Comparing Smartphone Operating Systems

by Robyn Wright on November 24, 2014

in Tech

Smartphone Operating Systems: Which is best?Many of us will be buying a new smartphone for someone special on our holiday gift list this year – that someone special may even be yourself. One of the questions I am asked most often is what operating system I think is best for smartphones. My answer is that there is no “best”. All of the major operating systems have good features but which is best for you (or someone special) really depends on what you want and need from a smartphone. Here are some of my thoughts on each of the three major operating systems: Android, Windows Phone, and iOS.

Disclosure: I have worked with many brands, this post is just my personal opinion on several different things and is not related specifically to any brand I am working with currently or in the past.

Android Operating System

  • Most customizable: For anyone who loves to tweak the way their phone looks or works a lot then then Android might be the best option.
  • Plenty of apps: The Google Play Store has tons of apps for Android devices including most of the top apps.
  • Phone choices: There are more choices of smartphones that run on the Android operating system than any other. The phones come in all price points as well.
  • Google integration: If you use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Chrome you will be happy with the integration of all of these directly into the Android operating system.
  • Phones I like: Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, HTC One (M8), Motorola Droid Turbo


samsung note 4note 4
 

turbohtc one m8 android

Windows Phone Operating System

  • Windows familiarity: If you are using a Windows based computer then the Windows Phone operating system will seem very familiar to you.
  • Microsoft integration: If you are an Outlook, Office, OneDrive, and other Microsoft program user you will find they all integrate fully and well into a Windows Phone
  • Customization: The latest release of WP really steps up the amount of customization. You can easily move icons around, change the sizes, create folders, have custom backgrounds, and even transparent icons.
  • Ease of use: I find the Windows Phones to be incredibly easy to use, more than the iPhone actually.
  • Fewer phone choices: There are not as many options of phones on the Windows Phone operating system as there are on the Android, but there are more choices than for iOS.
  • Fewer apps: While the Windows Phone operating system still has fewer apps than iOS and Android, they really are growing fast. More and more of the very popular apps are coming and you can easily find comparable apps by other makers as well.
  • Phones I like: Nokia Lumia Icon, HTC One (M8) for Windows

nokia-lumia-icon-fronthtc one m8

iOS Operating System (iPhone)

  • Apps: Most companies who want to make apps will go for making one for iOS first. This means the most popular apps are almost all available for your iPhone.
  • Simple to use: Most iPhone users love the simplicity of using their devices.
  • Less flexibility: iOS is the most locked down of the operating systems I feel and allow for less customization by end users.
  • Less device choice: iOS is only on iPhones (as far as phones) and so you only have the choice of what Apple puts out. This year they finally released the larger screen size option which many had been waiting for.
  • Most accessories: Just like apps, many companies wanting to make accessories make them for iPhones. This is because they are popular but also because with the limited types of iPhones they do not have to keep changing the cases and docks all the time and can focus on the aesthetic changes instead.
  • Phones I like: iPhone 6 Plus

iphone 6 plus
 

Do you already have a favorite operating system for smartphones or are you open to change? Share your thoughts and opinions!

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© 2014, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 11 comments }

1 Stephen Saunders November 25, 2014 at 12:21 am

I’ve never had a smartphone, and reading this article makes me want one even more. I’m still using just a plain flip phone. It takes pictures and can send texts and make calls, but… that’s it. hah. some day I’ll get with it.

2 Robyn Wright January 11, 2015 at 12:53 pm

They really can be great tools. When I got my first smartphone I was worried I wouldn’t use it enough to make it worth it but I did right from the start and never looked back.

3 AngelaLilly November 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

I really enjoyed reading this, as I really didn’t know what all was available out there and what the main differences were. My hubby has an iPhone. I just have a standard, old school flip-phone I only use for emergencies but I do have an iPad Air, so I am def only familiar with iOS. Thanks for sharing this info with us and educating me!

4 Robyn Wright January 11, 2015 at 12:53 pm

You’re welcome, as always!

5 AngelaLilly January 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

:-D

6 coupontammy November 25, 2014 at 10:45 pm

I have a Windows phone and love it! We run our family schedule through Outlook so it makes it so easy to manage. I love that it automatically links to my PC. I would like to see more apps. It’s getting there slowly but surely.
I have looked at the Samsung Galaxy and it looks really nice. I have never had an android phone. I would like to try it for all the apps and customization it offers.
I will be honest and say we are not huge Apple fans. I agree that they are not very flexible. Thanks for the breakdown on each system.

7 Robyn Wright January 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm

The Windows app offerings are growing and growing each day. I use Outlook for my calendar as well.

8 Richard Hicks November 26, 2014 at 11:40 pm

This is very useful information to know. Some are actually better than others

9 tannawings November 27, 2014 at 2:23 am

I would be on the fence with a smartphone. I have an IPad1 so can understand that OS, but I also am an avid Chrome and Google user. Of course I have a Windows computer. I think if I got a smartpphone it would be something like I would want an iphone but droid would be something I wouldnt mind either. I have a phone now , but it makes phne calls and thats it, and even that irritates me at times because I am forever putting people on hold accidently. I do like the contacts feature though.

10 Robyn Wright January 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

I would say you would be best to start with an Android device based on what you said.

11 Nate March 31, 2015 at 6:53 am

Thanks for comparing the phones

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