We've seen what a strong developer following has done for both Apple iOS and Google Android; it both promotes/protects the future of its existence and it makes the operating systems resilient to our fast paced technological society. Most importantly, it helps us realize that one company does not make a product great - and that it's only as great as the innovative pioneers that join their bandwagon. Though iOS 5 incorporates a wide variety of features, can we really consider them all new?
The one feature in iOS 5 I've found most amazing thus far has been Siri Voice Integration. And frankly at this point in time, any other voice interpretation service is left in the dust. With Siri, there is no "pre-defined" way of requesting a task, it simply understands. Pre-iOS 5, Android dominated iOS in voice commands from the very intuitive Vlingo application to the pre-installed Voice Search and Google Car Home applications. Apple's innovation through Siri's "fuzzy logic" will make Android stronger - and soon I'm sure.
Unfortunately, this appears to be the only new material that iOS 5 has really brought to the table. iMessage allows iOS 5 users to message one another over their carriers network or WiFi, a feature Google Talk has had since its first debut on the T-Mobile G1 - the first Android device. Yes, its great to include an application such as iMessage, but I can't see it fairing well against modern SMS texting, Facebook Messenger, or even Google Voice for iOS.
Newsstand is a new application in iOS that collects one's magazine subscriptions from the App Store. Is this really a new feature? If I buy a subscription from Nook for Android isn't it doing essentially the same thing? Advertising relatively old functionality in technology as brand new seems silly to me. Along the same lines, "Reminders" was also introduced; a helpful tool that can be compared to Android's Google Calendar and Jorte. Both released well before even the iPhone 4.
Yes, iOS 5 integrates Twitter right into the OS. This is a great feature, but can also be accomplished through a simple download of the official Twitter app or TweetCaster in the Android Market. When Apple introduced the App Store, they knew relying on developers to produce amazing programs would be a great success. In iOS 5 it seems they are trying to rely less on these third-party applications and tie their functionality straight into their own pre-installed software. What happens when a crafty developer pushes an amazing app to the App Store that tops Apple's standards? In the end, users will always choose what works best. This is the ideology that the Android OS has built its empire upon.
And don't forget, we will be live in Hong Kong, China for the Google/Samsung unveiling of the newest device to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Stay tuned-in 10PM EST on October 19th!