In this day and age of fast paced technology, it is only fitting that the humble mobile phone is replaced by feature-packed smartphones. This has opened up a whole new market for mobile operating systems. Currently three main software companies are competing for the number one spot –Apple’s iPhone OS, Google’s Android and the new entry of Microsoft’s Windows 8
Mobile phones today come with different variants of operating systems. Samsung has both Android and Windows phones, Apple’s iPhones are in a separate league, while Nokia is currently bringing the Windows 8 platform to the fore. Other brands such as HTC and Sony Ericsson too are experimenting with different platforms. Each has its own set of pros and cons. We have attempted to compare these software based on a few general parameters.
When it comes to user interface the three operating systems are neck-to-neck in terms of usability, ease of access and attractiveness. While Android and iOS phones feature widgets and icons on the home screen, Windows 8 phones come with an attractive display of larger tiles. It also allows the user to customize the tiles and add more apps to the screen, though it might be a little sluggish to swish through. iPhone applications, on the other hand, come with simplicity, greater functionality and better features such as child lock for certain apps. Android’s Jelly Bean too makes for a smooth homescreen experience.
Apple has been reigning the App scene with a wide range of iPhone applications, and Android came a close second. Windows 8, however, has upped the ante with the introduction of two new apps – the Wallet and Maps. Wallet allows for easier payments using services such as PayPal. While Wallet is in direct competition to Apple’s Passbook App, the Maps app is by far unbeatable. iOS has recently moved away from Google Maps by launching it’s own map application. However, the launch of this application proved controversial with various errors in the geographical data. Android relies on the Google maps for the accurate data.
Safari is a standard iPhone application and the latest version brings over more features such as offline reading and integration to iCloud allowing for tab syncing. It also features a Smart App Banners which help sites promote their app. Android phones feature the Android Browser, however the Google Nexus 7 is set to get Chrome, packed with advanced security features which is sure to make for a smoother browsing experience. Windows 8 isn’t far behind and comes with the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE10 that is also high on safety measures. It uses a phishing filter and SmartScreen service to keep the user from being tracked by malicious websites.
Mobile application development can truly be successful if it is compatible with external hardware, making it easier to access and share files using multi-core processors, HD screen, tablets, SD cards, etc. After many user demands for better hardware support, Microsoft has delivered on that front with the Windows NT kernel. Also as it supports a resolution of1280x768, syncing your phone with the Microsoft Surface tablet seems very likely. Apple iPhones sync well with the iPad, but Google takes the cake in this respect. Android 4.0 was seen as the OS that united both smartphone technology with tablet PCs by combining Gingerbread Honeycomb and brought forward a seamless experience. The Google Nexus 7 device is now deemed to be the next step.
In the past the iOS based Apple has been the leader among smartphones with the iPhone or iPad. However, they have recently been taken over in terms of total sales by Android based Samsung. It remains to be seen how the new Windows 8 will fare in the market. Windows 8 is fairly new in the game and though it packs a punch, it will have to gain the benefit of doubt from the users. As long as it ensures regular updates, it is sure to create a better fan following for itself.