No smartphone operating system is going to outperform the alternatives on every standard – plenty of apps; ease of use; good security; very low cost. That’s why customers have to decide what matters to them before making a choice.
Nor is it enough to just pick a phone. Customers need to pick the right operating system as well. The chief options are Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10.
”Everyone has to consider the pros and cons for themselves,” says Markus Weidner of the German telecommunications portal Teltarif.de.
Android appeals to do-it-yourselfers and has a huge lead. One major appeal is cost: a decent Android smartphone can start at only 100 euros (132 dollars). Apps and games are often cheaper than from the competition.
The system is also very open and easy to individualize with widgets and launchers. ”It’s great for dabblers,” says Weidner.
But the openness can mean security risks. Weidner says there are frequent virus and security problems with Android, unlike other systems.
Apple’s iOS is for those who demand a bit more. Designed for both the iPhone and iPad, iOS combines a wide choice of apps with more security and stability.
”Anyone who just wants to pull their mobile out of their pocket and start using it is better off with this,” says Weidner.
The system has been regularly updated, with new versions expected to include a control centre, which should let users switch more quickly between Bluetooth and wi-fi. But moving to iOS can be expensive and it only works with Apple products.
Those with more individual tastes might consider the Windows Phone, which won’t seem strange to anyone who uses a Windows 8 PC at home. It’s a very solid and stable operating system, says Weidner, and it works on a variety of affordable devices, some of which are better than their Android analogues. But the selection of apps can seem limited.
Blackberry still appeals to professionals. The newest version, the Blackberry 10, suits those who like a physical keyboard. Weidner says he generally likes the software, but worries about the lack of apps.
The variety is even smaller than with Windows Phone, he says. (dpa)