No mega features, no surprises – Evaluating the new Android and iOS platforms
On first look, the new Android 6 on a Nexus device looks exactly like previous versions of Android.
On first look, the new iOS9 on an iPhone 6 device also looks exactly like previous versions of iOS.
Both platforms continue to dominate the mobile market in both consumers and businesses, but this year, more than in the past, there were no dramatic changes to the look & feel as we’ve seen in previous years. No mega features, no surprises.
Just a natural evolution of both platforms.
And also – a lot of similarities.
When you compare the new capabilities in iOS 9 with the ones added in Android 6 – it looks like the two giant mobile OS made another step towards becoming very similar;
- Fingerprint scanner
- Battery management
- Font changes
- Better multi-tasking
- Memory management
- Improved search
- Better personal assistance
The above list surely looks familiar to any iPhone user who recently upgraded to iOS9.
I believe it also looks very familiar to Android users who were lucky enough to get an upgrade to Marshmallow or at least read about it in different places.
So what’s going on here? No more innovation? No more features “reimagined/reinvented/reengineered?”?
It seems like mobile is going through a standardization process in which the popular features are duplicated across apps and platforms and the unpopular ones are slowly disappearing.
The new mobile standard? iOS-like permission popups shown in Android 6, replacing Google Play permission warnings.
It’s fascinating to see this process over the years: It doesn’t matter where the features came from – if they are good – they end up being part of all apps and OS.
In iOS, most of the features are driven by Apple, but over the years many capabilities were ‘“borrowed” from successful apps, Cydia plug-ins and, of course Android OS.
Google’s Android is no different; many new features, especially in the past 2 years, are copied from successful apps and/or iOS.
The same goes to UI/UX concepts: both iOS and Android are getting closer in their UI (despite some basic differences of course), and many user interface concepts are now working the same for both platforms (flat UI, thin fonts, focus on animations and transitions, notifications on top, personal assistant in the left, notifications in the lock screen, and more).
The existing mobile standard: lock-screen push notifications with quick action shortcuts. (Image by PhoneArena)
With that in mind, the process of selecting the best device(s) for your organization is no longer focused on usability or functionality like it used to be (I remember organizations going through user groups in order to select a device for the team) – those are becoming pretty much the same.
The question is now focused on hardware, security, and IT related factors.
If you keep track of the release notes of new Android and new iOS, you probably noticed a lot of new security capabilities that were added in the past 2-3 years. Both Android and iOS were originally designed as consumer platforms but since the business world has happily adopted them – more and more IT related improvements are being added.
For many field service enterprise organizations BYOD is not relevant.
Instead, they go with a CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) strategy where the IT defines the top 4-5 devices for the employees and each employee can select one of those 4-5 alternatives. It makes a lot of sense: the company can create a freedom for the employees to choose, while keeping some IT standards in place and eliminating some exceptional cases that can be very problematic at times.
The latest from ClickSoftware also confirms this. The report shows that 45% of their customers offer a CYOD strategy.
We believe the smart businesses moving forward will take heed of the 45% of customers employing a CYOD strategy. With so many variables to take into account, businesses should be giving staff some latitude to select a device that works best for them, and then provide a secure OS environment which complements the device chosen.