it’s the big cheese in the mobile OS world, iOS is a little late to the social
integration party. Android has linked in Facebook, Gmail and Twitter contacts
with your phone book for ages now, and Windows Phone has had it from day one to
a degree. iOS still lags behind, though, with iOS 5’s biggest new social
addition being in-app tweeting and sharing – something long available on other
platforms. For such a mature mobile OS, it’s pretty lacking.
bottle to the social party is Twitter and LinkedIn integration to add to
Windows Live and Facebook. All will now show up in your People feed, and you
can update your own status and it’ll go to multiple platforms if you want.
What’s more, if you have any friends set to Live Tiles on the start menu, it’ll
also now show their statuses there too (just be sure who you add, though!).
Mango also adds groups, allowing you to organise your contacts into instantly
communicable groups, be it by Facebook, SMS or tweets.
always been pretty comprehensive when it comes to social integration, and with
ICS this is maintained without any major stand-out features. However, changes
have been made to the APIs that deal with social information streams, allowing
apps to use the social data ICS collects about your contacts. Not exciting yet,
but it has potential for interesting applications. Otherwise, though, it’s not
as deeply integrated as with Mango, but some manufacturers will add their own
touches to lessen this.
iOS 5 brings to the table are Apple’s oft-boasted gestures.’
One of the
biggest faux-pas in a mobile OS these days is the inability to multitask.
Android has always been able to, in one form or another, but only recent
revisions of iOS and WP have added the function in. Unfortunately, both are
still quite flakey and not up to Android.
Microsoft’s first attempt and it’s a form of save-state multitasking, meaning
the application is frozen in its current state and unfrozen when returned to.
It’s helpful, and light on battery power, because it’s not using the CPU, but
it means the app can’t run in the background, limiting its use. Many apps will
also restart completely when switched to, so with something like eBay it’ll
mean starting your searches again. It’s graphical, so you can see the saved
state, but Mango’s multitasking is limited.
iOS is much
the same, but it has been multitasking since iOS 4 and many more apps are now
multitasking friendly. What iOS 5 brings to the table are Apple’s oft-boasted
gestures – using four fingers you can swipe back and fourth between
applications. It’s useful and admittedly the easiest of all the operating
systems, and the same gestures are found in Mac OS X Lion too, making
adds a new graphical multitasking switcher baked into the OS, and like Mango it
makes it simple to switch. You can also push away apps webOS-like to kill them.
Android’s is true multitasking too, so applications (and widgets) will happily
chug away in the background. However, this isn’t always ideal, as a poorly
coded app can eat away at your battery without you realising. If spite of this,
ICS is still the best, and the most computer-like, multitasking environment.
too well known, but the iPad was in development before the iPhone. Of course,
it was the iPhone that saw the light of day first, but iOS has always been as
much a tablet OS as it has a phone one, even with the allegations of the iPad
being a large iPhone. iOS 5 doesn’t add to much specifically for the iPad, but
with the platform becoming more mature, there are many more tablet specific
apps available. There have been reports of iOS 5 running slower on iPad 1s,
seen the less than perfect fit Android was for tablets in the past. Thankfully,
though, it came on leaps and bounds with Honeycomb, a tablet-only version. ICS
brings together the best of Honeycomb and Gingerbread into an OS that’s equally
happy on a big screen as much as it is on a small one. Users of Honeycomb will
see many similarities, keeping ICS familiar while still moving on. It works
well, looks great and unlike Honeycomb, it’s open source, so likely to appear
in many hacked forms, from the slick and fast to the full bells and whistles.
sees the value of tablet computing, but you won’t find Windows Phone on any of
them (well, not officially anyway). Unlike the other two, Microsoft’s tablet OS
isn’t derived from its mobile one. Instead, it’s a desktop OS, specifically
Windows 8. Microsoft could well have a point too: why struggle to make its
phone OS work on a bigger screen when it can get its powerful and proven
desktop one working even better. The public beta released last year
demonstrated the Metro UI, and Microsoft’s announcements of Windows 8 on ARM
chips and WP8 sharing its kernel puts Redmond in a unique and interesting