iOS 7 Vs Windows Phone 8 Vs Android 4.3
At present, the iOS 7, Windows Phone 8 and Android 4.3 are the top three mobile operating systems in the world. Apple’s iOS is now in its seventh version, and is called the iOS 7. This drastically redesigned iOS was released on 18th September 2013, and within a week it has taken hold of 51.8% of the market. It’s already Apple’s most popular OS ever.
Windows Phone 8 is the second generation of the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft. Released in October 2012, this OS’s market share was 3% in the final quarter of 2012, which is infact a 124% increase over the same time period in the previous year. According to analyst firm Gartner, Microsoft’s mobile OS has showed a 133% growth over the year.
Android is a Linux-based operating system, which operates on smartphones made by a variety of mobile-makers. The latest version is the Jelly Bean 4.3, which was released in July 2013.
Here’s a look at iOS 7, Windows Phone 8 and Android 4.3 in their current avatars and how they compare.
The iOS 7 has completely overhauled its previous user interface. In fact, it is being billed as the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone. New icons, layering, gyroscope-driven parallaxing, and translucency are some of its new features. The platform is a multi-plane 2.5D zooming UI and uses colours that were on the original rainbow coloured Apple logo.
iOS 7 has made multitasking a real pleasure! Double tapping the home button will open up a row of active apps, and all you need to do to close one is to swipe it up. Tap an app, and it will open up in full screen. And then there’s the Control Centre, which gives you quick access to commonly used apps, controls, and settings. You can simply swipe across the screen to adjust the brightness, turn on the Wi-Fi, and more.
The iOS 7 UI looks extremely appealing, and works extraordinarily well.
Windows Phone 8
The user interface on a Windows phone consists of the Start screen, which is filled up with Live Tiles that are dynamic in nature and updated in real time. These squares are linked to different apps, functions, contacts, etc. You have the freedom to add or delete tiles, and to rearrange them as per your liking.
Many features on this UI are clubbed into hubs, which essentially integrates local and online content. For example, the Pictures hub contains photographs from the user’s social networking accounts, as well as those on the device. You can even comment on images within the hub, and they will then get updated on your social networks.
The Windows Phone 8 is great for multitasking. Apps run in the background, and by pressing a button you can switch between different active apps.
Microsoft’s mobile operating system does not come with a Control Centre. You’ll need to go to the Settings menu to make changes. Since there is no centralized notification centre, you can access controls through the Live Tiles as well.
Android 4.3 is perhaps the best OS for multitasking. Press the multitasking button, and you will get an entire list of active applications. Apps run in the background, and can even produce expanded notifications with images, graphs, and more. Notification on Android 4.3 are live and dynamic, but the list can be cleared with a simple swipe. You may be able to access quick settings and functions by adding the Power Control widget on to your home screen.
Apple has released the iOS 7.0.2 update, which now fixes the bug that previously allowed anyone to bypass the Lockscreen passcode. To help you remember your account usernames and passwords for different sites, this OS allows you to store all your information on the iCloud. When you login to a website, the details will automatically get filled up. Apple promises that all passwords will be encrypted.
iOS 7 keeps track of app permissions at the root level. This means that you can adjust your privacy settings for each app individually. You also have the choice to activate the Limit Ad Tracking feature, which will block marketers from planting cookies on your phone. There’s also an icon that points out when an app has accessed your location data. Furthermore, Apple has introduced a password-protect reset feature, which ensures that stolen Apple devices can’t be used without the owner’s Apple ID and password.
Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 8 encryption gets activated the minute your device is turned on. This system, based on Bitlocker, encrypts your entire device. Microsoft has also added a new feature called the SafeBoot Feature. Simply put, it makes it difficult for any component with an incorrect digital signature to be loaded on to your Windows phone. Every Windows phone will get a unique key burned into a chip, and only those functions will work that match this digital signature.
In addition to all this, the OS runs all apps as third party Marketplace apps. Microsoft has however not added any feature that protects devices if they get stolen.
Android 4.3 gives you the freedom to restrict certain users from accessing content on your device. You can also stop individual apps from getting your contact information or location data. This OS, like iOS 7, does have features that protect phones in case they get stolen.
iOS 7 does not allow for a lot of customization. Like Android’s live wallpapers, Apple gives you the choice to use dynamic wallpapers on your home and lock screens. However, there is not a whole lot of choice yet.
Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 8, like iOS 7, does not give its users a lot of liberty to customize. Live Tiles can be resized, and the lock screen can be used to add widgets, photos, and notifications. You can select a theme color, and your UI elements, including third-party apps, will all coordinate accordingly.
Android Jelly Bean is the king of customization! You can be flexible with wallpapers, widgets, apps, custom launchers, and lots more. You can download content from the Google Play Store, and essentially customize your device anyway you like.
Apple has launched iTunes Radio, which is a free streaming music service. This feature is currently available to only those users living in the US, but it’ll soon be rolled out in other countries. You can listen to channels based on genres, and can create your own channel containing your favourite music. iTunes Radio will save users preferences, thereby playing music based on listening history.
Windows Phone 8
Xbox Music is available on this OS. It’s a digital music service that offers music through ad-supported streaming, subscription streaming, and purchase through the Xbox Music Store. Users have access to more than 30 million tracks from music groups like Universal, Sony BMG, EMI, and Warner. Microsoft also allows you to subscribe to the Xbox Music Pass, which lets you download an unlimited number of songs.
Android 4.3 lets you load your music from other handhelds and computers without any kind of restrictions. You can also purchase songs from Google Play, and use Play Music All Access, which lets you stream whatever audio you have stored in the cloud.
As of June 2013, the Apple Store offers 9,00,000 apps to its customers! No other smartphone maker has been able to compete with Apple in this regard. It’s also important to remember that most apps are first developed for iOS, and then probably released later on Android. Windows Phone 8 is usually just an afterthought.
One great update on the iOS 7 has been that apps will get automatically updated, without you ever having to manually download updates. If you still want to update apps manually, Apple gives you that option.
Windows Phone 8
The Windows Store has only 1,00,000 apps, and that too across different platforms. Microsoft’s biggest drawback is its inability to provide a wide selection of applications for its customers.
This OS has an Update All tab for its apps.
Google’s Play Store offers lots of free apps, though their quality may not always be as great as those offered on iOS. Thanks to the launch of Play Music, Play Books, Play Movies, and Play Magazines, downloading content has become a lot easier on Android than before.
Auto updating option is available too.
The Pfeiffer Report says that Apple’s iOS 7 has a clear advantage in terms of overall user experience. iOS7 and iOS6 have ranked No. 1 and No. 2 with scores of 73.25 and 70, respectively. Android comes in third place with 57.25, whereas BlackBerry 10 takes fourth place. Windows Phone 8 is nowhere to be seen.