Mobile OS Revolution: Android 4, Windows Phone 7.5, and Apple iOS 5 Explained



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It’s been a busy month for three of our favorite mobile platforms. Microsoft launched “Mango” in late September, Apple released iOS 5 on October 12, and Google announced the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich on October 19 (the evening of the 18th in the US). Each update offers significant improvements in features and/or UI, but keeping track of all those new goodies can be an arduous task. We’ll give you a look at what’s new on these platforms, as well as some idea of how or if you can get them on your device.

Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is the only update that hasn’t actually been released as of the time this writing, but Google did hold a launch event demonstrating new features and capabilities in Android 4. ICS will initially be available on the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Nexus, with updates proceeding to other eligible devices at a later date. Presumably Google will follow its policy of updating devices released by partners over the last 18 months.

It seems like we’ve been hearing rumors about ICS since the dawn of time, but it hasn’t been quite that long. Reportedly the major benefit of ICS was the unification of the phone and tablet form factors, but the absence of a tablet demo to this point has been frustrating. The UI sports a lot of elements that will look very familiar to users of Honeycomb (Android 3.x) tablets. The three buttons that are always on display at the bottom of the screen, the app switcher, and even the neon glow around the UI bits are almost identical to Honeycomb. Those of you looking for better ways to organize your home screens will love folders and resizable widgets.

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I am definitely a supporter of all things Android. But I should point out that my Droid X running Froyo has quick text message reply to incoming calls. That its not new in Android ICS. Also, as nice as that idea is, if the caller is on a land line, it obviously doesn't help.



I keep hearing that WP7 needs better hardware but as a WP7 user I have to say as far as I'm concerned when compared to Android or IOS its almost a non issue even for a power user type. The OS is so smooth and seamless and the hardware is so well optimised that it never feels underpowered. Everything is blazing fast including M-Internet Explorer (which is hard to believe considering previous iterations).  I never have to reboot, close programs, wait, worry, etc, etc. I have the Focus which has a gorgeous AMOLED screen, the best camera and battery life I've ever had on a phone.  While its only 1 ghz, it never stutters a milli-second doing anything.  I am still going to upgrade to the FOCUS S but its not really for the 1.4 ghz processor but for the  larger 4.3 AMOLED + screen, the 8-megapixel camera on the back and the up front 1.3-megapixel snapper for video conferencing.  The only area I see that the faster processor and memory will be for sure noticed is with HD video capture, anything else IMHO will be lagniappe and take it ahead of its competitors even more.  It is already faster and more stable than any Droid I've owned or used and after you use it for a while you will find the Iphone to be lacking in its OI design.



I was thinking about waiting for the iPhone 5 this summer, but after upgrading to iOS 5 on my 3GS it's noticeably slower. My apps lag and even basic things like swiping to the next window on the home screen or pushing the home button can cause 2-3 seconds of lag. I can't restore to an older version because some of the new apps I downloaded require 5. It's hard to believe Apple didn't notice the performance difference during testing, or if they did they didn't do a thing about it because they figured it would push people to upgrade their phone.



People can say how great their free apps from the Android marketplace are, but I would be more concerned about malware and such. Both iOS and WP7 do a great job keeping out the nasties by having direct control over the apps for their devices. In contrast any scriptkiddie with the spare time can make anything for Android.



in my opinion, my wifes HD7 blows my company issued iPhone 4g out of the water.

i have serious phone envy.  once WP7 catches up in the hardware department i'll be an easy customer since i'm already sold on the OS.

she had a Samsung Galaxy and i had a BB 8200 before our current phones.  both of us though android was the bee's knee's until we got our hands on the HD7.  this doesn't meant there's anything wrong with Android.  it's still awesome.

but if you like Android you should give WP7 a fair shake.  it really is that good.



There is no such thing as an iPhone 4g. It's a common misnomer, but it should be noted, because many people confuse it with 4G services. The latest version of iPhone, the 4s, does use HSPA+ on AT&T's network, but the Sprint and Verizon versions both use the standard 3G CDMA networks. AT&T and T-Mobile have been running around calling HSPA+ "4G," but we all know that it's not. It's just updated 3G with enhanced fiber backhaul. It's faster than the 3G we're used to, but it's not LTE.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make here is that there never has been a 4G iPhone, and Apple has used specific nomenclature to underscore this fact. The iPhone models, in order of appearance are: iPhone (sometimes called "Original iPhone," or "iPhone 2G"), iPhone 3G (which was a 3G device), iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4s.

I'm not trying to be nit-picky here. As a representative of one of the major carriers, I hear people say "iPhone 4G" on a daily basis. Some of those people are just making a simple error. Some of them, however, are not. Some people get extremely angry when they are told the iPhone 4 (and 4s) is NOT a 4G device. I only wish to clear up any confusion, so that further misconceptions are not perpetuated by well-meaning customers who have simply not caught on to the nomenclature, and perhaps are confused by the constantly shifting mobile landscape. It certainly doesn't help when carriers dismiss the official designations and start calling any old network "4G" (technically, LTE doesn't qualify as true 4G).



thanks for that.  i can tell you're trying super hard to not be nit-picky. /sarcasm

maybe another article can discus that absurd and misleading nomenclature of modern smart phones?



iTried the iDevices a while back, and they tend to underperform and over-advertise.  The apps may be a little better than their android equivalents, I wouldn't know..  they were so expensive.  Also, ever tried to develop an app for the iPhone?  they charge about $100 just to get started, and that's only if you already have the apple branded hardware required.

Android however is just awsome.  The hundreds of free apps (Also note:  iTunes app store requires credit card for free apps, Android doesn't.) are of more than sufficient quality to accomplish every task I need an app for.  I couldn't say the same for the apple store, even after shelling out a small fortune on some tasks.  I've written several single-use-case apps for my own needs without having to invest in new hardware or licensing fees for my android devices, and I can honestly say I've never been happier.

Even if Windows Phone Seven and a Half is "Good", it'd have to be Above and Beyond amazing for me to consider it over Android.



I'm a recovering Blackberry user, been on Android therapy since April and I must say I honestly didn't know what I was missing.

9 minute boot times? A thing of the past my friend......

Battery pull everyday? No more.....

I can actually take decent pictures with it? *snap snap snap*

I can actually play games?!!? SCHWEET!

Wait....I can has INTERNETS!?! MOAR INTERNETS!!!!


I'm gladly a member of the Android Army.



I have a Droid X and really dig the Android OS.  The fragmentation of the updating of the Android OS does really leave alittle to be desired.  I've gotten to learn abit about the Android OS and it's a great and stable OS in my opinion. 

I really want to try the Mango OS.  I am a fanboy of Microsoft, I love their products.  They have served me well and I've only had one bad experience with the Windows OS where I had to re-do everything.  I trust my Windows OS on my computer (So many configurations and stuff to play with. yay).  I'm just looking forward to the possibilities of the Mango OS.  I hope it's all it's cracked up to be.  Bad  thing is, I don't get an upgrade till next year, but this will give the Mango OS time to grow.



I have been using Android since I returned from Afghanistan last January, and I love it.  I would be willing to try WP7 since the Mango update, however, they really need to get some better hardware out there (and push it on different carriers).  I think Sprint has one WP, and it is getting old.  I'll leave the iPhone to all the small handed people out there for now =P

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