Android vs iOS vs Windows Phone 7 : A mobile encounter


If You're a first time shopper or you wanted to upgrade to another mobile platform, here are some of the comparisons between the IOS, Android and Windows phone 7. This gives an exact idea of how these mobile platforms stack against one another.


TOTAL DEVICES




Before getting in to which platform to choose, You should know how many devices are there for you to choose from each one. As Android is a free distributed it consists a wide range of devices. There are just 100 devices from the biggest manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG, Sony Ericsson and Acer. But, when you consider Asus, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Toshiba and some other companies the number easily goes into hundreds.
While the fresh Windows Phone 7 has currently a total of 20 devices available and IOS is available around 11 models of  iphone, ipad, ipod touch.

TOTAL APPS



  When coming to the Apps IOS leads the way with many apps. Not only there are more apps in App Store than in Android market, it has more quality apps and less garbage. On the other hand free os Android also has major share of apps. Android is expected to cross Apple by the end of the year, but it didn't take place.

Windows is the new mobile platform and looking at the figure 43,000, it doesn't seem to be a bad number.

TABLET OPTIMIZED APPS



  It is no wonder that the market dominating iPad has the most tablet optimized apps. Android tablet doesn't have more apps. Developers are not developing them because they are not selling and it is soon going to change. But for now iPad has the most dominant apps in the market.It’s worth noting that the iPad and Android tablets can all run smaller-screen phone apps, but they look better on Android than they do on iOS.

Windows Phone doesn’t run on tablets, instead Microsoft is preparing windows 8 for future tablets.


UNAPPROVED 3rd PARTY APPS



   Casual users may not worry about this stat, but if you want maximum freedom in the software you install, you’ll want to pay attention. Apple and Microsoft both employ the walled garden approach, with apps needing to go through an approval process before being made available for iOS or Windows Phone.
iOS and Windows Phone devices require a jailbreak (hack) in order to install unapproved apps.

While the Android market allows almost anything and allows you to install 3rd party apps by downloading from the web. 




CLOUD INTEGRATION 


One of the buzz words of 2011 is cloud, it lets you store your data on remote servers.It can save precious flash storage and help you to effortlessly keep multiple devices in sync.

Google is no stranger to the cloud, with Gmail and its numerous free web-based services like Google Music, Google Docs, Google Voice.Android doesn’t have an integrated cloud service. Android users can, however, use third-party apps like Dropbox or Box.net to access cloud files.

Apple manges it's cloud using iCloud which serves less as direct file storage and more as an invisible syncing of content. You can also backup your entire device via iCloud. Defined by the lack of effort it requires, iCloud is easily the most advanced yet simple cloud service for any device.

Microsoft’s SkyDrive is its cloud service, but it isn’t nearly as seamless as iCloud. It doesn’t even come preinstalled on Windows Phone, requiring a marketplace download. Like third-party service Dropbox, SkyDrive is more of a file locker than an invisible syncing service. 


VOICE CONTROL 


 Android and Windows Phone have had limited voice control for ages, but Apple stole their thunder with the arrival of Siri.
Google is reportedly scrambling to come up with its own answer to Siri, but right now Apple’s assistant is in a different league than Android Voice Commands or Microsoft's Tellme. While the other two platforms allow for dictation and specific voice commands, Siri lets you speak in natural language. It isn’t perfect, and it will improve over the next few years, but it’s more far-reaching, it creates the illusion of a conversation, and it rids you of the burden of memorizing specific commands.
The only catch with  Siri  is that, at this moment, it’s only available on the iPhone 4S. By this time next year, though, Siri will likely be on the iPad 3, iPhone 5, and possibly a new iPod touch.


MULTITASKING


  While they use different methods, all three platforms now have multitasking. Power users will insist thatonly Android offers true multitasking, but for most of us, the app-switching experience will be the same on iOS and Windows Phone.
All offer switching between apps — playing music, GPS navigation, VoIP calls, email notifications, and many other tasks to happen in the background.


NAVIGATION


 All platforms provide a variety of voiced turn-by-turn GPS navigation options, but Android has a big advantage with Google Maps Navigation, which is excellent and integrated with Android Voice Commands, is free. There is a growing number of free and cheap navigation apps for all platforms, but few rival Google’s service.
 


SEARCH



    Being Google’s platform, Android is tied to Google search. Few people have a problem with that. Being Microsoft’s platform, Windows Phone is tied to Bing. Many people would have a problem with that.
While those platforms offer search that is integrated into the OS, iOS requires you to open the browser to search. The caveat to add is that iPhone 4S owners can search the web from anywhere by querying Siri to “search the web for ___.’ iOS defaults to Google, but also gives you the option to switch the default search engine to Yahoo! or Bing.


DUAL CORE DEVICES



     In addition to LTE and the cloud, 2011 also saw the advent of dual-core mobile devices. Much like 4G, Android’s greater volume of devices has it leading the charge here too. We could nail down the exact number of dual core Android devices, but after a week or two the stat would be obsolete. Just know that Android has many more than iOS or Windows Phone.

Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4S both have the dual-core A5 chip. Windows Phone is still waiting for its first dual-core device.



THIRD PARTY KEYBOARD APPS



   Typing on a virtual keyboard can be a pain. It’s easy to tap out the wrong word, and built-in autocorrect suggestions can sometimes do more harm than good. Having the option of using innovative new keyboards can be a perk.
Right now Android is the only platform that lets you customize the on-screen keyboard. In addition to the default Android keyboard (or default manufacturer keyboard), you can choose to install a trace keyboard like  Swype or SlideIt, a prediction algorithm keyboard like Swiftkey, or even a bizarre gesture-based keyboard like 8pen.


NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION (NFS)



 While Near Field Communication (usually used for mobile payments) hasn’t quite taken off with retailers (yet), it’s a nice future-proofing feature to have on your phone. Android currently has a small handful of phones with  NFC chips (including the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S), but it still trumps the number of NFC devices that the other platforms have: zero.


SHOWCASE PHONES 

 
     Reading about the three platforms is one thing, but it always helps to see each in action. If you’re heading to a store to get some hands-on time, you’ll want to compare the best that each has to offer.

For Android, that’s the  Galaxy Nexus. As Google’s latest flagship device, it runs the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich), has a gorgeous 4.65 inch Super AMOLED display, and it runs on Verizon’s speedy LTE network in the US.

The iPhoe 4S is Apple’s showcase phone. While it wasn’t the revolutionary iPhone 5 that many were hoping for, it still offers significant upgrades, including Siri, a dual-core A5 processor, and an 8MP camera.

The Lumia 800 is the flagship phone that Windows Phone has been needing, but, unfortunately, it’s still only available in Europe. If you can get your hands on the Lumia 800, it has solid specs and runs the latest version of Windows Phone, Mango.


SHOWCASE TABLETS


  While it isn’t officially endorsed by Google as a flagship tablet, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is, at this moment, the best tablet that runs Android. It packs a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, an impressive display, and it will run Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in January.

Until the iPad 3 arrives in a few months, the iPad 2  is obviously the Apple flagship tablet (aside from the original iPad, it’s the only Apple tablet). It has a slick (and thin) design, the dual-core A5 processor, and Apple’s unparalleled library of tablet apps.
Windows Phone isn’t designed for tablets; Windows 8 will eventually be Microsoft’s tablet OS.


FINAL VERDICT


We aren’t here to crown a victor in the mobile OS wars. If anything, sales will determine that. From that perspective, Android handily leads in market share, but the iPhone and iPad are the hottest-selling individual devices. But — apart from sports, elections, and other competitions — we don’t live in a world of universal champions. The best platform is whichever OS works for you.

The two big dogs — Android and iOS — each offers its own clear take on the mobile OS experience. The rivalry closely resembles that of Windows vs. Macintosh: one is closed and tied to specific hardware, the other is licensed and available on everything under the sun. Apple is playing the same part, but Google’s OS has replaced Microsoft in the other role.

Whether Microsoft can rebound and make this a three-way race remains to be seen; it’s a steep hill to climb, and the company’s hesitance to enter the US market with its Nokia partnership doesn’t bode well. But smartphones aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the company will have years to stage its attempted comeback.

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