Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tech Wars-Mobile OS Edition

Copyright 2014 Joshua Zenn. All logos within are property of their respective owner(s)


iOS vs Android. Their makers seem locked in an infinite battle. And now Microsoft has (re)entered the mobile arena with Windows Phone 8.1. It's time to put these mobile operating systems to the test. Now before we begin we have to explain that we are only using CONSUMER editions of the operating systems. That means that WP 8.1 Developer and iOS 8 are excluded.


iOS 7.1 Android 4.4 Windows Phone 8.1 Winner
First released June 29, 2007 October 2003 2004 Android 4.4
Fanbase 410 million (2012 900 million (2013) Unknown (less than 5% of market share) Android 4.4
Apps in app store more than 1 million 950,000 120,000 iOS 7.1
Kernel/code roots Darwin/Unix Linux Windows Kernel NA
Device support Apple branded hardware Most ARM based phones with at least 512 MB RAM Microsoft branded hardware (mostly Nokia and Samsung at the moment) Android 4.4
Screen sharing support Airplay Chromecast USB or Miracast WP 8.1
Voice Assistant Siri Google Now Cortana WP 8.1
Developer program $200 USD a year plus you must own a Mac one-time $25 USD fee plus any computer that will run Java $90 yearly fee plus any PC running Visual Studio 2013 Android 4.4
Enterprise device management Yes, certificates Unknown Yes, Microsoft Exchange Tie, iOS and WP
Emulators Yes, only on Macs with the Developer Program Yes, with devkit. And boot a fully functional version with the x86 project Yes, included with devkit Android 4.4
Developer previews Yes, requires full DevCenter subscription Yes, but only on supported devices Yes, using app with free AppStudio account WP 8.1
Built-in browser Safari Chrome Internet Explorer Three way tie, category eliminated
Unlock methods Jailbreak Root None iOS 7.1
"silent" mode Do Not Disturb Unknown Quiet Hours WP 8.1

Winners Average user Developer Buisness user Overall Winner
Windows Phone 8.1 Android 4.4 Windows Phone 8.1 Tie, Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4

So for this episode of Tech Wars, we divided up the results a little bit differently. Now can break down each section to show how we selected a winner.

Average user:
Windows Phone just barely won this catagory with it's amazing "Quiet Hours" mode that supports geofencing, calender events, and manual triggers. It also has the most flexible screen-sharing function and it has one of the best voice assistants. We chose Cortana as the best voice assistant because Cortana can intelligently display more information than Siri and Cortana is also very expandable through the Windows Phone API.

Developer:
Android took this catagory by storm by having an extremely cheap developer program and a universal devkit that works on just about any computer that is capable of running and compiling Java. It also has a decent emulator and there is an unofficial port to the x86 (32-bit) PC platform.

Business user:
As discussed above, Quiet Hours is an amazing feature of Windows Phone 8.1. And a "silent mode" is a must for any business professional. Windows Phone also has Cortana and offers the best support with enterprise profiles by integrating with your business's already-existing Microsoft Exchange services. And it also offers a nice screen-sharing feature so you can give presentations using the included Microsoft Office app.

Overall Winner:
Windows Phone 8.1 is great and all, but Android has an iron grip in the market share holding 900 million device registrations. Plus Android has lots of apps already in it's app store. But Windows Phone 8.1 is feature rich in almost every other category. So this Tech Wars ends in a tie.

So let us know in the comments, do you agree with our pick? Would you have picked something else? Do you think we left out a worthy competitor? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned every Tuesday and Thursday for more Tech Wars.

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Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_iOS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Phone