IOS 10 vs Android Nougat; two world dominant smartphone OS
Android and iOS are always at the top of every chart when it comes to market share. Both operating systems are currently preview their new upcoming version and features. Android Nougat and iOS 10 both promise spit and polish under the hood, new changes to the mobile OS mean that Android Nougat and iOS 10 are closer to each other than ever before, with features and design that mirror one another.
OS UI -
So, how will iOS 10 and Android Nougat look? Much like iOS 9 and Android Marshmallow, seems to be the predictable answer. Neither Apple nor Google are presenting a total reinvention of their respective platforms here.
In iOS 10, for example, Apple is taking iOS9's 3D Touch implementation much further. If you ever use iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 family, you'll be able to press firmly on app icons to bring up widgets. These will grant quick access to core functions without having to open the apps. Apple is also offering them on the iOS 10 lock screen, accessible with a swipe to the left. iOS 10 will also wake when you lift up the phone from a flat surface, and will require you to physically press the home button to skip past the lock screen.
However Android Nougat, for its part, is likely to retain the multitasking crown. Quick Switch enables you to instantly jump back to your previously used app with a double tap of the Recent button. You'll be able to run two apps simultaneously side by side in landscape through the Recent menu, and even drag and drop items between them.
Google is giving notifications a refresh. Even though this is a minor aesthetic change, Android Nougat makes notifications easier to read. Notification banners now appear in minimalist style. Additionally, if you receive multiple notifications from the same app, the alerts can be grouped together. Nougat's notifications on Android take on a very Apple-like aesthetics. Android Nougat lets you quickly reply to messages directly from the notifications bar. Google also lets you categorize your notifications based on importance. You can block notifications all together or set certain apps to urgent importance to allow notifications to always show up at the top of the panel.
Similarly, Apple is also taking design cues from Google. With rich notifications on iOS 10, you can do more without having to jump into an app thanks to 3D Touch. For example, if you receive a messaging notification, you can initiate the peek and pop feature of 3D Touch to reply quickly without having to open the messaging app.
Digital Assistant -
The digital assistant on your platform of choice will be getting smarter this year. Apple and Google are opening up Siri and Google Now, respectively, so you'll be able to command these intelligent assistants to do more.Apple may have been first with Siri, but Google has since overtaken it with with the sophistication and open nature of Google Now.
With iOS 10, it's another case of Apple playing catch-up. Here, Siri finally opens up to third-party app developers, so you'll be able to ask Apple's assistant to access non-Apple apps. Imagine asking Siri to order an Uber, or send a WhatsApp message for you.
Google has been improving its Google Now on Tap tool separately from the main Android OS, so it didn't have a lot to say on that front in terms of Nougat-specific improvements. However, as we noted previously, Google does seem to be integrating its own assistant software into new and exciting places for Nougat. New Allo assistant app can pull out photos and make reply recommendations for you. You'll also actually be able to chat to Google's assistant software within Allo, asking it questions using natural language and receiving responses accordingly.
Photo Management -
This is more of a case of Apple Photos catching up with Google Photos. Apple is improving Photos in iOS 10. Using machine learning, photos will now automatically group together faces and compose slide shows from related snaps, like Google Photos. Of course, Apple was at pains to point out that all of this will be achieved discretely on the device in a clear dig at its rival but that just serves to acknowledge who the front-runner is here.
We used WhatsApp madly, alongside Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, which are dominating smartphone messaging right now. Neither Apple nor Google is happy about being left out, and it shows in both iOS 10 and Android Nougat. Where Google's and Apple's strategies diverge is on messaging. As Apple packs in more social features into Messages in an effort to make it the chat service of choice for iPhone users, Google's complicated history with messaging will result in at least three distinct messaging apps on Android.
Apple is massively enhancing iMessage in iOS 10, and it clearly has those aforementioned rivals in mind with its tweaks. You'll be able to plaster your message threads with icons and animations, emoji will play a bigger role (quite literally), and you'll even be able to add handwritten messages.
Where, Google's Allo stands out is its intelligence, and the app features machine learning. It integrates with your phone number, so it will feel more like a rich text message than another social network that you need to sign up for. You'll get resizeable message bubbles and you can use emoji, stickers, photos and more. Allo will also feature smart reply suggestions, proactive suggestions for nearby restaurants if someone suggests lunch, integration with third-party services like OpenTable and more. There is end-to-end encryption and Allo also features self-destructing messages.
While Apple and Google have taken different paths to where they are right now with their mobile operating systems, iOS 10 and Android Nougat show they're gradually converging. Apple appears to be closing the gap on Google in terms of widgets and third-party app integration, while Google is reportedly implementing app icon shortcuts and app notification groupings like Apple.