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Android 5.0 Lollipop vs iOS 8 Comparison: Which OS is Better?

Updated on October 15, 2014
Android Lollipop OS
Android Lollipop OS

This Apple iOS 8 Vs Android 5.0 Lollipop comparison looks at the most prominent features of both operating systems and analyses them to find out the better of the two.

Though the Apple iOS 8 and Google Android serve two very separate platforms, a comparison between them will give a clear indication as to which is better.

Two events are significant in 2014 as far as mobile operating systems go- the launch of Apple’s iOS 8 and Google’s Android L (5.0 Lollipop/ Lemon/ Lion?).

Apple has already made its announcement on the launch date of iOS 8 and done significant marketing of the platform.

Google announced the new Android 5.0 Lollipop after a long wait in Mid-October 2014. The first devices to be loaded with the Android 5.0 OS are the Nexus 6 Smartphone, Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus Player Streamer.

The other devices such as the Nexus 10, Nexus 7, Nexus 5 and Nexus 4 are to follow in the coming weeks.

When compared to each other, the iOS 8 and Android Lollipop platforms appear to be game changers in the mobile computing world. Both systems give more prominence to health and fitness applications that are definitely the next big thing. Developers have been enticed with many opportunities to create applications using both the iOS 8 and Android Lollipop operating systems.

Apple WWDC 2014

Apple iOS 8

It was at the recently concluded Worldwide Developers’ Conference that Apple’s Tim Cook announced the new iOS 8 version of the operating system and the raft of new features that it comes with.

Going by the pronouncements made at the conference, an impression was given that this version of the Apple iOS is a game changer.

All the features announced at WDC showed that Apple was ready to face the Android platform head-on and shake off the perception that its platform was not friendly to developers.

Now that the conference is well behind us, it is time to look at what sets the two operating systems apart and compare the iOS 8 versus Android L (5.0/ 4.5 Lollipop?)

As Apple has already made a definite announcement on iOS 8 and Google has not made any on the Android L release date (though developers have access to its main features and are already creating great things), we will start from the known and move to the less known.

3.5 out of 5 stars from 8 ratings of Apple iOS 8

iOS 8 New Features

Though Apple announced a raft of new features in its newest version of the iOS platform, a number of features stand out and are already generating a lot of excitement. While the move from iOS 7 to iOS 8 will not be as dramatic as the shift from iOS 6 to 7 was, it still has many new features that will qualify it as a game changer in the OS world.

iCloud

iCloud Drive is a whole new cloud service that gives you the ability to work on the same files from different apps and devices. It supplements the current Document in the Cloud service and will make the iPad a viable alternative to the Macbook.

What iCloud on iOS 8 does is allow you to access all your documents using iOS 8 enabled apps which can then be edited and updated from different devices.

It is now possible to create documents using iOS 8 enabled apps then save them on iCloud. The documents can then be accessed using multiple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac (OS X Yosemite) or a PC (Windows 7 & later).

Hey Siri

Siri will come with revamped features on the new iOS 8 platform. Activation is by saying “Hey Siri”, a feature that will be only available when the device is plugged into a power source- most probably because it drains a lot of energy if left running in the background.

The program is also now connected to the Shazam music service with the ability to know what music is currently being played. That is not as big a deal as the activation of Siri by saying “Hey Siri” because of the implication it has on personal productivity.

It appears that Apple is working on making Siri more of a personal assistant with every new version that it introduces as can be seen from this new iteration of the OS.

Health App on iOS 8

Health is probably the biggest deal when it comes to the new iOS 8 and will give the Android platform a run for its money. The clear interface coupled with very useful features makes iOS 8 attractive given that the Android platform does not have similar features at the moment.

The Health app will give you all the necessary health data you require so as to know your status quickly as well as an emergency card that has all your important health details in case of an emergency.

The emergency card will contain details such as you blood type, known allergies, the name of your doctor as well a record of vital signs captured in the period preceding the emergency.

HealthKit for iOS 8 Developers

HealthKit is targeted at developers who want to integrate their applications in a more seamless manner and will allow you to share information between the various health apps in the market today so as to have a comprehensive set of data.

Health apps such as those meant to monitor fitness can share information with apps that you may be having for monitoring your calorific intake which give you a clear picture on what you may or may not be doing right

Device interconnectivity through HomeKit

HomeKit will be the new way of controlling the “Internet of Things” within the home. As more and more devices in the home become interconnected, iOS 8 will provide for an easy way to control them such as through voice activated instructions to switch lights on and off.

Through Siri, the number of devices in the home that can be via your iOS device will be limitless.

Developers have shown a lot of excitement concerning both the HealthKit and HomeKit because there is nothing comparable with them in the Android platform despite the growing importance of these applications.

Notifications

Interactive Notifications will allow you to respond to messages from within applications without having to log out.

This functionality is not only restricted to iOS apps and developers can now create apps that allow you to access messages without leaving them.

While this is still possible on the Android platform, one must close the program they are currently using before accessing notifications and the feature on iOS 8 devices will motivate developers to produce more applications on the platform.

QuickType

Quick type keyboard is responsive in ways that have not been tried before by Apple and will also allow third party apps to be developed with their own keyboard types which will give users a wider variety to choose from.

Quicktype allows you to select the word that has been suggested to you as you type which makes it faster to compose messages and other content.

The suggestions that are given on the iOS 8 platform are based on conversations you have had in the past and are specific to the person you are communicating with.

Google I/O 2014

Android Lollipop Features Compared to iOS 8

Android 5.0 Lollipop Keyboard

After Google’s announcement of the Android Lollipop platform, some developers made frantic efforts to develop keyboards with its full functionality. These initial efforts proved to be futile as the speedily developed keyboards did not work well – if at all. Added to this, there was another problem- using the new keyboards required the uninstalling of the Google Keyboard, which is not possible.

Fortunately, the Android 5.0 Lollipop keyboard is now available on Google’s Play Store and installing it is quite a breeze as all you have to do is download it, then follow a few simple steps and you are done. Once installed, you just choose the Android L keyboard as the preferred method of input plus any language preferences that you may require. The Keyboard incorporates significant features of the Material Design philosophy that Google unveiled recently and will work with any devices that run on Android 4.0 and above.

Overall, the Android Lollipop OS comes with a raft of many features and the keyboard is no exception. The main change in this regard is in the way one switches between various input options. In the current setup (before Android Lollipop), a notification appeared that when tapped, offered a number of keyboard options. With Android 5.0 Lollipop, this notification for choosing the input method has been moved to the navigation bar.

Now, when you install a keyboard and tap within the input box, a small icon of a keyboard appears right next to the task switching button. Tapping on this icon results in a menu for the preferred input method through which one is able to toggle between various available keyboards. The new method of choosing the keyboard, while appearing insignificant at first, has a lot of implications in terms of productivity and time spent performing unnecessary actions.

Notifications in the Android Lollipop Platform

Many developers rushed to create programs for the Android Lollipop OS even before the official announcement. These applications have been continuously revamped and there are now many good apps available in the Google Play store. They take full advantage of the functionality of the new OS.

Just like in Apple iOS 8, notifications in Android Lollipop hover over other actions instead of staying locked up in the notifications folder. The beauty of this feature is that you can continue working on your present application without having to close it. You can also easily choose to ignore the application by simply swiping it away.

It is in notifications that iOS8 and Android Lollipop appear to converge and it appears they were trying to solve the same problem of having an unobstructed experience while still being able to handle notifications.

One point of departure though between the two operating systems is in the ingenious way Google will handle authentication – it can now be done using location recognition coupled with any synced Bluetooth devices that you may have on you. Do not be surprised if Apple does the same thing with its most anticipated wearable- the so-called iWatch.

Android Wear Apps

Wearable devices are a big thing for both platforms and this can be seen in the way they are rolling out health and fitness solutions. Google is a step ahead as two Android devices that are already shipping– LG’s G Watch and Samsung’s Gear Live – already have Android L functionality.

The impressive thing about these devices is that their apps will be able to sync and download themselves automatically with the Android Wear devices. These wearables will give you the most appropriate information at the right time without inundating you with unnecessary information. In fact, Google has a number of customised applications meant for the Android wear which shows the importance with which it places on them.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Material Design

The Android Lollipop Material Design user interface is a design philosophy is a clean yet highly functional concept that aims at harmonizing the user experience across all platforms and devices. The user interface elements appear flat yet you can intuitively tell that there is more to be explored.

Google has started changing its key properties to reflect this new design concept. For example, Chrome now has a new look that explains everything that Google wanted to achieve. The Play Store has also been revamped with many developers steadily switching to the new interface.

iOS 8 has also changed its user interface but it is not as dramatic as the Google Material Design concept.

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