For 2016, Apple and Google both released some great updates for their respective native mobile operating systems: the iOS 10.2 and Android Nougat 7.1.1. This only goes to show that the competition remains heavy between the two tech giants, especially in software development.

After all, technology is always improving, and it is necessary for the current operating systems to continuously improve along with it to usher in a host of new developments. Speaking of improvements, both iOS and Android were given some nifty updates to allow users to express themselves more creatively.

While the Android OS dominates the market because it is used by more mobile phone manufacturers and iOS is exclusive to Apple devices, iOS refuses to back down from the competition. Take a look at some of the improvements iOS and Android released early in December.

Android Nougat 7.1.1

The Android 7.1.1 update was released on Dec. 5, promising stability and performance improvements, as well as new features and emojis. So what exactly are these "improvements" to the Android OS? Google says "communication" is the keyword.

The Nougat 7.1.1 features an easier way to access installed applications on Android devices by allowing users to access shortcuts from the main screen. All a user has to do is press down on the shortcut of the app they need, and a quick launch menu where they can choose an action would pop up.

To put it simply, if a user wants to watch some YouTube videos, instead of opening the YouTube app and doing everything from there, a user can simply press long on the YouTube app shortcut and it will give them the option to see what's trending, search for a video, or view their subscriptions. The same goes for other applications.

On the more creative side, the Nougat 7.1.1 now has new emoji. The new emoji set features more professions for both male and female emoji. Try searching for that female rockstar!

"We included gender counterparts for emoji that previously only had male or female representation. Now there are female welders and men getting haircuts," Google announced. Not only that, but users can now send GIFs straight from their keyboards.

iOS 10.2

Apple also refuses to back down from the battle of the best mobile OS because it also released some great improvements by way of iOS 10.2 on Dec. 12.

iOS 10.2 is a major update but, like the one for Android, iOS also gave some focus on creative expression.

For starters, there is a new batch of emoji available, and some of them throw in professions for gender equality. Then there is the "preserve settings" option for the camera that lets users keep their favorite camera settings instead of resetting them each time the Camera app is launched.

There is also an awesome new pre-loaded TV application that allows users to pull content from whatever source. A user can simply launch the "TV app," including the provider in the settings, and manage all video content from there instead of installing multiple applications for different subscriptions.

Best Mobile OS Of 2016: Android vs iOS

Apple saw growth in its iOS shares after the release of the iPhone 7 and despite the criticism the new model received. However, Android still dominates more in terms of market share due to the large number of devices using the system.

Competition may have been close this year. However, with the iPhone celebrating its 10th anniversary in the consumer market in 2017, many believe that Apple has something fantastic in the pipeline. For now, let's just sit back and enjoy the improvements.

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