What it is: After Apple revealed face recognition in the latest iPhone, Android is now focusing on offering facial recognition too.
Android originally started as a Blackberry clone since Blackberry was the most popular smartphone at the time. As soon as Apple unveiled the iPhone, Google quickly modified Android to become an iPhone clone.
What Google didn’t realize was that Apple had originally designed iOS for tablets, so it was easy to get iOS to run on a tablet since that’s what it had been designed to do from the start. Yet when the iPad became a hit, Google had to rework Android to run on tablets and it didn’t do a very good job at that. Now that Android runs decently on tablets, it’s mostly captured the low-end market with razor thin profit margins.
The big problem with Android is that it largely has no direction without Apple. Android offers incremental improvements that often appear first on Android and then later get copied by Apple for iOS, but most of the major features come to iOS first and then copied to Android later.
iOS had Siri first, then Android added their own natural language voice assistant. iOS got Apple Pay so Android had to rework Google Wallet and turn it into Android Pay. iOS has augmented reality so Google now has to rework Project Tango to give Android augmented reality. Now iOS has facial recognition and Android device makers are scrambling to give Android devices facial recognition.
Until Apple unveiled facial recognition, everyone thought fingerprint recognition was the future. That’s why Android device makers kept experimenting with a way to detect fingerprints through the screen without a dedicated fingerprint recognition area. Android device makers did this because they thought Apple was going to offer an incremental improvement to their TouchID fingerprint scanner and allow fingerprint recognition through the screen.
What Apple did instead was dump fingerprint recognition altogether for the latest iPhone and switch to facial recognition. So now Android device makers want to dump fingerprint recognition and switch to facial recognition.
Comparing Android to iOS means smartphones and tablets largely work in similar ways. The huge difference is starting to reveal itself with greater security in iOS, practical augmented reality in iOS, and now facial recognition as a security feature in iOS. As Apple improves their processor speeds where Android device makers can’t keep up, then as Apple improves additional features like augmented reality and facial recognition that will force Android device makers to keep up, expect the gap between iOS and Android to continue to widen.
Apple has the money to keep advancing technology. Android device makers earn such low profits on their devices that except for Samsung, none can afford to spend much on research and development. That means Android devices are forever behind Apple’s iPhone in major features and this will never change where the difference will become more apparent with each succeeding generation.
There’s nothing wrong with Android from a users perspective. It’s just that if you want the latest, most secure, most advanced mobile device available, you’ll want an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad. Android is a low-cost alternative but even then it’s not close in feature parity.
Get an Android smartphone if an iPhone doesn’t meet your needs for whatever reason. Get an Android tablet if you just want something inexpensive. Otherwise if you want the leading product, get an iPhone or an iPad. The leaders is clear and for now, it’s still Apple.