10 Ways to Look at Linux Kernel based OS: Sneak Peek into the Android’s DNA

We are living in the smartphone era where the technology is taking giant strides and not just moving gradually. Every day there is an update making an individual choice of cellular devices all the more difficult. However, the cellular companies along with marketing of their product are not doing enough to educate the masses with respect to the embedded software.  The post is not written with an intention of defending one OS over the other however, it is aimed for sharing some information, which I gained through my experience with cellular phones. I’d be happy if anybody rebuts my points by shedding more views, making the knowledge all the more enriching, so here we go,

1) Vulnerabilities

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An insecure ClientLogin protocol makes Android the most vulnerable OS and the problem escalates further especially when it also happens to be one of the most popular mobile platforms. The authentication token employed by the ClientLogin is sent to Google services for the access of the account(s). However, this authToken is not converted into a code, which therefore does not avert the unauthorized access.

2) Infected Apps

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Tremendous spike has been seen in infected apps. Google store accounted for more than 40k malware contaminated app by 2013. Apps specifically designed for customizing cellular experience and gaming were the most prone in carrying the information-stealing Trojan programs. For instance, Subway Surfers based on the version of Temple Run, an app that gives an experience of an endless running, accompanied Air Push named Trojan that bypassed the device’s security settings and subscribe infected phones to premium services.

3) Updates

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Unlike iOS updates, Android’s updates are not pushed to all the devices instantaneously since it does not have a direct control over the firmware running on all its devices, which of course is not the case with iOS. Users have to deal with delays that can extend up to 18 months.

4) (Play) Services

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Just like Chrome browser gets updated on Win or Mac, the Play Services by Google gets updated at the background without the knowledge of the user and without the OS update of course. This seems to make the update of operating system less important and at the same time, it tries to inculcate latest features to its users within short span of time. Thus, motivating hardware manufacturers in gaining more pie by selling and attracting users by taking the benefit of Google Play-certified devices.

5) Fragmentation

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The open nature of android has allowed for innovation from various sources. App developers face compatibility issues, since the OS is available across devices. In order to stay ahead of competition, modification is done to the OS as per the requirement of manufactures. Unique features are ingrained by slight tweaks here and there consequent upon which, various devices have rolled out customized versions of Android. For example, HTC has its own sense user interface while Samsung has inserted its TouchWiz user interface.

6) Flavors

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Version of device’s operating system is under the control of manufacturers. And this makes a huge difference in terms of hardware that runs on them. For instance, some Android phones have huge screen, fast CPUs and other eye catching system features while there are others that have small displays with slow processors with less or no eye candy features. There are still other devices that fall between the two mentioned here. So unlike iOS users, Android users will define different level of experience with respect to their cellular device by becoming bait of handset makers who leave no stone unturned in developing their own flavors of Android to make their phone superior over the others.

 7) Apps Availability

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Unlike iPad where apps are specifically designed, apps for Android tablet are not rather the device has to deal with the scaled up version of Android smartphone apps. Developers do not want to waste their time and energy in focusing on multiple platforms, so when developing any app, they choose working on one and their preference happens to be iOS first. Instagram was initially started on iOS and later they came up with its Android version.

8) OS Stability

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Android’s KitKat is more stable than iOS 7.1. The same report suggests that Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) has the highest total crash rate of 1.7% while iOS 7.1 accounts for 1.6%. Tablet versions of both the OS are unstable with respect to their phone versions.

Crash rate has also been reported category wise, for instance, crash rate of games category is around 4.4% being the highest while e-commerce apps have the lowest crash rate of 0.4%.

9) Call Options

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When not attending a call, Android allows its user to send one of a number of self-composed text whereas, iOS phone app has many options. For instance, it can revert the call by sending a canned text message, secondly, it can set a reminder to call back later and thirdly, it can also set a DND mode.

Android allows users for Hangouts for instant messages and video chats across any (Android) devices but iOS restricts chat to non-Apple users. iMessage can only connect with the same product unlike Android and Facetime is used for placing video calls, an exclusivity given to only Apple products.

10) User Interface

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Android’s keypad can be replaced with third party alternatives, which however is not the case with iOS7.

Accessing files is easier with Android especially when the device is connected with laptop/computer. Currently, Apple is far from such option. Android tablet allows for setting in multiple user account on single device again not possible with iPad. iTunes is the only option for loading iPhone with music but Android is not bothered about the source.

The glance ability of alerts in iOS grabs attention but it breaks down during surge of multiple alerts, which however is not the case with Android. Its default configuration at the notification center is more convenient, quickly tossing away with a swipe, which is not the case with iOS.

Products from both, Android as well as iOS have a loyal customer base who are paying for the devices and of course the software, which is making the ecosystem floating against each other and that is the best part of this technology. Although they are competing with each other but this competition is also helping in mutual survival.

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About Pooja Kashyap

A CPD certified Fitness Trainer, Pooja also likes to spend time reading and blogging the latest research and discoveries in science and how technology is shaping the world. Besides writing, she enjoys reviewing books and taking interviews of creative/innovative people. Currently, she is located in Noida, India, where she actively participates in marathons as well. She is also on Quora l Twitter and LinkedIn.