Thursday, April 8, 2010

iPhone OS 4 versus Windows Phone 7: the tale of the tape

So now that Apple's finally addressed (well, sort of addressed) the 800-pound gorilla known as multitasking, it's time to take a good, hard look at how iPhone OS 4 stacks up against Redmond's completely redesigned mobile monster that's destined to hit handsets toward the end of the year. Though the two companies have taken vastly different paths to get to where they are with their mobile strategies today, there are some striking similarities between the platforms; take that multitasking we already mentioned, for example -- both iPhone OS and Windows Phone are looking to keep processor and battery utilization to a minimum by putting the emphasis on managed services for background apps rather than just letting them run roughshod over your fragile hardware. Of course, there are some striking differences, too -- so let's have a look, shall we?

OS 4

OS 3.1.3

Phone 7

Mobile 6.5.3

Kernel Type OS X OS X Windows CE 6 Windows CE 5
Platform Adaptability Good Good Good Excellent
Platform Age Adolescent Adolescent Young Mature
First-party Enterprise Support Exchange Exchange Exchange Exchange
Wireless Tech GSM, WiFi GSM, WiFi GSM, CDMA, WiFi GSM, CDMA, WiFi
Screen Gestures Yes Yes Yes Limited
Screen Tech Capacitive Capacitive Capacitive Capacitive / Resistive
Multitouch Yes Yes Yes Yes
UI skinning Limited No No Yes
Input methods Virtual / external keyboards Virtual keyboard only Virtual / physical keyboards Virtual / physical keyboards, T9 / triple tap, character recognition
Notification style Modal pop-up, icon badge Modal pop-up, icon badge Unobtrusive banner / pop-up Modal pop-up
Contact integration / management Exchange ActiveSync, Mac OS Address Book, Google Sync Exchange ActiveSync, Mac OS Address Book, Google Sync Exchange ActiveSync, Google Sync Exchange ActiveSync, Google Sync, Domino, BlackBerry
Multitasking Limited / managed No Limited / managed Yes
Copy / paste Yes Yes No Yes
Media support / ecosystem iTunes iTunes Zune None
Global search Yes Yes Yes No
Firmware updates Tethered Tethered Tethered, OTA Tethered, limited OTA
Browser Engine WebKit WebKit Trident (IE) Trident (IE)
Tethering Yes (varies by carrier) Yes (varies by carrier) Unknown Yes
Stereo Blutooth Yes Yes Yes Yes
SDK Availability / Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Official App Store Yes Yes Yes Yes
App Availability High High Low (unreleased) Medium
Native Applications Yes Yes No Yes
Unsigned Applications No No No Yes
On-Device App Management Excellent Good
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All credits and information was found on


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