There are three main contenders in the smartphone (i.e. cellphones that are basically little bitty pocket computers! Joy!) market for you to choose from. So when your two-year contract is up, and your cell phone company gives you a free “upgrade” (with another damn two-year renewal), what do you choose?
I’m talking about iOS (i.e. iPhones), Android (i.e. a thousand different phones) and Windows. (No, I do not consider BlackBerry to be a smartphone. And yes, I can say that, because this is my column and I’ll discriminate against Blackberry if I want to! Also, please drop yours in a toilet and get another phone, thankyouverymuch.)
I could go on and on about technical specs, but you can Google all of that. Instead, I’ll give you a simple, easy to understand quickie guide to the three main phone operating systems. Because, truly, the operating system is at least half of the phone experience. Hardware makes a big impact, but the best hardware is still going to seem miserable if you haven’t picked the right OS for you.
Android: This is the smartphone for the tinkerer. If you are constantly tweaking things, like everything to be just so, and are considering going all-out geek and getting “root access” to your phone’s inner processes (so you can do stuff like uninstall all the crapware that comes on phones these days. Who wants that NFL app? NO ONE.), Android is for you. Android also has more than 50% of the market share right now (due to the fact that a crap-ton of phones are running it), and has a lot of great apps for technical business users.
iPhone: Everyone knows that Apple’s big thing is the polish and elegance of the user experience. The iPhone experience feels more finished in a way that Android just can’t yet compete with. It’s incredibly simple, and the apps and main operating system features are all incredibly consistent. For those of you who want your smartphone to just WORK, DAMMIT, and don’t want to spend any time tinkering or finding little fun tweaks and hacks, then iPhone might be for you. iPhone doesn’t have as many great business apps, but there are plenty for your average business(wo)man.
Windows: Windows phones used to be crap, but the latest iteration of Windows phones are gorgeous, and offer a fun mix of iPhone and Android. There is still a more customized aspect to this user experience, but it’s more polished. The Windows app marketplace hasn’t been around as long, but all of the business apps you need are available and more well-integrated with your workplace experience than any other device. Also, the customizable, automatically-updating tiles interface is sort of awesome.
So which way did you/will you go? Do you have one of these? What do you like? Dislike? I’m an Android fangirl, myself. But I could be persuaded to go Windows. :)