Monday, October 3, 2011

OS Confusion... No More!

A smartphone’s success highly lies on its Operating System (OS). It is equally as important to choose the right OS aside from just choosing a great smartphone brand.

According to Aloysius Low of CNET Asia, “the second half of 2011 will be an all-out war between the various mobile operating systems.”

The excitement is rising even if “Apple chose to delay iOS 5 to the end of Q3, when its previous release cycles happened in June.”

At the same time, “Apple's mobile OS is set to be on a collision course with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Mango update that should be happening in October.”

Meanwhile, another rumor that is circulating on the Internet is “Google's Ice Cream Sandwich, [which] is also ‘primed’ to hit around this period – if the rumors about an upcoming Google Nexus Prime are true.”

And of course, not to forget are the two other makers – RIM and Nokia – are debuting the BlackBerry 7 OS and Symbian Belle, respectively, on several new devices.

What can we look forward to with each of the OS’s?

Apple’s iOS 5
Apple lovers would get over 200 new features that would bring a whole new level of mobile experience. There’s a brand new Notification Center for all alerts in just one section, an iMessage for sending messages over WiFi or 3G, a PC-free environment where everything can be done standalone, and a Wi-Fi Sync feature among others.

Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich
There’s nothing finalized until we see the actual release, but rumor has it that this particular OS will unify the great divide of Android versions across smartphones and tablets. This basically means that smartphones will get some of the features first released for tablets in Honeycomb. It will maintain its free and customizable environment for everyone to play and enjoy.

Microsoft’s Mango
The characteristic that best describe Windows Phone 7 is its focus on being an activity-centered rather than app-centered OS. On what they call as “hubs,” your attention is made to focus on ideas like ‘people,’ ‘pictures’ or ‘music’ rather than the particular app or service you need at the moment.

Nokia’s Symbian Belle
It offers a fresh look of the home screen and user interface, a free-form and differently-sized live widgets, a more modernized navigation, and more. New apps with built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) technology will allow contacts, videos, and images to be shared with other NFC-enabled devices and smartphones by simply touching two devices together.

RIM’s BlackBerry OS 7
Adding to the existing business and communication features are Liquid Graphics technology for smoother and more fluid graphics, a faster browser with seamless panning and zooming, a set of breakthrough technologies like Augmented Reality and NFC technology, and a voice-activated universal search.

There you have it. It’s a tough choice to make, but at the end of it all, you should choose what best suits your needs rather than what others say is best for you.

This article is my 34th contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on September 26, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.


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