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Which Mobile OS is Best For You?

Which Mobile OS is Best For You?

If you've already bought a smart phone, you'll know the importance of choosing a good OS for it. With the versions of all the giants already in competition and many smaller companies trying to run the race, it gets tougher sorting the best from the rest. Take a look at the best ones out there and choose which one fits your bill.
Arun Prabhu
Choosing the best OS is not an easy task anymore. To get the best out of your phone, you need the best operating system. I've made a list of reasons to pick out the best of the top three systems in use today. Depending on how you intend to use your phone, choose any one out of them.

Choosing the Best Mobile OS

Choosing the better OS out of the three will be based largely on what you want to do on your phone. If it's simple texting and calling, you can pick any of the three, no issues there. For anything else, read about the qualities and shortcomings that each OS has.

Symbian
In 2008, Symbian held 65% of the worldwide shares in smart phones. They were the kings of the phone software world, free to do whatever they wanted. But, that was 2008. And even then they had things to worry about. At that time, the iPhone and the Android were minorities, but they were forces to be reckoned with. Cutting to 2011, I doubt you'll see anyone with a Symbian on their screens. The reason? Symbian is hard to use, hard to develop and well, old. If it was all about Nokia then, it is all about the Samsungs and the iPhones now. People seem to have forgotten the excitement in the air when Nokia released the first line of smart phones. Truth be told, you just might find Symbian users that will swear by their OS. But if you look at the market numbers, you'll know just how bad Symbian has it. Speculations are that it might just disappear by 2015.

iOS
Tired of your Symbian? Enter the iPhone, all new and sparkling, set to dazzle everyone with its mighty display and the Apple logo. If you ask anyone who uses an iPhone, you'll notice that they will never moan about their phone being bad. That's because it isn't. iPhone users will always tell you how awesome their phone is, or how completely normal and alright their iOS is. If you use an iPhone, you'll never hate it. Starting off as an opponent to Symbian, the iPhone has now more of a style statement than a smart phone that has things people really need to get things done. All that apart, there are some things the iOS is really good at.

Computing powers for the iOS are pretty much good. It's smooth, fast and reliable. It trumps the Android in the display screen area. The iOS includes the famous Retina Display, allowing the relatively smaller screens of the iPhones (compared to android phones with giant screens like the Samsung Galaxy S II) to show images in a much richer resolution. The iPhone also gives you enhanced video calling features, allowing you to stay in touch a lot more. But it only applies if the other user has an iPhone as well.

It can be very user-friendly. The concept of the iOS is the same as the OS on Apple Macs, so if you've used a Mac before, you'll know your way around the iPhone too. The fact that they integrated the phone with the OS to such a deep extent to provide the most seamless experience ever is kind of mixed bag of reactions. You don't just like an iPhone, you love it. Every single app will be on your Christmas list. But again, you need to pay for the apps. You can debate on how 'true quality' is never free, but I beg to differ. If there was a single thing you saw somewhere else that you wanted on the iPhone, but it wasn't on the list or you didn't have the money, you will end up regretting buying the phone. Anything that belongs to Google probably can't be used by an iPhone user. The same, however, doesn't really go for Android users. And that, pretty much sums up the iOS, speed, simplicity and quality for a price.

Android
If you thought the article was biased towards the iOS till now, all you need to do is check out the sales charts. There is a very valid reason why the Android is going to be the best OS out there in the near future. Numbers predict the downfall of Symbian and the rise of Android, with the iOS tailing closely. There are two reasons why the Android is so popular; it's open source and it has free apps.

The android offers a better processing speed than the iPhone because of the larger number of brands under the android banner. With the iOS, you have to wait for that time of the year when Apple launches its next iPhone. With the Android, you'll keep seeing new phones in the market all the time, most with capabilities better than the iPhone. Also, Android supports Flash® while neither the iOS nor Windows Mobile 7 does. The only problem big enough to actually be a problem with the Android is the need for a third party app for video calling and conferencing, unlike the iOS. You have a much better Facebook integration onto your Android phone than the iOS.

Multiple (5 at least) built in panes, a completely free app store, complete access to everything that Google has made or will make (including Google Maps and Google Talk) is more than enough to make anyone's mouth water. The only place where Android falls short is the number of apps (around 100,000 compared to the iPhone's 350,000), but honestly, nobody ever needs so many. If you're a regular smartphone user, you only need know a handful of useful apps and you're good to go. Because Android is completely open source, you can get whatever you want, tweak it to whichever degree and use it however you want to. It's this angle of ultimate freedom that makes the Android praiseworthy. Yes, the Android is a little rough around the edges and some people may complain about it, but if you want an OS that can do it all, get Android. It may not be as fast and simple as the iOS, but it definitely promises to be that and more as time moves on.

Mango
Launched in 2010, the Windows Mobile 7 was late in entry into the world of smartphones. They had far less apps than the other operating systems. Windows Phone 7 does not support multitasking, video calling (even with a third party app) or even a direct Twitter integration.

All that changed with the introduction of Windows Mobile 7.5, codenamed Mango, in 2011. It has the things that shone in the earlier version, like direct access to any and all software by Microsoft, including Microsoft Office, the ability to maintain an active home screen. You don't have fixed apps on your home screen, rather alphabetically arranged 'live tiles' that consist of the apps you're using. With the Windows Mobile 7, you get a direct integration with Facebook, along with an Xbox Live integration (Android and iOS require third party apps). Although the version 7 does not support Silverlight, it uses Silverlight for display purposes.

Mango removes all the problems (or deficiencies) from version 7. You now have true hardcore multitasking, a fully blown social network integration, much-needed improvements to the email department and new voice dictation features. In fact, Mango is said to contain about 500 features, of with the regular folk would only use about 30 or 40. The rest are dedicated to the die-hard users who expect their Windows smartphone to do absolutely anything. By September 2011, Windows finally became a serious threat to the iOS and the Android.

The final decision is yours; if you want simplicity and have the money to spare, get an iPhone. If you want to use your smart phone according to your personal wishes, get the Android. It would also be a wise move to check on any new releases or updates to either OS when you go out and buy either. But in the end, it seems they will always stick to their roots.