Feature Articles

Android 4.0, iOS 5 and Windows Phone 7.5 in Comparison

By Seow Tein Hee - 19 Oct 2011

Google Android 4.0 vs Apple iOS 5 vs Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5

Google Android 4.0 vs Apple iOS 5 vs Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5

"Good artists copy, great artists steal". A quote that came from Picasso and uttered by the late Steve Jobs in a 1994 interview rings very true in the tech industry. Each mobile OS is an evolution of its previous iteration, but at some point in time, certain ideas have been cross-referenced and re-adapted to suit the needs of its future update. Google Android 4.0 does have some interesting features, but similar to how Apple emulated iOS 5's pull-down notifications from Android, the Google mobile OS also kind of took a cue from its competitors.

  • The People and Me apps are similar to Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5's People hub, which aggregates your contact and social network feeds into a single app.
  • Swiping left or right to dismiss notifications could have been a cue from MeeGo and how its swipe gestures are used to exit and even close apps. On a similar note, this is also taking a cue from how BlackBerry's PlayBook operates with its QNX OS.
  • Screenshot capturing - well, this is really something that should have been in the very first Android version. Why it took Google this long to implement the function, which has already been on iOS for quite some time, is a mystery to us.

Nonetheless, Google has also been influential in the way its competitors have evolved over the years.

  • Wireless hotspot - introduced in Google Android 2.2, soon followed by iOS 4
  • Widgets - Android has been focusing on widgets, acting as a source of information without actually diving into the app since its early days. Apple just recently introduced the Stock and Weather widget into iOS 5.
  • Twitter integration - Due to the open-source nature of Android, developers were able to hook apps into the Android sharing and contacts system, thus allowing pictures and links to be shared via Twitter or any other online sharing methods with the right APIs.

With all three major mobile OSes announcing their updates, how does each platform stand against the other? Here's a quick listing of the key features found on Android 4.0, iOS 5 and Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.

Not too sure of the key features found within the three new mobile OSes? Here's a table that lists out the key similarities and differences between Android 4.0, iOS 5 and Windows Phone 7.5.

  Google Android 4.0 Apple iOS 5 Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5
Social Network Integration Google+ Twitter Facebook, Windows Live, Twitter, LinkedIn
Screenshot Capture Yes
(Hold Volume Down and Power buttons)
(Hold Power and Home buttons)
Widget Support Yes, with the option to resize widgets Stock and Weather widget Live Tiles
Multi-tasking Yes
(Click on Recent Apps)
(Double tap Home button)
(Press and hold Back button)
Closing apps within task manager Yes
(Swipe sideways to close)
(Press and hold app, click on X to close)
Notifications Pull down and swipe sideways to dismiss notification Pull down and click on X, followed by clear, to dismiss notification Limited to apps with push notifications
Folders Yes Yes --
Cloud Syncing Google iCloud Windows Live
Cloud Storage -- iCloud SkyDrive
Instant Messaging Google Talk iMessage Windows Live Messenger and Facebook Chat
Threaded Email Yes -- Yes
Wireless Hotspot Yes Yes Yes
(subjected to device compatibility)
Physical shortcut buttons -- Home button Back, Start and Search buttons
Panorama Imaging Yes -- --
Image Editor Yes Yes Yes
Integrated Voice Assistant -- Yes (Siri) Yes (TellMe)
Data Monitor and Control Yes -- --
Near Field Communications (NFC) Yes
(Android Beam)
-- --
Apps Android Market iTunes Store Windows Phone Marketplace

Join HWZ's Telegram channel here and catch all the latest tech news!
Our articles may contain affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we may earn a small commission.