The two most popular mobile ecosystems iOS and Android have always had their major focus, targets, principles, goals and objectives they reach for and aim to attain. Considering both ecosystems separately, looking at past and current trends, we can try to predict or deduce where they’re both headed and what their futures could look like. First, let’s take on iOS
iOS: The ‘Steve Job’ dream
iOS from the start, was all about a locked-down, walled garden that delivered a very smooth user experience. Over the past couple of years, Apple has built iOS with sleek interface at heart. Something intuitive, easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and colorful. The design flows and colors comes at a price, which is a locked down ecosystem that prevents users from accessing apps from other sources, deciding almost everything for the users, and always being in control. A quick look at iOS design official page will further help you grasp the iOS message that is being preached. Here are some excerpts from the page:
Nothing we’ve ever created has been designed just to look beautiful. That’s approaching the opportunity from the wrong end. Instead, as we reconsidered iOS, our purpose was to create an experience that was simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable — while building on the things people love about iOS. Ultimately, redesigning the way it works led us to redesign the way it looks. Because good design is design that’s in service of the experience.
Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.
Gradually and consistently iOS and Apple have always maintained their objectives, and stood by it. Creating a corresponding consistent flow and user experience, only with the addition of extra features (and functionality) in subsequent OS updates.
Android: The Google ‘Child’
In 2004, Android was acquired by Google, then they had no mobile foothold whatsoever- Android was launched as an open source project, to compete with iOS. Google allowing it to be open-source means the source code is left free, such that anyone could take it up and work on it. Google gave away Android for free to be able to attract any form of marketshare and also use it as a means for distribution of Google services.
Gradually, it started gaining fans and follower-ship. Manufacturers and enthusiasts took it up and made flavours of their own in order to differentiate theirs from others. Developers made apps and the apps store grew. Things got better gradually, and Android grew from zero percent of the smartphone market to owning nearly 80 percent of it.
This being said, it is obvious Android won the smartphone wars, but “Android winning” and “Google winning” are different sides of a coin. Android (since it is free) doesn’t belong to Google, so for them to tune ‘Android wining’ to their advantage, they had to take some measures.
Android is popular due to its openness all at the expense of a consistent user experience, fragmentation, and sleek interface.