Monday, November 18, 2013

A Guide on Choosing the Smartphone Right for You: Platform Edition

There are a lot of factors that can influence one’s choice for the operating system of his phone. Aside from apps, services, and responsiveness, aesthetic appeal is a significant indicator as well. The three dominant mobile platforms today are Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which are rank-ordered respectively. Android officially comprises 80 percent of the global platform market share in the 3rd quarter of 2013, while iOS is still second in line with 12.9 percent, down from 14.4 percent a year ago. On the other hand, Windows Phone is slowly but steadily growing in number, being locked in the third spot with 3.6 percent. Given the figures, let’s just focus on the big three of smartphone platforms. So, read on.

The reason for the significantly impressive market share of Android is its availability to the smartphones of multiple manufacturing companies. Its widespread utilization in smartphones of all sorts, three-inchers to 6-inch phablets, makes it the most popular by a wide margin. And why won’t it be? Android features an easily customizable OS that hardware manufacturers and users themselves can drastically change by just a few simple tweaks. If you don’t like the current virtual keyboard, download another from Google’s Play Store. If you want the most recent tweets in your timeline on the homescreen instead of the clock, then customize it. Android lets its users get a more personalized experience with their handheld devices.

And since Android is Google’s very own, it offers Google’s vast number of innovative services, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google+, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and Google Maps. The most noteworthy drawback of Android is what kept it the leading mobile platform in the first place. Because it’s available to a myriad of smartphone brands, third-party app developers find it labor-intensive to develop apps for Android; as a result, cutting-edge apps make their debut in iOS first because of the said factor. In addition, the quality of apps available in Play Store isn’t always up to the same standards set by in iOS.

iOS can be solely found on all iDevices. As a matter of fact, its exclusivity makes it more appealing and interesting. However, with that kind of situation, it has to prove itself as something worth having, and that is exactly what Apple has accomplished with iOS.

Among all mobile platforms out there, iOS is branded as the most user-friendly. It is generally the simplest to use and learn. Indeed, even toddlers have been able to master every nook and cranny of the iOS. But with its easy-to-use interface, comes a very stringent limitation for personalization. And talk about apps; it is a tradition that third-party software developers choose to target iOS first because of the ease of releasing an app on only limited types of devices, even though the iOS market share isn’t that much as compared with Android’s. The disadvantage is just is if you’re not much of a fan of the hardware specifics of iDevices like a limited 4-inch screen with its smartphones, then you might want to consider another OS.

Windows Phone

The mobile platform from Microsoft is the youngest of the three. Due to its considerably small share in the global platform market, it’s just but expected that its app ecosystem isn’t rich enough when compared to Google Play and iTunes. This might be the very reason why you yourself may think twice before getting smartphone that runs on Windows Phone. But make no rash decisions just yet, for the devices that run this OS are of good quality. Most of them are Nokia products. And now that the mobile phone division of Nokia has been purchased by Microsoft, we can definitely see more improvements with the upcoming handsets to be produced by Microsoft with the current technology of Nokia.

Choosing the operating system of your next smartphone could be the most important consideration you’ll have to ponder on. The platform is essentially the soul of every device, so think carefully and choose properly.

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