This is a short blog post about which smartphone type do you get. First, a small disclaimer. I have never used a Windows Phone and so I have no opinion about it and most of my list of pros and cons is based only on people who have used it. I have used Windows 8, which is the basis for Windows Phone and Windows tablets. I will do this alphabetically.

Android

The Android phone operating system is a variation of Linux. Linux is an operating system whose entire code is available to anybody who wants to for free. That means it can be modified and specialized in many different ways.

Pros:

  • Android is tightly integrated with Google which means it works well with Google services. Businesses that cannot afford Microsoft Exchange can take advantage of seamless synchronization of contacts and calendars with your Gmail account. I can update my contact information on my Gmail account, it is on my phone in seconds. I update my calendar on my Google account, it is on my phone in seconds. This is very helpful for my business.
  • All synchronization and file copying is much easier on Android than on the iPhone.
  • For the hackers, Android can be easily modified so that you can purchase or install applications from somewhere other than the Google store.
  • Because the Android user interface is not locked down you have more choices as to how your phone works. Don’t like the way Samsung does their interface, well you can choose HTC or Motorola or … the list is long. If one phone has a major flaw, well you also have a choice on models.
  • Because there is so much competition between Android phones there is greater innovation of the features and user interface than any other model.

Cons:

  • Android is tightly integrated with Google and Google didn’t make the Android based phones out of the goodness of their heart. You better believe they make money by having your phone tightly integrated with their services.
  • Because Android is not locked down tight the chances of you getting a virus or malware on your phone is greatly increased.
  • There is no consistent user interface across phones. If you learn how to use a particular phone then you have to spend a little time learning how to use a different phone. Further each manufacturer has their own look which can take some getting used to.
  • Also because there are so many variants of Android, all updates are slow. You can buy Android phones made by Google which will get all the updates as soon as they are finalized and you can buy generic Android phones from the various companies that will get updates as soon as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc put them out. But most people will have to wait until your carrier approves of an update if they approve of it at all. This also means that sometimes bugs are never fixed.

Blackberry

Although not the first, Blackberry made the smartphone popular. My first smartphone was a Blackberry although I haven’t used one in a while.

Pros:

  • Nobody does phone email better than Blackberry. If the most important feature of your smartphone is sending and receiving emails, then you should only get a Blackberry.
  • Blackberry plays well with secure networks.
  • Consistent user interface across all models. This means no learning curve once you learn how to use one.
  • Copying files to your computer works the same as it does with Android.

Cons:

  • Blackberry is overshadowed by the almost religious fanbase of Apple products (not all Apple users are that way) and the financial muscle of Google. There are fewer apps on Blackberry than on other platforms and the ones that exist are more for business purposes.

iPhone/iPad

Pros:

  • Consistent user interface across a range of devices which makes the learning curve less difficult
  • Plenty of apps that ensure you get the most out of your device.
  • It is locked down very tight which means you likely will not get a virus.

Cons:

  • It is locked down very tight which means any app that threatens Apple’s profits is excluded.
  • It is not as easy to synchronize your calendar or contacts as it is with Android. In fact, Apple tries desperately to get you to use iTunes to transfer documents, pictures, and such.
  • Apple tends to minimize flaws or pretend that they do not exist in an attempt to maintain the persona that their devices are perfect. This is not as much of an issue now that Steve Jobs has died.
  • Because there is a consistent user interface across devices this means there is less innovation into how to device operates.
  • Apple uses a proprietary connector instead of a standard one only because it allows them to make more money.

Windows Phone/Windows 8 tablet

Pros:

  • It can multitask.
  • Because of recent breakthroughs in CPU technology, you should be able to get phone or tablet soon that is able to run the exact same programs as your laptop or desktop computer.
  • Windows 8 works well with a touch screen even though is stupid and horrible with a keyboard and mouse.

Cons:

  • There is some confusion in the products. Windows 8 RT does not and will never have the ability to run programs found on your desktop/laptop but the other versions of Windows 8 can.
  • Furthermore, Windows 8 RT, which is found on the Surface tablet, will probably be dead before long. Would you pay as much money for Windows 8 RT, which cannot run your old programs, as your would for regular Windows 8 when there is no performance or battery life advantage? This means, of course, that any tablet with Windows 8 RT on it might be a nice paperweight before long.
  • Tablets are far too expensive.

As an aside on this point, Windows 8 RT is based on the ARM CPU’s. All you need to know is that these CPU’s are simple and low-power but also much weaker than x86 type CPU’s found on your computer. Both AMD and Intel will soon have x86 type CPU’s that use only slightly more energy than ARM type CPU’s. This means that soon there will be little reason to have a Windows tablet using the ARM type CPU. That is why Windows 8 RT is probably going to die.

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