Android vs Apple iOS In the Connected Home

  • Posted on: 30 July 2012
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

It was never meant to be a competition in the way it has turned out, but there is a battle brewing between the two leading smart device operating systems (OS), Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Whether by design or co-incidence, Apple devices now play a major role in facilitating home automation; I would go as far as saying apple has now added home automation to its already established cool computing and entertainment solutions.  Following very closely behind Apple’s iOS is Google’s Android platform as a possible option.

Market Approach

Caught in this cross fire are the device manufacturers, solutions providers and we the consumer.   I saw Apple’s potential impact the connected home when I wrote – Are Apple Products Helping to Make the Connected Home a Reality. The trends started when Apple started allowing ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) to develop applications (Apps) for its iOS based devices.  So, home automation solutions providers were quick to recognise the opportunities of allowing homeowners to access their home automation systems from there hand-held devices (iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch and iPad) rather than reaching for another device.

Unlike Apple, Google has released Android for manufacturers to embed in devices and ISVs to extend and create Apps. This has lead to the creation of the MIPS Android Community and the recently launched Android@home.  Android it now the base OS for many smart home appliances, such as television and set-top boxes.  Android is also on our handheld devices which allows for an end-to-end home automated solution.
How the Platforms Compare

Apple’s iOS and Android approach appeal to the market differently when it come to managing task and what developers can do.  Many have raised concerns about Apple’s iOS limited ability to multitask and how the OS is locked-down, while on the other hand are happy that Android multitask but thinks its openness may lead to a mixture of standards.

Apple’s desktop/server OS is more establish as a home automation platform with the support of Indigo from Perceptive and Savant.  Apple-based solutions are more readily available and there are more solution vendors offering apple Apps as added extra than there are Android.  As relatively new platform Google’s Android is still developing, its main progress so far is in hand-held devices.

What to Expect

At the moment it’s too early to pick a definitive winner, connected home technologies are still in development and we are still looking for wider implementation of connected home solutions. Although Apple and Google are showing themselves as leading possible options, and don’t forget Microsoft who has recently announced plans to develop their own connected home operating system.

Also, Apple at the moment seems focus on developing better mobile devices with the exception of it TV platform. Google is going down all the possible paths to get into our homes, so it is possible that overtime both company will go down different path.