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iOS 13 vs Android Q

iOS 13 vs. Android Q: which 2019 OS deserves bragging rights?

19 Aug 2019


amaysim's tech geek

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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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.

Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.