The Homescreen Experience
In comparing Windows Phone 7 vs Android, the most obvious point of comparison is of course the two platforms’ treatment of apps as they appear on the actual phone’s homescreens. Android, as you all know, followed the path made by Apple with the iPhone - that is, apps are presented on the homescreen as icons populating several screens. This is not the case with Windows Phone 7. Instead of the icon approach, Microsoft decided to go with a system based on Tiles and Hubs. So, with Windows Phone 7 you’ll get a single start screen and Apps/Menu containing other functions which are not included in the Start screen. So, how does the Windows start screen work? Based on my previous playtime with some Windows Phone 7 devices, I found it a bit difficult to manipulate Windows Phone 7’s different approach to apps and menus. I may be too used to the iPhone and Android way of doing things. Perhaps that’s why I felt that way or maybe Windows Phone 7 is really hard to crack at first. In any case, as you use a Windows Phone 7 device more often, you’ll get the hang of its system.
The Messaging Experience
Here’s one aspect where Windows Phone 7 beats Android – composing messages. I admit that after a year of using the Google Nexus One and most recently the still unreleased Ideos X5 smartphone, I still can’t dig Android’s keyboard system. I still find it easier to type SMS and email on my iPhone rather than on those two Android phones. Fortunately for Windows Phone 7, the experience is a lot better. I’ve tried composing messages with the HTC Mozart and HTC HD 7 and I found both gave me an easier time composing text.
The Apps Experience
Before releasing Windows Phone 7, Microsoft did some upgrading of its Windows Marketplace. And it was a good upgrade. The Windows Marketplace is now easy to use. Although the Windows Marketplace still has a long way to go before it reaches the App Store or Android’s Market status in terms of the number of apps available, the fact is - Microsoft has taken a step in the right direction.
Compared with the Android Market, I would have been inclined to say that it’s better when it comes to the apps experience. But then Google just recently launched the Android Market website which makes the Android apps experience better than just using the Android Market on Android cell phones.
It’s still too early to tell whether Windows Phone 7 can beat Android when it comes to mobile apps. But it is definitely moving forward on the right track.
For other points of comparison between WP7 vs Android, we have storage capacity, mobile hotspot, and developer support.
When it comes to storage capacity, there’s no doubt that Android phones are normally given an expansion option by way of a microSD slot. This is a very important feature because if you want your smartphone to gain a massive userbase, users must have more room to store apps, music, video, and photos on their devices. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided against microSD support on Windows Phone 7 devices. So, the best you can get when it comes to storage on Windows Phone 7 devices is around 8GB to 16GB on-board storage.
Another point of comparison is the Android’s tethering support. Android 2.2 brought in mobile hotspot capability to Android phones. For mobile warriors who find the need to get connected online from time to time, even in the absence of a free Wi-Fi hotspot, this feature of Android comes in handy.
Of course, we all know that the Android Market is continuously growing with apps. This means that the Android platform is clearly geting the support from mobile apps developers which is a great thing. As more apps are made available on the Android Market, the more tempted users will be to partake of the thousands of apps available. We are not saying the Windows Marketplace lacks useful apps. In fact, there are hundreds of them. It’s just that mobile apps developers’ responses are not that great as of right now. Microsoft needs to attract more developers interested in getting more of their apps published on the Windows Marketplace before it can fairly compete against the App Store and Android Market.
WP7 vs Android - Which is the Better Mobile Platform/Smartphone?
Obviously, we are declaring that Android beats Windows Phone 7 in a head-on battle. Microsoft still has many things to do, to compete against Android. Google has gradually established the Android ecosystem as the world’s top smartphone platform and this was not accomplished overnight. Microsoft needs to learn from Google and the Android system to succeed.