Mobile devices are having a significant impact on our lives nowadays, and in fact they are redefining the way we access information and communicate with others. This is due to not only the hardware but the specialized software that these devices run and most importantly, their operating systems. The increasing importance of mobile devices has driven intense competition amongst software giants, as well as mobile industry leaders in a bid to capture the largest market share. The most common mobile operating systems that can be found on smartphones, mobile OS-powered tablet computers, and other mobile devices include Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, to mention the most promising ones.
The iOS is definitely one of the world’s most advanced mobile platforms, constantly redefining what’s possible on a mobile device. Friendly interface, high-quality support service, regular updates and many other features make this OS so popular among customers. Though, it’s restricted nature and the possibility to use it only in iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch make this OS less flexible, unlike, Android OS. Android is an operating system of open source, led by Google, backed by all major mobile device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Dell, LG, etc. Released in November 2007 the Android OS has become one of the leading mobile OS in the world and today Google holds the largest market share, leaving the iOS behind. With multiple new releases every year this system is evolving constantly, refining the user interface, improving gaming performance, adding support for extra input devices, etc. Its latest release Ice Cream Sandwich added facial recognition unlock, network data usage monitoring and control, unified social networking contacts, photography enhancements, offline email searching.
oreover the level to which Android can be customized is really impressive. And in this way Android seems to definitely rock the mobile device market. Yet recently it gained a strong competitor – Windows Phone, developed by Microsoft. A new release – Windows Phone 7 – offers some innovative and unique features, which stand this OS out against both iOS and Android. These are Internet Explorer 9, integration with popular social networks such as Facebook, Windows Live, and Twitter, Microsoft Office that provides interoperability between Windows Phone and the desktop version of Microsoft Office. Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, OneNote Mobile, and SharePoint Workspace Mobile allow most Microsoft Office file formats to be viewed and edited directly on a Windows Phone device and many others. Instead of a non-customizable home screen as on the iPhone, or widgets on Android, Windows Phone 7 uses rectangular “live tiles,” a cross-breed of widgets and application icons.
The live tiles link to an application, but they also display live information on the home screen. In comparison, iPhone does not have an active home screen or widgets, while Android employs widgets of all shapes and sizes to display information on the main screen. And things seem to become even better for Windows Phone since the announcement of a partnership between Windows and Nokia was made which means Windows Phone would become the primary smartphone operating system for Nokia. Thus, nowadays the mobile device market offers us a range of innovative mobile OS. Which one to go for? Highly advanced and popular but restricted iOS? Customizable in many ways Android that can be tuned for most demanding user needs or recently emerged but very promising Windows Phone? We’ll see what happens next in the flourishing mobile device world.