Android vs Windows Phone vs iOS Mobile OS Comparison

Mobile operating system is a software that is used to run your mobiles devices which include smartphones and tablets. Mobile operating systems have become very powerful, advanced and feature rich in recent years. Now you can also multitask and run various kinds of applications on your Mobile OS. Here we are going to discuss and compare the topmost and popular mobile platforms or operating systems that include Android, Windows Phone and iOS.


Brief Introduction of Major Mobile Operating Systems

Here is a brief overview of all three major mobile operating systems that are being used in many smartphones and tablets.


Android is a popular mobile operating system owned and developed by Google. The base of Android OS is Linux and it is an open source mobile operating system. Android has grown rapidly all in terms of popularity, features, performance, UI (User Interface), looks and flexibility. It has now become one of the most popular and widely used mobile operating system in the world.


Android 6.0 Home Screen

The open source nature of Android is one of the major reasons for its huge growth, because there are many developers working on it which leads to the development of community of wide range of developers and users. Android is used by various top end companies and also by many lesser known small companies too. Some of the top companies that use Android OS in their Smartphones & Tablets are Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Motorola, Asus etc.

Must Read: Android Nougat New Features and Improvements over Android Marshmallow

Windows Phone

Windows Phone is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft. It is not as widely popular and used as compared to Android and iOS operating systems, but slowly and slowly it has started gaining some progress. Windows Phone OS is mostly used in smartphones manufactured by Nokia. Early versions of Windows Phone OS had some major issues with performance and features but its latest version which is named as Windows Phone 8.1 has major improvements in all areas.


Windows Phone 8.1 Metro Design Home Screen

To me the worst thing about Windows OS is its User Interface (UI) which is based on Microsoft Metro design. The UI is very confusing and sometime even the experienced technocrat persons find it difficult to operate. Other than that the OS is stable and works smoothly on your mobile. Also it is very much secure and least prone to malwares.


iOS is a mobile operating system developed by Apple and is mainly used in Apple mobile products which include iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV. The UI of iOS is plain and simple but the OS itself is very powerful, stable and offers very good performance.


iOS 9 Home Screen

The latest version of iOS is iOS 9.1 which was rolled out by Apple on 21st October, 2015.

Comparison of Android, Windows & iOS Mobile OS

Here is a neck to neck comparison of popular operating systems for mobile phones and tablets.



Windows Phone


Developer/Company Google Microsoft Apple
App Store Google Play Windows Phone Store App Store
Number of Apps Available 1.5 million+ Apps 340000+ Apps 1.4 million+ Apps
Kernel Linux Windows NT OS X / Darwin
Latest version Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) Windows Phone 8.1 iOS 9.1
Architecture / Platform 32-bit and 64-bit ARM, MIPS, MIPS 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon (based on ARMv7) 32-bit and 64-bit ARM Architecture
Open Source Yes No No
Package Manager / Update method APK Zune Software (not since Windows 8) iTunes
Languages Supported 70 130 40
Supported Standards GSM, CDMA GSM, CDMA GSM, CDMA
Supported Devices Huge number of Smartphones and Tablets Limited number of Smartphones and Tablets iPhones, iPad, iPod touch
Device/Phone Manufacturers Samsung, LG, Sony, Google, Motorola, Asus, HTC and many more companies Nokia and some other Apple
Multitasking Supported Supported in Windows Phone 8 and above, Limited Supported
Multi-user Android 4.2+ No No
Popularity Very Popular and widely used Not that Popular and limited users Very Popular and widely used
Customization Easily customizable and large community available NA NA
Features Many Moderate Not as with Android
User Interface Good and improves with each new Android version Metro interface which is very confusing and not appealing Plain, Simple and Average looking, not much improvement
Multi Touch Yes Supported in Windows Phone 8 and above Yes
Cut, Copy & Paste Yes Yes Yes
Undo No No iOS 4+
Text/Document support Microsoft Office, PDF, Images, TXT/RTF Microsoft Office Mobile, PDF, Images, TXT/RTF Microsoft Office, iWork, PDF, Images, TXT/RTF, VCF
Notifications Yes Yes Yes
Default Web browser/engine Blink Trident (EdgeHTML after 10) WebKit
Web Browsers Available Chrome, Opera, Firefox, UC Browser, Maxthon and more Internet Explorer, Opera Mini, UC Browser, Microsoft Edge Safari, Chrome, Opera Mini, Firefox
VOIP Yes, 3rd party apps 8+ Skype Facetime, 3rd party apps
NFC payment Yes and on any device that supports the hardware. Google Wallet for NFC payments available in Play Store Windows Phone 8+ iOS 8+
Prone to Malware Can be No and very rare Yes and can be Jailbreaked
Price Range of Smartphones From budget to high-end From budget to high-end Very expensive
Java Support Yes No No
Flash Support Yes No No
USB OTG (On-The-Go) Yes No No
USB Tethering / Wi-Fi Hotspot Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth Keyboard support Yes No Yes
Bluetooth Keyboard support Yes No With camera connection kit only
Cost to Develop Apps Free Free Free with Xcode
Official SDK Platform Linux, Mac OS X and Windows Windows Mac OS X using iOS SDK
Cost to Publish App to Mobile Store US $25 once to upload on Google Play US$19 once for an individual and $99 for a company account US$99/year
Official website

Conclusion & Final Words

All of the above mentioned operating systems have their own merits and demerits. Android is certainly more popular, affordable and feature rich mobile operating system. Windows Phone is in its early stages and is not fully grown, and has limited number of devices whereas iOS is only used in Apple’s devices which are certainly very expensive and out of reach for most people. So if you ask me then I would vote Android is the best mobile operating system among three because it contains almost all the features, and is most reachable in terms of both budget and flexibility as compared to other two.

  1. prakash
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