Choosing an operating system

Each operating system is different so everyone will have a favourite. If you’re not sure if Android, iPhone, Windows Phone or BlackBerry® is best for you, we’ll try to make your decision a little easier.


Mobile phone operating systems

What’s an operating system?

If you didn’t already know, an operating system is the software in your phone that makes it work. It tells all the clever hardware inside your phone what you want to do – whether that’s making a call, sending a text, taking a photo or browsing the web.

Most phones on the market have one of four operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry), but they’re all very different. Picking the right one is really important, so, to make life easier, here’s a quick overview of each.


Android

Almost half of the world’s smartphones use the Android operating system, making it the most popular on the market.

Why we love it

  • It’s customisable – so you can change your phone to look and sound the way you like
  • Amazing variety of phones to choose from
  • More than 700,000 apps – many of which are free
  • Large touchscreens are great for photos, videos and gaming

iPhone

With its easy-to-use interface, amazing features and rock-solid stability, iOS is the foundation of iPhone.

Why we love it

  • The multi-touch interface is designed for your finger making it easy, intuitive and fun
  • Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings and more
  • The worlds largest collection of apps

BlackBerry

This veteran of the mobile world has sold more than 200 million phones worldwide.

Why we love it

  • Many (but not all) BlackBerry phones have QWERTY keyboards. Perfect if you’re the sort of person who prefers typing with real buttons
  • BlackBerry Messenger makes it easier to message other people with BlackBerry phones
  • Has the latest encryption built-in, so they’re very secure
  • BB10, the latest version of the BlackBerry operating system, lets users have separate profiles on their phones for personal and business use. Finally you can achieve that work-life balance!

Windows Phone

The new kid on the block is getting rave reviews.

Why we love it

  • It’s really easy to use, especially if you have Windows on your computer
  • Clever ‘panes’ can be personalised so you only see what interests you – the weather where you live, for example
  • It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Windows Live, and comes with Xbox Live and Microsoft Office apps

Operating systems at a glance

 

Android

Windows Phone

BlackBerry

iPhone

Developed by

Google

Microsoft

BlackBerry

Apple

App Store

Google Play

Marketplace

BlackBerry World

iTunes

Available Brands

Sony, Samsung, HTC and more

HTC, Nokia

BlackBerry only

iPhone only

Number of apps

700,000+

150,000+

70,000+

900,000+

GPS Navigation

tick

tick

tick

tick

Offline maps

tick

tick

No

tick

Multitasking

tick

tick

tick

tick

Expandable Storage

tick

tick

tick

No

Drag and drop file management

tick

No

No

No

Voice assistant

tick

No

No

tick

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