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iOS 11 vs. Android O: Is the Race Over Yet?

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ios vs android

Ever since the inception of Android, it has been locked in a mortal battle with iOS, with Apple founder Steve Jobs publicity stating that he was willing to go thermonuclear and spend his dying breath to destroy Android. Well the news is, he is long dead but the war continues. With both of these platforms combinedly running almost every smartphone in the world and backed by two of the most largest corporations on earth, this race isn’t just an affair between two mobile platforms but in a sense has fueled the entire tech industry for years and been a primary motivation for rapid and cutting-edge technological innovations.

And with the latest preview of iOS11 that flaunted many new features and improvements, this race can only be expected to intensify in coming days. That is why it is essential to take a comparative look at both of these platforms because along with affecting almost every smartphone user, it will give both the Android and iOS app developers a deeper insight, using which they can effectively layout their future development plans.

Now, since a complete analysis of all the features of both the platforms is simply not in the scope of one article, we have here curated most relevant features that each platform has incorporated in their latest iteration:

Android O

  • Battery life improvements

Android traditionally puts no limit to the number of apps and tasks they perform in the background, which is known to drain the battery considerably. While it put the number of apps to a limit since Android Nougat, the latest O version brings with it more restrictions on the background tasks that will definitely give a major boost to the battery life.

Where does iOS stand– Apple has traditionally been very strict with what apps can and can’t do in background and that is the reason, it is known for its much superior battery life and is years ahead in what Android is trying to achieve.

  • Picture-In-Picture (PIP)

More appropriately, this feature should be called application-in-application, which allows users to simultaneously operate two applications at once. The users have the option to minimize one application to a tiny window which floats over any other application they launch. Be it playing YouTube videos while scheduling calendar or browsing net while reading an eBook, this feature is the new frontier of multitasking and will give a major boost to overall productivity.

Where does iOS stand– while this feature is available for iPad, there is no news of it coming on iPhones anytime soon.

  • Custom icons

No matter how many applications you have in your phone, the shape of every icon is identical and it isn’t for the lack of creativity on designers’ part but because of the restrictions these platforms put on developers. But with Android O, Google is allowing Android developers to create and deploy custom icons in any shape they see fit.

Where does iOS stand– iOS developers still do not have such liberty and given the Apple’s stance on simplicity, don’t expect it either.

  • Notifications

This is another area which Google has been consistently improving over the past few updates and Android O takes it to a whole new level. Offering users with broadest possible range of customization options, those irritating moments from irrelevant notifications may finally come to an end.

Where does iOS stand– Ask any tech expert and they will tell you that customization and iOS don’t really go hand-in-hand and it would be foolish to even think that Apple will allow such large-scale customization options in the near future.

  • Auto fill

For all those users frustrated with filling the same forms over and over and scrambling with multiple usernames and passwords for different services, Android O comes with a big relief. The new Autofill API will manage all such information to take the load off. Yes, there have been such services offered by third-party apps for years, now that it is a native feature, the process becomes much smoother and secure.

Where does iOS stand– Though developers and users have been asking for a similar feature for quite some time, Apple has sidelined them on security concerns and seems there is little chance that it will change its mind.


  • Drag & drop

This new feature in iOS enables the users to simply drag and drop texts and images from one application to another without actually copying. All they need to do now is select any text in browser or image in gallery and drop it to another note-taking app or email to send as attachment.

Where does Android stand– Google introduced a similar feature in its last Nougat update and as it seems Apple has just dragged and dropped the feature from there.

  • File managing app

Finally, all the requests and prayers of users have been answered by Apple, which until now didn’t offer a file manager. The new app will include platforms like iCloud, Dropbox, One Drive, Google Drive, and of course local files.

Where does Android stand– Though Android too doesn’t have a native file manager, most of the vendors include one on their phone. Additionally, the PlayStore too is flooded by such third-party apps but by incorporating it as a native feature, Apple seems to have gained an upper hand.

  • Improved Siri

The well-renowned AI assistant Siri too is getting a makeover with iOS11, enabling it to do additional tasks like translation between two languages, plus the option to choose male voice may also be a welcome change.

Where does Android stand– Though the whole domain of digital assistant was practically created by Apple when it first launched Siri, Android has since then taken major leaps and Google assistant coupled with Google Translate has proved to be a much powerful tool for all practical purposes.

  • AR support

More than any other feature, the release of ARKit has been the most exciting aspect of iOS11, specifically for iOS app developers. The new framework enables them to create all sorts AR enabled apps that can be readily deployed to the millions of devices.

Where does Android stand– This again is an aspect where Apple seems to fall behind as the Google’s Tango is believed to be leaps ahead in AR technology from any other industry player.

  • The best for last?

There is a popular perception in industry that with iOS11 preview, Apple hasn’t disclosed all its cards and with its 10th anniversary coming up, it is more plausible that it will disclose the most killer features at the launch of new iPhone. So, the most we can do at this moment is to keep our fingers crossed.

  • The verdict

If you take a casual look at the new features from both Android and iOS, it becomes evident that the Android at the moment is racing ahead with iOS closely behind. But that by no means can be considered as the final verdict because as mentioned, Apple still has a chance to leap ahead with its new release and if it does, it will be Google’s turn to play catch-on.

So, as you can notice, the battle between these platforms with virtually limitless resources is getting fiercer with every passing day and while the domain keeps shifting from phones to apps to cloud and now AR/VR, each score their own share of victories and setbacks only to take the fight to the next level.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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