It’s been a very quiet time here at Tech Soup; too quiet, in fact. Tech Soup was always a popular spot here on Castanet, and one that brought about many heated arguments – especially those of the iPhone vs. Android variety.
So far be it from me to douse the flame from that heated argument, even if I know that it is sure to bring about more hate email.
Although we’re only a few weeks into summer (yeah, I wouldn’t call it that either, but the forecast is looking sweet), the mobile tech world has their eyes collectively fixed on the fall, when we’ll see a LOT of new smartphone goodness.
The three big things to look out for are the inevitable release of the iPhone 5, Apple’s new iOS 6 mobile operating system, and Google’s latest version of Android – version 4.1 called Jellybean. The big question facing consumers as summer continues will surely be: Should I wait for the iPhone 5 or go Android?
How I wish the answer to that question was simple and less complicated. Once again it boils down to whether you’re tied to the Apple platform because of iTunes, iCloud, or any other type of ‘i’. Apple fanatics will rarely if ever leave Apple, and as cool as Android 4.0 and 4.1 are, it’s not enough to make them go to the dark side. But this piece isn’t for them, it’s for those of you who don’t care either way – you just want the best platform for you.
iOS 6 is yet another big step forward for the Apple mobile platform, with a wide variety of new features to both wow and amaze. The one feature that landed with the biggest boom for me was the enhanced functionality of Siri, which includes (finally) a turn-by-turn spoken navigation system. It’s likely iOS 6 will be released to coincide with the new iPhone 5, but since nobody knows what kind of hardware the new iPhone will have it’s hard to gauge the cool factor.
On the other side of the coin, we already have a good idea of what Google is up to both hardware and software wise. The two hot Android phones right now are the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Nexus, both from Samsung. Both come with version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is slick and fast.
When Apple comes out with the iPhone 5, will it be able to compete with these Android phones and their hardware? I doubt it. If you’re looking for impressive tech specs, there’s no need to wait for Apple. However, if you always want the latest software on your phone, Apple is the way to go. Samsung (and other manufacturers with phones on the Android platform) doesn’t rush to push the latest software to smartphone owners. Look through a current Future Shop or Best Buy flyer and you’ll notice that the majority of Android phones, purchased NOW, are still on Android version 2.3.
Unless and until it gets rectified, this I-can’t-get-the-latest-software-on-my-phone issue will always be Android’s Achilles’ heel. In order to get the latest software, you almost have to go out and buy a new phone. It’s ridiculous, and one of the main reasons I choose Apple.
That being said, the Galaxy S III is an awesome phone, and if you’re not tied to Apple, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t keep you very happy. At least for a while.
Here’s a video of CNET’s take on the Galaxy S III.