We talk a lot here at SmartphoneNinja about all the different smartphones out there. If you have done any shopping, you know they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and many of them even run different operating systems. This just makes it tough when shopping to know if you are really buying the type of smartphone you need to work.
Of course, the operating you choose will greatly alter your smartphone experience. Needless to say, in addition to the hardware specs and the screen size, the OS is a pretty important choice in your smartphone search. Today, let’s take a quick look at the three main operating systems for smartphones so you can learn the basics that you need to know when choosing a new tablet.
What Are the Operating Systems?
There are three main operating systems out there that run on smartphones. They are:
Android is the operating system produced by Google and is found on millions of devices around the world. Overall, it is the most popular of the three. iOS, on the other hand, is the system designed by Apple and is really responsible for starting the smartphone revolution. Windows, as you guessed it, is just a mobile version of Microsoft Windows.
Let’s take a few minutes to examine each one a little closer, shall we?
The Android operating system was built by Google and is based on Linux. That means at its heart it is free and open source. Because of this, it is much cheaper to use which is one of the reasons it has been adopted by so many smartphone makers. While pretty easy to use, it is far more complicated than the alternatives but it is also very powerful. In many ways, you almost have a mobile computer at your fingertips.
The Google Play store is the largest app store in the world and you will never run out of apps you can try. However, because it is free, is has been heavily modified by many different companies so your experience will vary depending on the device you choose to purchase. You are also more at risk for malware on these devices, as well.
Apple’s iOS is the operating system responsible for it all. They started the smartphone and tablet revolution as it is today and are showing no signs of slowing down. They may be number 2, but that is because they operate a more closed system. Because of this, you won’t have quite as much control over your device, but it will be more secure and much more stable. The app store is also filled with apps so you will never run out of apps to try on the system.
If you are looking for something that just works without you having to tinker with it for any amount of time, then your best option is Apple iOS. That will limit your smartphone choices, however, as this operating system is only installed on iPads and iPhones.
Microsoft was notoriously late to the mobile game and because of this they have been playing catch up. Instead of designed a tablet only operating system, Microsoft has altered their existing Windows operating system and made it much more touch friendly. As such, when you buy a phone with Windows, you are gaining access to a complete operating system the same as you get on a desktop. This means that you can run any app you want on the desktop, although the touch friendliness may vary app to app.
As far as their app store, it has fewer choices compared to Apple and Google, but it is still respectable. Add to that the ability to install full desktop apps and you have a powerful combo. Windows smartphones still suffer from some of the same flaws of Windows, however, such as viruses. So make sure you install good virus software.
Overall, if you need a smartphone that can double as a mobile desktop while you are on the go, then a smartphone running Windows may be the best choice for you.
So Is One Better Than the Other?
The truth is there is no one option that is really better or superior to the other. They all offer their own unique features and drawbacks on smartphones. It all comes down to what you want to do with your phone. If you like the freedom and features that Android provides and don’t mind a little extra configuration here and there, then grab an Android smartphone. If you want something that just works and is secure or you are already using an iPad or a Mac, then an iPhone running iOS makes sense. If, on the other hand, you want a smartphone that will give you full Windows compatibility, a Windows phone really makes the most sense.
A Word on Manufacturers
Google, Apple and Microsoft all produce their own lines of smartphones. Now Microsoft is pulling out of this business, so you will have to go third party with them in the future. Apple, of course, makes their own phones so you have a one stop shop with them. When it comes to Android, there are a wide range of smartphone manufactures out there. Each one of these use different versions of Android and offer their own software that can alter the overall experience.
In this case, you must try each one carefully to make sure that their take on Android will work for you. If you don’t, you could end up with an Android device that you simply hate. The same can be said for Microsoft to some extent, although the interface remains the same. You just have to look at the customized software in this instance.
Now that we got all that out of the way you should be better armed with at least a basic understanding of each smartphone operating system available today. By understanding some of their history and what they do and don’t do well, you can narrow down your smartphone search so you can make the best decision for you.
Remember, they are all good products, but even the best product is bad if it doesn’t meet the needs of its user. So choose wisely and take the information here in the article with you when you head out to purchase a new smartphone.
So what is your favorite type of smartphone? Do you love the one you are using today or do you wish you had made a different choice? Tell me about your smartphone experiences in the comments below. I would love to hear both good and bad experiences with all the smartphone manufacturers. Who knows, you may actually help someone else in their quest for the perfect smartphone.