In an effort to win you over, Google made the first move in March,that gives Android owners more control over their privacy and offers a dark mode everywhere. announcing to Apple’s mobile OS that includes a systemwide dark theme and a basket of changes designed to make the iPhone easier to use.
For more than a decade, the two tech giants have released annual updates to their mobile operating systems, vying for your attention with helpful voice assistants and smart devices, powerful camera tools, updated map and messaging apps and ways to curb phone addiction.
Google said Android Q — renamed to — will ship by fall. As for Apple’s mobile OS, iOS 13 is also expected in fall. Based on and what this week, here are our first impressions of the two mobile OSes, side by side. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Applying a dark theme
Advantage: iOS 13
Besides letting you switch it up from a bright white screen, turning on a dark mode can offer theby lighting up fewer pixels on the screen. Google folded a earlier this year, but the company didn’t use the theme everywhere. In the , the dark theme is more evenly distributed across the mobile OS. Some of Google’s mobile apps, including Gmail and Chrome, still lack a dark mode option, however.
Apple went moody on the desktop first and rolled out a dark appearance inin 2018. to its mobile OS. At its this week, Apple lists a broad collection of places that display the dark mode theme — from wallpaper, widgets and notifications to Calendar to Messages — and from the brief glimpse we got of it, iOS 13 should offer a more uniform dark experience.
Running mobile apps in other places
Advantage: iOS 13 (and MacOS)
At last year’s developer conference, Apple said it would startusing a developer tool reportedly named Marzipan.
This week, Apple said it would start letting iPadOS developers bring their own. The move should benefit developers — who will be able to more easily create an app that can run on Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms — and Mac users, who potentially get access to a richer selection of apps.
Google also lets app developers move software between platforms by giving owners of recentthrough the Google Play Store. But the limitations of Chromebooks — they require an Internet connection, for example, and they lack popular Windows and MacOS apps such as Microsoft Office and AdobePhotoshop — also limit the usefulness of this option.
Arcade vs. Stadia gaming
Advantage: Well, it depends
With, you’ll be able to play games on your iPhone, iPad, Mac and devices. Interestingly, Apple at WWDC said
Google with itsis all about streaming games and will let you play them anywhere you can find a Chrome browser. .
With both services not expected till later this year, we have little to go on beyond studying video demos of each service (and), but we’d suggest if you like console games and have a good internet connection, Stadia might be a good fit with its controller-driven service. If you’re a casual gamer who likes playing mobile and indie games in your spare time, Apple’s approach might be a better fit.
Apple’s Messages and FaceTime or Google’s Duo and Hangouts and Messages and …
Advantage: iOS 13
Apple puts its messaging focus onwhich are hard to beat for video and text chat. Communications are encrypted end to end. The messaging handoff between iOS and MacOS devices is seamless. And you can .
Google’s messaging approach on Android is, err, more varied, with Duo and Hangoutsfor voice and video calls, Google Voice for dedicated voice calls, Hangouts Meet and Chat for business communication, and Messages for text messaging. You can use the Hangouts website to continue messaging on your Mac and Windows device, and you can keep up with your Messages texts via the web version of the app. The web version is handy but not flawless, and it sometimes seems to forget it’s connected to the mobile version of the service.
Google Assistant vs. Siri voice assistant
Advantage: Android Q
Apple was first out of the. Siri is widely available — working on iOS, MacOS and devices and the . And with , you can create personalized tasks that Apple’s smart assistant can perform for you. (Read about .)
Google waited until 2016 to release its own voice assistant with the, but it didn’t take long for Google Assistant to not just bridge the gap to Siri but leapfrog past it. Since that first smart speaker release, Google has put its assistant on , in the $49 and $299 , and into , and at its recent developer conference, the company showed off a range of .
For some time,in the usefulness discussion. But Apple today at WWDC announced a handful of useful additions to Siri, including and being able to read and respond to incoming messages through and stream radio stations. iOS 13 will also come preloaded with .
Minding your privacy
Advantage: iOS 13
Apple definitely talks the talk on guarding user data. Going back to 2014, with, Apple has made keeping user data private a selling point. And unlike Google, Apple’s business is not dependent on targeted ads based on user data, instead making money on the hardware, apps and services it offers. At WWDC, Apple said it would give users greater control of location permissions with apps, choosing to share that info once and then have the app request it again if it wants it. that gives you more control over your private data.
Google also talks up protecting user data, most recently in a New York Times opinion piece where Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote that “offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services.” But Google has a tougher case to make because a major source of revenue its ad business, based on what users search for, for example, and which videos they watch. It does take a big step in the right direction with the next version of Android: through apps and services.
But the two companies’ approaches to privacy show up in different ways. For example, Google is working on an update to its Chrome browser that developers say may. In contrast, Apple last year announced from monitoring your activities across the web.
Advantage: Android Q, maybe
If you swipe instead of type,is a big deal. Google has its own swipable keyboard, Gboard. There is a lot to like about Gboard beyond its swiping capabilities — I like being able to apply different themes, use different languages and easily insert GIFs — but the swiping part of the iOS 13 keyboard, looks pretty cool.