So, you have made the decision to abandon your old “dumbphone” and make the switch to a much smarter one. It’s understandable, as smartphones are very accessible and useful today, and the mobile data plans are always getting cheaper and cheaper. Once you have chosen to make the switch, the question arises: which mobile platform to go for? Let’s take a look on the most widely available ones, maybe this way you will be able to make your choice more easily.
Undoubtedly the leader of the smartphone OS market – it has a market share of over 80% today, which it will most likely maintain in the next few years as well. Android is easy to use, easy to navigate, and there are over a million various apps available for the platform.
Going with Android means that you will have a huge variety of handsets to choose from, at a huge variety of prices – and their price directly reflects their hardware configuration. Android is also easily customizable,
Using Google’s operating systems has a few downsides, though. Because of its popularity, it might become an increasingly attractive target for hackers. Besides, due to the fact that smartphone manufacturers always customize the standard Android distribution to their needs, you will not get the latest operating system version as soon as it’s released.
2. iPhone OS (iOS)
Another hugely popular mobile OS platform, but unlike Google’s Android, it’s completely closed. There is no need for it to be open source, by the way, because the only hardware platform it runs on is provided by Apple itself. It’s a robust, user-friendly and high-performance operating system, but sometimes it has vulnerabilities and glitches that expose it to attacks.
Going with the iPhone means perfect integration with other Apple devices, high performance and one of the best handsets available, but also means a very limited selection of hardware (all iPhones are sold by Apple, with a given configuration, and older models are discontinued after just a few years) and limited options for customization (unless you jailbreak your iPhone, but this is a little bit risky).
3. Windows Phone
Another closed software platform, this time by Microsoft. I haven’t tried the WP on a tablet, but on a phone it’s smooth, easy to use and very user-friendly. Sometimes I wonder how come other OS developers don’t “borrow” some of the features from it. When it comes to handset models, the Windows Phone platform offers more freedom than iOS but less than Android. When it comes to apps, though, it is far behind – if Android has over 1.2 million apps in its App Store, Windows Phone only has about 350,000.
4. Other operating systems
There are several other operating systems aspiring for a piece of the smartphone market. There is Amazon’s Fire OS, Samsung’s Tizen, Blackberry’s own OS, Ubuntu Phone, and so on. Some of these – like Amazon’s and Blackberry’s software – have the backing of phone manufacturers, other don’t have such background yet, so it’s not easy to predict what will happen to them. So, I guess going with one of the above three platforms for your first smartphone would be the best choice at this moment. When it comes to the second… well, that’s an entirely different matter.