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Android, iOS, and Windows are the much discussed about operating systems when you talk about smartphones. This is not taking into account other smartphones like Blackberry. Most manufacturers tend to rely on Android that is powered by Google for their devices. iOS, as we all know, is Apple’s very own operating system and is made available exclusively on this manufacturer’s devices. On the other hand, HTC and Microsoft Lumia gadgets have shown preference to getting Windows installed on their gadgets. To decide which operating system you need for your smartphone, we suggest that you have a look into some features of all the three smartphones. This can help you to make an informed buying decision.

This is not taking into account other smartphones like Blackberry. Most manufacturers tend to rely on Android that is powered by Google for their devices. iOS, as we all know, is Apple’s very own operating system and is made available exclusively on this manufacturer’s devices. On the other hand, HTC and Microsoft Lumia gadgets have shown preference to getting Windows installed on their gadgets. To decide which operating system you need for your smartphone, we suggest that you have a look into some features of all the three smartphones. This can help you to make an informed buying decision.

Design and Interface

The three operating systems not only have distinct designs and interfaces but also function differently in most cases. Android and Windows have undergone and are continuing to experience a series of changes whilst iOS appears to be more or less the same since a major change in 2007. Android and iOS offer users the flexibility of having more than one home screen on their devices. On the other hand, Windows users can access only a single home screen with a live tile interface. While you cannot adjust the size of the icons on Android and iOS screens, you can opt for either small or large tiles on your Windows screen. With small tiles, you can have many apps listed on your handset. In contrast, the advantage of having large tiles is that they provide you with updates without having to open the app.

All three operating systems have one similarity as far as their home screens designs are concerned. A single downward swipe from the top of the screen will get you a full list of notifications of all your calls, emails, and messages in one place. This update has been made available by Windows only from its Windows 8.1 version.



Apps

This can be a really serious factor to help you choose which factor you must buy. In the earlier days, an app store with the maximum number of apps was the preferred choice. However, there has been a changing trend in the recent past. Both Apple’s app store and Google’s Play Store have a plethora of quality apps. iOS however has the advantage of allowing users to filter out apps that are exclusively meant for Apple’s devices. Google does not support this functionality for Android users as of now. In the past, iOS used to lead the way for rolling out core platform independent apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Gmail, along with their updates. But now Android seems to have caught up with iOS with apps for both devices being developed simultaneously.

Windows cuts a sorry figure for itself as far as the Apps topic is discussed. The apps in the Windows store are no match for its Android and iOS counterparts in terms of quantity and quality. The Windows store has less than half of the number of apps you can expect from iOS or Android. That being said, many core platform independent apps that made their presence on Android and iOS long ago are just beginning to turn up on Windows. Instagram is one such example. Added to this agony is the fact that the apps in the Windows store get updated very slowly or the update does not happen at all. The apps also lack basic features present in their counterparts on the other two platforms.

Customization

This is one place where iOS and Windows miserably fail to impress you. With iOS, the most you can do is to change the wallpaper. Talking of Windows, you cannot go beyond changing the color of the live tiles. Of course, we are not talking about those basic settings like where you choose a ringtone or screen timeout duration. Android has taken a big leap in this direction. Most manufacturers have developed their own user interfaces that are integrated with the operating system. For instance, Samsung offers the TouchWiz UI and HTC goes ahead with the HTC Sense UI. As and when updates are made to them new versions of the user interfaces are released. With the UI, you can achieve a good deal of user customization. Thus, the same version of Android makes it looks different on the smartphone based on the user interface integrated with the operating system. And if this is not enough, Android has of late introduced its own style, which lessens the need of a user interface for customization.

Security

This can be a serious point of consideration, especially if you would like to use your smartphone to store business and confidential information. In such cases, you do not want to put your handset at stake, do you? With all its plus points, the biggest drawback of Android is that it gets the least point on the security quotient. This is because you can download and install apps on your handset from sources other than the Google Play Store. By doing this you are making your smartphone vulnerable to threats, especially if the apps are installed from untrustworthy sources.

Where Android fails, iOS and Windows emerge winners. You cannot download apps for your Apple and Windows handsets from any other source other than their app stores. Also, all apps are reviewed and approved before they are made available in the app store.

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