore like Linux and BSD. 

IOS is BSD-based (jailbreak an iPhone, install a terminal app and try all the BSD flavor UNIX commands. They work) Makes sense as IOS came from MacOS (then called OS.X). Lots of begats between now and then but the point remains it's a good OS.

Android is Linux based. Root one, install a terminal app. Same thing. The differences are the same ones Linux has to BSD, but it is all UNIX flavored.

The difference is the GUI. Android 11 versus IOS 14 at the time of this post.

Android stacks up some software and even hardware advantages: 

  1. Better notifications with more granular controls. 
  2. Real browsers that run whatever rendering engine they like inside. Not forced to run Webkit.
  3. This one is huge: the dedicated button for 'back'. Another for 'home'. A third for the task manager.
  4. Replaceable launchers: You don't have to put up with whatever the phone came with.
  5. USB-C.
  6. Actual application drawer to keep all the apps in.
  7. Better weather apps and watch faces on Wear
  8. An actual, real file system
  9. Less restrictions around in-app purchases. You want to buy a book inside Audible? Go ahead.
  10. More app default options. IOS just now with 14 let you change mail and browser. That's it,
IOS has:
  1. The walled garden does make some things work better together. Apple earpods for example are way better integrated into the OS.
  2. You can break out of the walled garden to some degree. You can install Spotify, rather than use Apple music, for example.  
  3. Its heath application is superior to Googles. Far more data, far better presented. I bicycle, and the cycling in Android/Wear is really substandard.
  4. Better security (and more coming when we can control the advertising ID.)
Wear versus WatchOS is not so much a conversation about OS as it is about hardware. The Apple hardware is better for GPS, battery life, being able to look at while riding (the watch actual turns on when you look at it: Wear usually does not)

This is Apple developing its own chips versus Google waiting for someone to someday develop a decent watch chip. Qualcomm has been pretty slow to respond and seems to be making little effort against Apple's headway.

What one cannot get away from in Android space is the feeling that once Google dropped the 'Don't Be Evil' saying as a guiding principle, they decided to be evil. Tracking and selling you every which way but loose.

My biggest issue is that Google is trying to make Android into IOS. Removing all their advantages one t a time. Take Android Auto. it used to be its own thing. A cool card interface with each card embedding controls if they were needed (say for a media app). The weather card updated as you moved around and told you the weather for where you were at that time. I kept learning new place names all the time, not being aware I changed a city as I drove.

Then the update came out, and now it looks like Carplay, with the control bar at the bottom instead of at the side. Next, they started moving Assitant to the center, and if you have privacy control turned on, you can't even respond to IM's anymore.

Might as well have Carplay.

Google is working to remove the on-screen controls. The thing I love almost the most about Android is a dedicated back button in the same place all the time. It's still there in 11, but some phones make you turn the navigation controls on because Google apparently wants to be Apple when they grow up. Really: Gesture-based interfaces are not all they are cracked up to be. I still fight the iPhone to get to the task manager all the time.

Might as well have an Apple if Android is going to be an imitation version of IOS someday. If they are not going to get the Wear hardware world up to speed. 

Maybe they can't? Maybe it's like Windows. Windows always highly varies depending on how well the OEM designed the hardware and wrote the device drivers. Google writes an OS for the masses, that runs all over the place. Same with Wear. Wear is fine: I like it better than WatchOS, but it's slow and eats battery like crazy when compared to my old Series 3 watch. I can only imagine how a Series 6 runs.

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