Android 7 Nougat vs. iOS 10: How 2 Mobile OSes Stack Up

Android 7 Nougat vs. iOS 10: How 2 Mobile OSes Stack Up
Apple Makes Big Changes to Messages
Nougat Includes Productivity Enhancements
Apple Welcomes Third-Party Developers to Siri
Google Bolsters Support for Virtual Reality
Apple Music Finally Gets a Makeover
Both Operating Systems Deliver Enhanced Notifications
Nougat Saves Battery Life and Data
Security Improvements Are Everywhere
Apple Pay Gets an Important Upgrade
Understanding Availability for Both Operating Systems
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Android 7 Nougat vs. iOS 10: How 2 Mobile OSes Stack Up

Unless you're a die-hard Apple or Android fan, choosing the right mobile OS for your needs can be confusing. Here are some of the features that set each apart.

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Apple Makes Big Changes to Messages

Apple focused much of development efforts for the Messages app on iOS 10. The company's upcoming OS will support the ability for users to digitally "write" messages, as well as place stickers all over the text to add extra details or special emphasis. Perhaps most importantly, Messages now supports rich links, so users can preview content before clicking through a link.

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Nougat Includes Productivity Enhancements

Google has paid considerable attention to improving user productivity. Nougat comes with a multi-window view that lets users run two apps side by side for faster information access or to work on two documents at the same time. A double-tap on the device also gives users the option to switch between apps quickly. With Nougat, users can do more in the same space.

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Apple Welcomes Third-Party Developers to Siri

One of the big things third-party developers have been seeking over the years is access to Apple's virtual personal assistant Siri, and they get it in iOS 10. Third-party developers can use Siri to enhance their apps and allow users to call on the assistant to perform dictation, access to-do lists and do other tasks.

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Google Bolsters Support for Virtual Reality

Google made an early step into virtual reality with Cardboard, but now it's redoubling its efforts in Nougat. The OS comes with a Virtual Reality mode that, when paired with phones that work with its VR platform, Daydream, will allow users to fully experience 3D worlds. Many of Google's apps, including YouTube, will support Virtual Reality mode. Third-party apps such as Hulu will also support the mode.

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Apple Music Finally Gets a Makeover

Apple Music has been available only for about a year, but it's been criticized by many users who say it's too difficult to use. Apple plans to address that in iOS 10 with an overhauled Apple Music design that makes it easier to find and deliver the music and other media that users want. Apple Music is critical to the success of Apple's online services, and this time around, it's trying to get the app's design right.

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Both Operating Systems Deliver Enhanced Notifications

Both Android and iOS are offering enhanced notification support. On the Nougat side, users now can respond directly to a notification without opening the app it came from. Nougat also includes a "Bundled Notifications" feature so users can see all of their recent notifications in a single spot. Apple, meanwhile, has added support for rich notifications, so users can view photos and videos or even respond to a message right in the notification instead of opening an app. A raise-to-wake feature shows users notifications as soon as they pick up their iPhones, rather than their having to first push their Home buttons.

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Nougat Saves Battery Life and Data

There are two "save" features in Android's Nougat. The first is a battery-saving feature called Doze that puts the smartphone in low-power mode when the battery is running low. To help users save on data, Nougat has a Data Saver feature that won't allow apps to run in the background when the smartphone is connected to a cellular network.

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Security Improvements Are Everywhere

Security improvements can be found across both iOS 10 and Nougat. Although Apple hasn't talked much about iOS 10's security features, its public betas suggest that the company has made several behind-the-scenes bug updates that address some software vulnerabilities security firms have discovered over the years. Nougat has made similar under-the-hood repairs, but also has added a Direct Boot feature that ensures apps are secure before the user inputs a password.

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Apple Pay Gets an Important Upgrade

Apple Pay is also being upgraded with the release of iOS 10. The service, which allows users to make mobile payments by placing their fingers over the Touch ID button, now lets them make payments over the internet through Safari. Online retailers will need to support Apple Pay for the feature to work, of course, but it's a nice addition.

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Understanding Availability for Both Operating Systems

Nougat likely will become available for many devices in the coming year. However, as of this writing, it's only available as a free, over-the-air upgrade to Nexus devices and the Google Pixel C. Samsung has announced it will upgrade its latest devices, including the Galaxy Note7, to Nougat when it's ready. Apple's iOS 10 will launch this fall as another free, over-the-air upgrade. The OS will work on the iPhone 5 and up, Apple's iPad Mini 2 and up, iPad Airs and the fourth-generation iPad, as well as both iPad Pro models.

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