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Google IO 2012: Jelly Bean, Nexus 7, Google Glasses and Nexus Q
Google’s IO 2012 keynote has been and gone, and while the developer event as a whole isn’t over, you can certainly tell where the focus is by what made it onto the opening agenda. I’d already laid out my expectations for IO over at the Google Developers Blog, but there have been some surprises along the way too.Jelly Bean was the obvious inclusion, and Google balanced its enthusiasm about the new Android version from a technological perspective – with encrypted apps and the perfectly named “Project Butter” for smoothing out the UI – with features that will make more of a difference for end-users. The new notifications system should make a major difference to Android usability, meaning you spend less time jumping between apps, while the Google Voice Search should present an interesting challenge to Siri.
I’ll need to spend some proper time with “Google now” before I can decide whether it brings any real worth to the table. Proper understanding of context is sorely missing from the mobile device market- our handsets can do no shortage of tasks, but they still wait for us to instruct them – though there are potentially significant privacy concerns which I think Google will likely be picked up on sooner rather than later.
The Nexus 7 is a double-hitter of a device, the tablet response not only to concerns that Android developers were opting out of slate-scale app creation, but to Amazon’s strongly-selling Kindle Fire. $200 is a very competitive price, without cutting on specifications, and Jelly Bean comes with all the bells and whistles you need for a tablet OS.
Of course, OS support wasn’t what let Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich down, it was the significant absence of any meaningful tablet application support from third-party developers. The Nexus 7’s low price should help get test units into coders’ hands, at least, though it will take more than a fanfare this week to decide whether Android can catch up on larger screen content with Apple’s iPad.
As for the Nexus Q, I’ll take some more convincing on that. $299 is a lot for a device that also needs an Android phone or tablet in order to work, and Google’s awkward presentation didn’t do a particularly good job of explaining why you’d rather have a Nexus Q than, say, an Apple TV, a Sonos system, or even just a cheap DLNA streamer.
The big surprise today was Google Glasses. Sergey Brin’s “surprise” interruption of the IO presentation, sporting Project Glass himself and then summoning a daredevil army of similarly-augmented skydivers, stunt bikers, abseilers and others onto the stage was a masterstroke of entertainment, and you could feel the enthusiasm and excitement in the auditorium. That the segment ended with a pre-order promise – albeit one at a not-inconsiderable $1,500 – was a suitably outlandish high-point, though we’ll have to wait until early 2013 to actually see Google make good on those investments.
Google Glasses are a long way off. More pressing is how the Nexus 7 holds up to the Kindle Fire (and, though it may not be quite a direct competitor, the iPad) and how quickly manufacturers can get Jelly Bean out to existing devices. Google may be putting a new system of early Android update access into place to speed that process for future iterations, but it looks to have come too late for Jelly Bean updates. We’ll have more from Google IO 2012 over the rest of the week.
Make sure to check out SlashGear’s Android hub for our full Google IO 2012 coverage!
Unboxing Nexus 7 and Nexus Q:
You're reading Google Io 2012: Jelly Bean, Nexus 7, Google Glasses And Nexus Q
After a day of Google I/O announcements, I finally got my hands on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system. I found that there are a few things that Google has done right with this update—and a few issues that still need work.What It Did Right
I compared the Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean to my own personal Galaxy Nexus (running Ice Cream Sandwich) and noticed the difference almost immediately. There is basically zero lag when opening applications, and scrolling between different home screens is amazingly smooth. The phone’s user interface looks basically the same, but there have been little animations thrown in that give it a more polished look.Animations
In Jelly Bean, every time you open an app, you get one of these brief animations that quickly zoom in on the app you just tapped. Is it superfluous? Sure. But it’s the little details like this that make Jelly Bean more pleasant to use. There are a few other minor user interface tweaks, such as bigger, easier-to-tap icons.
The notification tray got a minor facelift, but the important change is in the notifications. You can expand certain notifications by using various two-finger gestures, allowing you to see more information at a glance.
Not all applications support this feature when I tried it out, but all of the pre-installed Google apps work. In fact, while writing this story, I received a Calendar alert telling me that I was going to be late to an event. When I went to the notification bar to see what the alert was concerning, I was able to see the name of the event (part of it anyway), the time and location, as well as a brief note describing the event.Camera App
The Camera app also gained a few new tricks, with new animations that occur every time you take a picture. Once you’ve taken a few shots, you can swipe the camera screen away to bring up your camera roll and view the images you have in your Gallery. This is much better than what we had in Ice Cream Sandwich, where you had to exit the Camera app to see photos you had previously taken.Mobile Search
Google went all out when it came to mobile search on Jelly Bean.
You can access the new Google Now page at any time by swiping upwards on the Home icon in the navigation bar. Initially your Google Now page will be very plain, showing you places nearby that you might be interested in visiting as well as the local weather (which it gets by using your phone’s GPS).
The more searches you do on your phone, the more Google Now will meet your needs.
To test this out, I searched for several things related to baseball and a sports section appeared on my Google Now page. If you don’t like a section, you can turn it off from the settings menu. It’s a very visual way of displaying basic information and it worked well–but I feel like it could do more with the information, and I hope Google Now continues to expand.Voice Search
Voice Search has a much cleaner interface. You can now do voice input when you don’t have a connection, and asking basic questions like “What’s the capitol of Spain?” will bring up a card with an answer to your query.
If you aren’t satisfied with your answer or if you want to know more, you can swipe away to the card to get to the familiar Google Search results screen. I tried asking a few questions and, after Google finally began to recognize my voice, I was able to get answers to almost everything I asked.What It Did Wrong
While many things in Jelly Bean look and work well, I encountered a few quirks.
I noticed a strange ghosting, particularly while scrolling, that wasn’t present in Ice Cream Sandwich. My guess is that this is the result of several new API’s in Jelly Bean that are meant to smooth out text and graphics (to make them use less memory), but it’s something that’s noticeable when scrolling through webpages and other text-heavy content.
Another problem I found is one that’s plagued Android for some time now: Fragmentation. With so few devices currently on Ice Cream Sandwich–and with many more phones currently waiting for their update–it seems unlikely that most phones out today (aside from the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S) will get the Jelly Bean update.
Because you want them as the easiest option to upgrade, we’re covering the custom ROMs based on Android 6.0 update, Marshmallow, for device on which it’s already available.
Remember, you need to flash the new boot and radio image for the custom ROM to boot and work alright, as both of these partitions are seeing an update with Marshmallow. So, don’t forget that.
If a flashable zip file isn’t available of the update, you will have to flash the new radio and boot file using fastboot mode, and then you can flash the custom ROM using TWRP recovery.
Marshmallow Custom ROMs
Nexus 5 Marshmallow Radio and bootloader
Link — File: MRA58K_Radio+Bootloader.zip (22.5 MB)
→ Download the file above in .zip format, and be sure to flash the radio+bootloader file first using TWRP recovery., and then flash the Marshmallow ROM file, provided below.
Nexus 5 Marshmallow ROMs
Nothing is changed with this stock ROM. This is a good ROM if you don’t want any tweaks, and just want as Google meant it.
It’s pretty debloated and remove Google apps like Chrome, Hangouts, YouTube, Google Camera, Keep, Videos, etc. all of which can be downloaded from Play store easily, if need be.
You can flash addons file to get useful apps like CM Gallery, ES File explorer, Google messenger, etc.
It’s made from source code, and is thus that minimal — just over 200 MB. You may find some icons and widgets are still dressed up with old look, which it seems is because Google is yet to update Android 6.0 source code fully. Anyway, if you are fan of AOSP ROMs, this is for you.
Also this comes without gapps, so you will need to flash Gapps too. Right now, Marshmallow Gapps aren’t available, so try your luck with the Android 5.1 Gapps here.
Nexus 6 Marshmallow Radio and bootloader
To be added later, as and when it becomes available.
Nexus 6 Marshmallow ROMs
To be added later, as and when it becomes available.
→ We will add more ROMs for Nexus 5, Nexus 6 and other devices as and when they become available. Keep watching this space.
How to install Marshmallow custom ROMs
→ Make sure you uninstall Xposed framework (if you have it) before installing the ROM.
Step 1. Download the custom ROM file and the bootloader+radio file from above. Be sure to download the one meant for your device.
Also, it’s important you have the Marshmallow radio and bootloader installed before flashing the Marshmallow ROM.
Also, for AOSP ROMs, you need to download Gapps file too, which has been linked above. Be sure to flash the Gapps file after flashing the ROM in step 6 below.
Step 2. Transfer the Marshmallow custom ROM file to your device. Remember the file’s location.
Step 3. Make sure you have TWRP recovery installed on your device. If not, then first install TWRP recovery for your Nexus device:
Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi): Download the TWRP’s .img file from here, and flash using guide on Nexus 5 TWRP page above.
Nexus 7 2013 (3G): Download the TWRP’s .img file from here, and flash using guide on Nexus 5 TWRP page above.
Step 4. Boot your device into recovery mode. Once you see TWRP, you are good to go to next step. (If you are rooted, you can use Quick Boot app from play store.)
→ Tip: Once you boot into TWRP, create a backup so that if anything goes wrong, you can restore this backup to fix your device.
→ If you are installing an AOSP ROM, then be sure to flash the Gapps file after above is done. Otherwise, ignore this.
Step 7. When done, tap on reboot system button to restart the device.
And, look here if you need to root Marshmallow update.
UPDATE (Nov. 12, 2013): This guide has been updated to get you latest CWM recovery for your Nexus 10, version 184.108.40.206!
ClockworkMod recovery 220.127.116.11 works well with Android 4.4 KitKat update, so you need to have this if you are planning to update your Nexus 10 to KitKat.
Find the Android 4.4 KitKat update for Nexus 10 here.
The first step into the beautiful (and sometimes daunting) world of custom ROMs on Nexus devices starts with unlocking their bootloader, and we brought you a guide to unlock the bootloader on the Nexus 10 earlier today.
Well, the second step into that netherworld is the flashing of a custom recovery which lets you install those custom ROMs, and we’ve prepared a guide to help you flash ClockworkMod recovery, the most popular custom recovery, on your shiny new Nexus 10.
However, keep in mind that flashing CWM recovery (or any other custom recovery), you will need to unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 10. This will wipe all data from your tablet and reset it to factory settings (and will also void warranty, though it is easy to re-lock the bootloader to get warranty back).
Let’s take a look at the procedure for flashing ClockworkMod recovery on the Nexus 10.
The procedure described below is only for the Samsung Nexus 10. Do not try it on any other device.
The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky, so try them out at your own risk, and make sure to read each step carefully before attempting anything. We will not be held responsible if anything goes wrong.
How to Install ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) on Nexus 10
Your tablet’s bootloader will need to be unlocked to flash CWM. You can unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 10 by following the guide → here. Make sure you took a backup in step 1 as this will wipe all data from the tablet and reset it to factory settings. Skip this if you already have the bootloader unlocked.
Download and install the Android SDK → from here. This will install the necessary drivers for the tablet on your computer. Skip this if you have already installed the SDK while following step 2.
Extract the Fastboot.zip file you just downloaded to a convenient location on the computer to obtain a folder named Fastboot which will have four files inside it. To keep things easy, extract the Fastboot folder to drive C.
Change the recovery image’s filename to something easier, for example, n10cwm.img
Copy the recovery image file, n10cwm.img, to the Fastboot folder that you obtained in step 5.
Turn off your Nexus 10. Then, boot into fastboot mode by holding down the Volume Down + Power buttons together till the screen turns on and shows “Start” written in big green letters.
Then, connect your Nexus 10 to the computer with your USB cable, then wait for Windows to finish installing the drivers (drivers will be installed only the first time). For reliability, ensure that you use a USB port at the back if you are using a desktop computer, as the front panel ports can be loose and cause problems.
Now, we need to flash the CWM image on the tablet. Follow the steps below to do so, and also check the screenshot after step 11.3 for reference.
Navigate to the Fastboot folder which you obtained in step 4. For example, if the Fastboot folder is in drive C on your computer, enter cd C:Fastboot in command prompt (and press Enter) to navigate to the folder.
Then, enter fastboot devices. If your Nexus 10 has been detected properly, you will see a device ID show up in command prompt. If nothing comes up, make sure you have installed the drivers (see step 3).
After recovery has been flashed, you should see a “finished”/”OKAY” message in the command prompt.
and press Enter to reboot the tablet.
ClockworkMod recovery is now installed on your Nexus 10. To boot into CWM recovery, turn off your Nexus 10 and boot into the bootloader mode using the button combination given in step 8. Then, using the volume buttons, scroll to the “Recovery mode” option, then select it using the power button to reboot the tablet into CWM recovery.
ClockworkMod recovery is now installed on your Nexus 10, and can be used to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and other modifications. Don’t forget to let us know if you run into any problems.
Nexus S Could Feature Samsung’s 4.5-inch Flexible AMOLED
With all this hype surrounding the Nexus S, with live images falling prey to the Internet along with the fact that it’s believed the device will launch with a stock version of Android 2.3, or Gingerbread, there’s a little room here for speculation regarding the device. Considering we don’t know anything about it, outside of a few rumors here and there, what the device will actually do, or what hardware specifications it will promote is anyone’s guess. So, let’s start guessing, shall we?
That display, for instance. While there’s plenty of speculation that Samsung would continue using the same display size, and display type, as they’ve issued with previous Galaxy S devices, what if Google asked them to push the envelope a bit? Just as the company did with the Nexus One, everyone is expecting to see the Nexus S feature plenty of hardware improvements, as well as software additions, that makes the device stand out. One way to make sure that it stands out, even well into 2011, would be for Samsung to include their brand new 4.5-inch flexible AMOLED display. We showed it to you only two days ago, and it certainly would make for an interesting design choice for the Nexus S. At 4.5-inches, it would be the biggest smartphone on T-Mobile’s network, and with the flexibility and color offered by the flexible AMOLED display, it would easily be one of the best selling points of the device.
If you’ve been following the developments of the Nexus S over the last few weeks, then you know that there was also a rumor going around that the device was being delayed due to hardware manufacturing issues. We can probably safely say at this point that Samsung has manufacturing of their Galaxy S devices down pat, even with shortages in the Super AMOLED stockpile. This could strengthen the idea that Samsung is using a new display type in the Nexus S, or it may just mean that Samsung ran into a roadblock. We’d like to keep our fingers crossed that we’ll find a brand new, entirely way too attractive display waiting for us on the Nexus S.
Not surprising, though, is the time frame we’ve found ourselves in. If you’ll recall, when the Nexus One was about to be announced, it was around this time that we started hearing more and more about that particular device. Leak after leak, rumor after rumor, that by the time the superphone was officially launched in January, it felt like everyone knew everything about it. Of course, Google had plenty of secrets up their sleeve, so that the device still felt new and fresh when it reached official channels.
We can’t forget that the device is (apparently) launching on T-Mobile. While that would have been a good guess, it wasn’t until Best Buy leaked the Nexus S name, and which carrier they’d be selling it for, that we got as much confirmation to that fact as we can expect at this point. With that being said, here’s what we can already expect from the device: HSPA+. With T-Mobile rocking the 4G label on their network, with two devices already available on the network which can access the faster speeds, there’d be no shock whatsoever if the Nexus S was able to tap into it as well.
All in all, the Nexus S is growing in stature, well before the device has been officially announced. And, if we can expect the same treatment from Google that we received with the Nexus One, then it may be several more weeks before we get anything official to look at, or talk about. Until then, though, we should still receive plenty of more leaks, rumors, and speculation to keep us entertained, and the rumor mill going strong.
If you’re interested in the Nexus S, and you have a few ideas for what you might like to see on the device, whether it be hardware or software related, head on over to AndroidCommunity, and join in the discussion. Let us know what you’d like to see in Android 2.3, or what stand-out hardware features you think the Nexus S should have.
Let’s start off by comparing the two operating systems’ interfaces.
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Uses Virtual buttons
Virtual buttons change position when switching to landscape or portrait
Virtual buttons change to dots or auto-hide as needed
Virtual buttons placement and style are app dependent
Uses physical Home button
Starting with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, navigation in Android has shifted from physical or capacitive buttons to virtual Back, Home, and Recent Apps keys. These keys are dynamic, rotating when switching orientations, turning into dots when viewing photos, or auto-hiding when watching videos.
Meanwhile, iOS 6.1 doesn’t have virtual keys on a navigation bar. Instead, it has a Back button usually appearing at the upper-left portion of menus. In addition, iOS devices such as the iPhone 5 and the iPad 4 have a navigation bar with only one button — the Home button — which performs multiple functions:
Wake the device
Go back to the main homescreen
Open search page on the homescreen
Launch volume controls and music player on lockscreen
Open App SwitcherLockscreen
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Screen elements shown (top to bottom): centered digital clock, day and date, lock icon, user icons below lock icon (for multi-user feature on tablets only)
Hour digits on clock set in boldface for greater visibility
To unlock, drag lock icon to outer ring
No app shortcuts on outer lock ring
Google Now can be launched from lockscreen by swiping dotted circle upwards
Multiple lockscreens; allows lockscreen widgets; lockscreens can be rearranged
Notification Shade and Quick Settings menu accessible from lockscreen
Camera accessible by swiping right screen edge towards left (for phones only)
Mini music player appears on the lockscreen while playing music
Screen elements shown: status bar on the top edge; time with day and date (without year) below status bar; unlock slider at bottom; Camera icon beside unlock slider (phones only), Photo Frame button beside unlock slider (tablets only)
Slide unlock slider to unlock device
Double tap on Home button brings up music control buttons; music controls at left side and volume slider at right on tablets; music controls and volume slider below music title on phones)
Drag Camera icon upwards to launch Camera app (phones only)
Photo Frame button beside unlock slider (tablets only)
Hold down Home button to activate Siri
Notification Center not accessible on lockscreen
Notifications appear on lockscreen by default; swipe app icon of notification to unlock device and jump to app
Bar for currently playing music appears in center when music is playing
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Homescreen elements (from top edge to bottom): Status Bar, non-removable Google Search, analog clock, dynamic virtual navigation buttons, Favorites tray (also called the App Dock)
Default Favorites Tray app shortcuts (on phones): Camera, Chrome, App Drawer, Messaging, and Phone
Default Favorites Tray app shortcuts/folder (on tablets): folder for Google apps, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google+, App Drawer, Google Maps, YouTube, Play Music, and Google Play Store
Tablet interface similar to phones
Tap Recent Apps virtual button to view recently used apps
Maximum of 5 homescreens only
Edge of last homescreen glows when attempting to overscroll
Widgets can be placed on homescreen
Homescreen elements (from top edge to bottom): Status Bar, square app icons on homescreen, App Dock, physical Home button
Default App Dock shortcuts (on phone): Phone, Mail, Safari, and Music
Default App Dock shortcuts (on tablet): Safari, Mail, Videos, and Music; can take up to six app shortcuts or folders
Tablet interface similar to phone
Left-most homescreen page for Search; tap Home button to instantly open Search page
Rearrange app icons or group them into folders; long tap icon to enter editing mode
Double tap Home button to access recently used apps (also known as App Switcher)
Tap and hold Home button to launch Siri
Swipe App Switcher to right to access Quick Controls
Can’t use widgets on homescreen
Number bubble appears on app icon to represent notifications
Displays ribbon on newly installed app
Status Bar, Notifications, Toggles
Both platforms employ some form of notification system for alerting users of items that need attention or that need to be acted on.
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Notification Shade shows digital clock at left; day and date (no year), Clear All Notifications button, and Quick Settings button (on phones only)
Mobile network name displayed at bottom of Notification Shade (on phones only)
Notifications grouped by app; swipe left or right to dismiss notifications
Certain notifications are actionable; e.g., missed call notification has buttons for Call Back and Message
Quick Settings accessible by swiping down from right side of Status Bar (tablets only) or swiping down with two fingers from Status Bar (phones only)
Quick Settings menu shows profile photo thumbnail, button for Brightness setting, shortcut to Settings menu, shortcut to Wi-Fi settings (shows SSID), shortcut to Data Usage screen (shows mobile network name), auto rotate button (on tablets only), shortcut to Battery status screen (shows charge in percent), toggle for Airplane Mode, toggle for Bluetooth, and shortcut for creating a bug report (if Power menu bug reports is enabled in Developer options).
Swipe top edge down to open Notification Center
Displays Weather and Stock widgets by default (on phones only)
Notifications grouped by apps; dismiss notifications by tapping X button
Can set Alert style (banners, alerts, or none), choose which notification to display, set the number of items for each app notifications (1, 5, or 10 for phones; 1, 5, 10, 20 for tablets), set unique notification tone for some apps, and view notification on lockscreen
Tap notification to view and launch the app
Facebook and Twitter widgets on the Notification menu
Text Input and Keyboard
Both Jelly Bean and iOS 6 feature simple keyboard apps that offer multilingual support, voice-to-text input, word prediction, and auto-correction. Each of them has something that makes it stand out.
Android 4.2’s keyboard has the following:
Offline voice-to-text feature
Gesture typing (works like Swype)
Personal dictionary to add your own words or jargon
A small selection of smileys
In iOS 6, you can enjoy the following:
Online voice-to-text feature
Split keyboards on tablets
Custom word shortcuts
Android 4.2 carries over most of the accessibility features from Android 4.0 and Android 4.1, and adds a few more:
TalkBack — provides voice feedback and navigating by swiping gesture with Explore by Touch feature
Magnification gestures — magnifies the screen with swiping gestures
Large text — enlarges font size
Power button ends call — uses the Power button to end calls
Auto-rotate screen — auto-rotates screen orientation
Speak passwords — speaks out your passwords
Accessibility shortcut — instantly accesses accessibility features with a button and touch combo
Text-to-speech — sets text-to-speech output
Touch & hold delay — adjusts touch and hold delay
Enhance web accessibility — installs scripts from Google to make the Web more accessible
VoiceOver – provides voice feedback and notification through gestures
Zoom – increases text size
Large Text – increases text size for Mail, Contacts, Calendars Messages, and Notes
Invert Colors – inverts colors for less eye strain while reading text
Speak Selection – text-to-speech output
Speak Auto-Text – speaks out auto-corrections and auto-capitalizations while typing
For people with hearing losses, the following options are available:
Hearing Aids — connects your device to supported hearing aids
LED Flash for Alerts (on iPhone 5) — flashes the LED flash when receiving new alerts
Mono Audio — enables mono audio and adjust sound balance between the left and right channels
And, for those who have learning or physical and motor disabilities, the following options are available:
Guided Access — keeps the device in one app and control which features are available; triple tap Home button in the app you want to use
Assistive Touch — assists you if you have difficulty touching the screen or if you need an adaptive accessoryCommunication Features
Both OSes have communication features that allow you to interact and connect with family and friends.
Backs up contacts data to Google Account
Can also sync contacts from Google+ account
Can store contact info locally on phone
Has separate tabs for Groups, Individual Contacts, and Favorites; swipe to switch tabs
Contacts can be imported, exported, or shared
Different ringtones can be assigned to different contacts
Contact page has shortcuts for dialing, composing SMS, or composing email
Tap contact number or email address to call or send an email to a contact
Backs up contacts data to iCloud
Store contacts locally on tablet and phone
On phones, contacts are merged in the Phone app
Allows importing SIM contacts
Contacts can be synced to different Apple devices via iCloud
Contact page has buttons for sending message, sharing contact, FaceTime, and Add to Favorites; tap on email address to send email and tap number to call contact
Different ringtones can be assigned to different contacts
Preset vibration patterns or personalized vibration patterns (phones only)
Facebook integrated in Contacts and Calendar events
Has separate tabs for Dialer, Call Logs, and People; swipe to switch tabs
Simple Dialer interface; tapping Dial button without entering number brings up last called number
Dialing screen shows contact info and call control buttons (e.g., hangup, loudspeaker, mute, hold, conference call)
Call Logs tab can be filtered to show all calls, only missed calls, only outgoing calls, or only incoming calls
Incoming call screen shows ring icon with shortcuts to answer, decline, or reply with message
Incoming call screen also shows Google Now shortcut (dotted circle)
Has separate tab for Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Keypad, and Voicemail; tap to switch to tabs
Simple Dialer interface
Dialing screen shows contact name and control buttons (e.g., mute, keypad, speakers, add call, FaceTime, contacts, and hang-up button
Recents tab shows history of received and missed calls; list can be filtered to show missed calls
Video call through the Internet with FaceTime
Incoming call screen shows contact info slider to answer call; swipe Phone icon upwards for more options call handling options
Displays SMS and MMS messages sent and received
Can send messages to multiple contacts
Character count indicator appears when message nears 160-character SMS limit; message split into multiple SMS if character limit is reached
Can attach photos, videos, audio, or slideshows to MMS
Messages shown inside text bubble with contact’s picture beside it
Hold down message balloon to copy, forward, lock, delete, or view details of single message
Direct Message widget for frequently messaged contacts can be placed on homescreen
Messaging widget on homescreen shows list of SMS and MMS messages
Cell Broadcast option for receiving emergency alerts (e.g., threats to life or property, child abduction emergency bulletins, etc.) and test broadcasts from the Earthquake Tsunami Warning System and the Commercial Mobile Alert System
Messaging widget for lockscreen; shows list of SMS or MMS messages on lockscreen
Can auto-delete old messages when defined limit is reached (default of 500 SMS per conversation and 50 MMS per conversation); maximum limit for either SMS or MMS is 5,000
Displays SMS and MMS messages sent and received
Can send messages to multiple contacts
Character count indicator disabled by default; can be toggled in Settings menu; character counter appears on the 28th character
Can attach Photos and videos to MMS
Messages displayed inside color-coded message balloon
Hold down message balloon to copy text
Can send SMS and MMS to iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac via Internet with iMessage
Message notification appears on the lockscreen and Notification Center; can change notification alert style and notification settings
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Latitude app integrated in Google Maps app, unlike in Android 4.1
New Clock widget design
Includes stopwatch and timer in Clock app
Has Digital Clock widget
Google Play Store is default source of app installations
Sideloading (i.e., installing from unknown sources) allowed but needs to be toggled
App’s APK can be installed through Android Debug Bridge
Requires Google account password before purchasing app
List of required permissions shown before installing app
App uninstallation from App Drawer (i.e., long-tap on shortcut then drag to Uninstall button)
Can clear data, clear cache, force stop, uninstall, and toggle show notification of app (via Apps section in Settings)
App and widget icons arranged in grid inside App Drawer
Separate tabs for apps and widgets in App Drawer
Cannot rearrange apps and widgets in App Drawer
Existing homescreen widgets move automatically to make way for new widgets or shortcuts
Swipe to clear apps on the Recent Apps menu
Removed Google Maps and YouTube apps
Features its very own Maps app; now includes a Report a Problem button
Features Passbook app (phone only)
App Store is primary source of apps
Doesn’t allow sideloading of apps by default
Requires user password before installing app
Asks for permission before running apps
App can be uninstalled from the homescreen by long-pressing on icon and tapping X button on icon; can also uninstall apps from the Usage option, under the General menu in Settings.
Apps arranged in grid on the homescreen
Doesn’t use widgets on homescreen
Apps can be rearranged and moved to different homescreens
Existing apps move automatically when another app icon is placed before it; placing app icon over another automatically creates folder
Apple has removed some apps and added new ones in iOS 6. For instance, Google Maps and YouTube have been removed. Apple has also added its very own Map app and the Passbook app on some devices. Meanwhile, very little has changed in Android 4.2’s bundled apps. The Clock app got a design overhaul, and the Digital Clock widget is brand-new.
Android 4.2 and iOS 6 have their own official repositories for apps: the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS. Users enjoy secure downloading with Android 4.2’s improved Permissions feature and iOS 6’s password-enabled app installation.
Installing apps is permission-based, but vary on how each OS implements it. In Android, you can view a list of all the required permissions before you install apps on your device. On Apple devices, however, you won’t find a list of permissions on the App Store. A newly installed app will only request permissions when you run it for the first time. Granting access allows the app to run.
Web Browsing and Search
FeaturesGoogle ChromeSafariMultiple tabsunlimited tabsmax 24 tabs on tablets and 8 tabs on phonesTab listyes; tab thumbnails shown as deck of cardsyes; tab thumbnails shown as scrollable tilesDismissing tabs from tab listswipe gesture or tapping on X buttontapping on X buttonPrivate Browsingincognito tabPrivate Browsing option Safari Settings menuOffline Readingpreloaded content can still be accessed even if offlinesaves pages for offline reading (on supported devices)Text scalingyesyes while in Reading ModePluginsnot supportednot supportedInverted renderingnonenoneReader modenoneyesSyncing open tabs to or from other device (e.g., desktop, another phone)yesyesAdd BookmarksyesyesSync Bookmarks from other devicesyesyesFull screen viewnoneyes on some devicesQuick controlsnonenoneMobile version of pageyes; defaultcannot be toggledDesktop version of pageyes; can be toggledcannot be toggled
Each operating system has its own way of locating items and files. Android features the integrated search tool called Google Now while iOS 6 has its own default search app.
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Integrates Google Voice search, Google Goggles, and Google’ other search services
Flashes results in flashcards
Launch Google Now from homescreen, any app screen, or lockscreen
Performs local search for Apps, Chrome, People, and Play Music files
Google Now gets data from your Google Account and automatically flashes results about weather, traffic, flight schedules, and more
Can perform voice commands such as launching apps, composing text, calling contacts, and more
Default search page located as leftmost page of homescreen
Lets you search terms via Web or Wikipedia
Voice-assisted search through Siri
Performs local search (also known as Spotlight); searches for contacts, applications, Music, Podcasts, Videos, Audiobooks, Notes, Events, Mail, Reminders, and Messages
Siri can now provide information on sports leagues, movie reviews and showtimes; shows restaurant information nearby; launch installed apps; can send tweets and update Facebook status; read items on the Notification center; purchase movie tickets via Fandango app (USA only)
Google Now can be accessed in a variety of ways:
Swiping its dedicated icon (dotted circle in the middle of bottom screen edge) on the lockscreen upwards;
Swiping the virtual Home button upwards; or
Tapping the search bar on the homescreen.
You can also enable Voice Search by saying “Google” or tapping the microphone button.
In iOS, you can access the search tool by:
Swiping to the leftmost-most homescreen page; or
Pressing the Home button while on the homescreen.
Swipe gesture on viewfinder to preview images
HDR Mode (on supported devices)
Taking photo while recording video
Pinch gestures to zoom in and out
Auto-focus and face detection
Tap and hold on viewfinder to open camera settings
5 Scene Modes and 5 White Balance presets
Time Lapse Recording
Changing image and video capture size
Volume keys as shutter buttons
Grids on the viewfinder
Mini preview of recently captured images
Photo Booth (tablets only) for instantly capturing images with preset effects
Photo and Video Gallery
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Photos stored in Gallery app
Thumbnails sortable according to album, location, time, people, or tags
Swiping image up or down deletes image in Filmstrip View
Cannot move images from one album to another
Images can be set as homescreen wallpaper
Basic image transformations (e.g., rotate and crop) can be performed within Gallery app
Photo Editor shortcut
Photos can be shared via Bluetooth, Google+, Picasa, Gmail, or NFC
Photos stored in Photos app
Tap plus icon at the upper-right corner to add new album
Long-tap photo to copy and paste to another Album
Images can be set as homescreen wallpaper
Basic image transformations (e.g Rotate, Enhance, Red-Eye, and Crop) can be performed within Photo app
Share photos via Mail, Message, Twitter, and Facebook
Enable Photo Stream to store images in iCloud
Share photos with friends with Shared Photo Stream feature
New filters and effects (punch, Vintage, B/W, Bleach, Instant, Latte, Blue, Litho, or X Process)
Photo transformation options (Straighten, Crop, Rotate, or Mirror)
Image colors and value adjustments (Autocolor, Exposure, Vignette, Contrast, Shadows, Vibrance, Sharpness, Curves, Hue, Saturation, and BW Filter)
Select slideshow transition effects (e.g., Origami [tablets], Cube, Ripple, Wipe [tablets], Wipe Across [phones], Wipe Down [phones], and Dissolve)
Play background music
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Video player integrated in Gallery app
Simple and straightforward video playback controls; includes progress bar and share button
Simple video player integrated in Photos app for playback of recorded videos; has play button, share button, trash bin button, and a progress bar with mini preview of video
Videos app for playing downloaded movies and videos; shows progress bar (without mini preview), scaling button, and playback controls
For playing music, you have the Play Music app in Android 4.2 and the Music app in iOS 6.
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Stores songs downloaded from Google Play Store
Songs can be copied from PC to phone/tablet via USB connection
Songs displayed according to playlist, artist, album, songs, genres, or recently added
Includes 5-band equalizer and equalizer presets
Create, edit, rename, and delete playlist
Can play music in background
Mini music player appears on Notification Shade and lockscreen
Stores songs downloaded from iTunes
Songs must be copied from PC to iTunes first, then synced to device for songs to be accessible in Music app
Separate tabs for Playlists, Songs, Artists, Albums, and More (Genres, Composers, Sort By Artist [tablets], and Compilations [phones])
Has equalizer presets but need to be toggled in Music section under Settings menu
Equalizer can’t be manually adjusted
Syncs songs with iTunes Match and stores them to cloud; can download songs individually from iCloud
Shake to shuffle feature allows random track playback when shaking phone (works only in Music app on phones)
Create, edit, and delete playlists
Can play music in background
Display current song clip art on lockscreen; double tap Home button to access music controls
Like videos, music in iOS 6.1 can be transferred from the PC to your Apple device via iTunes. Android provides greater flexibility in this regard by allowing you to copy files from the PC by just using a data cable.Security
Slide, Face Unlock, Pattern, PIN, and Password lockscreen types
Display owner information on the lockscreen
SIM card lock for phones
Prevents installation of apps not from Google Play Store
Built-in app verifier (malware scanner)
Improved list of Android Permissions
More control of premium SMS
Hidden Developer Options menu
Security improvements and fixes
password to unlock phone/tablet
choice between 4-digit simple passcode or long-string alphanumeric password
erase data on device after 10 failed attempts
restrict access to some device features and content
sends email confirmation if your Apple account has been used on another device
privacy menu that allows you to view which apps are accessing sensitive data
new Lost Mode feature in Find My iPhone app (locks and flashes your contact number when enabled; you can also remotely erase data and lock the device with the app in iCloud)
cannot install apps not from the iStore
kernel that is difficult to hack
reset the Advertising IdentifierVideo Review
Android 4.2iOS 6.1
Uses virtual keys for navigation
Widgets on homescreen and lockscreen
Live wallpapers on homescreen
Uses App Drawer to store apps and widgets
Displays alerts on Notification Menu;
Quick Settings for quick access to Settings options
Twitter and Facebook not integrated by default
Google Play Store
Uses Google services for saving and syncing data to various Android devices
Easy to use and flexible Camera
Doesn’t use virtual keys
Navigation buttons appear on app screens
chief navigation button is Home button
Apps are instantly accessible right from the homescreen
No homescreen or lockscreen widgets
No live wallpaper
Displays alerts on Notification Center; allows you to place Weather, Stock, Twitter, and Facebook widgets; customizable notification alerts
Twitter and Facebook integrated in the OS
Apple App Store
Sideloading not allowed
Uses Apple’s services for saving and syncing data to various Apple devices; also uses its own Maps app
Easy to use Camera
Doesn’t have options for developers
Doesn’t create unique user profiles
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