Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Which Mobile Operating System is Best? Android vs Apple iOS vs Microsoft Windows Phone

The biggest question you’re going to face when you decide the time is right to upgrade your phone is which operating system to go for.
Whether you’re a die-hard Apple fanboy, Googler for life or Windows, er, warrior? Maybe it’s time you stepped outside your comfort zone and tried something new. You never know, you might just like it.
We’ve thoroughly tested out each of the big three to see how they stack up. From notifications to apps, quick settings to custom skins.
This is the ultimate smartphone operating system battle. Now, get ready…

Design and Interface

In the many years since Android, iOS and Windows Phone have been powering devices everywhere, the way they each look and function has changed significantly.

Actually, let us rephrase that. Android and Windows Phone have both gone through numerous makeovers, yet Apple has kept iOS looking fairly similar since its 2007 launch.
Android got its biggest design upgrade in 2014, with the introduction of Lollipop 5.0. This brought a whole new ‘Material Design’ look and feel that cranked up the number of animations and altered almost every part to give it that extra bit of gloss.
The basics are still the same though. You’ve got a lockscreen, that displays notifications, then, once unlocked, you’ve got an app-centric home screen. And there’s an app drawer for storing everything else you’ve downloaded. iOS follows this blueprint too, though Apple ditches the app drawer, instead giving you just homescreens.
Windows Phone, the latest version being 8.1, takes a completely different design path from the competition. Its homescreen is a tiled interface, with resizable tiles flipping over to display more information about that app. You can swipe to the left to get to all your apps and just like iOS and Android, you can group apps together in folders.
Live Tiles give you little nuggets of information without forcing you to open an app - the BBC Sport app, for example, gives you a scrolling view of breaking news throughout the day. This glanceable style is also a great part of Android, where widgets are used in a similar manner. Widgets have been a mainstay on Android since the very first version, though Apple added something similar with extensions in iOS 8.
Extensions, rather than sitting on the homescreen, are found in the Notification Centre, but they work pretty the same as Live Tiles or widgets. We’d like to see Apple give us a bit more freedom over where these handy information gatherers could sit, but the Cupertino’s reluctance to switch up the overall look of the homescreen makes us think that will likely never happen.

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