Comparing Apple iOS 6 with Android 4.0, Windows Phone 7.5

Now that Apple has unveiled its anticipated iOS 6, we stack it up against Android 4.0 and Windows Phone 7.5.

by Lynn La
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.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 cellular 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 or not these services have already existed on other platforms. To make for a cleaner comparison, we chose the latest version of all three OS’.

Feature iOS 6 Android 4.0 Windows Phone 7.5
Launch native apps Yes S-Voice, third-party Yes
Launch third-party apps Yes S-Voice Yes
Automotive integration Yes Yes, Car Home No
Facebook integration Yes Yes Yes
Message replies for incoming calls Yes Varies by device No
Native call reminders Yes No No
Video calling over celullar network Yes Third-party apps Third-party apps
Offline reading of webpages Yes Third-party apps Third-party apps
Natively share photo streams Yes Galaxy S III only No
Natively store and access tickets Yes No No
Turn-by-turn naviation Yes Yes Yes
3D mapping Yes Coming No
Info about nearby businesses Yes Yes Yes
Credit: Lynn La/CNET
Drilling down the details
Sometimes, breaking down what each OS offers depends on what devices you’re looking at. The Samsung Galaxy S III, which is slated to come out in the following weeks, promises a voice assistant known as S-Voice.
Similar to Apple’s Siri, S-Voice reaches beyond what Google’s Voice Actions can do. 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, 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 will not have 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 ways to go compared to both OS
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