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Clash of the titans: iOS 7 vs Android 4.3 comparison

Dialer and Contacts

Yup, people still use their phones to talk to people. On iOS 7, the Phone app is pretty much all you need to call someone as it lists your contacts, your recent calls, and your favorites. Of course, a keypad is available as well for manual phone number input. What's great about iOS 7 is that it lets the one block certain contacts, thus preventing them from calling, texting, or even initiating a FaceTime conversation with the user.

Android's Phone app is very similar, but it has one notable advantage over its iOS counterpart, namely that it displays a photo of each contact as you scroll down the list, while the iPhone's contacts app shows a contact's image only if you tap on them to view detailed information, or if that particular contact is in your favorites.

On-screen keyboard and messaging

Typing on a mobile device quickly and efficiently is often a matter of getting used to its on-screen keyboard's size and layout. With iOS 7 and the iPhone, in particular, we can easily type texts using a single thumb because the phone's width is optimal for the purpose. The Google Nexus 4, running Android 4.3, is wider and is therefore more comfortable to use with two thumbs rather than one, and that is usually valid for any Android device with a screen of 4.5-inches and above. Overall, both virtual keyboards are pretty nice. International users can rest assured that both support a wide variety of input languages. Yet perhaps Android has a slight advantage in this category with its dedicated smiley key and the option to enter text using the swiping method.

But when it comes to messaging, iOS has the upper hand over Android with its iMessage system, which automatically routes texts over the web instead of eating up the user's monthly SMS allowance. The feature works as long as the recipient is also using an iPhone or another compatible Apple device. Moreover, iMessage is usually faster than sending regular texts, shows you when the other person is typing their response, and syncs your conversations across Apple devices. It would be nice if one day Android integrates Hangouts with the messaging app, thus replicating to some extent the functionality of Apple's iMessage service. 


Whether you're using iOS 7 or Android 4.3, setting up your email account is a straight-forward process, requiring you to input nothing but your address, password, and perhaps your real name. Settings can be adjusted manually, if needed. Both platforms offer tools allowing one to sort their inbox in a manner they prefer. on Android 4.3, there's the primary inbox for Gmail users, listing all important email. Social networking updates and shopping promos get automatically filtered and are listed in their separate folders, which is neat. There's also the Priority inbox, which highlights only emails from people you communicate with the most. Apple, on the other hand, has the VIP inbox feature, collecting emails from people you mark as very important. The marking, process, however, has to be done manually.

Productivity tools

The calendar applications in iOS 7 and Android 4.3 are very similar in terms of appearance and functionality. Therefore, we can't say which one is better as they both get their job done pretty well. New events can be added in just a few steps, and a reminder will alert you prior to that event's beginning. Calendars can be synchronized with the cloud, which makes them accessible from other devices as well.

At a glance, the calculators on both platforms look pretty similar, but those who need to access advanced functions often will appreciate iOS 7's solution a lot more. The advanced panel is accessible as soon as the phone is flipped in landscape mode, while stock Android 4.3 requires the user to bring forth the advanced panel manually. 

Also, we find the clock on iOS 7 better designed than Android's, and that's not only because its home screen icon now displays the actual time. It is more intuitive to use and better-looking, with easy to access additional timekeeping features.

Furthermore, we must mention that iOS 7 has apps for Notes and Reminders out of the box, while on stock Android 4.3, these have to be downloaded separately. On top of that, you get a Compass that has a built-in level as well, and Apple's Passbook app, which keeps track of your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and more. Clearly, iOS 7 is loaded with more goodies out of the box. 

Multitasking and support for multiple users

Well, we have nothing to complain about really when it comes to both platforms' implementation of multitasking. Switching between apps on both iOS 7 and Android 4.3 is pretty straightforward. Apple's mobile OS now provides app preview windows, unlike in previous version where the apps were listed only with their icon. Multitasking on Android is also executed well, with recent apps listed vertically along with a screenshot of their last state.

One of Android 4.3's significant advantages over iOS 7 is that it allows multiple user accounts to be set on the same Android tablet. That allows one, for example, to share their Android tablet with friends and family without them having access to other users' personal stuff. 


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