Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) builds on the things people love most about Android, such as easy multi-tasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets and deep interactivity. It also adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing.
On the other hand, Apple's iOS 5, which launched last year, has proven to be as popular an operating system, with one of its key features being that it is totally device independent. The iOS 5 is Apple's most comprehensive and complete system upgrade ever, with over 200 new features for iPhone, iPad and iPod.
Apple has its own independent developer company for apps and mobile operating systems whereas Android has worldwide developers.
A study by Kantar WorldPanel ComTech revealed that over half the population of the UK owns a smartphone and the majority of them use Android... meaning it is the most popular operating system, in the UK at least, trouncing Apple's iOS.
In the U.S. though, Apple continues to beat Android. The iOS had 48.4 per cent of the U.S. market as compared to Android's 42.6 per cent.
Here are the few distinct features of ICS and iOS 5....
Both Apple and Google have made improvements to their respective camera software and their operating systems now offer users the ability to access the phone's camera from the lock screen.
The ICS offers more shooting options compared to the iOS 5. In addition, the ICS has a new panoramic mode by which multiple shots can be taken; these can then be stitched together. The new panoramic mode includes a slider at the bottom of the screen to help align the series of shots and also allow the user to set image levels and filters.
Apple has also come up with some developments, such as the ability to crop and rotate images, red-eye reduction, auto-enhancement and grid lines while taking a shot. The iOS 5 has the ability to use grid lines to line up your shot, as well as pinch-to-zoom.
Voice Commands -
Google's latest Android OS - the ICS 4.0 - has added some features to Voice Actions. Its voice-command software now has a hands-free feature which allows a person to activate voice actions without pressing buttons.
The security feature inside the Android software now allows unlocking of the phone with facial recognition commands. A new set of canned responses helps one ignore phone calls and also helps send a message to the caller, explaining why the call could not be taken.
Meanwhile, the iOS 5's voice-activated digital assistant, Siri, is a feature that allows the user to conduct a conversation with the phone! This is something that has made the device more attractive to a number of people. It also helps carry out a number of tasks using voice commands and some interesting Siri features include creating calendar appointments, setting alarms and timers, retrieving basic facts and figures from Wolfram Alpha and adding location-based reminders. Though Voice Actions and Siri provides several similar services, it is the latter that tops the list, in terms of implementation, whereas Voice Actions has the better feature set as it can do turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, according to Geeky Gadgets.
ICS's notifications include a few enhancements, one of which allows users to pull down the notifications window from the lock screen. A new feature recently added in ICS - called the Recent Apps list - which helps in viewing thumbnail images of all apps.
The latest iOS version has added a notifications center that pops up on the lock screen. Apple also added banner-style alerts that notify events in a non-intrusive way, reports PCWorld.
Internet Browsing -
For ICS, Google has added Chrome bookmarks sync and also allows saving full web pages for later browsing, which is a useful for those who do not have an unlimited data plan. ICS also improved on existing security features for the browser.
Meanwhile, Apple's iOS 5 browser includes tabbed browsing for the iPad, private browsing, Safari Reader and Reading List.
Cloud Storage -
Android can now store items in the cloud for an appreciable period of time. This includes purchased apps, music and photos. Apple introduced the iCloud recently on the iOS 5, while Android users have been enjoying that feature for some time already. iCloud may be late but it contains a heap of features that includes iTunes Match and Photo Stream.