The Macalope Daily: False equivalencies

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ZDNet’s Matthew Miller has seen the future of iOS and—are you sitting down?—he’s not all that impressed.

“Android ICS already offers more than what is coming in iOS 6”

It looks like Apple’s days of blowing people away with new features and functions has cooled now that solid platforms like Ice Cream Sandwich and Windows Phone exist.

Yes, Apple merely reinvented the smartphone five years ago, setting the standard by which others are still judged. But what has it done for you lately?

Apple officially announced iOS 6 yesterday and while it is a welcome update for iOS that I look forward to installing on my iPad 3, most everything Apple revealed can already be done today on Ice Cream Sandwich Android devices.

You don’t say? And when the Macalope says “You don’t say?” he means “You don’t say without a big fat asterisk?”

Because despite the oh-so-solidity of Android, Miller can’t help but provide his smartphone platform of choice a few mulligans. See if you can spot the sleight of hand in this list. Watch the lady! Watch the lady!

Apple iOS 6 Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Maps Turn-by-turn, 3D Turn-by-turn, walking/biking/transit, 3D, offline coming
Voice control Siri 3rd party apps, Google Voice Actions, S-Voice on SGSIII
Travel and reward card management Passbook 3rd party apps

We’re three items in and already Ice Cream Sandwich has been given the benefit of relying on “3rd party apps” twice. In fact, third party apps are featured on the Android side for three of the eight items compared, but not once for iOS 6. Truth of the matter is, if you add third party apps, iOS 5 compares favorably to Ice Cream Sandwich. And it’s installed on a heck of a lot more devices.

As Apple noted in Monday’s keynote, 80 percent of iOS users are running iOS 5, the latest release, compared to the just 7.1 percent of Android users running Ice Cream Sandwich. And when iOS 6 is released in the fall, you can bet it’ll sail by Ice Cream Sandwich as well.

Perhaps some time next year this comparison will make sense, but while you can get a phone with Ice Cream Sandwich on it, the chances that you have a phone with Ice Cream Sandwich on it are only slightly better than having one with iOS 6 on it.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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