Comparing Apple iOS 6 with Android 4.0, Windows Phone 7.5

At Apple's annual developers conference this year, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software, introduced a slew of new features for its latest mobile OS.

(Credit: Apple)

Among them are updates to the virtual personal assistant/voice command software Siri, integration with a handful of automotive manufacturers, message replies for incoming calls and the ability to FaceTime over a mobile network.

While it's nice to see that iOS 6 will boast 200 new features compared to the previous iteration, some have been long overdue. Integrated Facebook photo sharing and turn-by-turn navigation have been available on other mobile operating systems for some time now. Here, we take a look at the new features of iOS 6, and see whether these services have already existed on other platforms. Though some of these features existed on Android before Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), I used it in this chart because it is the most recent version of Google's OS.

New iOS 6 features Android 4.0 Windows Phone 7.5
Launch native apps by voice S-Voice, third party Microsoft Tellme
Launch third-party apps by voice S-Voice Microsoft Tellme
Automotive integration Yes No
Facebook integration Yes Yes
Message replies for incoming calls Yes No
Set call reminders No No
Video calling over mobile network Google Talk Third-party apps
Offline reading of web pages Yes Third-party apps
Natively share photo streams Galaxy S III only No
Natively store and access tickets No No
Turn-by-turn navigation Yes Yes
3D mapping Coming to Google Maps No
Info about nearby businesses Yes Yes

Drilling down the details

Sometimes, breaking down what each OS offers depends on what devices you're considering. The Samsung Galaxy S III, which is slated to release in the coming weeks, promises a voice assistant known as S-Voice.

Similar to Apple's Siri, S-Voice is more than just a voice-command feature. It can launch apps (both native and third-party ones), schedule events and fetch weather info.

Microsoft's voice-action software, Tellme, isn't as complex as S-Voice or Siri, but it can launch applications as well.

Likewise, Apple's Photo Stream feature, which does exactly what it sounds like, is similar to the Galaxy S III's Share Shot. Both services let you share photo streams instantaneously with your friends.

Keep in mind that only a few devices are equipped with Android 4.0, so devices with Gingerbread or earlier may not have all of the features described above. However, it's easy to see how Google's mobile OS has forced Apple's hand into incorporating some highly demanded features. Windows Phone, on the other hand, has a long way to go, compared to both OSes.


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Will1505 posted a comment   

Have to mention how iOS6 can not go on full silent every phone has been able to do since the beginning of time


dano999 posted a reply   

iphone can go on full silent mode. go into sounds and turn of vibrate.


Will1505 posted a reply   

yes but now they call it "do not disturb" and it's a 'feature'


JulianM posted a reply   

I'm sorry? mind telling me how my iOS beta can, am i doing something wrong?


cftbla posted a comment   

Iris and other Android applications can launch third party apps. Also, Android 4 doesn't natively support Facebook integration.


MitchellT posted a reply   

iris. is a great app man, beat me to it. but android 4 does support facebook integration, you just need the app installed and you hit the little button with the three dots and share


Will1505 posted a reply   

The android app actually creates full integration, has done so for over a year.


trebor83 posted a comment   

I hope you are going to do the same thing next week when there is news about Windows Phone 8


teamjet posted a comment   

surely there must be some andriod and windows features that iOS6 doesnt have? You havent included any of these in the table.


ozoneocean posted a reply   

This is a table about the new IOS features and what equivalents are already out there in the other phone OSes (or not), not about comparing features generally.

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