I think it’s obvious that nowadays mobile platforms are growing faster than their desktop analogues. It seems to be quite natural as mobile platforms represent the future of technology. Every year software companies try to surprise users with new improved updates of their operating systems.
Thus, in 2012 Apple presented the 6th update of its mobile platform, Google announced Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and Microsoft responded with Windows Phone 8.
What to expect from the companies in 2013? Will the software race continue?
Android Key Lime Pie – smartphones for everyone
It’s already announced that next Android version will be named as Key Lime Pie. The 5th update is expected to make Android mobile platform to be available for cheaper devices which will put an end to regular mobile phones – a segment where Nokia and Samsung still dominate.
New Key Lime Pie will be a result of the Butter and Roadrunner projects which will result in smooth Android work and lesser battery consumption. At the same time, system requirements for the platform will be lower.
This will make it possible for users of cheap mobile devices to use all platform functions and capabilities regardless of the characteristics of their devices.
Google is not interested in keeping unified interface for Android, as the main purpose of this operating system is to attract as many users in the ecosystem from The Mountain View as possible.
But at the same time, the absence of fragmentation and proper work of third-party applications are important elements that may draw part of the iOS users to Android.
That’s why I think that Key Lime Pie will be a pretty closed operating system as compared to the current versions.
Also, we can hardly expect serious changes in Android interface. Visual language Holo, which was introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich, is reflected in all Google products and will hardly be seriously changed in the upcoming years.
What we can expect from new Android Key Lime Pie?
The first thing we may expect from new Android OS is profile management. Right now you’re supposed to use the OS under your Google account while it’s expected that with the new version you’ll be able to create guest accounts for using a smart phone. Right only BlackBerry can offer such a feature, so it will be a huge plus for Android.
Almost all Android devices has frontal camera for video calls, but at the same time Android doesn’t have a native app for video calls. I think that the advantage of having such an app is obvious so we can hope to see it in a new version.
And there’s a possibility that text messages syncing option will appear which will let users to sync their messages with cloud storages in order not to lost them when changing SIM cards.
iOS 7 – Visual Reform
I think that Apple’s strict secrecy police ceased to exist when Tim Cook became company’s CEO, but still the guys from Cupertino know how to keep secrets.
Nevertheless, we can already be sure in some changes in iOS 7, most of which are dictated by the changes in the company’s governing body. The difference between the versions won’t be fundamental in terms of interaction.
From the functional point of view, I don’t think that there will be significant changes. We have got used to the fact that Apple sticks to a slow and systematic course of innovations, which is clearly reflected in OS X.
Apple will concentrate on the Passbook app which will support connection via NFC. To some degree the company will continue to rely on functional expansion with the help of third party apps by providing good environment for development.
What we can expect from iOS 7?
One of the most regular complaints from Apple users is that it’s impossible to change the default application. The thing is that default apps are very often bot the most convenient to use that’s why users download third-party apps.
But these can’t be used by default. Thus you have to open the app, and only then open a file you need. That’s inconvenient. And from this feature another one goes up.
It’d be great to be able to hide Apple apps you don’t use. That will help to improve the usability of the menu.
There will possibly be a User Interface make-over, Enhancements to Apple maps and Siri, Open Customization to OS
Other possible features may include offline maps, location aware Wi-Fi connection, and other smaller changes.
Windows Phone – the battle for the 3rd place goes on
It’s still unclear whether Microsoft will follow Apple’s way and present new OS versions every year. Some people think that Windows Phone 9 will be presented in the first half of 2013 while others say that it will only be a minor update of WP 8.
Actually, it doesn’t really matter as Microsoft still has to prove that Windows Phone is a full-fledged alternative to iOS and Android. The platform is very closed and at the same time it can’t offer such a variety of applications as iOS do.
I think that next version of Windows Phone will be compatible with desktop version of Windows as much as possible. It will also offer small safety improvements, improved voice control system and tools for developers.
And in order to enlarge the number of users Microsoft will need to increase the number of apps compatible with its mobile platform.
What we can expect from new Windows Phone OS?
First of all, I’d like to say that personally I think that there will be no WP 9 but an update of a current WP 8. It means that we won’t see considerable and important changes, as WP 8 only starts to conquer the mobile OS market.
So the main changes that we may see are the creation of WP version of the most popular apps (such as Instagram, for example), the release of a new Internet Explorer browser, and others.
Let me remind you that beginning with Windows 8, Microsoft tends to release operating systems that are suitable both for mobile devices and desktops, so the new features may include some which are more suitable for desktops rather than for mobiles.
Also, we shouldn’t forget about BlackBerry who has recently presented its own platform BlackBerry 10. But their position is unclear due to the low popularity of the platform and the uncertain position of the company at the market.
Mobile Platforms are taking on Computer OS at a rapid pace and the competition for best Mobile Platforms is still on.
Eugene Rudenko is a copywriter for IT company. Intellectsoft is a world-known Windows Phone app development company and is a preferred Apple (UK) supplier.