Brace Yourselves: The iPhone/Android Wars Are Back In Town

With the announcement that Apple's holding an event on September the 9th that's likely to see the official reveal of the next iPhone, we're going to shift back into the inevitable Android/iOS fan bickering. I really wish we wouldn't.

Image: Massimo Barbieri

I don't know for certain that Apple will announce a new iPhone on September the 9th. It's always feasible that they might hold the entire event simply to show off iWatches, or new iPods, or iNewton: The Next Generation.

Although probably not that last one.

It looks as though we know quite a bit about the upcoming iPhone models. The current rumour roundup points to at least one and possibly two new iPhone models, one of which is likely to be a larger version at around 5.5 inches if the rumours are true. NFC is also being widely touted. There are probably a few under the hood enhancements we don't know about just yet as well. iOS 8 would seem inevitable, and we already know quite a bit about that.

The thing here is that inevitably, I can see a rising tide of Apple defenders talking up how wonderful it is that Apple's innovated in terms of enhancements, met by an equally noisy but no less correct tide of Android fans talking up how Android's had large screens, user keyboards and NFC, just to pick a few things for quite some time now.

Both sides can actually be correct. Not every detail of the new iPhone has leaked just yet, and as such there's space for innovation. Equally, not everything that Apple declares as new, shiny and magical is actually new, shiny or magical.

Don't get me wrong. If you want to be passionate about your tech gadgets, by all means do so. I certainly do. Right now my daily phone is an LG G3, but there's an iPhone 5s within arm's reach as well. I'm notably not as much of a fan of "big" phones as many, and the 5s could well be my daily device were it not for the use of a nano SIM and a few too many bad experiences with SIM adaptors.

I may switch over to an iPhone 6 once available, and I'm certainly keen to get my hands on one. There are elements in both ecosystems that are laudable, and the reality is that a lot of progress in these fields comes from building on what came before. Innovations are often borrowed ideas given a different polish, in other words.

There's also the side thought that rattles around in my brain that by engaging in bickering back and forth, we're all doing a lot of marketing work for Apple, Google, Samsung, HTC, Sony et al, because that kind of absolute slavish advocacy is advertising that money just can't buy.

Also, the point of a war is to win.

I don't want anyone to "win" the Android/iOS wars, and I'm willing to take a large number of handset casualties along the way if that's what it takes, because the prospect of anyone "winning" and a platform becoming dominant is good for absolutely nobody. Yes, that does include Android, even though Google's notably more open than Apple when it comes to modifications. What we've seen there over the years is a shift towards a more vanilla Android OS design, and that's no accident. Google doesn't want to lose control of its platform any more than Apple does, and were Android to "win", it would significantly affect the evolution of smartphone platforms. The same is true if Apple shifts to absolute dominance, especially given that it plays in a very restricted premium space with a strong walled garden approach.

The base line is this: I'd much rather see actual competition, including borrowed features from each platform to push the state of the art in smartphones forwards. There's nothing more terrifying for this technology enthusiast than the idea of an absolute monopoly, because that's the slowest and most boring way forwards possible.


Comments

    What if i want to convert to Windows :p

    ...and yay, #1

    Last edited 29/08/14 11:11 am

      ive had two cracks at windows on two different devices. both times i lived with regret. its getting better, but at this stage IMO, it doesnt compete with iOS and Android. but hey, some ppl love it, so, each their own i guess. try it and see, is only way you will know.

        I've got the full Apply ecosystem, so it's hard to ditch, but lately the macs are really giving me greif in the work end, so i'm temped to just go back to windows.
        Surface pro 3 made a reasonable enough solution so i thought, hey maybe~
        now the last piece would be the phone tho, which i don't really like anything, and i don't like the UI that much. But like you said, some ppl really love it~
        I'm just hoping things will improve quicker, especially the syncing component, which is the one thing i like about apple the best!

          Wait and see what happens with Windows 9, rumours are all over the shop at the moment, and I don't trust that Microsoft aren't going to go full retard and totally backwards.

        Some people also like camomile tea with soy milk and stevia; some people think Fred Durst was a wonderful singer; some people think Microsoft products are well made.

        Sometimes the "eat to their own" saying has to be put away and people need to be forcibly corrected for their own good.

          I'm pretty sure the "eat to their own" saying was never very popular. I personally rather like the windows phone UI, but I found the lack of apps when I tried it last was a big turn-off

          name one (real) person who thought Fred Durst was a wonderful singer haha

          And some people think they're being smart on the internet. Those are the people who really need correcting.

          Last edited 29/08/14 1:25 pm

            Sorry to do this, but I need to correct you. Whe is not a word. It should be who. Sorry! I don't want to be that guy but I just had to. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    im just happy we live in an age where we have companies throwing big money at their platforms in an attempt to out-do each other. whichever side of the fan-fence you are on, its only good times ahead for consumers.

      Exactly! If Apple hadn't changed notifications in iOS 8, Android L (probably) wouldn't have the new notification system, and if Android hadn't come around iOS would still be stuck on pop ups and handling notifications in each separate app.

    People who get riled up over which operating system their mobile phone uses are kind of sad.

    And by 'kind of', I mean 'astoundingly'.

      I don't know. I'd be annoyed if I bought a phone and it was running iOS for some reason.

        Srsly this article is about being big enough to NOT leave comments like that.

          I was joking, I literally meant that I'd be annoyed if I bought an android phone and it was running iOS. It was supposed to be sarcastic.

    Cmon QI charging. if apple do it, it'll be an instant industry standard.

      and no doubt they will try to patent it and then sue everyone that uses QI charging hahahaha

      I just want phone based NFC to be more useful for my Lumia920... I've been charging via QI almost since I got it.

        Any decent Bluetooth speaker or headset has NFC now, and even the advertising signs in Westfield have it. QI charging however I can only do at home or in my car, where I've bought the chargers.

    I share the love. Nexus 5 as my phone of choice and iPad Air as my tablet of choice. The whole ios vs android stupidness really gets me fired up. Each is great, each is bad. Just use what makes you happy.

    Last edited 29/08/14 12:07 pm

      I like being able to buy apps once and have them twice though.

    Be happy with the choice of your phone peeps. The phone is to serve you and no one else so it doesn't matter what other people think. Just remember, all the top shelf phones are as good as each other and they all have their faults and foibles.
    OMG. I've just come over all sensible. Hope that doesn't last.

    Personally I think it's an amazing time to be alive - with ios, android, windows and other smaller OS all competing and or cooperating to bring out the very best it is bringing the public an astounding choice of ecosystems and features.

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