Leapfrog is the name of the game in technology these days, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the battle between Android smartphones and Apple’s more than one billion iPhone and iPad customer base. Choose your poison.
Every year Apple launches a new version of iOS and about six months later Google does the same with Android. Yet, after a decade of this back-and-forth battle, each platform still has two kinds of users (actually, Google has users, Apple has customers).
To Geek Or Not
We can slice and dice the respective smartphone customer bases to hither and yon, infinity and beyond, but at a basic level there are two kinds. The geek who wants to configure everything. The non-geek who just wants a phone that works. Android and iPhone (iOS) are different groups with different appeals. iPhone is usability, privacy, and security. Android is a never ending effort to bolt on more features to top whatever Apple did a few years ago.
OK, sorry. That’s not fair. It’s mildly accurate, but one could say the same in the other direction about Android. What is notably different between the two platforms is how many of the customer base get the latest OS version. For Android O, the one released last year, only a few percentage of the entire multi-billion user base get the latest Android, let alone security updates.
iOS for iPhone is different. Apple pushes updates and upgrades often, so much so that by the time a new iOS arrives, about 90-percent of iPhones and iPads are running the latest.
Between you and me I like the Mac OS names through the years. All those cats, plus the new emphasis on California locations. macOS High Sierra. Cool. iOS? It’s just a numbering system devoid of personality. Android, on the other, has cool written all over the annual name changes. From Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich. From Jelly Bean to KitKat. Then Lollipop and Marshmallow. Nougat, then O which became Oreo, and now P. Privacy?
Enhanced privacy in an Android version that won’t get to the great unwashed masses of Android users for two or three or four years doesn’t say much about privacy, does it. Google seems intent on adding layers of privacy which do not impact Google’s desire to capture information about you while you use your Android Pee device.
It’s mandatory that Android apps on Pee must send their data over an HTTPS encrypted connection. Does that help user privacy when private data is copied or moved by any app? Not really. But encryption is better. What about restoring Android Pee from a backup? You’ll need a password if the backup is encrypted.
What about using all the sensors and other goodies stuffed into modern Android-based smartphones? In Pee, if an app wants to use a built-in sensor– I’m thinking camera, location, microphone, et al– you will get a notification. This newer than new Android even has a method to provide consistent fingerprint authentication.
Impressive, no? It’s impressive if you are the average Android smartphone user. iPhones have had such goodies for years. There is a reason why iPhone has a reputation for being more private and secure. It is more private and secure.
As usual, iOS 12, or whatever naming scheme Apple uses for the next iOS version, will be announced and launched late spring, then later in the summer. Android P has been announced and is expected to show up shortly before Apple releases the next iOS. Android M begat Marshmallow. Android O begat Oreo. Snacks. Treats. What about Android P? Pee? Probably not. Privacy? That’s not a snack. Potato Chip? Two words. I have a list:
- Pie or Pea
I’m going with P for Peppermint.