Mobile

As Apple opens up with iOS 8, Google needs to give Android users a reason to stay

Image Credit: Apple

All of a sudden, Android is no longer the only flexible mobile operating system on the market.

With iOS 8, announced at Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday, the iPhone maker has made great strides towards opening up its platform. Now your apps can actually exchange data with each other. Third-party apps can take advantage of TouchID, the fingerprint recognition feature in the iPhone 5S.

Heck, you’ll even be able to replace your iPhone’s keyboard with a third-party alternative such as Swype or Swiftkey. That sort of flexibility and customization is something only Android users have been able to enjoy in the past.

Coupled with the new iPhones, which are rumored to have bigger screens and should be announced later this year, Apple is clearly targeting many of the capabilities that have historically driven consumers to Android.

So what can Google do now? At this point, it seriously needs to double down on features that will keep Android users from jumping ship. Most of those will likely rely on the company’s core services, like ubiquitous Google Now integration. Additionally, Google needs to step up the security and stability of Android, so it it feels just as solid to developers as iOS.

Android isn’t in any danger of losing its spot as the biggest mobile OS, but Google also can’t just sit back and let Apple steal away its customers.

Android fighting off evil

Above: Android fighting off evil

Image Credit: Kalexanderson

In the battle between iOS and Android we’re basically seeing history repeat itself. iOS has always been relatively secure and stable, just like Apple’s Mac OS over the past few decades.

Android, meanwhile, has found success by opening itself up more to third-party developers and a wide variety of hardware, just like Windows. (And if we went way back, you can view Google’s approach to Android similar to how Microsoft “borrowed” the graphical user interface in Windows.)

Judging from what I’ve seen of iOS 8, Apple has now reached a point where it can finally offer flexibility similar to Android while keeping iOS secure.

But Apple has also developed a way to let its mobile OS and desktop OS seamlessly work together. Apple’s new “Continuity” features lets you move a document you’re working on from your Mac to your iPhone, or take a call on your Mac even when your iPhone is in another room. It’s simple and ingenious.

Continuity is also a killer way for Apple to keep you locked into its ecosystem. Once you get an iPhone or iPad, there are plenty of reasons to justify getting a new Mac as well (or vice-versa).

But it goes deeper: Apple’s new HomeKit platform will lead to iOS users option for compatible home automation gadgets. Apple’s HealthKit solution will push customers towards supported wearable devices and health services.

Google isn’t just in danger of losing mobile customers to Apple — it could potentially lose users of its existing services.

And, perhaps most troubling for Google: If it can’t come up with new killer features for Android, Apple’s ever-expanding ecosystem could steal potential customers away from services Google hasn’t even launched yet.

 

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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69 comments
Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson

Android is the industry standard that Apple copies. Android now dominates all market segments and demographics. It's sad when someone stuck in the valley bubble like the author is this disconnected from reality. You don't write just for the valley. You write for the world. And the world overwhelmingly prefers Android, and not Apple's poorly done Android copy.

russelcp
russelcp

@tekgik brave statement. But will Apple allow iOS to be installed on third party devices like Android? IHMO Apple's still playing catch up.

Thomas Rippel
Thomas Rippel

Yes, I for one am going to make the switch back with the next iphone

Chung Yang
Chung Yang

Actually Android OS doesn't support beaconing, yet. It can only receive so you can use cheaper LBT chips. iOS API allows developers to configure any iOS device either as a beacon or a receiver. This is a major difference in the implementation and hardware. Additionally Android's ecosystems problem is that you have fragmentation in both hardware and OS, so to make to make things work like how Apple implemented, you will also need uniformity across all devices, which will lock you into one hardware manufacturer. Then it will look just like Apple. Going vertical is not a bad thing. Microsoft is doing it now.

Murray Macdonald
Murray Macdonald

Android supports Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons (aka iBeacons) automatic proximity detection just fine, arguably better than iOS. The google APIs allow you to detect all beacons, not just the ones you have predetermined as with Apple's APIs.

Danny Liggins
Danny Liggins

Apple could put everything into their phone and I still wouldn't use it

vivek rajanna
vivek rajanna

I am not sure  what author is trying to prove  here . Just by adding extension  andriod is under threat from the  iOS is  funny  analysis and I would say crowd pleaser  title to get some  eyes . Ofcourse Apple is not implementing anything new  , the features were present all along  some from time of Symbian . Now what apple has bought if at all any  is the flexibility for the other hardware vendors in health and home  Coupled with incar announcement earlier apple seem to  have  crafted path of  keeping ecosystem rich . Andriod  unless they get the act  of containing the custom version developers will continue to suffer . 

nickknock1
nickknock1

@MYGEEKTIME No, as older Apple Iphones prematurely fry because of the new IOS, they will realize they where ripped off, and get a android.

Matt Black
Matt Black

One of the first things Google can do is match Apple's HomeKit with similar functionality built around Nest. Of course they run the risk of it being called a "me too" project, but it would be interesting to see who would win: The recognition of Nest and Google or the allure of Apple, but with secondary players in the home automation department *cough* Honeywell *cough*.

Јім Мспіџєп
Јім Мспіџєп

Give it a rest. Have you ever used both OS? I do every day. I used my iPad for reading comics and listening to podcasts. I use my android device for everything else from bitcoin payments to watching movies because you can do it without hacking the OS, ridiculous workarounds or re-encoding everything in an Apple sanctioned codec.

Sardonic Simian
Sardonic Simian

Apple implements a bunch of features already in Google's Android (that have been there for a while), and Google needs to innovate. Are you stupid or something? Don't answer that. It was rhetorical. 

Carsen Jeffery Klock
Carsen Jeffery Klock

iOS 8 is nothing new...Android is still like five years ahead of Apple...Apple is only going to go downhill they lost Steve Jobs...Google will and is dominating the mobile and wearables market.

Randall House
Randall House

I agree with Andrew Ryan on this. Not to mention, if you know anything about software, Android is immediately better to own.

Rolv Heggenhougen
Rolv Heggenhougen

sounds like another apple fanatic. apple is still proprietary all the way around - their software only works with their hardware. IBM tried that in the old days and it almost brought them down! Open means I am in charge to do what I want, including buying the phone I like the best.

Sohrob Tahmasebi
Sohrob Tahmasebi

Kind of like when Android itself was a copy of iOS? Fandroid kids always forget that little fact.

Josh Destardi
Josh Destardi

Oh puh-leeze.  Lest we forget, Apple is 'borrowing'  INNOVATION from Google; that means Apple had to wait to see what Android came up with...Apple was stagnant.  Google was and is the company moving at break-neck speed.  Apple copies and adds on to the mobile os version of a PT cruiser: innovative/award winning for the first couple of years...boring after.

Kylie Trager
Kylie Trager

@Scott WilsonAndroid isn't the "standard" for anything, anywhere. Every smart phone manufacturer that runs 'droid does so for one reason only: they have no other choice. Praising Android's ubiquity is a little like saying, "most people choose 'east' as their preferred direction when traveling from Los Angeles to New York." Sometimes the bubble you perceive is actually your own.


The current smartphone/tablet design, OS and GUI would simply not exist without Apple. This isn't interpretation or spin. It's a fact. Google would still be releasing updates to maps, Google Earth and Gmail, and Samsung would still be promoting TVs and washing machines along with a very bad rip-off of the Blackberry.


Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi are releasing cheap and cheaply made iClones running Android. It's already begun to cut into Samsungs' profits as the Android vis-a-vis iOS playing field begins to show signs of leveling out. Apple doesn't have a horse in that race. It's 'droid vs 'droid." Grab the popcorn.

vernesgo
vernesgo

@russelcp @tekgik i use Viber for work. you cant migrate Viber msgs to your new phone in android but it is easily done in iOS. 1 click lang

vernesgo
vernesgo

@russelcp @tekgik just the fact that it is SOOOO much EASIER to migrate from 1 phone to another in iOS makes me stay with them

vernesgo
vernesgo

@russelcp @tekgik russel, i also have both iOS and Android the past 3 years and i still prefer iOS. it is way easier and more stable imho

tekgik
tekgik

@russelcp and with Samsung building their own OS ecosystem Tizen. Android OS should really think a new strategy.

tekgik
tekgik

@russelcp they copy each other whether hardware and software and that is good for us consumers. Apple wont allow their OS on other HW 4 sure

tekgik
tekgik

@russelcp i both have iOS and Android. Years have passed iOS has better Apps, Android has better OS customizations. iOS 8 it blurs the diff

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson

It remains to be seen if beaconing will be a success, or a failure like iTunes Radio. So nobody really cares yet. It's not something that has been successful like wireless charging, or NFC.

Devindra Hardawar
Devindra Hardawar

Reading is hard, isn't it? All of these companies steal from each other, that's not any great insight.

Harvey Lubin
Harvey Lubin

@Rolv Heggenhougen

Are you seriously comparing Apple to IBM's short-lived run selling personal computers???


Seriously???


Time to get out the reality-stick. ;-))

John Smith
John Smith

No one has forgotten that android took UI inspiration from iOS, we just know that that was SIX YEARS ago.  Who cares?

Its 2014, and Apple is playing catch up to android.  Go little fruit go! You can do it!

By the way, "android itself"  is  in no way a copy of iOS.  Only the UI was influenced by iOS, which is like the tip of the iceberg, man!

Ken Hong
Ken Hong

@vernesgo @russelcp @tekgik Which is why many people PREFER Android, because after two years, they want to try something new and different. iPhone users who dislike change are doing Apple no favors. In the world of tech, CHANGE is everything.

vernesgo
vernesgo

@tekgik @russelcp and i agree with Reg, everyone is copying everyone so no point in saying who did what first. all in a matter of preference

John Smith
John Smith

@Devindra Hardawar 

Yes, everyone copies everyone, and thats a good thing.  But only apple SUES people for copying simple and obvious things.  Only apple posts full page adds implying that everyone else copies them.  only apple brags for years about how 'innovative' they are, and state and imply that everyone else merely copies them.

So it is definitely newsworthy that all of the best apple software news this year are instances of apple copying android, and trying to catch up with android

Andy Roberts
Andy Roberts

@Harvey Lubin @Rolv Heggenhougen That's right.  Apple really should be compared to Microsoft of the 90s and IBM of the 70s.  Attempting to lock in customers without giving them any choice.  The only difference is that Apple never got enough market share to do that effectively.  IBM collapsed from the inside.  Microsoft got routed by the Internet.  Google didn't allow Apple to take off.

James Pool
James Pool

@Ariel Alampay @Josh Destardi


@Ariel Alampay @Josh Destardi  

All of these features have already been in Android.

1. Want a different keyboard Android has had that pretty much from the start and also had swipe for some time.

2. Type suggestions

3. Interapp communication

4. Music recognition built into the OS

5. Notification actions we have had that too in android

6. Videos in the App store yep had that

7. Demo of apps yep had that first too

8. Widgets had that for a while and we can still do more with ours

9. Cloud kit yes we have still had that first...

10. per app battery use yep had that for a long while now



Would you like other examples of what Google did before Apple?

Google did these first too

Multitasking

Drop down notifications

opening apps from the lock screen

customizable wallpapers

OTA

Front Facing Camera

LED Camera Flash

These are just a few of the ones I could think of at the time.

The point here is that Apple at this point is no more innovative that Google. In fact I think a case could be made, when you need to preform system tasks (joining wifi, updating phone, tethering, etc) it is easier to do in an android. Far less taps to preform than iOS


tekgik
tekgik

@vernesgo @russelcp they are both copiers and all tech companies any way or another. Agree impt is how they deliver it to end users.

Ken Hong
Ken Hong

@John Smith @Devindra Hardawar And the biggest fools are the people who believe Apple's "magical" fairy tales that it spins in the courts that it was victimized. These are the same people who believe wrestling is a real sport and that Michael Jackson fathered his own children....

Greg Evan
Greg Evan

Lol. You mean all those half baked "features" that have made Android open to malware of all kinds and background tasks causing latency and battery drain? Android is the Windows XP of the modern era, a hastily assembled collection of features with a totally ripped off UI (not to mention all the features right down to Find my iPhone they are still trying to rip off years later). Being first to market doesn't mean you are ahead if it makes the user and their data and device open to theft. It just means you are lazy and don't value your customers or their privacy. Hen again this is Google we are talking about. Who cares nothing for privacy and releases everything in Beta!!!

Get a grip and wake up your hacked OS you call Android is splintering more by the day as Amazon and the Chinese remove Google services and fork the OS for their own purposes. Google is like the MS and IBM of the past, funding the development of their own rivals while spraying money at every idea they see hoping something will stick and become another revenue stream for them!!!

THAT is the reality!!! Apple knows how to develop and maintain a platform long term. It is more important to release it when it is ready and SECURE then just being first with some feature on <5% of your shipping handsets!!!

russelcp
russelcp

@tekgik @vernesgo Do you think Apple will ever open the iOS to other manufacturers?That would be awesome, ex. A waterproof Note 3 with iOS.

vernesgo
vernesgo

@russelcp @tekgik makes the OS and the ecosystem morw stable and more secure. but that's just my opinion :)

vernesgo
vernesgo

@russelcp @tekgik no i dont think they will open it anytime soon. i actually prefer that they keep it closed.

russelcp
russelcp

@vernesgo @tekgik at the end of the day, customizations can only go so far until you realize great features will need better hardware. IMHO.

russelcp
russelcp

@vernesgo @tekgik if that will be the case, I hope Apple puts more effort on the hardware part, so more will try the iOS environment.

tekgik
tekgik

@vernesgo @russelcp presntly, most likely not. But Tim Cook d new CEO is nt as stubborn as Steve Jobs so maybe in d future as dsperate move

tekgik
tekgik

@russelcp @vernesgo one of the reasons why Samsung want to have their own OS eco system is to have a hardware to software product.

tekgik
tekgik

@russelcp @vernesgo thats the problem with Android OS until now, optimization between hardware<>software isnt as matured as iOS.

vernesgo
vernesgo

@russelcp @tekgik actually i dont look at the hardware anymore. the whole ecosystem is what works for me from Mac to iOS