Battle of the Mobile OSs Part 2: Ecosystem and Extras
Previously, I released a post titled Battle of the Mobile OSs Part 1: Apps. So, in the continued battle of the smartphones, I know bring to you my spin on the ecosystems associated with each major mobile platform.
This is less about statistics than the plain and simple user experience when it comes to a platform. But this simple experience, or perhaps not so simple, is not to be overlooked. All considered, this ecosystem is one of the biggest things that a consumer new to the smartphone market will look at. Many phones have the same apps, hardware capabilities, and other overall features, but consumers will start looking to what else the phone has to offer. Ecosystem, in layman’s terms the functionality and compatibility with other hardware and software components, is key to every device. To every phone, it’s own.
Android has convenient functionality with the vast majority of Google products. Apple has extremely simple but effective functionality between other Apple devices, including iCloud and AirPlay, but most key is its amazingly mainstream media software: iTunes. Windows Phone has holds its own with its integration with the Xbox and the Zune software, along with other Microsoft products. Blackberry has unique features in this realm including some functionality between a Blackberry phone and Playbook tablet, but more importantly, Blackberry Messenger (BBM). Each mobile platform has a unique foundation under it, making each appealing in its own way.
I suppose I should start with the platform which most prizes its unique ecosystem: Windows Phone. Among many things like Microsoft Office and Xbox Live, Windows Phone 7 has capabilities built in that are unavailable or not cheap on other phones. Backed by one of the most essential software corporations on the planet, Windows Phone has plenty of power behind its punch, even if it has yet to fully mature. Windows Phone is also wired to automatically integrate Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Windows Live, and other accounts to present you the latest in statuses, tweets, and news, along with contact linking and other functionality. What truly comes to mind concerning ecosystem for Windows Phone is the future in Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and the new Xbox; the idea being to unite all of Microsoft’s platforms
It could also be argued that Blackberry’s ecosystem, or rather its characteristic extras, make it the most secure mobile OS around. Blackberry supplies features which though unique, often come at the cost of others. The platform does however elevate above the rest when it comes to fast, easy comunication–with BBM. With new features like Blackberry Music, Blackberry is also becoming a more social phone, and can be argued one of the best for chit-chatting, texting, and talking digital-style. However, on a stricter interpretation of “ecosystem”, Blackberry is somewhat of RIM’s only child, outside of the PlayBook.
The OS with the most true punch, the hip and the now, iOS takes the cake when it comes to media ecosystem. Outside of apps, however, the platform suffers on a lack of built-in functionality. iOS offers many features like iCloud, allowing the seamless transfer of data, and also AirPlay, used for the access of an Apple TV. The platfrom could be considered relatively barebones, leaving the user to rely sometimes inconviently on apps. The core functions, such as Settings, Music, AppStore, and iCloud are also apps in and of themselves.
The Google phone, Android offers everything from Gmail, YouTube, Latitude, Calendar, and just about every other Google product, often preinstalled as an app. The app-for-everything approach can get repetitive when you have it for every little piece of software, however, it offers capable access to all Google programs. Aside from this, the Android plane is relatively open to whatever you prefer.. The Android Market now has music, movies, and more through a variety of Google services including Google Music, Google Books, and YouTube. While it may seem a little disorganized, the Android Market unites the majority of Google media products to utilize the core functionality. Nonetheless, if you don’t care for Google products, you’re out of luck.
Ecosystem is essential to every smartphone. Without it, we would have no music, videos, apps, or anything on our phones. We need ecosystems for just about everything behind our phones. So, without discrimination, I can only leave the choice up to you.