iPhone OS vs. other mobile platforms

appleinsider.gifAppleInsider has an article ‘iPhone OS vs. other mobile platforms

While I can excuse this Apple-centric site of having some bias, I have to challenge the following…

"This rapid pacing of Apple’s free updates is unheard of on competing smartphone platforms…The Symbian partnership has delivered four incremental updates to Symbian 9.0 since 2004, roughly one per year."

The author is confusing OS versions with phone firmware updates. The licensees, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have provided many firmware updates. For example, take a look at the Nokia firmware versions to get a real feel for how active Nokia has been in this area.

New versions of the OS are something Apple (and it’s users) have yet to experience fully. A significantly different iPhone has yet to appear. In the same way that it’s not possible to upgrade a phone from say S60 2nd to S60 3rd, it probably won’t be possible for Apple to upgrade people to say iPhone 3.0 (if it exists) that might have significantly different hardware and/or software. In fact, Apple (and Android) has yet to experience the development pain of providing for backward/forward compatibility and maintaining multiple versions of the OS – the effort of both is significant for a mature OS.

AppleInsider continues…

"Despite now being a decade old, the WinCE foundation of Windows Mobile is also still regarded as unstable, riddled with bugs, and poorly architected, with a horrific user interface, clumsy process management, and development tools that are a simple regurgitation of the archaic Win32 desktop API, lacking much optimization for mobile development."

Windows Mobile isn’t unstable. All OSs have bugs. Windows Mobile probably has as many as the iPhone or Symbian. I don’t believe Windows Mobile is poorly architected. It’s easy to understand the APIs – more than can be said for Symbian and the iPhone. Windows Mobile is also power efficient. Unlike the iPhone, it runs on the phone for days, with background applications, without having to recharge the battery.

"Clumsy process management" – yes, users have always been confused as to whether applications remain running or not when they close them. "horrific user interface" – yes, this is something Microsoft must improve.

As for development tools – Visual Studio is best of class for mobile development and I always enjoy using it – which can’t be said of all other mobile development tools.