Android to iOS 6 : “Been there, done that”

Whether you are an Apple fan or not, you probably heard about Apple’s iOS 6 announcement yesterday and how it is once again revolutionizing the mobile industry. Interestingly enough, though, nearly all of the features presented are already active on the Android OS.

Mr. Tim cook and company have bragged about 200 new features that iOS 6 will be bringing to iPhone users in various stages through the Fall. What Apple forgot to mention is that nearly all of those features already exist in Google’s Android 4.0 which was released last year.

Apple has always had a map function, and previously worked through Google Maps, but this year they are introduding their own version of Maps, with the help of OpenStreetMap and TomTom, packed with turn-by-turn navigation-It will only be compatible with the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and newer devices.

You could get turn-by-turn navigation on Android devices that are two years old. Android users have been enjoying transit, pedestrian information via Google Maps and will soon experience offline navigation support which will probably take Apple some time to implement.

The Priority inbox feature that is present in Gmail has been re-introduced by Apple under the name of “VIP mailbox“- you can now prioritize some emails over others. iOS 6 users can now attach files directly from their email client but there are serious restrictions like the ability to upload only one file at a time, and support for a minimal number of file types like pictures. The Gmail app, in comparison, allows for multiple files to be attached at once and supports nearly all file types.

Let’s not forget about FaceTime folks; Apple says that folks with devices running iOS 6 can “facetime” over 3G network while it previously only worked when connected to a Wi-Fi network. If you have had an Android phone that is at least a year old, you probably know that you can video-chat via Google Talk or through third party apps like Skype and Tango using your carrier’s network.

Siri is probably one of Apple’s most talked about features. It lets you interact with the iPhone by using your voice. Tim Cook demonstrated its capabilities during the keynote showing that not only it can tell you about the weather but also inform you about your favorite team’s score and stats. While this is a distinguishing feature for Apple, most users consider it a “novelty” function. Google has yet to come up with an answer to Siri but we suspect that we’ll hear something (Majel) later on this month at Google I/O. Samsung has even made an attempt by launching S-Voice but it still not up to par with Siri “YET.”

Although there aren’t many devices, 7% to be exact, out there running Ice Cream Sandwich, a side by side comparison of the Galaxy Nexus and the iPhone 4S both running ICS and iOS 6 respectively would highly favor the Android OS. While this Apple announcement is interesting and attempts to catch up to the current Android capabilities which are now nearing a year old, we cannot forget that we are on the verge of learning about Android’s newest operating system, Jelly Bean, which will undoubtedly set the bar even higher in terms of functionality, customization and overall innovation.