iOS 9.1 vs Android Marshmallow: The Ultimate Roundup
Mid-autumn is traditionally a high season for tech companies, and they drench us with both new hardware and software making us reach for our wallets not only to upgrade our umbrellas but our gadgets as well.
Luckily, we don't have to spend a dime to upgrade our devices' operating system, and this October brought two major OS releases that compliment a swarm of new devices flooding the market. We're talking, of course, about iOS 9.1 and Android Marshmallow. If you're fortunate enough and have upgraded to a new device within the past two years, chances are your phone will be among the sweeter-tasting ones - check out the official info for iOS and Android.
The official statement from Apple on iOS 9 was that “iOS 9 is packed with intelligence that makes every experience with iPhone and iPad even more powerful”, claiming that now Siri would be able to go further than ever and new predicting support will help you with your daily tasks and beyond before you even address her, “all while protecting users’ privacy” Apple claims that quality was first and foremost in this release and 9 is “the best version of iOS yet”.
Of course, it's not 2007 anymore and Symbian and BlackBerry OS aren't that high up in the charts anymore, so quite naturally the only big competitor Apple has is Android. Mountain View, CA based giant isn't too focused on lagging behind and has also unveiled their take on another greatest, bestest, advancedest mobile OS and, following their sugary traditions, it's called Android Marshmallow, which is 6.0 in number speak.
Even though these systems are seriously different down in their core, most of casual users' phone-based actions are done within apps, and both systems are rather even in this department.
If you’re a hardcore devotee of either Android or iOS it is likely that neither of the releases will be too convincing for you to take the leap to the other side, as the latest efforts haven't made the grass significantly greener on either side.
This being said, let's compare both systems head to head.
One area where iOS 9 destroys Android is older devices support. iOS 9 runs on 20 Apple-made devices, including the dinosaurs like iPhone 4s and iPad 2 - and I can't even call it a gadget as it's five years old now. I must admit that performance-wise it isn't that smooth and impressive, but it's all the fact that the manufacturer cares. On the other hand, my HTC One GPE with less than 3 annual rings under its bark has been left out and I'm not getting anything OTA. I guess any device older than two years, including the Nexus series - what a farce! - isn't going to taste 6.0 in its coffee. If your gadget is on the list, make sure to check the schedule, but don't brace yourself too much - the rollout might take some time as the manufacturers aren't pushed by Google and are likely to dispatch the update at their own convenience.
Since the release of iOS 7 both systems look nearly identical. Widget support, quick draw controls, flashlights and visual similarity in flat design. The only two foci that rock iOS 9 is the new system font and split screen on supported devices. Android M is essentially a carbon copy of L save for new wallpapers.
At the end of the day the thing that really makes a difference in device usage is - you've guessed it - battery life. And while having heaps of mAh's is great, one shouldn't leave software tweaks out of sight. Both Marshmallow and 9.1 have the calibrations that could possibly turn your device into a centenarian without going paleo, and these tune-ups are known as Doze and Low Power Mode.
Doze is likely the most awesome trait in Marshmallow. It uses the motion sensors in your device to nose out if it is idle or not. If it's the latter, Doze will minimize battery consumption through a special algorithm. Low Power Mode used in iOS 9 doesn’t go as far, but there's a switch that will decrease juice gulping. Keep in mind that along the years iOS has been way more effective in terms of power efficiency.
Voice controls and assistants
Android puts its stakes at Google Now - a feature that's more accurate and reliable than Siri but not nearly as intuitive and intelligent. Google has a new twist in it's assistant and it's called Google Now on Tap. This feature is supposed to understand your questions using the context of an app, location or time of the day you raise it. It's a great addition, but it requires constant connection and you won't be able to fully enjoy it in areas with patchy coverage.
Privacy and Biometrics
Despite some significant improvements, both Android Marshmallow and iOS 9.1 are still solid operating systems with developed ecosystems and different perks behind them. The updates brought a mere polishing of established OS's and the tweaks are almost impossible to notice with a naked eye. Neither of them will make you abandon your device and leave for the greener pastures of a competitor. It all boils down to uniformity and borrowing features that users demand, so ask for more.