OCTOBER 2015 ;e Costco Connection 17
By Marc Saltzman
JUST AS COMPUTER shoppers may decide
between a Windows PC and a Mac, you’ve got a
choice to make when looking for a new smartphone
or tablet: Apple’s iOS or Android.
While there are other options, too, you’ll likely
decide between one of the two biggest operating systems that power mobile devices today. Truth is, you
can’t go wrong with either, but one might better suit
your needs. Here’s a look at the features of each.
Out of all of the phones available, the iPhone—
which runs Apple’s iOS operating system—is probably the easiest to use. If you’re not very tech savvy,
this one is for you. Simply tap an icon to launch an
app (program) and swipe left or right on the screen
to see additional apps. Swipe down to search for
something or swipe up to access settings, such as
screen brightness and volume.
Press and hold the circular Home button to talk
to Siri, a voice-activated personal assistant.
That Home button can also read your fingerprint. Called Touch ID, this feature makes it easy to
log into your phone, purchase apps and media (such
as music) and even use your iPhone to shop at supporting retailers via the Apple Pay payment service.
The iPhone also works with i Tunes, which you
might be using to manage media on your computer,
and iCloud, used to back up your important files
and wirelessly synchronize content between
multiple devices. Apple’s AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream between supported devices, so,
for example, your iPhone can send photos
and videos to your Apple TV box, which
is connected to your TV.
Apple’s App Store has more than 1. 4
million apps available for downloads,
many of which are free or close to it.
Almost everything you download for an
iPhone will work on an iPad and iPod
Finally, Apple’s iPad Air 2 ( 9. 7 inches)
and iPad mini 3 ( 7. 9 inches) are the most
popular tablets on the market, with a look
and feel similar to the iPhone’s.
While there are only two new iPhones to choose
from, there are dozens of Android-powered devices,
which means you have a lot of choices. That is, only
Apple makes the iPhone and iPad, but Google’s
Android platform is open and freely distributed, so
many companies have created phones and tablets
based on the Android operating system.
Do you want a large-screen Samsung “phablet”
(half phone, half tablet) or a compact Samsung
phone? What about a high-performance Motorola
Turbo series model? Both of these companies make
Android phones, as do numerous others and Google
itself (branded as Nexus phones). Amazon’s Kindle
devices are built on Android, too.
Because Android is from Google, the mobile
operating system has several Google services pre-loaded, such as Gmail (email), Chrome (Web
browser), Google Maps (maps, directions and local
search) and You Tube (videos), to name a few. Like
iTunes, Google lets you download and/or stream
media to your devices, including music, TV shows,
movies, games, e-books, magazines and so on.
The Google Now feature lets you talk to your
phone and use it as a personal assistant, but with
your permission it also learns your patterns—such
as leaving home every day at 7: 30 a.m. for work—
and will alert you to traffic on your route and other
contextually relevant information.
Android is efficient for those who like to multi-task. For example, you can split your screen into two
apps—such as a video playing on top and your email
open on the bottom—or you might opt for a pic-ture-in-picture option, which allows you to browse
the Web while having a TV show playing in a small
window. The operating system is also ideal for those
who like to tinker with the phone’s or tablet’s interface, layout and app selection.
At more than 1. 6 million downloads, the
Google Play store has the most apps of any mobile
operating system—but really, it’s splitting hairs, as
Apple isn’t far behind with 1. 5 million apps as of
July. With either system, there are apps to meet any
of your needs.
The bottom line: Now more than ever you have
ample choices in smartphones. C
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The Costco Connection
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The Costco Connection
You’ll find the latest iPhone 6 and the Samsung
S6, along with a variety of other smartphones,
in the Wireless Center at your local Costco and
online at Costco.com.
Apple or Android phone? Here’s a look