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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Apple Vs. Android Vs. Microsoft: How to Decide


Apple Vs. Android Vs. Microsoft: 

How to Decide

an easy to comprehend comprehensive guide for beginners, the lost and confounded

iPad or Tablet? iPhone or 'the other ones'?

Are you confused by all of the hype re 'ithis's and 'androidthat's? For example did you ask Santa for an iPad this Christmas? Did you consider or even know that there is an alternative? I am not saying wanting an 'iThing' is a bad thing (being the owner of an iPhone and a Mac myself) but there are many things to consider when you are deciding what gizmo next to buy…
If you do not let technology rule your world but want to enjoy it here are some basic points for you to consider when thinking about investing in the latest, trendiest, most marketed devices. Yes, you can become a 'techy fashion victim' which means, if you don't consider all your options, being 'fashionable' can translate into stress, confusion and more importantly unnecessary expense

The Contenders

Consider the market as it stands today. To clarify it all there are 3 basic companies
1. Apple 2. Google 3. Microsoft
  • They each have their own operating systems (or OS) that they develop for certain devices (computers, phones and tablets). You will see the acromyms like OS, iOS, OSx
  • These devices run applications (or *Apps/Widgets) with which you create stuff (data i.e photos, docs, calendar entries, emails etc).
*An App is a web application /software/program that you download to your computer, phone or tablet. Some will only work with certain Operating systems

Data Is Stuff You Create

  • This data can be uploaded to a space, or created directly from a space, on the web (Cloud technology).
  • You can buy stuff (music, movies, apps etc) and download it using programs such as iTunes or Websites such as Amazon.
They also each have their own specific terms for basically the same thing. …

Who Does and Says What with Whom?

In a nutshell and in very broad terms:
CompanyOperating SystemDevice examplesSoftware TermsCloudAffiliates or Associations
Apple:
OSx or iOS MacPh: iPhone
Tab: iPad
  • Apps
  • iTunes - sync
  • Safari
iCloudApp Store
Google
Chrome
Android
  • Honey Comb
  • Icecream Sandwich
Ph: Google Phone
Tab: Chromebook
  • Apps/Widgets
  • Google Chrome
  • iGoogle
Cloud
Google Apps
Amazon,
Acer and others
Microsoft
Windows 7
Coming soon… Windows 8
Ph: Windows 7Phone
Tab: Slate
  • Internet Explorer
  • Bing
  • MSN
Live
Sky Drive
Nokia
HTC
XBox
All three of these companies have different specialities but before you buy your next gadget it may be a good thing to look at the futures of these companies…

The Way of the Future

Its very expensive to keep up with the world's technology explosion so it may serve us to look to the future and where these 3 companies stand in today's competitive market
Apple, Google and Microsoft are vying for industry dominance, competing to varying degrees on computer and mobile phone operating systems, hardware, applications, entertainment, search engine capabilities and more.


Least Likely: Apple

You don't believe me? … Well, although Apple is flying high now, it's the most vulnerable company of the major three. Unfortunately its because the Mac wave of success is built solely on the vision and talent of one person -- Steve Jobs. In most companies, if someone else replaced an existing CEO, the company would not suffer but not so with Apple. With Steve's passing and a good look at the company's floundering history prior to his reappearance, you need to consider who will be capable of filling his shoes. Far more than Microsoft or Google, Apple's business model requires constant XFactor releases in order to bring in huge profits. The question is can those Big Hits continue now?

Tops: Google

Of the three companies, Google is best positioned to thrive in the future. It has a near monopoly on Internet search, the core of the world economy's greatest growth engine. That gives it both an excellent base to expand upon, as well as a massive war chest it can depend on to fund new ventures. Google is well positioned to take advantage of the mobile device advertising boom that is likely to develop in the coming years. Although Google isn't likely to compete seriously against Microsoft in the operating systems and applications markets, it will become a 'player' in those businesses.

In Between: Microsoft

Finally, there's Microsoft, which falls somewhere between Apple and Google. Unlike Apple, it doesn't need blockbusters in order to grow. With a stranglehold on operating systems and productivity applications (software/programs), and with solid enterprise tools, it will grow steadily. Google won't be able to break its near monopoly.
The success of Windows 7 shows that the release of a new operating system still brings in plenty of revenue. Recently, Microsoft had a blowout quarter, increasing revenue by 14% over the year-earlier period, thanks to skyrocketing Windows 7 sales. Although Microsoft won't usurp Google as the Internet search leader, Bing shows that it can also be mighty profitable.
So looking ahead, expect Google to thrive, Microsoft to stay the course, and Apple eventually to lose its Steve Jobs-driven magic

Stuff to Consider and Helpful Hints

  1. Do you own a Mac or a Windows PC?

Considering all of the above, it also makes sense to buy a phone and a tablet that are compatible with your current PC's Operating system. Therefore;
if you own a
Mac then stick with Apple devices and peripherals and
if you own a
Windows PC then stick with Android or Windows devices.
This is not written in stone as everything is possible but this advice is for those who are not technologically minded and want to keep their lives simple and relatively stress free.
It is also advisable to ask your friends and family what they own. Afterall you will need some help at some stage and they are the likely people you will be communicating with. Keep it in the club
If you do plan to mix and match then factor in the cost of a reliable and versatile tech who is savvy in all aspects of the three major players

2. Do you us Gmail or Google Apps a lot?

All of the OS allow you to use Google but if you are a 'Google apps' user (even if its just Gmail and Picasa) remember that Google is the world leader of Internet search and cloud technology and you may experience some compatability issues if you aren't on an android device

3. What brand of phone do you own right now?

Its not that easy to transfer your data from phone to phone nowadays so again you may want to factor in IT assistance into your budget. SD cards differ from brand to brand and you also need to consider software compatibility when trying to transfer your precious stuff. E.g you cannot drag and drop to an iPhone whereas you can with a Nokia

4. Back-ups

Have you backed up your phone to your PC or cloud service including all your contacts, messages, photos emails and calendar entries? Did you know that an 'iPhone back up' does not include your photos or music? You need to do this before you attempt any transfer of data from one device to another.

5. What would you be using your tablet/pad for?

Tablets or Pads are not computers. They are a peripheral device. They bridge the gap between laptop computers and mobile smart phones in terms of size and functions. Their main functions are
  1. Browse the internet
  2. Basic Email – no attachments, or organisation
  3. Movies
  4. Books
  5. Games
Did you know that Tablet Laptops (computers wth swivel touch screens) have been on the market for years?
The key is to look at how it will be used to determine which OS may best suit your needs. For example
  • If you want it to be just like a traditional PC, then a 'Windows 7 slate' may be best.
  • Media watching and gaming is probably best served by Apple's iOS.
  • If you want a more open platform with better multitasking, then Andriod might be the best choice.
Beyond the OS itself, buyers should also consider the types and number of applications available to each platform.
This means …Spend some time in the App store before you buy an iPad, as the software you use will really define what type of gadget you have. But you'll probably find that since last year, more apps are now allowing you to create content just as a laptop would. You also need to remember that a Google app for instance won't work on an iPhone or an iPad

6. Tablet Storage Space

While most people will not be carrying around as much data on a tablet as they would on a laptop, the amount of space on the tablet is still a major thing to consider. All tablets use solid state storage because of its ability to use very little power, uses less space and higher durability. The downside is limit storage space. Most tablets come with 16Gb , 32GB and 64GB of space which is extremely small compared to a laptop.
For those just browsing the web, streaming video and reading books, storage space won't be too critical. If on the other hand you are storing high definition movies or lots of games, consider getting a higher capacity model so you don't have to constantly shuffle what you want on your tablet when away from a PC.
You can't upgrade space on a tablet or iPad

7. Processors

The processors (their brain and speed at which they think) used in tablets can vary widely. Buyers will often need to know a bit more than than just 'cores' as can have big implications on the performance, battery life and size of the tablet PC. Unfortunately, this is a fairly complex subject so it is recommended to read the full Tablet PC Processor Guide for further information.

Pros and Cons

Apple

Pros:

  1. the iPad 2 is a much thinner device than its prototype so its size and shape is great for travelling and working out of the office
  2. 2x Cameras – still and video for conferencing with 'Facetime' (like 'Skype'). Not meant for high quality photography the still camera is a new feature
  3. Apps including iMovie (movie editing) and Garage Band (music composition)
  4. Great Battery Life (but you can't remove it)
  5. Some have 3G (can use a 3G dongle or modem) and others only have WiFi (wireless detection)

Cons:

Despite my veneration for Apple, however, aspects of the iPad experience are not so great…
  1. Apple has a stranglehold on the stuff you are allowed to use and how you use it - the company rigidly controls which third party apps are released to the public through the 'App Store'. By rejecting apps that do not meet its guidelines or policies, Apple has full control over what you download to your Mac PC, iPhone and iPad. Apple's systems are cohesive and consistent but their restrictions limit your experience through a lack of openness and flexibility; personally, I don't like being controlled.

  2. More significantly, Apple's policies ensure that it participates in all financial transactions taking place on the iPhone and iPad. This explains why Apple locks down the platform (operating system's stuff including yours). e.g. you can't transfer music or apps that you have purchased to any other device that is not an 'isomething' with iTunes installed. This means you have to 'jailbreak' your devices to access the use of anything they don't want you to.

  3. Screen: The iPad screen resolution isn't necessarily bad, but you won't be able to watch content as high quality as you could on another tablet.

  4. No extra features
  • No USB,
  • no SD card reader
  • no removable battery – rivals such as Samsung and Motorola are delivering in the features department.
  • Can't upgrade the storage space
       5. Yes, the iPad comes with a HD connection kit (enables you to watch TV), but it Costs extra
Until Apple starts putting in extra functionality the iPad could be a second-choice for some tablet owners.Price – they cost considerably more than other Brand Tablets


No Flash: some websites and games won't work
PS: Yes -  Apple is prone to viruses!


Android

Google's Android operating system (the new ones are called Honeycomb and Icecream Sandwich) an alternative to Apple's iOS, runs on a range of phones and tablets. Android offers several significant advantages over iOS, including:
  • An open ecosystem unrestricted by Apple's control
  • True multitasking; notifications and background events simply happen
  • Excellent Google applications that mimic their desktop counterparts
  • A superior browser, which includes Flash and tabbed browsing

Cloud Backup

Android users have been able to store items in the cloud for some time, including purchased apps and now music (with Google Music) and photos (via Google+). Apple is playing catch-up in some ways with the addition of iCloud, which includes syncing apps across all your devices, although both services are reaching music and photo storage around the same time. iCloud also syncs your documents. Skydrive is yet to pass muster

Some Android Alternatives to iPad

  • Chromebook: In the next few weeks, Google Australia will release the Google Chromebook, a stateless device which enables instant on web computing with no software to manage, no backup required, with a form factor similar to a notebook and a price point expected to be less than a new mobile phone. You can buy at least two Chromebooks for the price of one iPad.
  • Motorola Xoom, which has important hardware features that improve on the iPad. I especially like the high-resolution screen, better quality speakers, and ability to expand storage with a micro SD card.
  • Sony Tablet runs Google's operating system Android 3.1 Honeycomb. They feature touchscreens, two cameras (a rear-facing 5 MP, a front-facing 0.3 MP), infrared sensor, Wi-Fi. They support PlayStation Suite, DLNA, and are 3G/4G compatible. They will retail for US$499-599
  • Galaxy Tab: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 proves that it's not only Apple that can produce truly lovely hardware. This tablet is lighter and thinner than the iPad 2, at 8.6mm thick and 565g. These trimmed-down figures, 15g lighter, 0.2mm thinner, are too slight to notice in real life usage, but competing with an iPad 2 on these fronts is something no Android tablet has managed previously.

Android Alternatives to iPhone


Watch This You Tube Video Comparing Galaxy Nexus and iPhone
So which phone are you going for: the iPhone 4S or the new Galaxy Nexus?

References



The elephant in the room

And then there is a smarty pantz that finds an alternative to all of it. An interesting comment I found in a forum from someone who feels he has solved the conundrum with one device that does it all: http://www.zdnet.com/tb/1-100699?tag=talkback-river;1_100699_1962510#1_100699_1962510

@kitko Thank you. I run Android on a 480X800 pixel Zio phone and do practically everything anyone with any Android OS device or iPad does on a daily basis: Kindle, Google, Office, PDF markups, YouTube, Facebook, email, drum machine/sequencer/sampler, guitar tuner, GPS with on-board maps (no data connection needed), music player, video player, voice recorder, still camera, video camera, RTA audio spectral analyzer, news and weather, MicroSD card reader, FREE VoIP phone calls from anywhere on the planet with wifi, and even a Stark Trek tricorder. Oh, and it ALL fits in my pocket with enough room left over for the money clip holding the $600 I saved by NOT buying an iPad.

In Summary

There is so much more to tell you and so much info out there that I have managed to rewrite, cull and extract this many times. My suggestion is 'Google it'. Go for big if you can afford it and remember that today's 'high end' is tomorrow's 'daggy' (Yes I am Australian). So get off the 'what's fashionable' bandwagon and look at what you want, why you want it, what will you do with it, which one will be easier or best suited to your skill levels and the least expensive. Be Sensible with an adventurous twist. The most expensive is not always the best and in the technology world Mix and Match is an art form and you will need help.Look to your family and friends and if all else fails there's me or your IT guy. I have a Mac 'wiggle' (in-joke but watch the stance of someone when they say 'I have a Mac and you'll get my drift) the Windows Smile and the Google Shine. That's why I sometimes get my mords wixed and have developed a funny tick with a touch of Teretz developing
Above all learn about what you currently own and what you desire to own because only then will you discover how much you will gain from becoming an active participant in the new world we live in…ITs easy when you know how

Best Regards,

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