Mobile OS comparison: Windows Phone 8 vs iOS 6.0 vs Android 4.1

Mobile OS comparison: Windows Phone 8 vs iOS 6.0 vs Android 4.1
Microsoft's Windows Phone was met with rave reviews from day one of its launch back in late 2010, but despite its beautiful and smooth UI it hasn't caught up with users. One way or another, part of the blame for this was some immaturity of the platform - multitasking arrived later and it was very limited, the apps weren't there, customization was somewhat limited, and the list just went on and on, depending on how much you want to pick the nits.

But it was clear Windows Phone 7 wasn't as mature as iOS or Android. It was damn close, but not on par. Now, with the announcement of Windows Phone 8 Microsoft is making one giant leap towards the market leading platforms, and matches them in a lot of aspects. We'd say it even outpaces iOS and possibly Android with its new stunning Start Screen which makes us feel we won't miss widgets too much.

The real change happens under the hood, though. Windows Phone 8 now runs on the Windows NT kernel, the same kernel Windows 8 runs on. This means that you get support for multi-core chips and you'd get faster ports of apps and easier overall development across platforms. This will strengthen Microsoft's ecosystem. And with the addition of offline maps by Nokia, it's one step ahead of the competition there as well. So who wins the mobile OS battle this time? Is the open Android still the king, or do you prefer the peaceful and limited Apple walled iOS garden, or is Windows Phone a breath of fresh air and the winner in this race?

UPDATE: The table below has been updated with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean instead of Ice Cream Sandwich.

Which is the best mobile operating system?

iOS 6.0
Android 4.0
Windows Phone 8



1. saeen

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Wish iOS had a file browser.

7. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Dream on...

15. rwrife

Posts: 32; Member since: Sep 25, 2009

What purpose would it serve?

25. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

People with Smartphone are on the going most of the time. You need to keep several different documents and also download them from Websites. I can do this with my Android but very very limited with iOS. With an app like Docs to Go you can keep MS documents and PDF's but that's it. At times I have a zip file to send to people with several documents. iOS doesn't allow for that. Also I get sent links from customers to download a file from a Website. Also that is not available on iOS. Allowing a person to browse files doesn't hurt anything.

30. hepresearch unregistered

Android 4.0, having a real file browser, is now the only legit system left for me. I simply cannot function on a device where I am prevented from global file management and folder organization, although Windows 8 or RT will probably be more in line with my needs and budget than a Mac when I go to replace my old PC. Of course, I suppose I could let go of such needs on a future mobile device, but it would still annoy me to no end to be unable to micro-manage my own files on any device...

36. hepresearch unregistered

Furthermore, even Symbian had a great Windows-like file manager, and it was quite powerful and useful... and then people complained that they hated the folders and menus in S60... none of the new devices can do with file management what S60 3rd could even five years ago, and I am not really all that much of a fan of Android, either. iOS is simply insufficient and too expensive, Android is too raw and buggy for me in my **potential** budget range, and Windows 8/RT/Phone 8 is not much better than iOS, except in terms of interoperability and compatibility, and is probably going to be at the higher end of my **potential** affordability range. It is just a little frustrating...

130. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

why are we all thumbing that down symbian is actually really really really advanced I used to have one If nokia had a strong precense in the US and a lot of people were using it I would still be using it

149. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

Looks like cell phones are not for u

167. hepresearch unregistered

Pretty much these days... sold all of my smartphone collection, and some other collected feature phones I still had, when I filed for bankruptcy last year, so now I use the phone I pulled out of my parents' junk pile... a Sony Ericsson Z300a. Now I have no money to buy anything new, and neither do my parents. If I can get a job, perhaps I will have a little money to do something about that, but replacing this old failing Win XP SP2 Pentium III PC from 2003 that I'm still using will likely be higher on my priority list.

28. baldilocks

Posts: 1540; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

It does if you jailbreak it. But, that seems to be a rare thing nowadays.

39. hepresearch unregistered

Well, it is definitely discouraged when getting a file browser on your phone also happens to involve voiding your warranty and making your device a pariah at the "Genius Bar" for the rest of its life...

93. jaoowolabi

Posts: 201; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

if you've ever jailbroke an idevice you know you can always restore. so you can always have your warranty

118. hepresearch unregistered

Well, okay, I've never owned one to jailbreak, and I have never met any friend or neighbor or family of mine who have tried to jailbreak one... but still, I guess if you are willing to play that devious game of "I'll jailbreak my iPhone and then restore it to fool the warranty guys," well, then you would seem to fit right in at Apple in some way, already. I could not do that... not because I would be incapable, but because I believe in being honest. Apple's warranty on the iPhone IS violated by jailbreaking... and restoring your phone just so you can take it in is deceitful enough on its own, and also fool-hardy at worst if you actually get busted for doing that.

151. Deicide

Posts: 82; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

It's Apple's fault for not allowing more customisation. If Apple cared for it's customers more, it would have enabled their users more freedom like Android. I don't feel bad at all for deceiving us since they rip things straight off of other companies, trying to rip us off w/ their insane prices, not listening to us users about what we want, and trying to sue everyone all over the place.

153. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

u dont like it, u dont buy it!

168. hepresearch unregistered

I would feel bad about deceiving people, even if they tried to deceive me first. Just because they do it doesn't make it right for me to do it. So, I don't care if people jailbreak their iPhones... more power to them... but I would never recommend restoring the thing just so you could pull the wool over the eyes of one of the "Geniuses" at the "Genius Bar" because that is a deceitful (a.k.a. a LIE) and just plain wrong. I mean, sure, everyone lies at some point, so it's like I just became the biggest hipocrite in the forum by saying what I did... but seriously, are we going to sit here and say, "Aw... crap... well, I know I lie sometimes even without trying to, so I may as well lie more often to get more stuff for myself," or are we going to reject the idea of embracing the bad part of our nature... and say "Aw... crap... well, I know I lie sometimes even without trying to, but I'm trying harder every day to fix that."

187. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

That's stupid. If its a warranty issue you're not cheating anyone by restoring and taking advantage of the warranty you paid for.

191. hepresearch unregistered

Ummm... yes, you are. I am not saying that jailbreaking in and of itself is a bad thing... what I am reminding people about is that Apple SAYS that your warranty IS voided by jailbreaking, and once a warranty is voided it cannot be un-voided... because that is part of the definition of a warranty. Insurance is like a warranty, but also covers all the terrible accidental user-induced problems that warranties do not, and can not, cover. If you DO something, willingly and knowingly, to jailbreak your iPhone, then you have violated the terms of the manufacturer's warranty... and restoring your device is a way for you to cover your activities from the sight of Apple. Just because you CAN do something wrong, and still easily get away with it, doesn't always mean that you SHOULD. You know, integrity is often defined as the measure of how honest you are with yourself and others when no one else is watching...

194. chuckster123

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

The reason apple doesn't have as much custimization (like widgets) is that it drains battery. And iOS doesn't run apps in the background. This makes idevices run faster and last longer. And apps load quicker. So it would only take you a second or two more to get into say a weather app. And the pull down menu, it has the weather on there. So there you go.

211. chilenoneto

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

"The reason apple doesn't have as much custimization (like widgets) is that it drains battery. And iOS doesn't run apps in the background. This makes idevices run faster and last longer. And apps load quicker. " Copy paste from the Apple press release? quoting Sheldon: In what universe the iphoneX (all of them) last longer than other phones? in terms of battery, Iphone sucks just like every full-equiped smartphone out there, and without the gadgets/widgets/whatever... Not even mentioning that if you wish not to use them, in android you CAN disable them... if you dont like some feature from IOS, you must jailbreak/tamper/hack your iphone.

182. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

okay so u comment constantly on apple articles, yet u dont even own an iphone nor have ever tried one? and your trying to give jailbreak advice without ever trying it? seriously? and its impossible to "get busted" jailbreaking isnt even illegal… there is absolutely nothing wring with it… yes downloading apps is illegal, but thats not the point of jailbreaking anyways…

192. hepresearch unregistered

Since when did this become an "Apple-only" article which I ought not to comment on because I never owned an iPhone? Does this article not also pertain to Android and WP? I have played with plenty of other people's iPhones, and in-store demo iPhones... my parents and I are an island of non-iPhones in a sea of iPhone users in the community where we live, so to say that I have no clue about iPhones is just a little rediculous. My brother and his wife have iPhones and an iPod Touch. My best friend at church, who I get rides to church with (and who, until recently, owned a Nokia Lumia 710), has an iPhone, an iPad, a Mac, a MacBook Pro, an iPod Touch, and a couple other iPods. One of my other friends from church, a Penn State IT-guy and one of the few remaining Android fans I know (although he lives two counties away... not in the same immediate community), just got married to a wonderful lady, also who we all know from church, who has an iPhone, an iPod, and a MacBook Pro. There is nothing wrong with owning a iProduct if that's what you like. There is nothing wrong with jailbreaking an iPhone, if that's what you want to do. Jailbreaking is no less legal than rooting, ROMming, and unlocking... but to do it, and then go into Apple Care for warranty support, when Apple has made it clear that your warranty is voided by such activity, and ask for warranty support after making sure to restore the thing is definitely shady-dealing. You are LYING to Apple Care when you jailbreak an iPhone, and then go for warranty service and pretend that you never ever jailbroke the thing.

207. jmblaney86

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

not for nothing but thats probably why you went bankrupt in the first place, integrity, honesty, all that other mumbo jumbo is great and all but seriously in life the "nice" guy gets screwed and goes bankrupt, no disrepsect and all even tho i know it sounds like it but seriously, its a litle judgemental and/or hyprocritical to say that restoring a phone for warranty purposes isnt honest or is being deceitful, jailbraiking doesnt neseccarily damage the phone, most cases it does no damage actually, the reason why it voids your warranty is because it could potentially damage it and they dont want to replace a damaged phone that wasnt accidental or because some schmuck didnt have a clue what he was doing, no if you can restor your phone back to warranty then jailbraiking it didnt actually do any damage therefore making their reasoning for loosing the warranty in the first place absolute nonsense.

208. hepresearch unregistered

I hear ya, but if the world really is setting us all up to have to break the rules in order to just survive... then will life really be worth living at all after that? It doesn't matter if it breaks me or sucks me dry... I draw the line at dishonesty. If a person is so oppressed by the "rules" and laws of their location and time that they cannot survive without letting go of their integrity, then there is no way for someone like me to live in this world anymore. Life would mean very little if everyone who is still alive at that point is completely devoid of integrity. I would rather die than lose what integrity I have left.

2. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1270; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Looks like WP8 has smoked iOS as a whole!!!! More the choices, more the merrier.... But still some basic things are missing in WP like BT file transfer, File manager, that will prevent Android users to jump to WP8... But as some analysts predicted, it may start eating iOS shares from now... But friends, DO NOT RUSH TO GET A WP7.5 DEVICE NOW AS IT IS NOT GOING TO GET WP8 ANYWAY...

56. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

and android

137. Owoteva

Posts: 9; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

Yeah..cause it's ridiculous that MS couldn't figure out how to get NFC or high-res screens into all that old hardware, what kind of legacy support is that?! Good thing I bought my super android phone just before Google announced ICS and now I'm just waiting for my update so I can rub all you WP7 fanboys nose in it with my fully supported updated phone.......any month now.......wonder if I'll get it when Jelly Bean comes out? Oh well, at least I can talk to Siri on my iPhone 4....say what now?

144. SherlockHolmes

Posts: 125; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

We do not need SIRI to talk we got FRIENDS !!

146. TheGadgetGuru

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

yeah ur true :) we rock

155. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

first off you idiot NFC is hardware not software you can't get via update second of and last I don't see Google making something like WP7.8 for devices that don't support ICS and I'm a Meego user by the way not a WP user so yeah >:p

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