Forget the Ashes, the greatest rivalry of 2019 is the battle between the two heavyweight mobile platforms.

It’s no secret the world’s leading mobile platforms are in a constant battle for our attention.

2019 is shaping up to be another huge year full of chest-beating, with major software updates set to arrive across many of our phones over the next month, in the form of iOS 13 and Android Q.

Whatever smartphone system holds your allegiance, you’re bound to find a slew of similarities in the features that are set to be rolled out - primarily because software is built on the back of trends and both parties don’t want to be seen as falling behind the status quo.

Android and Apple have been busy testing beta versions of their upcoming mobile operating systems, with legions of enthusiastic beta users putting each platform to the test over the past few months.

With just a few weeks to go until the official release of each platform, which operating system is doing the most to take your smartphone game to the next level?

Let’s break it down.

iOS 13 Dark Mode Apple
Image Courtesy of Apple

dark mode

Both iOS 13 and Android Q will come equipped with a system-wide dark mode.

This means menu screens, notification panels and pop-ups can be switched to a blacked-out colour scheme across your device. Apple and Google’s first-party apps will also support the feature.

Besides letting you switch from a bright white screen, enabling dark mode should help preserve the battery life on your device, as fewer pixels will need to be lit up. More importantly, dark mode should help reduce the eye strain experienced by millions of users across the world.

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we talking photos

Google Photos is arguably the most intuitive photo editing and sharing tool to date, offering practically everything you'd want to experience through a mobile photo app.

Combining effortless backup (including 15GB of free storage) with simple-to-use editing, it creates a harmonious experience through your Android device. And look, don't get us started about Night Sight on the Pixel Devices, which is a feature almost worth the price of admission on its own.

In terms of what Apple's cooking up with iOS 13, their photo app will gain even more editing power, including the ability to edit elements like shadows, highlights, contrast, saturation, sharpness, and the intensity of portrait lighting.

Although not as strong as the Android storage offering, you'll get the first 5GB of iCloud storage on the house.

Google Assistant

Siri vs Google Assistant

There's a new Siri voice debuting with iOS 13 and it sounds a lot more natural than before.

You'll likely notice a difference when Siri says longer phrases, like reading News reports aloud or answering long-winded questions.

Good timing, because with the arrival of iOS 13, Siri will be able to read incoming messages and pipe them through your Air Pods. iOS 13 will also come preloaded with improved Siri Shortcuts.

While these improvements are a step in the right direction, Google Assistant still comes out on top in our eyes due to its ability to understand a greater variety of voice commands.

This paired, with the fact the Assistant can be tightly weaved into your entire phone experience, by integrating your calendar and Gmail account, give it the edge over Siri for the time being.

Improved Apple Map

improved Maps

iOS 13 will finally have its own version of Google Maps Street View feature, aptly titled as Look Around.

Look Around will work in a similar fashion to Google's Street View, allowing you to pan around and walk down a virtual street.

Although it's great to see Apple improve their offering, Google's continuous advancement of their map service has only increased in recent times and the explore feature, which gives you a taste of the best nearby locations (such as eateries, bars and sightseeing spots), has proven to be a game-changer.

new privacy features

When first introducing Android Q, Google mentioned there would be over 50 privacy and security updates. The Android developer site, strengthens this notion, mentioning that Android Q will extend the transparency and control users have over data and app capabilities.

For instance, instead of a simple yes or no, you'll now be able to choose to only allow an app to access your location when the app is in use. This is a great change considering many apps can be quite intrusive in how they track your location, despite not actively being used.

iOS 13 will have similar functionality, with Apple saying said it would give its users greater control of location permissions with apps, by being able to select how often you give location data to a particular app,

In a one-up move on Google, Apple is set to unleash a new feature called Sign in with Apple. The feature will be made available in instances where you're currently able to Sign in using your Gmail or Facebook credentials.

This exciting new feature will allow you to sign in with a pseudo email address that's generated by Apple to safeguard your personal information. The unique email address generated by Apple will direct the emails to your actual address, without compromising on your privacy.

Not bad at all Mr. Cook!

accessing the beta versions

If you’re using an iPhone newer than an iPhone 6s, here’s how you can download the iOS 13 beta.

For Android users, the list of phones that can access the Android Q beta is more limited - if however you have an eligible device, the process to join the beta program is straightforward.

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