Both Android and iOS have gone through major updates in the last two months. Android has been bumped to version 4.2 codenames Jelly Bean, while iOS has been upgraded to version 6. Both these mobile operating systems polarize opinion among users and experts alike. Here is an overview of where they are different, and which one might be the best suited to you.
IOS has always been a great performer, more so than Android. The newest version is just faster and snappier. Swipe movements are swift and they feel very good. Switching between applications is also faster and multitasking has improved to a certain extent. Even on an older iPhone such as the 4 and 4S, iOS is faster and you will appreciate the speed.
Android, especially in the beginning was a dog and running it even on high end hardware was not a great experience. Android 2.x had a very bad reputation. However, all of that changed with Android 4.x. Jelly Bean is now much faster and comparable to iOS6. The only issue that can be raised is that Jelly Bean performance is heavily dependent on the smartphone or tablet you are using.
If you run it on a tablet or phone purchased more than a year ago, it is still quite slow. Animations are choppy and it just doesn’t feel right. However, if you are in the market, for a new smartphone or tablet, then there is practically no difference in speed between iOS 6 and Android 4.2.
The iOS 6 comes with a new version of the default Safari browser. It is the fastest and smoothest browser in world. There is no denying that fact. Safari was already quite fast and tab switching was a joy. The newer version is even snappier and the ‘Read It Later’ feature makes it even more worthwhile. Yes, bookmarks have been on browsers for years, but they are not convenient as this feature on iOS 6.
Jelly Bean comes with the default Chrome browser. It is quite fast, but not as good as the Safari browser. However, most users won’t be able to discern any difference in speed between Chrome and Safari. Moreover, Android has more than just one browser. If you would prefer others, there is Firefox, Dolphin, SkyFire, Opera Mobile and many others.
Given that most of the mobile browsers on both, iOS 6 and Jelly Bean, are quite fast, your choice is influenced by other factors such as screen size. If you are fine with the 3.5 and 4 inch screens of the iPhones, you will love Safari. However, if you would like a bigger 4.5 or 5 inch screen for more reading space, then Jelly Bean is the better choice.
Unless, you have been living under a rock these last two months, you know that there has been a furore about the new maps application in iOS 6. Yes, the maps on iOS 6 are terrible, no two opinions on that. If maps are the main reason you are buying your device, then Jelly Bean is by far the better than iOS 6. Fortunately, there are many alternative maps for the iPhone, so you can install them if you would like.
However, Jelly Bean has Google maps deeply integrated into it, and turn by turn navigation is amazing, so it is the clear winner here. Aside from the maps issue, I would treat ios6 and Jelly Bean as equals. If you want a 4 inch smartphone, go with iOS 6 over Jelly Bean. If you want a larger one, Android 4.2 is your only choice.