What I'm about to attempt--comparing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Apple iOS 5--is a little like tiptoeing through a minefield. Most of you won't be happy and somebody could get hurt. (Read: me.)
Yet, this comparison must be done. For one thing, Google and Apple have both recently unveiled huge changes that respectively make their mobile operating systems far more powerful, and in some ways more similar to each other. For another thing, weighing the pros and cons of each platform against the other is a scenario that's played out daily among many people who are deciding which phone to buy.
Just a few parameters before diving in. First, I'm overwhelmingly looking at software, not hardware, but I'll point out where hardware does factor in. iOS 5 runs on multiple devices, but is the most powerful right now on the iPhone 4S. Ditto Ice Cream Sandwich. The unreleased Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the one phone that can currently show off the OS update's full spectrum of features, since it was purpose-built to be compatible with them all. That will change for both operating systems as additional future devices are built with the hardware to support the new software.
Second, I'm not just talking about new additions, but trying to look at the OS in its entirety.
Third, I'm looking at what each OS can do natively. Yes, there are scores of third-party apps you can download to do just about anything to satisfy something that one OS lacks that another has, but what we're looking at here is what Apple and Google have decided to bestow, not clever external developers. And I'm not talking about anything you can achieve only by jailbreaking or rooting. Official, but optional apps created by Apple and Google are OK--like Find My Friends and Google Voice.
Third, I'm throwing in two "fun" features for each (these will be the last two). I wouldn't recommend buying an iOS 5 or Ice Cream Sandwich device solely because of them, but they're pleasantly show-offy conversation pieces unique to each platform.
Got all that? Let's go.… Read more
A little-known feature in iOS 5 is the new option to create free, custom ringtones and text message alert tones.
The iTunes store is flooding with tones for $0.99 to $1.29, prices that are high enough to make you stick with the iPhone's default tones. But now, with a few easy steps, you can make unique tones that set your phone apart from the many others who share the same standard tones.
Watch the video to learn how:
While you were busy asking Siri for her hand in marriage, CNET discovered that Apple's new voice command service in the iPhone 4S is sporting a serious security issue. Even if your phone is passcode-locked, a perpetrator can activate Siri and use the service to access your personal data.
Apple enables access in the lock screen for convenience so that if you're driving or jogging, for instance, you can quickly complete tasks using Siri without having to enter a passcode.
In testing, we were able to access contact information, addresses, calendar appointments. We could even send text messages … Read more
Buried in the accessibility settings is a new feature that uses the LED flash next to the rear-facing camera on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S to notify you to incoming calls and alerts. It's a great feature for the hearing impaired and anyone who would rather receive visual rather than audio alerts.
To set it up, to to Settings > General > Accessibility and then scroll down until … Read more
commentary "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," is a motto that Apple should have applied to the iPad's new Music app.
iPad users who updated to iOS 5 may have noticed that the old iPod app is now named Music, a name that makes sense. But other changes to the app have ticked off users by making playing and managing music on the tablet decidedly less user-friendly.
What's even more confusing is that these changes are specific to the iPad. The music app on the iPhone and iPod Touch works the same as … Read more
iOS 5 further improves the iPad as a productivity device, with new features that streamline navigation and speed up word processing. Four of these new features stood out to us, two of which are only available on the iPad.
All of these tools are built in, so you can start using them right away. Watch the video and follow the tips to get started:
1. Multitasking gestures With iOS 5, the Home button is nearly obsolete, as you can now navigate and manage your iPad using multitouch gestures. To enable gestures, go to Settings > General, and turn on multitasking … Read more
This was probably the easiest review of my life.
I mean, sure I was disappointed that Apple's new iPod Touch for 2011 is just last year's model with a new coat of paint and some new software. But let's be honest. At just $199, there's nothing else out there that even comes close to what the iPod Touch offers. The competition literally gave up.
The closest competitor to the iPod Touch is a product that isn't even out yet--Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. But even if we assume the Kindle Fire is a perfect 10, it's ultimately a different class of product. If nothing else, it's around three times the size of the iPod Touch. Let's also not forget that the iPod includes Bluetooth, AirPlay, FaceTime, an HD video camera, a gigantic app store, up to 64GB of storage, iMessages, maps, and dozens of other worthwhile features that seemingly aren't included on the Kindle. … Read more
Everyone's talking to the iPhone 4S' personal assistant Siri and posting their favorite exchanges. From witty banter to borderline insults, Siri has us fascinated.
Musician Jonathan Mann, for example, managed to sing a hilarious duet with Siri, which is posted below. Mann uses some of the most popular questions people have been asking Siri, like "will you marry me?" and "what is the meaning of life?"
You'll have to watch the video to see Siri's snarky answers. … Read more
iOS 5 has been out for less than a week, but the mobile operating system has rapidly gained a foothold among iOS-based device owners.
According to mobile app analytics company Localytics, which examined iOS device usage between Wednesday and yesterday, 33 percent of all iOS-based devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, are running iOS 5. If the new iPhone 4S is taken out of the equation, 31 percent of Apple's mobile products are running its latest mobile operating system version.