Choosing a new mobile phone operating system

This is a tablet not my new phone.

I’m buying a new phone and decided to share the journey. I currently have a iPhone 6 amongst others as a work phone and a Samsung Galaxy Note4 as a personal phone, after losing the Z Ultra. I’m replacing the Note4 because it’s over 3 years old and although still works perfectly and still being sent OS updates it’s time for a change.

The basis of how a mobile phone and the transition to smartphone works is related to how advanced the operating system is. Mobile phones have advanced so quickly over the last 20 years so it is surprising that  from all the frenzied development, in 2017 there are only two main operating systems to choose from. You have Apple’s iOS represented by the iPhone and the Google supported Android OS which runs on every other phone.

My experience with iPhones and iOS are very good. They work really well and mostly stable with only a crash every so often. It is easy to use but missing customisation options. I can see why non-tech inclined masses want this phone as it does most things, albeit in its own way. My experience with Android OS based phones has also been very good. They are stable and have less crashes than the iPhone. They literally do everything I want but also plenty more for the tech heads.

Over the years there have been some less successful efforts which included Windows Phone OS, Palm OS, Tizen, Symbian, all have failed to gain traction. Why they failed has to do with lots of factors which included Apple and Microsoft primarily suing everything that amounted to who dared ‘copied’ their ‘copied’ ideas. Of course it was all technicalities since for example the basis of Apple’s claim is similar looking rounded corners which have been around for decades. Thanks to their own shortsightedness they can no longer innovate by copying since everyone is registering patents for every single new idea and image. Has everyone forgotten about  Apple’s blatant copy of the Swiss railway clock.

Does it really matter which phone your operating system your phone uses? Yes and No. There are so many variants of Android OS each one has the positives and negatives although the basic operation remains the same. On the other hand Apple controls the iOS completely and it will only run on iPhone the good and the bad. Both operating systems have the Apps and they run the same on both systems. However Android Apps sometimes have more options. Compare the 2017’s most popular Apps, versions of Instagram, Facebook etc.. and they are virtually identical. However if you are into less popular interest such as ODBII you will find Apple iOS software lacking.

It is about choosing between Apple and the Other brands, in particular Samsung? Yes if you are brand conscious. However if you are a more sophisticated shopper other factors like the actual design, ease of use, novel functionality, performance, design, size, freedom essentially then an Android OS phone is what you need. Note that on a global scale it appears that Android OS is currently represented by Samsung and iOS by Apple and the iPhone.

Is the Apple iPhone iOS easier to use than an Android OS phone? Yes and No, the iPhone and iOS in the early years was easier to use due to the lack of options but not in 2017.  Android OS when released was hampered by the phone networks which it overcame. Of course the rest is history and now Android has the lead in terms of functionality because it can do things that the iPhone simply can’t do. Comparing the current versions of each OS if you equate more functionality as ‘difficult to use’ then it’s not the OS’s problem.

After thinking through the Operating System issue, I decided that either operating systems in 2017 is not as important as in the past. So I decided to look at the other features.