One of the most important things to consider when choosing a smartphone is what type of Operating System (OS) the phone is going to use to function. This is going to determine the look and feel of the phone as well as its abilities as a smartphone. The OS (Operating System) of your new Smartphone comes pre-installed on your phone and is the software that basically allows your phone think and processes information and when it comes to Smartphone’s there are a few operating systems that stand out from the rest. Chances are you’ll end up reviewing and choosing from one of the operating systems listed below.
This Guides Outline
The Apple OS is the operating system found on Apple products like the iPod Touch, iPad and of course the popular iPhone which is of course the device that you’re going to be interested in as a mobile phone.
Apple is a pretty solid operating system which is very user friendly and has a pretty good app market. Apple’s app (application) market is a pretty secure marketplace and has an extremely wide selection of apps to choose from. The iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones in the world and if you are deciding on a smartphone to choose from then the iPhone is certainly one of the smartphones that you should take a look at.
The Android operating system isn’t found on Smartphones produced by a single manufacturer, it’s an open source operating system released by the mighty Google. This means that you can find the Android OS on smartphones produced by many different manufactures including Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony, Huawei and many more. Android phones come in a wide range of products and have a wide selection to choose from which range in quality as well as price. Make sure to do some research when choosing an Android smartphone. While many Androids are similar as they run on the same software not all Androids are created equally.
As far as the Android platform as a whole not many operating systems can stand up to Apples iPhone but the Android OS does, even passing it in some areas in my opinion but.
One of the greatest features of the Android OS is the applications found on its marketplace, now known as the Google Play Store. Because of the idea of 3rd party programs being allowed without the more strict approval process that iPhone developers have to go through for quality control (which is a good thing of course but it does have its advantages and disadvantages) the app marketplace for Android phones has an extremely wide range of apps available, many of which are free. And I don’t know about you but free is always in my price range.
Now because of this less strict policy it is a give and take kind of situation. You may have access to a wider selection of games and apps on Android smartphones and yes many of them are free or extremely affordable but because of the open source philosophy (which is awesome) almost anyone has the opportunity to create an app for the Android Play Store. Because of this some apps might not be written as well as others which can lead to slight complications or issues on your phone.
It also takes time to develop these applications so many of the free apps come with minor ads unless you buy the full version (which has become a common practice on just about any smartphone platform these days and isn’t just on Android). As long as you just keep an eye on the apps you download and you download apps from the official Google Play Store you should be fine. If you download an app and your phone starts acting strange all you should need to do is uninstall the app you downloaded and not use it any more.
Not only is the Android operating system powerful but because its open source it is very customizable. If you’re a tech geek who likes to tinker with things in order to unlock their full potential then Android is likely going to be the phone of choice for you.
Currently Android smartphones are the number one selling smartphone in the world by a huge margin being both easy to use and available through many different manufactures. Just remember that when purchasing an Android smartphone the manufacture that made the phone is going to play a big role in the quality of the phone. When it comes to smartphones the term “you get what you pay for” is often very accurate. So shop around when making your decision and try to go for quality more than affordability.
Windows run by Microsoft another powerhouse when it comes to software the Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating system offers many of the powerful features found on the other two operating systems already mentioned above such as automatic backups to your Windows Live ID (a free service) which is much like the Android backup to Google. Windows phones also offer the cloud service which allows you to save your smartphones information online. Imagine taking a picture on your phone and it then showing up on your computer when you get home. Isn’t technology awesome!
As a whole the user interface of a Windows phones is very different than its competitors. Instead of shortcut icons on its home page (much like a standard computer has icons on its desktop) and the standard appearance which both the iOS (Apples iPhone) and Android smartphones use for their home screens Windows phones use a “tile interface” which is actually very clean and user friendly.
You can certainly tell a Windows smartphone apart from its competition just by its block or square or tile like configuration and user interface. While Windows may not be the most popular smartphone operating system in the world it is a contender in the smartphone market share and is also utilized by many different smartphone manufactures throughout the world.
Blackberry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM), has fallen back a tad in popularity since its inception due to the release of other operating systems but it is still a big player among smartphones, especially when it comes to using your phone for business.
Blackberry’s main strong point is its email capability, not only because of its ability to sync and use Microsoft’s Exchange Servers (used by the majority of businesses as their primary email service) but because its email is pretty much instant. When you send an email on a blackberry phone it doesn’t matter if the person is standing right next to you or on the other side of the world they get it pretty much instantly, it’s amazing. Though Blackberry phones seem to take forever when it come to updating their operating systems their software is strong and Blackberry smartphones have really good backup and restore capabilities. As for the app market, Blackberry has some catching up to do, but if you’re using your phone for business don’t forget to consider Blackberry as one of the options available.
Not all smartphone operating systems are as successful as those mentioned above. Some operating systems such as Symbian, Palm OS, webOS, Maemo, MeeGo, LiMo etc. have been discontinued or are no longer supported.
Some smartphone operating systems such as Firefox OS, Sailfish OS, Tizen, and Ubuntu Touch OS, to name a few, might be available but for whatever reason have yet to take off in popularity or demand.
If you are choosing your first smartphone then for the time being you might want to choose a smartphone that utilizes one of the more popular operating systems listed above; namely an Android, an iPhone, a Windows Phone, or even a Blackberry. They have proven to be user friendly and easy to work with for just about anyone.
Recap and Conclusion
These four operating systems Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry are four of the most powerful and popular platforms when it comes to smartphones. While each type of smartphone offers its own unique features and functionality they are all going to provide you with the services that a smartphone should including internet access, text and multimedia messaging, email capabilities, and of course the ability to make and receive telephone calls.
In terms of popularity Android leads the pack by a noticeable margin; the iOS is the second most popular platform worldwide which is found exclusively on Apple iPhones; and the Windows OS comes in third place which (like Android) can be found on phones sold by many different manufactures.
Want to learn more?
This article is PART 3 of Choosing a smartphone. Click HERE to start at the beginning or feel free to jump to a different part in this series of posts by selecting one of the links below.
Part 3: Choosing a Smartphone Operating System (YOU ARE HERE)
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