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dina_didi's avatar

What is best? Windows Mobile, Android or iOS?

Asked by dina_didi (1213 points ) July 4th, 2014

I have a Windows Mobile and I recently purchased an Android device. I am satisfied with both phones but each one seems to have different possibilities. I don’t have an iPhone so I don’t have an opinion about it. Which is your favourite and why?

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14 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Depends on what you want to do. All cover the basics.

This will turn into a huge pissing match of people justifying their purchases.

For just the phone part I like Windows Phone best. I would have no problem using it as a daily phone. It is good. And it has Plex.

iOS.. Kinda biased since I make money from it. It does what is intended to do well.

Android.. Kinda a non-starter for me since I am not giving my info to a advertising company.

Pachy's avatar

A question that comes up regularly. The one that’s best is the one that’s best for you, and the only sure way to determine that is to live with each platform for a while.

I’ve spent a lot of time with all three and always come back to iOS, a personal choice I’ve learned it’s pointless to defend or debate with those who prefer Android or Windows.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

iOS.

It’s the only one designed by Apple.

dina_didi's avatar

I would not like people to fight for their choices but to share why they bought their phones and if their phones are good. @johnpowell and @Pachy you are right. I should have mentioned it but I believe that it is not a topic to fight about. I have two mobile phones but having more phones would be expensive. Because of that I can’t tell what is the best. Every phone has something different. Some are easier to use, some are chic, better advertised ect. I just want to find what most people like about their mobile phones and why.

whitenoise's avatar

I have no experience with windows phone, but between ios and android, I’d choose ios.

The reason is that apple checks all the software in the itunes store and therefore there is only a very very small chance for malware. My phone contains too much private info to take the risk with the open store model of android.

I actually also like ios, for what that’s worth.

hominid's avatar

While @johnpowell and I disagree greatly about our OS of choice, I agree with him that it really depends on what you want to do.

I’m a power-user who depends on my phone to do things for me – and I require much more functionality than iOS. But iOS is often a good choice for people who are merely interested in phone/text capability and want a top-notch camera.

I suggest you spend some time with both. I have (and current own iOS and Android devices). Android just works for me, and I find iOS to be very non-intuitive. And it just requires much more work on my part. I am a busy parent, and don’t have the time to spend fighting with my phone. Apple has decided how you should use your phone. If that way works for you and your life, then it might be a good choice.

I currently use a Moto X.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I would say Android for three main reasons.

1) It’s open-source. If Apple screws up (and they have screwed up a few times), you’re screwed until they fix it. Their “walled garden” approach makes it difficult/impossible to fix problems. Windows Mobile has the same issue. But as an open-source project, Android can (and does) have millions of people working on it, patching flaws, uploading their work for peer review, etcetera. Flaws are patched quickly and competently.

2) No censorship. Apple doesn’t like non-Apple stuff, nor do they like anyone who adds functionality to their iDevice that Apple didn’t put in there themselves, nor substitutes for Apple software, like using Firefox instead of Safari. And the only apps you can get are those approved by Apple; if they disapprove an app for ANY reason, you cannot get it. Windows Mobile is similar here too.
But Android has fewer restrictions. Google Play will allow pretty much anything that is PG-rated and not malware (contrary to what some Apple fanatics say, Play does vet out malware from their market; Apple isn’t the only one that does QA), and also allows enabling installation of software from third-party sources.

3) It’s well supported. Windows Mobile has a tiny market, and Apple’s market, while slightly larger, contains less than half as much freeware. If you don’t mind paying for most of your apps, Android and iOS are about even here, but for those that like free software and the ability to install third-party stuff (like “adult entertainment” apps that neither iTunes nor Play will allow) then Android wins hans down.

As for ease of use, both my wife (who has less than ¼ the computer skills I do; she’s a normal person) and I found Android easier than iOS for many things. In fact, she had more trouble with iOS than I did! I’m not sure about Windows Mobile as I haven’t played with it much.

That’s my opinion, as well as the reasons I feel the way I do. I have yet to see many iOS supporters go into details beyond a blind faith in Apple, or citing attributes of iOS that I consider weaknesses, but that’s not to say that iOS sucks either. Truly, “best” is subjective, and while I have my own bias, I’m not pretentious enough to think my opinion is the only valid one. I’m merely giving my 2¢ worth.

jerv's avatar

@whitenoise Actually, that illusion of security is part of why iOS is the target of many hackers. In truth, it’s fundamentally no more secure than Android, so the big difference is whether those security flaws are discovered by those seeking to patch them or those seeking to exploit them first. A larger target with a smaller security force is more vulnerable, and it’s not like Play doesn’t do the same checking iTunes does, so I must disagree with you. Besides, I’ve seen many documented cases of malware making it onto iTunes, so their QA is far from infallible.

whitenoise's avatar

@jerv
I would suggest the OP to do some research at this. While you are right that both android and ios still show similar risks to some threats, the fragmentation and lag in os updating by its users seem to make android more at risk for malware.

I suggest, to read, for instance, this article by norton/symantec

Neither ios, nor android are fully safe and malicious websites and socially engineered threats, like physhing, are always putting both user bases at risk.

From a security point of view, though, i would still chose ios. With ios, casual users – like me – are far more likely to keep their os up to date. On top, security also depends on the technological implementation by the phone manufacturer. Not all android implemantations are optimal.

So far android has shown significantly more malware than ios.

jerv's avatar

@whitenoise As a decidedly non-casual user myself, I see that as a flaw in the wetware (humans) than in the OS itself, but as technology is being widely adopted by people who have no understanding of the “magic boxes” they rely on, you raise a valid point.

As a more savvy user who examines the permissions apps ask for before being installed, and who runs anti-malware utilities and latest releases pretty much instinctively, I often forget that I’m in the minority, and forget the average people.

(I had hoped that technology would never outpace our ability or willingness to learn to use it, but decades of people using the greatest information technology in history for cat videos and porn instead of enlightenment still hasn’t totally extinguished my optimistic delusions.)

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Here’s an example of Apples obsessive attention to detail in interface design.

http://martiancraft.com/blog/2014/07/inspecting-yosemite-icons/

Obviously if Apple is this concerned about quality relating to their graphics the same sort of quality is going to be found in other facets of it’s product design.

You deserve this, this sort of excellence in ergonomics falls just short of being a human right in my opinion.

Life is short. Don’t waste it interacting with poorly thought out or built products.

Imagine what a paradise the world would be if all manufacturers were this committed to design and build quality.

jerv's avatar

@SecondHandStoke This is pretty much why I feel there can be no absolute best, only what is best for you.

Apple does pay close attention to aesthetics, but tend to get a lot of their back-end stuff from elsewhere; enough so that I won’t give Apple as much credit as others would. Without Xerox PARC, there would be no Mac, and without BSD, there would be no OS X. Apple really hasn’t invented much, only marketed it better than who they got the ideas from, then secured the patents/copyrights on it.

Also, I separate the UI from the OS. What many consider the greatest strength of Apple is actually the Aqua interface, and I will concede that they did a decent job there. But I still prefer Cinnamon (a fork of GNOME) over Aqua though, and if I did want Aqua, I could get it for any Linux distro. See, the interface is just a module; it is not the actual OS itself. You can make the UI look however you want without affecting the underlying architecture of the OS just as putting on clothes and/or makeup won’t change your personality.

Regarding design quality, I place function over form, and am not a fan of the high profit margins involved in artistic design when shopping for something that I actually plan to use rather than just look at. I’m not paying twice the price for a pretty computer that is actually no more reliable than it’s competition (Lenovo and Asus are in the same ballpark, and the latest numbers I’ve seen show Samsung far ahead of Apple in reliability), cannot be worked on easily, or otherwise will fall far short of meeting my needs. Sure, they are pretty to look at, but if I wanted art, I would shop at an art studio instead of a computer store. Looks do matter to me, but not enough to pay double; the price difference alone is more than I paid for my car. They aren’t bad at design, but they design their products in ways that actually eliminate some of the things I would accentuate, like ease of access.

Also, I have seen that level of quality and attention to detail on the Linux/Android side of things; it’s just not as universal simply because, unlike OS X/iOS, more than one organization develops for Linux/Android, and you will find more variance in a group than you will in an individual.

Still, that is me, and you are free to choose different products than I would. At the end of the day, it’s really about what the person spending the money wants, and as our tastes our different, so are our purchasing decisions.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@jerv

Nowhere in my comment did I speak about aesthetics for it’s own sake.

Function leads to the ultimate form. It’s clear that Apple understands this.

I used the word “ergonomics” in my comment.The seemingly decorative aspect of good ergonomics is itself a function.

jerv's avatar

@SecondHandStoke I guess I misunderstood then.

But if by ergonomics, you mean “ease of performing commonly used functions”, then (at least for the purposes I use my devices for), iOS is inferior to Android, as it’s harder (if not actually impossible) for me to do what I need to do. Sure, the icons are uglier, but I (amongst others) find the Android UI more intuitive.

Or is ergonomics also a subjective thing? As one who has yet to ever find a seat as comfortable as the seats of an ‘84–87 Corolla, I am inclined to think that it is. Apple may have paid more attention to ergonomics to suit a particular type of person, but they did so at the expense of making their interface nearly unusable by others.

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