The Mobile Device Battle 2013

Posted by David Alazraki

Fri, Jan 11, 2013

mobile workforce managementThe mobile smart phone revolution is in full swing, and the big players are in a heated battle to be on the top. At the core of this war is the operating system that runs the devices. Apple’s iOS 6.0 is very hot, while Android 4.1 has a slight edge in overall user preferences. Not necessarily new to the arena but making a big impact is the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system. All have their unique benefits as well as pitfalls. Let’s take a look at the three smart phone operating systems and where they stand in 2013.

Common Ground

All three operating systems share some features and functions:

  • Multitasking – you can listen to music while also working on the internet.

  • Widgets/Live Tiles – you can receive streaming updates from applications such as Twitter or eBay. Windows Phone 8 uses Live Tiles while Android and iOS use widgets.

  • Multi-core processing – faster performance and more apps working at the same time.

  • High resolution screens – a lot easier to read or more aesthetic for pictures and videos.

  • Enterprise apps – all three operating systems can support enterprise level applications. Apple’s iOS can be a bit more challenging to implement, but generally all can support enterprise apps that are designed to run on the specified operating systems.

Fancy Footwork

Each operating system has unique features when compared to its contenders:

  • Sheer volume – the number of apps available on Apple’s iOS is over 650,000 which is well ahead of Android with 600,000 and Windows with just over 100,000.

  • Space – the ability to expand storage on the device is available on the Windows Phone 8 and Android 4.1 but is not available for iOS 6.0 unless you buy a new phone with the added capacity.

  • Speech – having an intelligent voice assistant is available from iOS and Android, but not yet available on Windows. This will be changing in newer versions of Windows Phone, however.

  • Single notification spot – with just one place to look for all notifications, iOS and Android help productivity. Windows Phone requires you to look in various places for notifications depending on the apps used.

  • Screen shots – taking a snapshot of your smart phone screen and either storing or sharing the image is available for Apple’s iOS 6.0 and Android’s 4.1 but is not yet available for Windows Phone 8.

The Knock-Out Punch

File and document management – Android throws one major blow to its competitors, and that is the file and document management capabilities. You can drag and drop files from one folder to another, browse or explore your files, and keep track of what you are storing without regard to file type or paying anything extra. Apple has iTunes available for a fee, and Windows Phone has Zune as an option, but neither compare to Android’s ease and flexibility. As a final blow, Android's open source technology allows tremendous flexibility, security and innovation for its platform, giving it the ability to gain ground rapidly in comparison to others.

The mobile device operating system battle is far from over. All providers are working to either stay on top or overpower the others. Consumers and businesses will be the beneficiaries of this battle as pricing remains competitive while features and functions improve. Let the battles continue!

Tags: Field Service Optimization, Enterprise Mobility, Field service management software, Developments in Field Service Management