Android’s Jelly Bean is currently available on a select few Smartphones and has a very small market share in comparison to the iOS 5. Further, it is highly unlikely that Jelly Bean will make it older Smartphones considering that the costs for mobile handset manufacturers to do so would be prohibitive. We have seen the new iOS 6 only in its beta form when it was showcased a few months ago as slated for release on the iPhone 5. The things that we can compare between both these mobile OS are limited to what we know of the iOS 6 from the public demo.
First off, Jelly Bean has done a commendable job of improving the User Interface when compared to older editions of Android. Project Butter as done a lot in making the device look and feel modern. The iOS 6 follows the same style of the first iOS that was launched on the original iPhone. While the interface was ground breaking when it launched in 2007, it feels dated now. A fresh approach would have been welcome. Project Butter has also done a great job in making Jelly Bean devices operate smoothly. As of now, the advantage lies with Jelly Bean.
A major development in iOS 6 is Apple’s decision to break away from Google Maps feature and provide its own 3D mapping service called iOS maps. While the 3D views of the buildings shown are satisfactory on this service and it supports turn by turn navigation, it supports only 40 cities in the US and map coverage for the rest of the world is limited. In contrast, Google Maps is far more versatile. It is a global service and coupled with Street View and the 3D feature on Jelly Bean it is near unbeatable. Another major advantage of Google Maps is the ability to highlight an area of the map on the phone screen and save it to your phone. This means that you can use the navigation facility even when you enter areas with poor mobile coverage. Saving maps don’t take up much space either. A map of a city as large as San Francisco takes up just 1.5mb on your phone. So it’s advantage Jelly Bean on this score too.
One of the most talked about features is voice recognition on Smartphones. Siri on the iOS and Google Now on the Jelly Bean are more or less evenly matched on this score. Siri will most certainly have a major upgrade in the iOS 6. It will be able to do tasks like taking a photograph, and posting updates to Twitter and Facebook in this iteration. Google Now cannot do this without opening the respective apps beforehand. Integration with Google+ is seamless. A major drawback of Siri is that it cannot function without an Internet connection. On the other hand, Google Now can perform most tasks (barring those requiring Internet such as information search) like setting reminders, opening and closing apps without Internet. Voice recognition technology on both Now and Siri have improved to have no significant difference, but overall this round goes to Jelly Bean too. It remains to be seen if there is a drastic improvement in the 9 months since the demo and official release of iOS 6.
In summary, the demo version of the iOS 6 versus the released version of Jelly Bean show that both are more less on an even footing.