I read an article today in which the author talked about how Android had a feature about it’s smartphones that Apple simply couldn’t compare too. Intrigued, I decided to look a bit further and see what the fuss was about. Naturally, the iPhone doesn’t have every aspect of smartphones nailed down. So when I read that Android does “Alerts” much better than iOS, I had to take a deeper look.
The author, Jason Hiner, was talking about how the alerts system was more convenient and how it was therefore more easily-accessibly to Android users. Specifically, he writes,
“However, the alerts system is the one area where Android is just flat out more useful and more usable than iPhone. If that sounds trivial, it’s not — especially for business professionals and others who do a lot of stuff with their smartphones. Alerts give you timely updates of important information, quickly let you know about things that need your attention, and give you an at-a-glance look at your latest messages from various sources.
Apple made big strides with its alerts system in iOS 5 — taking obvious inspiration from Android — but even the vastly-improved alerts system still didn’t match the power and efficiency of what Android offers. In fact, iOS 5 didn’t match Android 2.3 “Gingerbread,” which still powers the vast majority of Android phones. Meanwhile, Google enhanced the alerts functionality even more in Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” which debuted at the end of 2011.
The biggest advantage that Android alerts have over iOS alerts is immediate glance-ability, and a lot of that has to do with the fundamental design of the platform. That’s why iOS appears unlikely to catch up in this area any time soon.
What I’m really talking about when I say “immediate glance-ability” is that when you turn on the display on your Android phone you see a bunch of little badges in the top left corner of the screen that let you know you’ve got new messages or that a calendar appointment is about to happen or someone is talking about you on social media or there’s a severe weather alert in your area.”
What I like the most about what he says is the fact that Apple is a very seamless, albeit simple interface. It definitely lacks in the customizability category, but that’s intentional, so that users won’t screw things up (smart). I get that, it makes sense. But why the lack of a truly universal alerts system? Granted, Apple has made solid strides with iOS5 to include the red alert bubble over each app, but a solid tell all category is lacking and that may require a complete redesign of it’s iOS interface in order to accommodate such a a change. I highly doubt that’s going to happen any time soon. Apple and Android are always going to go head to head on a lot of features, but alerts is something that Android should be able to claim a crown for, for a while to come.
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What Does Android Do Better Than iOS?