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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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