News about Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the Galaxy Nexus has been bombarding the internet since yesterday. While the Android and Me team has been busy at work, there’s always time for a few minutes of roaming around Google+. It’s always good to clear your mind. And it was definitely great to run across this image.

This picture displays the superficial progress iOS and Android have undergone in a period of 3 years, since their respective launches. Android’s evolution is definitely much more noticeable. It looks like a completely different operating system, with revamped docks, on-screen buttons, overall UI look and feel, and even changes in the aspect ratio (16:9), making it more similar to HD televisions.

What started as a small “what-is-that-thing?” OS has now become the largest mobile platform in the world. Andy Rubin’s goal is to see Google’s mobile operating system on every screen out there. While this is an incredibly ambitious objective, we just might be coming close to it in the near future.

Apple’s iPhone revolutionized the smartphone world in 2007, quickly becoming the most popular device on the planet. Back when competition was scarce, this was the King of phones. A year later, the little robot showed up. While it may not have been as amazing in the beginning, it quickly grew to be a much more complex and full platform.

The Android OS has grown not only thanks to Google’s work, but also due to its open sourced nature. While at least 2 Android devices are released every month, we see one Apple smartphone a year. This has caused an explosion of Android devices, as well as higher expectations from consumers. Not to mention the quick growth in the amount of Android apps available. As better specs and overall components are implemented at unbelievable speeds, Google has been forced to improve its mobile OS.

Apple, on the other hand, has remained almost identical to what it was when it launched — at least at first sight. The biggest update was iOS 5, but that’s not even taken into consideration since it came more than three years after launch. Even if we factor in iOS 5, many complain that most of these features were already available for Android.

It’s unbelievable how much simple things like Flash and widgets can change a user’s experience. Customization is something we don’t expect Apple to beat Android at anytime soon.

Technology is not an easy market to compete in nowadays. As always, everything boils down to preference, though. Some lean toward simple and to-the-point, while others like the complexity of Android. Playing around with your device is always fun. (Or maybe we’re all just too nerdy?) What do you guys think? Let us know what it is about your Android device that you love and can’t do on the iPhone (or that took too long for Apple to implement). If you happen to prefer iOS, let us know why, too!

« »