The OS Wars: Android JellyBean 4.1 vs iOS 6 vs Windows Phone 8
This is a Guest Post by Twila B. who is your typical geek girl who loves her iPhone so much she even blogs about it at CashforiPhones’ blog site. The site features tips and news about how and where to sell your old and broken iPhone for fast cash.
This year’s Q3 results for the worldwide smartphones market shares showed a huge improvement for Google’s operating system which substantially grew from last year’s 46.9% to 68.1%. Apple’s iOS comes second with 16.9%, a gradual decrease from last year’s 18.8%. Surprisingly, one operating system that has experienced massive growth after a year is Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS which garnered 3.5% of the market share but has risen immensely from last year’s 2.3%.
But more than the numbers, how exactly does Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone differ from each other? To gauge this we listed three key features and compared the latest versions of the three operating systems: The iOS 6, Android 4.1 Jellybean and Windows Phone 8 Apollo.
At face value, Apollo looks so much different from its two competitors because of its metro design. It features “Live Tiles”, interactive home screen square tiles that serve as shortcuts to different apps. One update Apollo has over its successor, Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 (Mango), are the customizable tile sizes which allow users to put in more tiles onto their home screen.
Though Jellybean does not have live tiles for their home screen, they do have a lot of widgets for customization. Apart from the usual app icons, users can also add widgets like weather, notepads and other third party widgets from apps. For the 4.1 update however, widgets are made more flexible by allowing resizing.
Meanwhile, Apple’s “no B.S.” principle on designing their gadgets is also reflected on their mobile OS’ interface. The Cupertino-based company sticks with the simple UI with an app dock and a home screen gridded with app icons.
Unexpectedly, Microsoft decided to ditch Bing Maps for Windows Phone and focused instead on Nokia’s proprietary mapping service. Nokia Maps feature 3D graphics and street navigation, Aerial Mode and Voice Commands. It also has traffic support called Nokia Navteq Traffic Service to help Windows Phone based drivers weave through traffic effortlessly.
Meanwhile, Google stuck to its ever reliable Google Maps for directions. They also included some updates including 3D graphics and indoor mapping. Their own version of Fly-over mapping system is done through satellite navigation making Google Maps friendlier for both pedestrians and drivers. The app now also gives voice commands and direction details.
For the iOS 6, Apple decided to create their own Maps that provides turn-by-turn voice commands, 3D graphics and Fly-over navigation. In addition, the Apple Maps also features Siri integration and Yelp business listings.
Social Integration and Voice Assistance
Windows Phone’s social media integration has been present since day 1. It also has voice assistant and voice dictation called TellMe. And though the system admittedly needs fresh updates for their voice assistant, their social media integration deserves praise for the seamless Facebook and Twitter access. Data from your Facebook and Twitter accounts can also be accessed through messaging, photos, contacts and even calendar.
Android has always been Facebook and Twitter friendly as far as we know. Accessing and posting anything on FB and Twitter are also made simple on a Jellybean smartphone through widgets and 3rd party apps. Facebook Data is also integrated on the smartphone’s contacts. For the Jellybean, the S-Voice assistant is also more accurate and speedy through Google’s search capabilities.
For the iOS 6, Apple has finally baked social media integration into the iPhone, making it easier to share status updates and photos. The new notification center features Facebook and Twitter buttons while almost all the apps on the App Store have also included Facebook integration and contacts and calendar can now also be synced with social media accounts. It also features a better Siri, integrating it deeper into the heart of the iDevice and adding more substance and personality to it.
For user interface, it’s safe to say that Windows Phone 8 is leading the way through their unique metro style UI. For Maps capabilities, Android 4.1 Jellybean remains on top with their comprehensive and reliable Google Maps. For social media integration and voice assistance, the new iOS 6 showed great improvement with Siri that still, no other OS can compare.