Gadget Challenge: Android vs. IOS vs. Windows

Now, most people nowadays have crossed over to some type of smartphone. But how many people really know or care about their operating system? How many really shopped the competition? Chances are, once you pick one operating system you just stick to it. And why not? Its familiar, no surprises, you know where everything is and it just feels… right. Not me, I had an Android for 2 years and decided to try this Iphone thing everyone is talking about. Conveniently, I also had the opportunity to test out a Windows phone compliments of the GF and Verizon Wireless.

droid

ANDROID: This operating system just makes sense. The way it’s set up, the way you navigate, the look, and the feel. Its the most like the (non-windows 8) home PC you’ve grown up using. The positives: well for starters EVERYTHING uses Android nowadays. Before long I wouldn’t doubt that your microwave will be running on this extremely popular operating system. And with popularity comes apps… tonnnnnnns of apps. In addition to the Google Play store you get the Amazon App store which gives away paid apps for free daily. You also get the freedom of selection. With so many different phones using this o.s. you have your choice of about 30 or so phones at any given time. However, Androids do have one severe flaw: they’re glitchy! They have a tendency to freeze up… and it seems they grow more unstable with age and use. In the beginning you may restart your phone once or twice a month… but nearing the end of my phones life I was restarting that thing several times a day. The keyboard would lock up, it would fail to send a text, little small annoyances that will eventually drive you to madness!

apple

IOS: Apple’s operating system. What’s there to say… if you want an Iphone you only have one choice. Equally as popular as the Android, however, they don’t like spreading themselves around. It’s a safe bet that you can find just as many apps for the Iphone but you are pretty much stuck getting them from Apple’s own app store. Siri isn’t even a factor here because Androids have voice features too, just maybe not as catchy of a personality. Here’s where this o.s. gets annoying… you MUST have an Apple ID and you MUST have a credit card on file. There is NO getting around this. You want to download a free app? Verify your password, make sure you have a valid credit card on file. Have a gift card? Nope, still need that credit card or you’re completely shut down. Not to mention the phone only uses one button for everything. There has been countless times where I simply had to shut an app off and try again because I couldn’t figure out how to go back one screen. But the one thing IOS has going for it is stability! So smooth, so stable, without so much as a twitch. This is a plus for the non techie types as it is low maintenance.

windows

WINDOWS: Yes Microsoft making it’s way-too-late entry into the mobile market. Now, I have Windows 8 on my home PC and figured this would be a no brainer for me. I was seriously contemplating buying one of these instead of going the Apple route. However, name one person you know with a Windows phone… can you? I asked around, consulted social media, no one has one. The thing is, all the stuff I skip over to get to the desktop on my windows 8 PC make up the guts of their mobile entity. Don’t get me wrong, the home screen with all the tiles are very user friendly, very customizable, and pretty cool looking too. It syncs with your windows PC over your home network and can do the bulk of what your PC can do (within reason). However, the app store is awkward, and some MAJOR apps aren’t even compatible and have to rely on a separate 3rd party app in order to make them work. Sound confusing? It IS! Apps in general are scarce …I’m not browsing through thousands, more like a hundred-ish. But it does seem to be very stable. I only had use of it for a few short weeks but nothing crashed, no glitches, no restarts. Maybe in a few years they may have a stronger base but as of right now there is no competition.

In conclusion, while I loved my Android phone and all its great apps,  freebies, and ease of use… I’m really liking my new Iphone and the stability it’s bringing into my life. I’m also relieved that I didn’t sink my money into a Windows phone as of yet… maybe when Microsoft gets their shit together.