Android, iOS and Windows Phone is the three largest operating system for mobile devices. Each OS will have their own supporters and haters. Here’s a list of what I like and what I dislike the most on each of them. These are just my personal preference and this might not be true for you. 

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What I love in iOS – App Store

The thing I love the most in iOS is the App Store. The variety and the richness of the offering is unrivalled by the other OS. There is no app that I cannot find in the store and there are a lot of big titles such as Plants VS Zombies 2 are launched first in the App Store. Apple also put in a lot of effort to manage the store. First of all Apple will filter the apps published on the App Store so the quality of the apps will be higher. The apps for tablet is also better than Android as usually the apps will be optimised for the larger screen instead of just simply enlarging the apps on phones.

The apps suggestion is also the best. The Editor’s Choice and Free App of the Week often introduces very nice and useful apps. The categories will be updated from time to time and this helps me to discover a lot of new apps. I have problem finding new apps in Google PlayStore as compared to App Store as it is less organised although having a wide apps offering too. Some people will claimed that a lot of apps in App Store is not free but based on my experience, the free apps are already more than enough and there is no paid apps that I cannot live without it.

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What I hate in iOS – Boring

In iOS there is very few place where we can customise as we please due to the closed nature. While the OS is far from being ugly, I am bored of it after using it for years. The freshness given by iOS 7 can hardly last for a week and deep in my heart will realise the things is still the same. Without the freedom of setting themes and launcher, iOS devices often lacks identity and personality without any jailbreak. Even if you jailbreak your iOS device, the change you can make is pretty limited too without considering the drop in performance. Without the freedom, I lacked the motivation to rearrange all the things and even changing wallpaper after using it for some time. Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014 will be held on 2nd of June so I hope that there will be surprises for us.

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What I love in Android -Freedom of Customisation

As opposed to iOS, the best thing of Android in my opinion will be the freedom you arrange things to suit your taste and your need. You basically control anything including lockscreen, icons, homepage and more by installing launcher. Some launchers are so great that after using it you can’t really go back to the original launcher. The best part of launcher is that you don’t have to even root your device to make the change. You can also install a lot of third party apps as default apps for certain action to replace the original apps. For example, you can use Chrome as default browser, the fun Google Camera as default camera, or one of tonnes of messaging apps to replace the original one if you find it boring. You can change the keyboard as you like too.

If you don’t like your out-of-the-box UI, you can choose any custom ROM you like to flash it into your devices.  And you can root your device to have more control over the hardware like overclocking the CPU. But make sure you know what you are doing so that you won’t void your warranty and kill your own device.

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What I hate in Android – Bloatware

As much freedom was granted in Android, its ironic that we don’t have full control on what will be in your phone. First of all we need to understand between the difference between AOSP and ACP, the two different policy offered by Google for OEMs to follow. AOSP (Android Open Source Project) is an open source project where every manufacturers can use Android as their base of their own build software. Anything can be changed they like but the biggest drawback is that they cannot have Google’s core application suite such as PlayStore in it. Nokia X and Amazon tablets are made under this policy so they rarely have any redundant apps.

Conversely, companies like Samsung and HTC are following ACP (Android Compatibility Program). Under this program, they have to follow the guidelines set by Google so that the overall look does not deviate too much from what Google defines Android as. Google core application suite can be installed here but with one condition: if you want any Google app on the phone, you have to install all of them. Apart from the apps from Google, manufacturers tend to preinstall their own software and apps in the device. In places like the US, carriers like AT&T will add in their own software too, making the bloatware even more. This is why you will always see redundant apps in Android phones and you can’t delete them. For example in Samsung Galaxy S5, you will have 2 app store, 2 browsers, 3 messaging app and 2 gallery apps out of the box, which will eat up some space in your storage. You have to take it as it is unless you want to flash the other ROM you like.

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What I love in Windows Phone – Growing OS

There is no doubt that Windows Phone is a growing OS, in terms of phone shipments, hardware and the OS itself. I started using Windows Phone 8 more than a year ago and I have received 3 minor updates and 1 major updates. Each small updates will give me some new features such as screen rotation lock, flip to silent, call & sms blocking, Nokia Glance Screen double tap to unlock (Only in certain Lumias). I understand some of these features should be in the OS since launch but having it after the purchase is a nice experience. The major update is the update to Windows Phone 8.1 which I have detailed in my previous post. There are a lot of sweetness in the WP8.1 update which I totally did not expect during I bought my phone. Microsoft did well to convince me that more will come to the ecosystem.

Apart from the OS itself, the Windows Phone community is growing too. When I started using it, there is actually no people around me who are using it at all. I have to depend on the feedback from the community and luckily most of them are very helpful.More and more people are using Windows Phone now and I can feel that question posted can be answered quicker than before. Accessories are easier to get too now.

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What I hate in Windows Phone – Lacking of Apps

Despite the closing of feature gap between the top two players, Windows Phone still have  a lot of catch up to do in the apps offering. I would say currently there are more apps now, but very insufficient compared to App store and Google Play store. This is the only reason I would be hesitate to recommend people to use Windows Phone. We will have to wait for weeks if not months usually to get new major titles after the launch in iOS and Android, which kills the fun. Apps like Instagram and Whatsapp are here after some wait but they are no match of their iOS and Android version. There is still no official apps for Dropbox, Flipboard, Facebook (from Facebook Inc.) and not to mentioned all those Google apps. While the third party apps are doing great and sometimes better than the official apps, this is a sign that developers are still cautious over entering Windows Phone store.  In my opinion, Microsoft had did well in 2013 to close the app gap but the effort has to be continued certainly.

Verdict

In my opinion, there is no such thing as perfect mobile operating system. Your preference should be the reason you choose your favourite OS. Everyone has different concern and different usage pattern. Therefore we should be wise enough to accept all these different ecosystem instead of condemning each party without truly understanding the beauty behind each OS. Maybe everyone should really give the OS a try before commenting about it. After all, the competition between each OS will help to improve each other too.