Here are a few notes on the operating systems that form some of the basic differences between Apple’s iPhone and iPad versus the Android mobile devices such as the Samsung Galaxy series.
First a few definitions:
Smartphones are cell phones that can access the internet and use email. Most also have cameras.
Operating System is the software environment on a computer.
There are three major smartphone operating systems in use in America today: Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and RIM’s BlackBerry operating system.
Android is an open operating system built by Google. The Android operating system is open, meaning many different manufacturers can sell devices that use it, and they are free to change the operating system, as Amazon has for the Kindle.
The Apple products iPhone and iPad use Apple’s iOS operating system in a closed environment — no one sell devices using it except Apple, and Apple designs its products so that the user does not have much control over operating system level functions.
Here are a few differences that may be significant when you decide to buy a device.
– Android phones offer real GPS (Global Positioning Satellite, used in navigating in the car) service while iPhones do not. This has been the case for over a year now. Apparently Google is making this capability available on its Android operating system and not on Apple’s iOS system. Apple plans to develop its own mapping software in the future, perhaps to fight this battle. Meanwhile, if you want your mobile phone to provide audible navigation instructions, you’ll need an Android device such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and others.
– The Android screens are still a little more difficult to use than iPhone’s and iPad screen. They’re quick and usable though not quite as smooth as Apple’s style. This difference is noticeable when using websites or apps designed for use on laptop or desktop computers. Both operating systems are fine with apps designed for mobile phones.
– Apple iOS still offers more apps than Android; however the latest numbers we saw were 425,000 iPhone apps versus 400,000 Android apps. At this level, they’re both on the same order of magnitude. We believe most people will find the app they on either phone, with a few exceptions, such as GPS mentioned above. If there’s something specific you want to do — use your phone as a GPS device for example — make sure the app you need is available on the phone you buy.
-RIM’s BlackBerry operating system was the first smartphone operating system; the newer iOS and Android phones have recently surpassed BlackBerry in popularity. See this article for some insight into RIM’s eclipse.
More articles of interest:
Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone: Hands-on comparison.
AT&T removes ClickGen scam charge and provides blocker to prevent recurrence.
Verizon offers iPhone 4S service discounts that Apple stores do not offer.
Apple’s new iPad: Hands on comparison to iPad 2.
New Droid Incredible 4G LTE with $50 rebate looks like a good deal.
Copyright © 2012 Susan J. Walker. Subscribe above to receive an email whenever Susan Walker publishes on pingroof.com; follow @WalkerSusanJ on Twitter.