June saw a lot of conventions with all the four giant operating system companies announcing some or the other upgrade. It started with Apple announcing updates to its iOS at WWDC and ended with Android announcing the upgrade for their operating system from Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1 – Jellybean. Let’s have a look at what were the goodies released in the month of June and how the future of the smartphone looks.
Looking Into the Crystal Ball
As usual the first to showcase their updates were Apple at its WWDC conference in the beginning of June. The updates didn’t bring much excitement as many of these features were already found in Android and Windows phone. But there are some good features that make the upgraded operating system stand out. The main goodie that Apple gave its fans with the new updated to iOS6 is the-“Passbook”- which helps the user to conveniently store and also access tickets.
Apart from this feature the iOS has a lot more interesting features and apps to offer its users like a smarter Siri which even updates your Facebook status, posts tweets or starts apps. You can also reserve a table at your favorite restaurant with Siri’s help. Along with Siri the new operating system also has an offline Web reading app and 3D maps.
Though it was in May when RIM first spoke about its new Blackberry 10 Operating System, it was in June that they started marketing the Operating system extensively in their Jam world tour. The work on the operating system is far from complete but RIM has let out a few details which it hopes will keep the users hooked.
RIM with the new operating system is looking to develop a new interface with a cleaner and a much more minimalistic layout. It will come with an option of multitasking workflow which is named Flow. It also boasts of an intelligent virtual keyboard that predicts your sentences and will delete or complete words with a simple gesture.
For all enthusiasts who love taking pictures the new camera in BlackBerry phones will have a face detecting feature with a special tech that enable to rewind to the previous frame to get the same expression you want.
It is still early days for this operating system, not much can be said whether this would be enough for RIM to revive Blackberry sales.
Windows Phone 8
On June 20th Microsoft unveiled its Windows Phone 8. With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is looking to improve multitasking smoothness. Microsoft has also intergraded VoIP. There have been a lot of speculations regarding the new keyboard which has been specifically designed for one-hand typing. The improved start screen provides the user with the option of having resizable dynamic tiles across more of the screen surface. The only downer in the news is that the existing handsets will not be eligible for Windows Phone 8 upgrade.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
The end of June saw the last of the four biggies announce their upgrade. On June 27th Google announced that its upgrade of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The main upgrade in the new jelly Bean is the overhauled search app and its more substantial notifications. Both the Voice Actions interface and voice readouts have been changed, but the rest of Voice Actions remain the same.
Another salient upgrade in the new Jelly Bean is that it includes an intelligent keyboard that actually predicts the world you are typing, so it helps you type faster. Apart from this Jelly Bean also supports the feature of offline voice typing and 18 new input languages and accessibility improvements.
At the end the bottom line of the new operating system from Google is that the overall performance is much smoother and it comes with resizable widgets and NFC feature.
A War of Smartphones this Fall?
The big four- Apple, Google, RIM and Microsoft, and their struggle of dominance in the market has been an eternal one. Apple with its revolutionary products has always been the market leader and removing it from its throne has become quite a task for the other three. Apple has always had the advantage of Grade A quality hardware and a highly developed operating system.
Off late Google’s Android is slowly but surely climbing up the ladder to the number one spot and in the U.S. Market Google leads the market race with 51 percent shares and iPhone has only a 32 percent control. Only time will tell if Google can hold onto their spot because Apple is planning to launch its iPhone 5 and if rumors are to be believed, the launch of iPad Mini in also on the verge.
The major drawback Google’s Android face is its slow and fragmented development which occurs because the manufactures and the carriers test and slowly release the updates to certain select phones. Even though Google has come up with a new update in the form of Jelly Bean it isn’t huge enough to make a huge difference in the smartphone market.
Apple and Google have their feet firmly on the ground and all they need to do is innovate, the same isn’t the case with Microsoft and RIM, the next few months will be seen as a battle to survive in this competitive smartphone market. They will have to fight hard to survive as well as ward of the stiff competition in the form of Apple and Google.
RIM has a greater battle to fight than Microsoft to stay in the race. RIM has to face competition as well as internal problems like falling share prices, horrible sales figures, layoffs. Whereas for Microsoft the fight will be comparatively more laid back, the OS can handle phones with multiple processors, HD resolution, microSD cards and NFC so now the game depended on how they updates their devices. A point that might be a negative factor in the race is they have left the current users in the lurch because of their previous stringency and the existing user will have to buy new handsets to stick with Microsoft.
So all we need to do now is sit back, wait for the fall, and watch the battles between the greatest and see who would emerge the winner.