Face Off: Apple iOS 5 vs. Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

With the release of Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the iPhone 4S and the new Apple iOS 5 seem to have got some competition. Google probably is the only company that can match Apple in creativity, exclusivity, speed and product innovation. And they have done exceedingly well if we may say so. The new iOS boasts of an enhanced browser, photo enhancements, facial recognition and several changes to the core apps which promising to make the Galaxy Nexus (into which they will be integrated) a fitting rival for the Apple heroes! Here is how they will be battling out on some key features:Face Off

Round One: Camera

Both Google and Apple have made changes. The iOS 5 gains the ability to access the camera’s phone even from the locked screen and a grid-lines feature to align the shot. There is also the pinch-to-zoom ability. Google provides the same and one new feature – the panoramic mode. This means you can take multiple pictures and stitch them up in no time keeping them aligned all the while. This ability to create a larger scene with the same camera gives Google a slight edge as far as the camera is concerned.

Winner: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Round Two: Photo Editing

Nobody is happy with just shooting a picture nowadays. Photo editing has turned from a premium feature to an essential. Both Google and Apple have let go off third-party apps and have built their very own photo-editing tools. These tools differ in the way they are used but functionally, both perform equally well.

Winner: Draw

Round Three: Interface

Google has been working hard for enhancing the interface of the ICS. The ICS works well not only on tablets but adapts well to the smaller screens of the android phones too. A whole new font set has been created and on-screen menu buttons have been permanently added at the screen bottom. There is also the ‘Favorites’ tray that stays put at the bottom of the screen. With options to add re-sizable widgets and organize apps into folders, Google presents a refreshingly updated interface compared to the iOS 5 which seems to have changed very little apart from bringing notifications to a locked screen and building a notification center. The fans will of course claim that the Apple needed no change. Then why make a new iOS in the first place?

Winner: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Round Four: Multitasking

When it comes to multitasking, both the OS function in the similar manner – swipe across or press and hold an app to get rid of it, double-tap the home button to get the multi-task bar and see icons of recently used apps. However, Apple allows only specific background functions and only apps that do these are allowed out of suspension. Here, Android gives much greater flexibility and freedom to developers and users alike and functions almost like a PC.

Winner: Draw

Round Five: Hardware

The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2 along with the 3rd and 4th generations of iPod Touch can be upgraded to the iOS 5. It is still not clear as to how many of the current Gingerbread smartphones will be able to upgrade to the ICS.

Winner: Apple iOS 5

Round Six: Voice commands

Siri has hogged a lot of limelight as the voice controlled digital assistant atop the iOS 5. Everyone seems to love a talking smartphone. There is no such option available for Android fans though there is a third-party app called Iris. Apart from being an anagram of Siri, Iris has nothing to match it!

Winner: Apple iOS 5

Round Seven: NFC

Apple does not seem to place emphasis and importance on NFC while Google has arrived with its Google Wallet which is based on NFC support. Data transfer between devices by merely keeping them close to each other is definitely a winning feature that the Android devices will possess.

Winner: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich


In the key features compared, with two wins, two losses and two draws apiece, choosing between the iOS 5 and the ICS is not going to be an easy task. It will all boil down to the priorities of the user and the features that are important. There are pros and cons for both. However, this much is certain – the pace of the phone and tablet markets is so rapid that each one will wipe out their cons in no time!

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