Ever since the advent of the smartphone, companies are vying to create better Operating Systems for their mobile phones. Earlier phones used a Java based environment as their Operating Systems and Nokia used their own system known as Symbian. Now, Nokia has decided to stop using the Symbian system in favor of Windows 8 and the rest of the companies are trying to capture the market for their systems.

Four systems have now captured the smart phone and tablet market completely and they are- Windows, Android, iOS, and Blackberry. While Blackberry is used only by the phones manufactured by the same company i.e. RIM, iOS is used by Apple in their iPhones, the series of smart phones, and iPads, their range of tablets. Windows and Android are creations of Microsoft and Google respectively and are licensed by smart phone companies such as Nokia and Samsung for their use in phones and tablets.

Software and Hardware

As any gadget enthusiast will inform you, software won’t function properly without proper hardware for it to run on. For the iOS this is not a problem as its developer, Apple also manufactures the phones and tablets for it to run upon and everyone know that Apple’s hardware is of the top quality. However, its user interface does not offer much scope for customization. Android, developed by Google is an open source OS which means that it is wide open to customization and is very user friendly provided one is acquainted with its features. Otherwise it comes off as a highly cluttered interface and you will be left fuming with rage at being unable to locate a particular function.

Windows on the other hand falls midway between these two market leaders. Its user interface is very smooth and easy to master while retaining its sophistication. Android and Windows rely on the hardware of the different companies licensing their product for use and therefore many models featuring either of these two OS may not have good hardware.

Applications and their Stores

Each of the above mentioned OS has their own version of an online application store from which you can download different software, games and other utilities for your smart phone and tablets. The iOS features the App Store. The applications found here are all vetoed by Apple which ensures that the programs are safe and risk-free. The store has a wide variety of applications some which require money to be downloaded.

Android comes with the Google Play which is far more liberal than Apple’s App Store. In fact it is so liberal that some applications can pose a serious risk to your device as many applications found are developed by third-party programmers who may or may not have malicious intent hidden behind their programs. Google Play also happens to have the largest library of applications among all the systems.

Microsoft with its latest entry, Windows 8, is a late comer to the scene and therefore has considerably less number of applications in its Windows Store but the number is growing steadily. Windows, like Android features a lot of third-party software some of which can be dangerous.


The iOS is in a way very lucky to be bundled with the iPhone and the iPad. Due to the excellent hardware provided and the fact that Apple does not make a defective piece of equipment, customers line up for them. The Apple products are mostly popular in the U.S.A. but are slowly gaining popularity in other countries as well.

Android mobiles in India are possibly the most popular operating system at the moment. With a wide variety of devices running Android, it has become well known all over the world and had the largest market share in 2012.

Windows being a late-comer is considerably less popular but it may become strong enough to challenge the iOS for the second spot in the near future.

An Overview

In the end it all boils down to the interface you are most comfortable with. Android happens to the best so far but iOS offers more security while Windows is not popular enough to challenge these two giants yet.