Usability criteria in computers

Unlike computers, when you pick a smartphone with a particular operating system (or OS) you don’t really have the option of uninstalling it and trying out a new one. The OS on a mobile phone determines the phone’s usability, the kinds of apps that will be available, the user interface and much more. It’s therefore an important choice to make.

In Australia, the dominant phone OS is generally thought to be Android or Apple. Apple’s iOS is only available on Apple iPhones and iPads, but it is very user friendly and gives access to the wonders of the App Store, which maintains the most apps of any OS. One thing that sets these two companies apart is the the idea that Apple have decided to boycot Adobe flash in their devises. Android, is available on many different handsets from different manufacturers, including Samsung and HTC. You therefore have a lot more choice in the actual phone that you get, although you will get less choice in apps – Android’s Google Play market isn’t yet as expansive as the App Store. Both Android and iOS are frequently updated, and updates are simple and easy to download and install.

Microsoft have been attempting to compete with Android and Apple with their Windows Phones, although as yet they haven’t made much progress. Problems with the initial versions of their operating system have gained Windows Phone a bad reputation, in spite of improvements that have been made since. Many believe that Microsoft simply entered the game too late, and now have no real chance of catching up with Apple and Android. BlackBerry, on the other hand, once led the market along with Apple with its BlackBerry OS. Although still considered useful for business and social networking due to their strong foundation in email and messaging services, the company behind BlackBerry, RIM, have been experiencing financial struggles and have fallen behind their competitors in the smartphone and OS markets.

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