Mobile devices are becoming less about the hardware and more about the operating system (OS) running atop of it. Here are four of the most important aspects of a mobile operating system:
When it comes to smartphones or even tablet computers, arguably the two biggest companies in the mobile space are Apple and Google. Apple, of course, for their many iOS powered iGadgets and Google for their Android. When buying a new smartphone or a tablet, consumers ask things like ‘should I get an iPhone/iPad or an Android device’, the question isn’t ‘should I go for dual or single core processor’ because time and time again, the capability of the operating system is trumping the hardware it runs on. But what makes a consumer choose between the two? We’ve covered the four most important aspects of an operating system here.
1. Speed of Ease
Menus and buttons are about as vital to a mobile experience as much as what the user can do with them. Impossible is it, to download apps and access the very things that a device is supposed to allow us to do if the settings and options to do are as complicated as figuring out quantum physics. It’s the difference between ‘Open App’ and ‘Begin Using Software Application’. It’s also the difference between button shapes and if they’re easily noticeable and understandable, or, if they are solely a collection of indecipherable symbols that read as easy as hieroglyphs. Folders also go a long way towards ease of use and who doesn’t appreciate good organisation capabilities? For example, Android’s latest version of Jellybean allows for both pages and your very own folders, which can all be handpicked, chosen and created by you. With everything in its place, speed of ease doesn’t get much quicker than that.
2. Power to the User
When it comes to our gadgets, there are few things we enjoy more than a breadth of options. Given the option to change everything from colour schemes to simple concepts like being able to change the background image on the device or to decide how the device greets us on switching it on, usually, the more options the better. The developer of the operating system want a completely different design to that of the user so while simplistic use may be fine for some, allowing them to add nuts, bolts, screws and brackets to the operating system bracket (besides apps) could be a great thing. Luckily, as most operating systems allow for a breadth of customisation options, it’s best to just shop around and try out as many in phone stores as you can as each one may be differently suited to your customisation taste.
Smartphones and tablets made such a big splash when they were first introduced to the market in part because of how wondrous and fantastical were the devices’ touchscreens, the other reason for the success, is likely down to apps. Eschewing having to load up the device’s built-in web browser to fire up a website and access it that way, apps make that far easier, often providing even more features to their browser counterparts. In fact, apps are so advanced that you can even download a brand new browser to access the Internet on. The only problem is that not every app is available on every OS. As it stands, Apple”s iOS has far more apps listen on its store and some even have iOS exclusivity so if you want to get your hands on plenty of applications applications, that”s where you should look. So, while ‘quality over quantity’ is a good mantra to go by, the more apps available on an operating system, the better.
The hardware of a device covers how well and how fast each app or process on the device runs. It’s responsible for how many crashes an app will log in a use and what keeps them running as smoothly as possible and, with your hardware up to the challenge of running all of these apps as they should, why not take advantage and ask for more of it? Multi-tasking is mostly a new feature in terms of operation systems, with Apple’s updated iOS allowing for multiple apps at one time and with Android’s latest Jellybean update also letting users multi-task too. With devices more and more being used as extensions of offices and workspaces, it makes sense for them to allow us to run as many things as we’d want from our laptops and with devices that do that, it’s a wonder why we’d find much use from computers at all.
These are our four picks for the most important features, but if you have some suggestions, leave a comment.