Recently, PC Magazine has published a comparison of multiple mobile OS´s to see which have many of the new features of iOS 5. I have the chart contained reproduced below for ease:
Obviously, as the features are new to iOS 5, it appears that iOS 5 has the most. However, as an avid user of Android for months now, I have been using nearly ever category since the week I got my phone, most of them without any non-Google software. That is, I am experiencing these iOS 5 features right now. For those interested in making this chart all in the green for their phone, here are some hints!
Many Blackberry users herald Blackberry Messenger as the best feature of their phone. It is a seamless way to message other people with blackberries, instant message style. Several cross-platform alternatives have been made then work on multiple mobile platforms, most notably Kik. However, Google has taken their own idea with this one… every Android phone when it is setup is required to be linked to a Google account, so generally you have a g-mail account ready to access. Every Android phone I have seen, likewise, includes Google Talk. I assume because it is not technically part of the default Android install, PC Magazine sees it as not included. However, if you happen to have one of the very few offbrand phones that does not have the basic Google apps available, you can easily get it from the market.
Google Talk not only allows instant communications between any Android device, it can also be accessed from computers through an official and various third party clients, online through Google services like G-mail and iGoogle, and anywhere an XMPP client can run. I think this is a step above just being able to talk instantly to other phones.
There is no official application for this yet on Android, but there are a plethora of third party options available. My favorite is NOOK, as it synchronizes my subscriptions and where I am reading them with my actual NOOK device.
Advanced Reminder System
I will give PC Magazine the cake here.. I definitely did not have this on my Android device. The check mark apparently means iOS has this in a different way than the others, even though we realize and say that the others have it as well:
All four mobile platforms allow users to set basic reminders, but no one can touch the iOS Reminders tool on account of its geo-fencing location-based notifications
I am not sure what this feature is, so I guess we will see what Apple delievers!
System-Wide Twitter Integration
The default Android applications and the common Google applications included on nearly all Android devices have a great share button which allows one to send a file or something else to any application that supports it, including Twitter! Most third party applications where it makes sense have it too. For example, the Gallery app (a quick market install if it is lost on your phone) has the share feature, as shown below, as well as the Bible app, where it makes sense to have it, the developers have it implemented. Most apps I can think of wanting to share in Twitter have it already!
The article doesn´t consider having to unlock the home screen and then press a button a quick camera option, but on devices I have had in the past where this is not a necessary step, I must say: Apple had better have a good way to prevent pocket-fumbling photos. My unlock screen and pressing a hardware button is plenty quick enough to grab a picture at any time, and easier to do without looking for a certain tiny button (possibly). Some ROMs, such as CM, do offer this option, as well as third-party lockscreen customizers, if it something you really want.
iOS 5 has tabs on the stock browser on the iPad. Android has tabs on the stock browser on the version available for tablets, although this is not Gingerbread. Luckily, the default browser´s windows function a lot like tabs, unlike Mobile Safari: pages continue to load in the background and can be switched between with ease. If you really want tabbed browsing, plenty of the numerous browsers on the market offer the feature. My favorite, Dolpin HD, is shown below, as well as the default browser for Android for tablets. Unfortunately, there are virtually no alternative browsers in the App Store currently, due to restrictions.
Bookmark the Readability bookmarklet in your mobile browser, and you can get the same basic feature! This bookmarklet lets you customize a view of webpages that focuses on content. It´s easy to do and has great results. However, the text blocking features of the stock browser make it mostly unnecessary.. as you zoom in with the zoom buttons in the bottom right corner, the stock browser automatically flows the text to make it easy to read. I find this easier than dealing with any extras buttons.
Rich Text Email
The default mail client that is not the Gmail application allows this. There is nothing to see here, moving on.
Default Android does not allow Wi-Fi sync, because for most data, you don´t even sync directly to a PC. Google apps sync to the Google cloud.. including Music recently, contacts, e-mails, calendar, and so on. However, if you do need to specifically sync something like Music to a computer instead of to the Internet, several third party applications make this easy, such as WinAmp.
Online Gaming Community
Android does not have an option built in, but many third party solutions exist, such as Papaya, which is probably already built in to your favorite games!
It is great to see what all Apple is doing to stay alive in the ever-changing mobile operating system world! There are a lot of exciting new features in iOS 5, and I am especially happy about the new notifications system, which was always my biggest pet peeve when using an iPod Touch. More features means more users get to have great phones, and Apple can package features a great way. For me, I have found my love in Android, where I have never not found something I can do with my phone, whether it be from Google, the hacker community, or other third party developer´s work; for that, I am thankful.