Windows Phone 8 vs Apple iOS 6
The battle between the prospective operating systems is an age old battle that has now transferred in to the smartphone realm, as well. It has been there since the PC operating systems started to evolve, and today, Microsoft dominates the market with Windows operating system while Apple Mac OS and Linux versions follow closely. The operating system battles in smartphones are almost synonymous to that of PC world with the exception of Google Android as the dominator. It is closely followed by Apple iOS just like the PC market and then comes Blackberry and Windows. As you can see, this is obviously a conflict of interest for Microsoft where they have dominated the PC market and struggling to secure their place in the smartphone market. Hence analysts were predicting radical measures from Microsoft in order to increase their proportion of the market to match that of the PC operating system market. However, there are still a few shortcomings as you can see when we discuss the operating systems in length. We decided to compare the new Windows Phone 8 against Apple iOS 6 which is the operating system of the newest Apple devices. Let us compare their individual features and identify the differentiating factors in each operating system.
Microsoft Windows Phone 8 Review
Microsoft released the newest version of their mobile operating system back in the late Octobers with the debut of few Windows Phone 8 devices. The most famous among the devices running on Windows Phone 8 right now is Nokia Lumia 920 which is considered as a high end product. As an operating system, it seems Microsoft is aiming to conquer the mobile operating systems market that is covered currently by the Research in Motion or Blackberry. Ideally Microsoft will try to grasp the third position of the smartphone market which is impressive if they do it.
Windows Phone 8 introduces some new features that introduce a refreshing breeze to the existing usability perspective of the smartphones. However, there are certain counterarguments regarding the same issue, as well. Let us look in to those factors and try to understand which arguments can be materialized in reality. In terms of usability and the interface, Microsoft has retained their unique metro style interface with the tiles. In the Windows Phone 8, the tiles are live as such can be flipped, and it’ll reveal useful information on the other side. A major complain from the Android fans moving in to Windows Phone 8 is the issue with customizability. While Android gives users a high degree of customization options, Windows Phone 8 limits it to changing the colors and the position of the tiles in the home screen.
Windows Phone 8 comes with some unique features like SkyDrive integration and People Hub, which is a people centric information center. The DataSense app gives an overview of the data usage and Microsoft has also added Microsoft Wallet in Windows Phone 8. It is commendable that they have integrated NFC support and speech recognition via Audible while the new Camera Hub app makes taking photos easier than ever. Since Microsoft acquired Skype, they have made amendments and integrated skype at the basic level so that the user can take a skype call just as easily as taking a normal call which is pretty impressive. Microsoft also provides integration with their services like Xbox, Office and SkyDrive. They are also letting you accommodate the usage of smartphone by your kids by creating them separate account.
The new operating system is certainly faster than its predecessor with better graphics and better responsiveness. The manufacturers seem to follow a unique square corner design that immediately separates a Windows Phone from other smartphones in the market. We don’t know whether Microsoft imposes this on the vendors or not, but it certainly is becoming a trademark for Windows Phones. The complain that most people make about the Windows Phone 8 is the lack of applications. According to some sources, Microsoft app store only has around 10,000 to 20,000 apps; Microsoft promises that it’ll reach 100,000 apps target by January 2013. However, given the current circumstances, that seems like an unrealistic goal. Right now there are enough apps among the 10,000, but the problem is, there are certain vital apps that are not available like Dropbox. We are hoping Microsoft’s efforts on developing the app market would pay off soon eliminating the allegation on lack of apps.
Apple iOS 6 Review
As we discussed before, iOS has been the main inspiration for the other OSs to improve their appearance in the eyes of the users. Hence it is needless to say that iOS 6 carries the same charisma in impressive looks. Besides that, let us look what Apple has brought to the plate with the new iOS 6 that differs from iOS 5.
iOS 6 has improved the phone application significantly. It is now more user friendly and versatile. Combined with Siri, the possibilities to this are endless. It also enables you to reject calls more easily with a pre-composed message and a ‘don’t-disturb’ mode. They have also introduced something similar to Google Wallet. iOS 6 Passbook lets you keep e-tickets in your mobile phone. These may range from musical events to airline tickets. There is this particularly interesting feature related to airline tickets. If you have an e-ticket in your Passbook, it would automatically alert you once the departure gate was announced or changed. Of course, this means a lot of collaboration from the ticketing / airline firm as well, but it’s a nifty feature to have. As opposed to the version before, iOS 6 enables you to use facetime over 3G, which is great.
A major attraction in the smartphone is its browser. iOS 6 has added a brand new Safari application which introduces a lot of enhancements. iOS mail is also improved, and it has a separate VIP mailbox. Once you define the VIP list, their mails would appear in a dedicated mailbox on your lock screen which is a cool feature to have. An apparent improvement can be seen with Siri, the famous digital personal assistant. iOS 6 integrates Siri with the vehicles on their steering wheel using the new Eyes Free feature. Leading vendors like Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, and Toyota have agreed to support Apple on this endeavor which would be a welcome addition in your car. Further it also has integrated Siri to the new iPad, as well.
Facebook is the world’s largest social media network, and any smartphone nowadays concentrates largely on how to integrate more and seamlessly with Facebook. They specifically boast on integrating Facebook events with your iCalendar, and that is a cool concept. Twitter integration has also been improved as per official preview of Apple. Apple has also come up with their own Maps application which still needs improvement on coverage. Conceptually, it can act as either a satellite navigation system or a turn by turn navigation map. Maps application can also be controlled using the Siri, and it has new Flyover 3D views of major cities. This has become one of the main ambassadors for iOS 6.
In fact, let us look at the maps application in depth. Apple investing in their own Geographic Information System is an aggressive step against relying on Google. However, right now, Apple Maps application is going to lack information about the traffic conditions and some other user generated data vectors that Google has collected and established over the years. For instance, you lose Street View and instead get the 3D Flyover View as the compensation. Apple was conscious enough to provide turn by turn navigation with voice instructions with iOS 6, but if you intend to take public transport, the routing is done with third party applications, unlike the Google Maps. However, don’t expect too much right now because the 3D Flyover feature is only available to major cities in USA only.
A Brief Comparison Between Microsoft Windows Phone 8 and Apple iOS 6
• Microsoft Windows Phone 8 offers metro style user interface with live tiles that feature dynamic content while Apple iOS 6 follows the footsteps of its predecessors.
• Microsoft Windows Phone 8 offers Camera Hub while Apple iOS 6 has also added some enhancements to their camera application.
• Microsoft offers speech recognition via Audible while Apple iOS 6 provides a further improved version of their Personal Digital Assistant Siri.
• Microsoft Windows Phone 8 offers the ability to create user accounts for kids with KidsCorner while Apple iOS 6 doesn’t offer any such feature.
• Microsoft Windows Phone 8 introduces new applications like DataSense, People Hub and Microsoft Wallet etc. while Apple iOS 6 has delegated their store to a set of different applications.
• Microsoft Windows Phone 8 offers the ability to take Skype video calls just like normal calls while Apple iOS 6 offers Safari browser that has a ‘read it later’ function.
As it’s usual with any operating system comparison, it’s really difficult to determine what the best operating system is. The fact simply is that it depends on your preference. For instance, a Unix geek would love an operating system that purely operates with a command line while a Windows user would absolutely loathe it. That is something we are seeing with the transition from Android or iOS devices to Windows Phone 8 because they have actually introduced some radical changes in the user interface. Hence I’ve seen many people complain saying even though it’s snappier than ever, they just can’t figure out where to find what they want. So what my advice to you is really simple; it may be your cup of tea, and you’ll love its simplicity, it may not be your cup of tea, and you’ll absolutely hate it. Both way, there’s only one way to find out and that is to get your hands on one of these devices and try it out for yourself. Once you are satisfied with an operating system that would better serve your needs, go for that. However, beware that there is an issue about the lack of applications for Windows Phone 8 devices and hence it may be advisable if you perform a background check and see whether the needed applications are indeed available before going for a Window Phone 8 device.