Does Android send you all Googley eyed? Or is Windows more your thing? You never know, you might just like it. In the many years since Android, iOS and Windows for Mobile as it used to be called have been powering devices everywhere, the way they each look and function has changed significantly. Related: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs S6. Actually, let us rephrase that. Android and Windows Mobile have both gone through numerous makeovers, yet Apple has kept iOS looking fairly similar since its launch. Android got its biggest design upgrade in , with the introduction of Lollipop 5.
Android 6. Most of its changes relate to the back end. Windows 10 Mobile takes a completely different design path from the competition. Its homescreen is a tiled interface, with resizable tiles flipping over to display more information about that app. You can swipe to the left to get to all your apps and just like iOS and Android, you can group apps together in folders. Live Tiles give you little nuggets of information without forcing you to open an app — the BBC Sport app, for example, gives you a scrolling view of breaking news throughout the day.
This glanceable style can also be applied to Android, where optional widgets can be added to the homescreens. Widgets have been a mainstay on Android since the very first version. Related: iPhone 6S vs Galaxy S7. All three also have a couple of neat design tricks up their respective sleeves when it comes to getting more from the home screens. A quick swipe down from the top of each brings up a notification shade, grouping together all your emails, messages and calls, while both Android and Windows give you quick settings here too. These let you easily turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the like.
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Apple added a similar settings shortcut feature in iOS 7 with Control Centre. This time you swipe up from the bottom of screen to get direct access to a torch, a brightness slider, media controls, Wi-Fi, and so on.
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But it still falls behind the other two. How the operating systems looks and handles is important, but it arguably pales in comparison to the real difference maker between all these three: the apps. Apps and app stores can make or break an operating system. You can have a gorgeous look, slick feel and, as Microsoft has found with successive Windows mobile platforms, still fail if your app situation is not up to par.
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Related: Best Android games. A few years ago, Apple dominated the app space. It had the best apps, both in terms of functionality and design. If a new app or app update was coming, it would most likely hit iOS first. The story has changed somewhat in recent years, but not entirely. Android now has pretty much all of the big-name apps, and new ones are typically launched more or less simultaneously with iOS or not long after.
Many triple-A games are also seeing an equal release footing between iOS and Android, though iOS still has more of an advantage here than with regular apps. That can largely be put down to the persistent issue of Android hardware and software fragmentation, which poses more of a challenge for game developers due to the added performance demands. Spotify and Instagram, for example, both tend to trial new features with their iOS apps before bringing them to Android later.
10 Things Windows Phones Do Better Than Android Phones
Ah, Windows 10 Mobile. Make no mistake, there are plenty of apps on Windows 10 Mobile and the number of big players offering something for the platform is growing. Spotify, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram are all present and correct, and that covers a lot of the apps people use on a daily basis. But such apps frequently lag behind the top two platforms when it comes to receiving updates, and they often lack fairly fundamental features.
Developers seem to release an app, mention it now supports Windows 10 Mobile and then turn their attention back to iOS and Android. The company also put some work into making it easier to port apps from Android and iOS to Windows 10 Mobile, but the main initiative is those Universal Apps. Related: Best sim-only deals. In practice, the Windows 10 app ecosystem has gotten off to a slightly shaky start. All we need now is a few more decent apps and some compelling Windows 10 Mobile hardware a Surface Phone, maybe? Built-in apps also make a big difference to how the operating system functions.
Notes will sync back to your Mac, you can beam Map directions to your phone and tap out an iMessage free messaging between iOS and OS X devices on your desktop. Related: Best mobile deals. One of the killer features in iOS is a fairly recent one, Continuity. This ridiculously handy addition to iOS 8 lets your Apple-branded devices talk to each other, and ensures their core apps are all hooked up.
You can also take calls on your MacBook if your phone is out of reach. ChatOn, anyone? Instead, it has a feature called Continuum that looks cool in demos, but seems to have limited real world value — at least in its present iteration, on current hardware.
Continuum lets you directly plug your phone into a monitor and hook up to a keyboard and mouse to get a PC like interface. This is only for a couple of core apps, however — true PC-like multitasking and advanced applications are a no-go. Even with it, iMessage definitely has a wider feature set and a slicker layout. Windows 10 Mobile users have Skype, of course, which has a similar chat function. Skype is also testing out a unified messaging app, like iMessage and Hangouts, but for now Windows 10 Mobile utilises a standalone messaging app for SMS messages. Fitness features are also becoming more and more common on phones.
Both Google Fit and Apple Health work as a sort of fitness framework service, recording and storing health data for separate certified fitness apps and devices to contribute to. Some Android OEMs like Samsung have also added heart rate monitors to their smartphones to give that extra fitness boost.
Microsoft Health works in a similar way and connects with the Microsoft Band, giving you specific training regimes and so on. Now will let you know the score. It works fantastically, and with Google opening up the APIs to developers, it also incorporates third party apps in its operations. More recently, in Android 6. Looking at an email from a friend about a film you want to go and see?
Android vs iOS vs Windows 10 Mobile: Apps – Stock and downloadable
Many apps, in-app purchases, files and settings will migrate as part of the upgrade. However, some apps, in-app purchases or settings may not migrate. Some apps and content sold separately. Feature and app availability and experience may vary by device and market. As from 28 February , Microsoft Wallet will no longer be supported. Notifications for missed calls, messages and emails on contact tiles is not supported at the time of the Windows 10 Mobile release. Me Tile and Me Card are no longer supported.
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Group tiles can no longer be used to receive social networking status updates. Indoor Maps are no longer available for some locations. At time of Windows 10 Mobile release Outlook Mail app cannot open. EML attachments. Outlook Calendar app does not support Tasks.
Windows 10 Mobile
MDM capability to prevent saving and sharing Office documents not supported. Microsoft account required for some features. Windows Hello is limited to selected premium phones and requires specialised hardware, including illuminated infrared camera sensor for facial recognition or a finger print reader that supports the Windows Biometric Framework. To check for device compatibility and other important information, visit your device manufacturer's website. Continuum for phones will be limited to selected premium phones. Feature requires external monitor with DisplayPort, HDMI connector or compatible adaptor, and accessories that are compatible with Continuum for phones.
All sold separately. App availability and experience vary by device and market. Xbox app and some games and features only available in Xbox Live-supported countries and regions.
You can see the list at Xbox Live Countries and Regions website. Skype available only in selected countries and regions. Calling to selected countries and regions only. Excludes special, premium and non-geographic numbers. For details, visit the Office FAQ page. Office subscription required for some Office features. Follow Microsoft Windows.