Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, wants Apple and Google to become partners. “Apple must join the Android system” is the last statement of one of the most noted voices in the computing world. Is that really a necessary step for the Cupertino company? Wozniak, who is known as "the brains behind the silicon", made this statement after attending to the IV Congreso de Mentes Brillantes, organized by El Ser Creativo in Madrid (Spain). At PHPNuke we discuss Wozniak’s offer by analyzing how one of the most popular smartphones of our age, iPhone, would be without one of its flagship, the iOS system.
Apple’s way of understanding technology
First of all, we have to analyze Apple’s policy towards their devices. Not so long ago, Apple’s computers were based on their own hardware elements, something that made them incompatible with Windows applications due to the difference between their chip architectures. This changed once Apple started to produce their iMacs and iBook laptops with Intel’s technology back in 2006. This opened a new way for their Operating System, making it compatible with more applications than before, but losing part of the great processor performance it had.
However, despite Apple has opened their system a little bit, one of its negative points is that it is too restrictive compared to other Open Source projects. This is something that some consumers claims against iPad and iPhones, despite iOS7 is more customizable, the system lacks of a proper file manager for the users for exploring the device by themselves, without the need of being connected to iTunes. In this sense, a new iPhone version with Android would incorporate that possibility and would create a new way for managing their personal files and the hardware, heeding the public that ask for that option.
On the software side, we would find more freedom for developing new apps, thanks to Google Play policy. Since it is opened to everyone, the number of applications for Android has increased sharply these last years, but iOS store has the greatest apps number for premium users, this is paying for the applications. On the other hand, Android’s apps tend to be free with some additional paid elements that are not mandatory. In that aspect, an iPhone with Android would increase the mobile applications market, since it is a popular brand and the sales of their devices are granted to be high. This would get the attention of those main publishers that weren’t working with Android before… in case there are any left.
In the last iPhone 5S 2013 version we can observe how Google has introduced several of its personally created apps in Apple’s device. The integration of applications such as Chrome, Hangouts, Google Maps or the purchased Quickoffice suite are granted for this system, providing an excellent performance and overcoming even some of Apple’s native and exclusive apps. Although exclusivities are one of iOS main characteristics, cross-platform apps are more popular among general public. Services like WhatsApp or Instagram created by third-party developers can be counted as two of the most used applications on smartphones
Low-end mobile or better designed?
Software is one of the most attractive points of Android since the variety of hardware makes it pretty different, offering low-end and high-end devices indistinctly in a way that resembles to computer’s market with Windows OS installed. Likewise, Apple aims to keep their devices simple offering a less numerous smartphone spectrum. This comes for a reason which is that this way the Operating System can be optimized better than in standard devices. This could affect the performance of a supposedly Android based iPhone unless they publish a modified Android system specifically for those devices in order to take full advantage of the hardware.
One of the benefits that a new iPhone based on Android OS would offer is that it would be clearly cheaper with a ported version. Now that Microsoft has a look on low-end devices and it is having a raise in its share, Apple’s target would be to fill that not so appreciated market. In order to fight against that, the new Android Kit-Kat enhances these low-end devices’ performance for not creating a great difference between the large smartphones spectrum. The usual features for connectivity would be incorporated, such as a good Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth and an intuitive interface for nowadays handsets.
Maybe, in order to save costs in the production of these devices, some of iPhone’s features won’t be present, such as Retina Display or some other built-in hardware elements. The visual design could have no changes at all but the materials used may be different and not so attractive, but as any Apple device, it should be elegant and remarkable. The battery could incorporate the design that Android users are used to; instead of the unique and pretty useful lightning cable it could use just a micro USB connection, both for data and for charging the devices battery. These changes may not be so important for general users, but it would mean losing some of the main characteristics that made iPhone devices so unique and exclusive.
The incorporation of Apple in this market can suppose a great competence for other manufacturers such as Samsung, LG or Motorola. Knowing the influence of the Cupertino Company it will be a sales success without much effort in their marketing campaign. Having in mind that if the price is right and the features of the device are similar to other less-known smartphones, Apple can make the next technology hit thanks to its competent OS.