Yesterday, Google made a big announcement, and it’s none other than Android 4.1 Jellybean. Jellybean (codename), unlike any other Android releases, is said to be the fastest and the most amazing mobile operating system. A few days ago, Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8 and a few days before that, Apple announced the iOS 6. This month has been all about mobile operating systems, but which one would you choose? Here’s a small comparison:
A nice and easy to use home screen is a must in every mobile operating system and in this case, we have a great fight. Android has a home screen which is highly customizable with shortcuts and widgets which you get with almost every app. You can resize widgets, toss them off the screen, and even have a combination of icons and widgets to keep your up to date with information. You can add live wallpapers, which really look sexy or you can stick to a static one. With the help of 3rd party apps, you can also set your phone to change wallpapers depending upon the time of the day, or just randomly.
Apple iOS doesn’t has a home screen, rather they only have one thing which is the menu screen. You just have app icons on the screen, which allow you to navigate to your favorite apps quickly. There’s nothing you can do, except add/delete shortcuts or change the wallpaper. The interface is too simple and hasn’t changed much since 5 years, but it’s good for old people. It’s the same for everyone, and whether you like it or hate it, you cannot change much in it.
Windows Phone 8 has a “Start Screen,” which emphasizes Microsoft’s Metro UI and keeps you up-to-date with widgets known as Live Tiles. There are lot of tiles, one for contacts, one for email, one for messages, one of Xbox, and so on. It keeps you up-to-date with all the information, from all the spheres. With one tap, you can jump into the respective app the tile is associated with. You can resize the widgets, remove them from the screen, pin apps and webpages directly on the start screen, and change the background color. Not very customizable, but still looks great.
Android 4.1 comes with amazing performance improvements. The entire system is now 60 FPS consistent, from apps to animations. Everything is buttery smooth and never lags. The OS automatically ramps up CPU speed the moment a touch is detected, without delays, so that the phone is always responsive, which makes Jelly Bean the fastest operating system for phones. The apps wont ever lag now. On Quad core phones, the performance improvement is tremendous and game developers can now add even more effects and slickness to their games, without making the phone lag.
As of now, Windows Phone 7 users haven’t felt that their phone lags, as the user interface is totally hardware-accelerated and specially tailored for the hardware. Windows Phone 8 also follows the same, which makes it as fast as Android Jelly Bean.
iOS also fast, but cannot run a lot of apps simultaneously as it’s processor is weak (dual core 800Mhz).
NFC or Near Field Communication is a great technology which offers users to play multiplayer games, send and receive files as well as mobile payments. In Android, you can easily share all kinds of files through NFC and also pay for purchases at selected stores using Google Wallet. Google is saying that they are exploring this region even more and you can see a lot of new things coming soon based on NFC.
Windows Phone 8 now allows users to share Office docs, photos and contact info via NFC.
iOS6 (as of now) doesn’t offer NFC capabilities and there are reports that there won’t be a NFC chip embedded in the next generation iPhone. While these are just rumors, using NFC as a gateway to mobile payments and sharing files in the next iPhone would be awesome news for Apple fans.
Android Jellybean has Google Maps built in and has all the great features which Google Maps offer like Street View, 3D mode, Turn-by-Turn navigation and much more. Apart from this, you now can even store maps in offline mode and also have a panoramic view of certain places like stores, halls etc. from inside.
Windows Phone 8 has Nokia maps, but navigation feature is only available in the US.
iOS6 on the other hand dropped it’s Google maps and will have Apple’s own map service with Turn by Turn navigation with Siri and also a 3D helicopter view of certain cities from around the world. Nothing new as usual, and no new features.
I already assume that you think that Siri will win this one, but lets have a look.
Android has a lot of apps coming up like Vlingo and Evi which are said to be Siri competitors, but now something even more awesome is available! Dubbed Google Now, it’s like Siri but much better and faster. It has faster voice search, will be able to recognize voice without the need of a data connection and will also speak back to you with a seemingly realistic voice. It relies on Google’s new Knowledge Graph and all your data from different Google services to offer a personalized and smart answer to all your queries. For instance, it can notify you if your flight is delayed, update you with scores of your favorite team, and more, all without making you do anything.
Windows Phone 8 hasn’t got up anything like this, but it has voice input.
Apple on the other hand doesn’t need an introduction on this topic as you already know about Siri. Nothing really great in Siri for iOS6, except the fact that you can now launch apps and view information about restaurants, and etc. Apple has announced that there will be Siri integration with select cars soon.
We are talking smartphones here, how can we miss apps?
Android as of now has over 600,000 apps on Google Play. Ofcourse, the best part of Android for the users is that if they don’t want to pay for an app, they could easily find an apk file and get the app (we don’t want you to do that – only for informative purposes), isn’t it? It all changes with Jelly Bean. Now, all paid apps will be encrypted with a device-specific key before and after the installation of the app, which means you cannot simply copy the APK file and pass it around, as that APK file will only work on the device it originated from. For developers, Android is great because they can program apps on Windows, Mac and Linux and also Google doesn’t reject apps as much as Apple. All major apps are now available for Android.
Windows Phone doesn’t have as many apps as iOS and Android do, but with Windows Phone 8, developers can easily port their existing Windows apps on to Windows Phone 8. One big thing is that the most popular apps on iOS and Android which are free are paid on Windows Phone.
Apple iOS 6 has over 625,000 apps on the App store (as of June 2012). Many of them are paid anyways, but the quality of the apps, the functions and everything is really great as Apple is very particular about approving apps, and you can find an app for everything you want to do.
So this was our comparison on the best mobile operating systems and evidently, Android Jelly Bean leads the race with innovative and new features which Apple and Microsoft fail to deliver each year. Which one do you think is the best? Android, Windows Phone or iOS? Let us know if in the comments!