iOS 7 vs Android Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 vs BB10

iOS 7 vs Android Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 vs BB10

By | Aug 31, 2013

The battle for dominance of the smartphone world is one that has been raging for a few years. With the migration of consumers from feature phones to modern wonders such as the iPhone 5 and the HTC One, or even the cheap as chips offerings like the Nokia Lumia 520 or Huawei Ascend G330, it is clear where the money, and the future lies.

We’ve seen some impressive hardware come and go, quad-cores grace most flagship devices (i.e. Sony Xperia Z or HTC One) and there is even the quad/octa core that sits inside the Samsung Galaxy S4, dependent on your location.

Needless to say, all the big guns in the tech industry have some level of input into the mobile OS world. Apple has iOS (just about to reach iOS 7), Google has Android, the most recent version being 4.2 Jelly Bean, Microsoft has Windows Phone 8, leaving BlackBerry with its hopes pinned on BB10.


The iOS 7 interface is a radical new look compared with previous iterations. Although with a clean and modern new look, the formula based upon simplicity is one that has been stuck to. Icons have had an overhaul, and there is transparency through apps, giving iOS devices a more unified feel.

Users familiar with previous iOS versions may be in for a bit of a shock, with elements such as the lock screen taking a new look. Elements now seem more rounded, and much brighter than before. On the face of it, things seem very different with iOS 7, but the real changes go deeper.

Android is currently sitting at version 4.2, which is another iteration of the popular Jelly Bean OS. Jelly Bean built upon the work done by 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with everything being much smoother with ‘Project Butter’, and the introduction of Google Now.

Windows Phone 8

Pretty much every OEM has placed a skin over the top of Android, take a look at HTC’s Sense, Samsung’s Touchwiz or Huawei’s Emotion UI.

That said, nigh on every version builds on the use of multiple home screens populated with widgets, and apps being kept tidy in a ‘drawer’.

Microsoft’s offering bases itself around a system of ‘LiveTiles’. These are used in a similar way to widgets on Android, providing information at a quick glance. Users of Windows Phone 7, or Windows 8 on tablets or desktops will feel right at home.

In terms of user customisation, much like iOS, Windows Phone 8 is relatively closed. Live Tiles can be resized, so that more important tiles can take up more screen real estate, and the tile colour can be any of 20 variations. It is also possible to change the lock screen, to bring up photos, or widgets and notifications.

Notifications and Control

Notifications are something that are very important across devices, giving quick access to Calendar events, Emails and Text messages. Device control is equally important.

iOS 7 makes a big deal out of both notifications and Control. The notifications centre that was accessed by swiping down from the top has become a full-screen affair, also available via the lock screen.

The Control Centre is where the real innovation lies, however. Previous iOS versions had a very basic centre, however now quick settings such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can be enabled or disabled, as well as controlling screen brightness, music being played, and access to AirDrop and AirPlay controls.

Android has had its notifications bar longer than Apple, so it has come on in leaps and bounds. Jelly Bean also brings in expandable notifications, showing more information about the top event, as well as being able to swipe to dismiss.

Many custom UI’s include access to the quick settings (Touchwiz has gotten this nigh on perfect) in the notifications bar. Android also include a Power Control widget that can be placed on home screens, giving quick access to a lot of important settings.

Notifications aren’t something that ever made it over to Windows Phone 8, however there are strong suggestions that there is a notifications centre making it over in Windows Phone 8.1. Notifications are viewable from the lock screen.


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