In this video, we compare the features and experience of the latest version of Android, version 4.1 Jelly Bean, with that of iOS, version 6. As is always the case with Android, Jelly Bean provides a high level of customizability and control. The notification shade is now even better with the ability for developers to add quick actions. Add to that the simplicity of the “swipe to remove” UI we first saw in Ice Cream Sandwich, and it’s easy to see how Android provides the best possible notification experience. But iOS, too, has improved the notification window in version 6. New is the ability to update Twitter and Facebook right from the window, but beyond that, nothing else has changed: you still can’t selectively remove notifications and you still can’t add new widgets to the notification shade save for stocks and weather.
Beyond the notification centers, iOS 6 and Jelly Bean have new stores. In iOS 6, the app store and iTunes store have been updated to look more modern, but they’ve taken some steps back: search results are only visible with a one-at-a-time card view, whereas in Jelly Bean, you get a rolling list of apps that come up in a search. Not only that, Jelly Bean puts all content offerings from Google under one roof, whereas iOS is still divided into multiple stores.
Another point of differentiation between these two operating systems is their voice recognition engines. While Siri can engage with deeper levels of the phone, Google Now is often faster and more responsive.
In the end, whether you choose Jelly Bean or iOS 6 depends on the kind of user you are. Android provides the highest level of customization, with a new level of refinement and fluidity in Jelly Bean. iOS 6 provides the stability and fluidity it always has, and it now has even more iCloud features, plus the web browser is faster than ever. In a lot of ways, Jelly Bean is the most significant update of Android yet because it fixes what has plagued the operating system since day one: lag. But iOS 6 is more of an incremental update that neither fixes no adds any significant component of the operating system.