iOS 6, Windows 8, Android Jellybean, Blackberry 10 – there are some big happenings on the near(ish) horizon for all the major operating systems in the US. With so many overhauls, big changes and new features gearing up to hit the market it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your next cell phone.
To help you keep all the new announcements straight PCWorld has pitched each update against each other. Here are some highlights from each new version:
- An Apple-owned mapping utility that will include built-in turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, real-time traffic information, photo-realistic 3D flyovers of major urban areas worldwide and vector graphics
- Baked-in Facebook integration, allowing you to share status updates, photos and Web pages from almost anywhere on the phone
- A new feature called Passbook that collects your movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and airline and train boarding passes into one spot
- Off-line reading through Safari’s Reading List
- Easier online photo sharing through photo stream
- Easier methods to attach photos and videos to e-mail
- An improved start screen with resizable and full-screen live tiles
- Internet Explorer 10 will be coming to the platform including features such as an anti-phishing filter and improved HTML 5 support
- An improved camera app with a panoramic mode, self-timer, and Smart Group Shot that takes a burst of photos and automatically creates the best composite image possible out of the different shots
- Nokia mapping technology including features such as turn-by-turn navigation, public transportation schedules, and support for offline maps
- The new Windows Phone 8 Wallet Hub puts your credit card information in one place to let you pay via NFC and stores your loyalty cards, boarding passes and coupons
- Improved hardware features including support for Near Field Communication, multicore chipsets, new graphics processor, two new screen resolutions (1280-by-768 and 1280-by-720), and removable SD storage
There’s not too much information available for the platform that is due later this year. But here’s what we do know.
- It’s touch-centric with a WebOS-style card interface
- Features a predictive software keyboard that over time adjusts to your personal typing style
- It will have a camera feature that is similar to Smart Group Shot in Windows Phone 8
- The OS looks slick
Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean”
As the most recently announced OS update, Jelly Bean only got a teaser blurb in PCWorld’s side-by-side article. We’ll turn to TechCrunch’s live blogging from Google I/O to get the details on this system.
- Text input has been improved, especially with regard to voice typing. The predictive keyboard is also able to guess at which word you intend to type out next
- Gesture Mode allows blind users to navigate their devices with gestures, and support for external braille devices has been added as well
- Android Beam has been bolstered with the ability to share video via NFC
- Notifications have gotten a bit of a facelift — users can now return phone calls from within the notifications shade, as well as view multiple emails without having to jump into a separate app
- Searching from the Google bar brings up handsome white cards that display information culled using the Knowledge Graph. Also on deck is improved voice search, and it seems awfully Siri-esque in how it can display and read out search results with a very natural sounding female voice.
- Google Now “gets to the right information at the right time… automatically” by looking at your “search history, your calendar, and more to figure out what you might want.”
Which features are you most excited about? Which OS has the best update?