iOS 6 features: How do Windows Phone and Android ICS compare?

iOS 6 features: How do Windows Phone and Android ICS compare?

Summary: Apple's iOS 6 beta pushes the smartphone platform into new territory with VoIP calling over data networks, revamped Siri features and a whole new mapping app. But how do its Android and Windows Phone rivals compare on the key updates?

TOPICS: iPhone

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  • Facebook integration on iOS 6

    Facebook and social-networking integration
    Apple's decision to integrate Facebook deeper into the platform puts it one step of the competition in this regard, allowing posting and 'Liking' from various parts of the OS, such as the Notification Centre or via Siri.

    By comparison, on the Android platform there is no native Facebook integration — but it does come with Twitter pre-loaded out of the box. It also obviously comes with Google's own Google Plus (G+) social network by default. As a result, HTC has integrated Facebook features into its custom Sense UI, as have other phone makers.

    The Windows Phone platform fares slightly better with the ability to post messages and read updates from Windows Live, Facebook and Twitter out of the box. However, it's still not a unified experience. For example, the part of the platform that lets you post to each network simultaneously will not let you view updates from the networks in the same place.

    iOS 6 is invariably the best of this bunch for native social-networking features. Android brings Twitter and G+ to the party, and I, like many others, have little interest in G+. Similarly, Windows Phone does include more native options; but not being able to read Twitter stream updates in the same place as notifications is a little maddening.

    Image credit: Business Insider

  • Browsing on iOS 6

    Web browsing and offline reading
    The updates in iOS 6 make it the first major mobile platform to support offline browsing using the native browser, in this case Safari.

    Windows Phone and Android both suffer here, as they offer no in-built options for offline reading of web pages. However, they both have third-party apps that can do this, albeit slightly less graciously than a native option.

    Its competitors' lack of native offline support means Apple currently has a jump on its rivals. However, with hundreds of thousands of apps on the Google Play store, people can be sure to find one with the features they want. Unfortunately, due to the size of the Windows Phone ecosystem right now, I can't say the same for that OS, particularly not if you are looking for a free version.

    Image credit: James Martin/CNET News

  • Skype on Windows Phone

    Also on the list of key changes in iOS 6 is the ability to make VoIP calls with FaceTime over a mobile data network, as opposed to only being able to use the app on a Wi-Fi network.

    As with offline web browsing, third-party apps such as Skype provide the VoIP calling in Android and Windows Phone.

    While Facetime's native capabilities give Apple an advantage of sorts, it's up for debate how widely the app will be used. Myself, I have no desire to walk down the street shouting at my phone to be heard (while potentially running the risk of walking into a lamp post). This means VoIP calls tend to be reserved for when I'm indoors, and therefore tend to be near a laptop.

    Image credit: Ben Woods

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Topic: iPhone

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Worst article ever!
    • Worst Reader Comment Ever!

      Not even any content.
  • A tale of a blunder

    All of these features were present since Androids 2.3.5 and Windows Mobile 5 (Windows MOBILE, not Windows PHONE). iOS late to the table again. Offering bikes when we're all driving.
  • Which version of WP and Android are you comparing?

    A Gray