Apple iOS 4.0 vs. Android OS 2.2 for business use

Do the new mobile OS versions change the equation for enterprise adoption?

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Apps. The Apple App Store has about 225,000 apps -- a four-to-one advantage over the 50,000 apps available in the Android Market. It is debatable whether or not that matters. Certainly 225,000 is more than 50,000, but even 50,000 is a ridiculous number of apps. The core apps used for business productivity can probably be boiled down to a couple hundred, so odds are fair that you can find an "app for that" on either platform.

Winner: A draw

Flash. Apple is not allowing Adobe Flash on the iOS 4.0 platform. Much of the video content and interactive advertising on the Web is Flash-based, so the lack of Flash can be a handicap for iOS 4.0. Adobe did announce a partnership with Greystripe to deliver Flash-based ads as HTML5 on the iPhone and iPad, but much of the Flash content on the Web will be inaccessible.

Android 2.2 does support Flash, and the Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta for Android 2.2 is now available.

Winner: Android 2.2

Acting as hotspot. With iOS 4.0, tethering is now enabled from the iPhone to enable the Internet connection to be shared by other devices. However, AT&T is charging $20 a month extra just for the privilege of having the option to connect another device, and the iPad supposedly will be unable to tether with the iPhone.

Android 2.2 devices are capable of acting as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. As many as eight devices can share the Wi-Fi connection of an Android 2.2 smartphone. Whether there are additional charges for the hotspot functionality, or how sharing the Internet connection will affect the data consumption and data plan charges may vary from carrier to carrier.

Winner: Android 2.2

Who wins for IT administrators
Now let's stack up iOS 4.0 and Android 2.2 head to head.

Availability. iOS 4.0 will be available as a free platform update for existing iPhone 3G, iPhone 3G S, and iPod Touch devices on June 21. When the iPhone 4 launches on June 24, it will also be equipped with iOS 4.0. Apple has only one hardware platform and only one supported OS version, so there is more stability and consistency in terms of managing the devices.

Android is a much more fragmented platform. Android 2.2 has been rolled out to the Nexus One, and is expected to be officially available on other platforms "soon." However some Android smartphones may never get the update.

Winner: iOS 4.0

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