Tech Advisor - - FEATURE -

With new ver­sions of iOS and An­droid due this au­tumn, we’ve de­cided to com­pare the two.

In June, Ap­ple an­nounced iOS 9, the next-gen­er­a­tion of its iPhone and iPad op­er­at­ing sys­tem. It will go head-to-head with Google’s An­droid M at the top of the An­droid phones and tablets mar­ket, so we de­cided to com­pare and con­trast the two lead­ing mo­bile plat­forms.

Re­lease date

We now know defini­tively that both iOS 9 and An­droid M are in the works. What we don’t know is when ex­actly they will launch. But we can make some good guesses: iOS 9 will launch in ‘Fall 2015’, ac­cord­ing to Ap­ple. It wasn’t spe­cific be­cause it doesn’t want to give away the date of the next iPhone and iPad launches, which will likely be the same day. But ex­pect a new OS in Septem­ber 2015.

Mean­while, at I/O 2015 Google un­veiled an An­droid M Devel­oper Preview, con­firm­ing the ex­is­tence of the next flag­ship An­droid OS. The fi­nal ver­sion of An­droid M will launch with a new Nexus phone in Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber this year. But un­like iOS, we won’t then see a rapid roll out to all com­pat­i­ble de­vices: An­droid M will ap­pear first on other Nexus de­vices, and within a few months make the move to flag­ship phones and tablets made by third-party OEMs such as Sam­sung, LG and Sony. Un­less you are a Nexus guy, don’t ex­pect to get An­droid M on your de­vice un­til late 2015 or even early 2016.


For the first time I can re­mem­ber, Ap­ple is run­ning a public beta of its iOS up­date. You can try out the iOS 9 beta in a few months, but you can sign up now by sign­ing up at beta.ap­ple.com. De­vel­op­ers can down­load the first beta of iOS 9 im­me­di­ately, though.

Sim­i­larly, if you want to get your hands on An­droid M now, you can down­load the An­droid M Devel­oper Preview, but only if you have a Nexus 5, 6, 9 or Player. As with the iPhone equiv­a­lent, it should be said that devel­oper preview soft­ware is re­ally only for, er, de­vel­op­ers. Ex­pect bugs and fre­quent up­dates, as well as miss­ing fea­tures.


This is one of the fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences be­tween iOS and An­droid. Be­cause Ap­ple makes both soft­ware and hard­ware, it rolls out its new soft­ware in a quick and ef­fi­cient man­ner. Thus ev­ery iPhone and iPad that now runs iOS 8 will be able to up­grade to iOS 9, the day it comes out. And un­like pre­vi­ous iOS up­dates, Ap­ple prom­ises that this time around, the up­date file won’t be as big as your iPhone’s avail­able stor­age. Older iPhones won’t all get some fea­tures, though. (If your phone doesn’t have an NFC chip, you won’t be able to use Ap­ple Pay, for in­stance.)

An­droid M’s com­pat­i­bil­ity will be more scat­tered. Be­cause Google can make the soft­ware avail­able to its OEM part­ners, but they are not forced to push the up­grade out to end users. So while Nexus de­vices are pretty much guar­an­teed an over the air (OTA) up­grade to An­droid M, those with phones made by other peo­ple have no guar­an­tee. How­ever, if you have a flag­ship phone from 2014 or 2015, it is most un­likely you won’t get the up­grade at some point.

Ap­ple Pay vs An­droid Pay

Both iOS 9 and An­droid M share one ma­jor new fea­ture: NFC-en­abled con­tact­less pay­ments. With Ap­ple Pay and An­droid Pay, you will be able to use your phone like a


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