Deciding between iOS 6 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

The latest operating systems offered by Apple and Google – the iOS6 and Jelly Bean respectively – are both mightily impressive bits of software. The most recent Apple iPhones and iPads already have iOS6, and the majority of the current generation of Android phones and Android tablets are still operating on the (still impressive) Jelly Bean predecessor, Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean is set to be rolled out throughout the Android world, albeit at a slower or faster rate depending on different manufacturers.

So, looking towards your next mobile or tablet purchase, it’s worth being as clued up as possible about what you’d be getting from each. However, the two are so advanced that the idea that one or the other may be definitively ‘better’ is simply not a viable one: a different OS will probably suit different people. So, we’ve chosen four of the features that most people look for, so you can see what each OS offers and thus figure out which one better suits your own needs.

Social Networking

As you’d expect, the actual apps for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites are pretty similar on the two operating systems. The difference comes in how the device integrates social networking throughout its user experience.

Jelly Bean lets you instantly share any image in your gallery on various social networking sites without the use of a third party app – indeed, Google allow developers to build sharing features into their apps, so whatever app you’re using, sharing is always easy.

While it lacks these features, iOS6 does have notifications immediately present on your lock screen whenever they arrive, where Jelly Bean requires dragging the notification bar down to see these updates.


There is a larger and better set of games available for Apple products, and this is likely to continue; where there is a variety of different pieces of hardware on which Jelly Bean will run, Apple provide only one kind of hardware on which any game need operate, making the task of developers much easier for their products than it is for developing an Android game.

This hardware fragmentation in the Android world does have its own advantages though, providing much more choice to the consumer.


Google Maps for Jelly Bean seems to be the preferable option here. For one, its turn-by-turn navigation is simply better. For another, it offers more features: street view, walking directions, public transport options, setting routes without toll roads, viewing maps offline, and many more.

Apple Maps on iOS6 does provide a cool satellite 3D view, though.

Internet Browsers

Jelly Bean’s Chrome and iOS6’s Safari each have their own advantages here. Chrome allows for an unlimited number of tabs and has a combined search and URL bar. Safari lets you post photos from the browser and instantly add things to a ‘read it later’ list. It depends what you need from the browser as to which you will prefer.

3 thoughts on “Deciding between iOS 6 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean”

  1. Love your measured neutrality, and agree that neither system is “better” but merely better suited for a given individuals personality.

    Being naturally snarky however, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from adding; “Apple maps is nice, as long as you don’t mind it not taking you EXACTLY where you thought you wanted to get to… no doubt Apple will eventually claim this is a FEATURE designed to get you to meet new people as you have to ask them for directions… or maybe it’s just intended to get you to explore your environment more.”

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