The showdown doesn’t get bigger than this – it’s the ultimate faceoff among the 2 leading smartphone OS’s of the world and the newest BlackBerry OS which launched yesterday. We’re looking into their strong points and what they’re missing out on so that you can pick the right smartphone that suits you the most.
BlackBerry 10: The latest entrant among the 3, it has a lot riding on it, literally. The future of BlackBerry is entirely dependent on how well consumers respond to this latest offering, especially given how the company has lost precious share of its users to iPhones and Android-based smartphones over the past couple of years. What’s encouraging, however, is that RIM has put a lot of thought into designing the OS and it does make for a powerful experience. The overall design gives a polished and smart look and has gone touch-based like its competitors. With mere swipes, you can either choose to close the app or move it into the multitasking window to let it run in the background.
Among its strengths is the BlackBerry Balance, which lets users separate their work apps from their personal ones, so that they can disable access to the former after working hours. This provides enhanced security, while at the same time letting users have enough of entertainment and additional support on their BlackBerry smartphones – keeping the workplace and the user happy. Another strong point is the new BlackBerry Messenger, with its enhanced features which lets its users video chat through it free of cost. Now, no more exchanging chat messages, BBM users can even see each other. The web browser has also undergone significant change, and tests have shown how it loads pages much faster than the browser onboard the iOS as well. Even the Voice Control feature in the BlackBerry 10 is far more precise and lets users dictate commands to the phone.
The major letdown that could make users apprehensive to transition to the OS would be the lack of apps. While iOS and Android users can choose from hundreds of thousands of apps, the BlackBerry App Store has just over 70,000 presently. Another possible challenge is that the usability of the OS is entirely gesture-driven – there are no navigation buttons for assistance. It might overwhelm some users, making it overly complex to operate – but once you get the hang of it, this would cease to be a concern.
iOS 6: One of the biggest strengths is that it still does have the largest selection of apps for users to choose from. We especially love the new Apple Maps which features 3D maps of places and makes it easy to find your way through the city. The browser too has undergone a revamp and the iCloud Tabs allow you to sync your browsing history across multiple Apple devices. Siri, Apple’s voice-based assistant, has also improved significantly in the iOS 6. It pulls in data from more sources and presents more useful information to the users.
On the downside, we think Apple fans may be suffering from iOS fatigue. The overall UI hasn’t undergone any drastic changes, and people may quite simply be bored of the iOS experience. That’s probably been one of the primary reasons for the iPhone 5 not doing as well in the market since its launch. Also, iOS is at its best only if you are a hard-core Apple fanatic – with multiple devices, including Mac systems. The lock-in makes iOS rather inflexible and difficult to deal with.
Android Jelly Bean: There’s a reason why Android has become the world’s most popular smartphone OS, and it’s not just because of the affordability of Android phones. We love how Google puts in a lot of effort to make each version of the OS significantly different from its predecessors. Just when we thought the ICS was a huge upgrade over Ginger Bread, Android went and got a whole lot better with the Jelly Bean. We especially love the Google Now and Knowledge Graph, which makes for much better voice-based assistance and more detailed information providing capabilities. Also, Google Maps, with its 3D buildings and Street View, offers a lot of help in finding the way around cities. The Chrome browser also lets users sync their tabs with their desktop Chrome browser, making it easy to continue working seamlessly across multiple devices.
Among the downsides, to start with, Android doesn’t have as many apps as iOS. Another major disadvantage is that although the Jelly Bean version’s so great, its adoption rate is extremely low. Only the high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and other similar new phones run on Android Jelly Bean. Google’s brought out the Jelly Bean even before many users could transition to the ICS. And even though it’s so great, very few phones can get their OS upgraded to Jelly Bean. To get a Jelly Bean experience, users might as well invest in a brand new smartphone instead.