Chances are any smartphone will do

Chances are any smartphone will do

Summary: Smartphone platforms have evolved to the point where any smartphone will do for most folks.

4 platforms

I have an iPhone 4S and a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone. They are both good phones and iOS and Android are solid platforms. It doesn't matter which of the phones I take with me when I head out the door for the day, either one will serve me just fine.

The fact is, smartphone operating systems have evolved to the point where any of them can meet my needs, and probably those of most folks. They handle phone calls and messaging pretty much equally. That includes text messaging, email, and in most cases video chats.

When it comes to most common functions, there's not a lot separating the major platforms, and that includes iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. They run the phones that use them handily, in a way that will satisfy most customers.

Not all of the platforms have the major apps that people want, and that can be a factor in choosing which one is right for a particular user. Even so, many apps interact with online services, which can be used through a web browser. That's something all the platforms handle very well, so the lack of an app may not be that big a deal.

I am certain that I could pick up a phone on any of the four major platforms and have my needs met. I'd use the apps I like if available, and the web browser for those needs where an app doesn't exist.

I don't think I am unique in this, I feel confident that a great many users would find that any of these platforms could handle what they need. There is no longer a big difference in what any of the phone platforms can do. The major stuff works just fine on them all.

Sure, there are some functions that vary among the platforms and those might be important to some users. That would restrict using one or more of the platforms, but I have a feeling those cases are not as common as many believe.

All of the platforms have an ecosystem for apps and content, and those heavily invested in one won't want to change and that's understandable. Others could jump ship midstream without missing a beat.

Existing ecosystem investment and special apps aside, many could move from one platform to another and find their needs met just fine. Brand or platform loyalty aside, if folks would try the other platforms they might be surprised to find the other operating systmes could handle everything they need without issue.

Related stories:

Topics: Mobility, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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  • What about no?

    You can even set your default apps on iOS and let alone browser engine choice.
    Hell no!
    • No edit button

    • irrelevant.

      none of that would prevent you from actually doing anything. the goal is not do have a default browser, the goal is to navigate the web. You can do it on any smartphone.
    • I know with android you can.

      If you have more than 1 browser and you click a link a window will pop up asking which browser to use.. You select the one you want hit the use by default checkbox and done. If you wish to change you can go into settings.
      Anthony E
  • I agree.

    I've owned iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. All served me well. I had a difficult time deciding between the three. In the end the flexibility offered by Android was the deciding factor for me.
    • Agreed: all phones do the basic things well enough

      I've had all three as well and they all can get the job done. What sets them apart are how well they do things for the user and not the other way around.

      I had a difficult time deciding between Android and Windows phone. The iphone was nice and reliable, but too limiting and never felt like the phone was mine, but something Apple was dictating how I should use it. Android was amazing with customization, but there was always something that needed my attention. Something eating battery, crashing app or something else. It was great for my inner nerd that loves to fix things, but not something I actively look for in a device.

      It took me a few months to realize that I was just using my Lumia 928 without the things that bothered me in my previous phones. Aside from missing swype, missing it greatly, I set the phone up and it has been hassle free since then. It gives me the things I liked most about iOS and Android without the things that bothered me in those operating systems. It has been the perfect blend so far.

      The bonus has been how well it integrates with my tablet and laptop which both run Windows8.
  • Careful James

    You many come to grief for even suggesting that all the rabid fanboy wars are stupid and pointless!
    By the end of the day this will be full of comments telling you you are wrong and 1 or the other platform is superior................ :)

    I can hear Owl'Net approaching now! Wonder what he'll say.....
  • Chances are any smartphone will do

    Any smartphone may do but some smartphones make it easier to do stuff than others.
    • Meh

      Let's be honest - it is more than easy on all of them. No phone operation is more than a tap or two away on any modern phone.
  • What you say is true, but...

    It is only part of the story. I want a big screen. I want to be able to use my own preferred keyboard app. I want a replaceable battery. Those are very important for me and matter a great deal. They drive my purchase decision.
    • I think that

      is off the point. The core functions are all there, consumer choices diverge with all the ancillary uses. I would be tempted by Windows Phone, but I'm like you I want choices and don't mind making choices and learning a little bit . . . but even in Android you don't HAVE to do that, you can leave it all stock.
  • This has been true for a while

    I'm still using a Blackberry Torch, and it can do most of the things newer ones can (though with admittedly less speed and finesse.)
  • Except for music and podcasts

    Wait, what about music and podcasts? The main factor that keeps me using an iPhone is that carrying any other phone means I also need to carry an iPod, because no other platform offers easy management and playback of music and podcasts.

    Note that I said "easy." In my office right now, I have a BlackBerry Z10, the new Nokia Windows phone and a couple of Android devices. They are all great, but finding, downloading, listening to and then deleting podcasts with them is painful. It can be done, but it's not easy or enjoyable.

    That's where iPhones stand out -- they are also iPods.
    • Please explain

      I can't comment on Blackberry or Windows but for Android how in the world is it a pain to download music and play it along with podcasts? I'm truely at a loss. My wife has an iPhone and I a Galaxy Nexus, Google Play music in my opinion is just as if not more intuitive.

      Im at a loss at your difficulty to play a song with ease on Android.
      • That's not podcasts

        He may be right, as for podcast (even the name is Apple based) has defaulted to iTunes. There are boatloads of apps for podcasting in the Play Store.
    • Android just as good for podcasts

      I don't see how iOS is any better than Android at podcasts since a decent experience requires a 3rd party solution anyway. Has apple finally introduced a cloud based solution for podcast management? Syncing with a computer seems so 2008 and I am not interesting in manually managing my podcasts. I also want my listening stored in a platform independent way.

      I found syncing on iOS very annoying and inconvenient and was very happy to switch to Android and use a cloud based solution instead.
  • Exactly so

    This makes one's choice of smartphone OS a matter of personal preference, which is definitely a positive good.
    John L. Ries
  • No

    At least on android I can set my browser to FF and add ablock.
    Alan Smithie
  • Just like the old Ford-Chevy-Chrysler arguments

    They give people who are into them something to discuss while drinking and/or fishing, but basically they are all cars (or trucks, as the case may be), they all carry two or more people and/or a certain amount of cargo from one place to another, and a fan of any of them could get an errand done with either of the other two (or any of the "foreign" brands) if necessary without too much trouble.

    Are there differences? Sure, and some of them may make a difference long term (e.g. fuel efficiency or repair costs), but that's where personal preference comes in. Same with phones, computers, glasses, stereo sets, TV's, etc.

    Peace, y'all!
  • hotspot

    One thing that steers me clear of iPhones is that Apple disable the hotspot feature with the network I am on because they don't recognize it as a provider. They "don't recognize it" because it doesn't sell phones and therefore doesn't make Apple an extra money.

    And I know that wont be the only thing, there will always be something that Apple have decided I shouldn't be able to do that I want to do with my hardware.