Arguably the two most powerful tech companies in the world, Apple and Google, have evolved over the years and have come to the point where they have developed new operating systems, killer new hardware and the newest of all, the cloud services that tie everything together. When buying products from either you have the obvious benefits and pitfalls, which we will be going over. I have decided not to include Microsoft in this article as right now they are just catching up with Apple and Google right now, but obviously they do have some of their own benefits over the other two companies
Starting with the most used devices of modern day lives, smartphones. Apple and Google both have brilliant hardware in this category, the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S III respectively. The iPhone has revolutionised the way communicate, and Apple have done an amazing job with the latest iPhone with the retina display, the steel and glass build quality, improved sound quality, camera performance and native apps. Apple’s retina display seems to what is giving them the edge over Google and Microsoft at the moment, with a massive 326ppi it wins the pixel war by quite a mile. However, the iPhone does have its drawbacks with it dual core CPU, the 3.5in screen is starting to feel slightly small and there is also no NFC support. On the other hand, the SIII has excellent battery life, built in NFC support and a huge 1.4GHz quad core chip which gives the phone plenty of processing power. However, the SIII feels pretty cheap compared to the One X and cannot even be compared to Apple’s engineering prowess.
Now for the smartphones OS, Apple does have the advantage of being the most known system when it comes to smartphone OS’s, iOS 6. The new OS is being released sometime this fall. Apple have grabbed hold of customers by providing them with the largest apps store on any OS, it does have one of the most slick looking mobile OS out there that is really easy for customers to use, especially for customers who have no history in technology. The new Siri has expanded for the old to be able to do local search rather than just in the US. However, it does have the same old look it has for the past few years since it has been introduced. There is no NFC yet, and does not have any. Widgets of live tiles. Google’s leading smartphone OS, Android Jelly Bean 4.1 has hit the ground running and has been pretty successful so far. Unlike, iOS 6 it is available now and is ultra customisable and runs slicker than ever especially on the Nexus 7. However, we have learn that Google has a problem with OS adoption, with many phones still waiting for ice cream sandwich. Google now is probably the main thing on the OS that holds an advantage over iOS whereas iOS has a new eyes free system with support from many leading car manufactures.
The iPad is the king of tablets at the moment and features the powerful A5X chip with long battery life, good value for money; although some will argue otherwise and the unrivalled retina display. However, accessories do seem quite to be expensive but that can be expected with Apple. Some people also complain that there are too many software restrictions with many seeking to jailbreak their iOS devices. The Google Nexus 7 has been hugely successful due to its ludicrously cheap price of £160 compared to the iPad’s hefty £400. It also features android jelly bean, a quad core CPU and an HD screen. Android Beam allows you to whip data between devices at a tap of the finger.
iCloud has been out for a while now and has been pretty successful with customers since its release. Photo stream allows you to sync photos between all your iDevices and Macs, also unlimited iTunes storage, and some pretty neat backup capabilities. However, it does only pride you with 5GB for free, there is no file browsing capabilities on the actual iCloud site. Interestingly developers can also utilise iCloud to store saved game data for example. Right now Google Drive is my choice of cloud storage, and with good reason. It has simple desktop integration, converts scanned documents into text, and is even available on iOS. In my opinion there are no obvious cons to Google Drive, however some people complain about the odd barrier between Drive and Picasa.
Apple new MacBook Pro with retina display has taken the laptop market by storm with its unrivalled retina display, excellent performance and ultra thin design. But all this comes with an eye watering price of £1800 for the cheapest model and only has a small SSD storage. The Chrome box is Google’s closest go at the computing hardware market, being quite small and wel designed, with cheap running costs and buying price it rivals more the Mac Mini than the new MacBook Pro. However, it is not much use without web access and has no local storage.
Although Apple’s new introduction of the latest big cat, Mountain Lion has been hugely successful it is not a huge upgrade from Lion. It does have some nifty features like iMessage, game centre and most notably notification centre. It’s simple, powerful and affordable with a price of only £14. Power nap is one of the special features with allow your mac to fetch mail and other data while it’s asleep. Google Chrome OS is speedy and features a decent suite of apps but is limited to web apps. For professionals who use computers for high powered tasks, Chrome OS isn’t the way to go, but for the average customer who checks their mail and surfs the Internet, it does just fine.
For the past year or so there has been this ongoing war between Chrome users and Safari users. Safari is my personal choice of browsing due to its syncing across devices. Muti touch gesture capabilities on macs. However, the mobile version is only on iOS. Google Chrome can also supine across devices, has a minimalist design and is multi platform. The iOS version is disappointingly not as fast as Safari.
When it comes to entertainment hardware neither Apple or Google have really thrown everything at it. The Apple TV is easy to use and has a huge catalogue of HD films to rent and buy. However, renting films from apple is not very cheap at all. It also has support for iCloud with photo stream also integrated into the Apple TV. The Nexus Q has a futuristic design, features HD streaming and collaborative playlists. Unfortunately, it I quite expensive, US only and doesn’t even stream home media.
Both companies have big plans for the near and distant future. Apple are planning to release their new iPhone 5 sometime in September probably along with their new iOS 6 system. An iPad Mini is also rumoured to be hitting their stores sometime later this year. Then there’s the iPanel which people expect sometime next year will be Apple go at entering the TV market. Google have some really interesting projects such as Project Glass and Google Fiber. Glass is expected by 2014 and Google themselves have held a keynote on the matter. Google Fiber is hitting Kansas city later this year, and yes only Kansas City. Both of these projects are extremely exciting.
So you can now see that both companies have their own advantages over the other in different categories. But right now I think Apple have the edge over Google, and are the most powerful tech company in the world right now. However, with the rate at which Google is evolving and advancing they appear to be the most exciting company right now with projects like Glass and Fiber and even rumoured Google driverless car.