First use of Lolipop involves frequent step-by-step start-up wizards pointing out new features, along with pop-out balloons telling you where things are and how they work. It gets baffling very quickly, even for those who have minds that easily take-in such information, and makes for a stuttered introduction process because you’re frequently held-up going to where you want to be – the equivalent of walking down the high street and being accosted by survey takers and chuggers. Apple offers gentle training with the Tips app, new to iOS 8 and which pops up weekly notifications, but other than a handful of very brief clues here and there, the whole raison d’etre of iOS is not to require instructions. To paraphrase Steve Jobs when he was talking of styluses on touchscreens: if your OS or apps require instructions then you’ve blown it.
Lollipop: Android VS iOS 8:
The look and feel of iOS 8, and introduced with iOS 7, is infamously Marmite – people love it or hate it. Although dangerously close to being ideological in its push for flatness, few would argue that the look and feel introduced with iOS 7 wasn’t bold – and boldness is what Apple does best.
iOS 8 introduced widgets to Notification Center. These provide quick access to various app functions – everything from seeing the latest news headlines to quickly creating and viewing notes, provided you have the right apps installed. It works well so long as you frequently use Notification Center (I don’t). Lollipop continues Android’s ability to add widgets to the launcher alongside app icons if there’s space, or letting you add widgets to launcher pages of their own. Arguably, this is a superior approach and certainly more intuitive – the ability to wake your phone and then view vital information provided by a widget, before you tap a nearby app icon, is simply more efficient.
Notifications appear at the top of the screen within Lollipop, much like in iOS, and some have buttons that let you switch to the app for certain features (such as replying for emails). Dragging down from the top of the screen reveals the notification center on both operating systems, although with Lollipop you can continue dragging to access the Control Center, which is virtually identical to that in iOS. It even includes a new Flashlight option if your device has an LED flash.