Android vs Windows

This month is Android month at the Varlink office so we thought we’d take a look at the differences between Android and Windows operating systems.

As a start, I asked around quite a bit to find out what is better to work on, Android or Windows? Every answer I’ve received has been the same: it depends on what you want to do. So, let’s look at the differences.

To start off with, Android is open source and free for anyone who wants to use it. This means that apps can be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers and developers. It also means that manufacturers can modify the operating system to benefit the device and industry.  As Android is so accessible and easy to develop apps for, it is easier and more common for bespoke solutions to be created.  Android also frequently update their software which provides users with up-to-date technology and have recently launched Android Jelly Bean.

Windows, on the other hand is closed source which means that it is solely developed by Microsoft and is protected by their copyright. Although it does offer several new features, their app store is very limited and not a patch on the available apps that Android offer.  You also have to licence each device you want to run Windows on and their updates are less frequent with a large software update, like Windows 7 to Windows 8 as opposed to Android 4 to Android 4.1 for example, being more of the norm.

With all this in mind, Android does come across as being more flexible than Windows. Although Windows is becoming more app friendly with more apps becoming available on the Windows Store.

Although Android is at the forefront of mobile phones and tablets, it does currently seem to be lagging somewhat in the handheld and data capture environment with Windows being the more popular choice of operating system.  This is changing, however.  As Android is more open and apps are easier to create and download, it seems that more data capture devices are taking on Android. Whether this will be an on-going trend remains to be seen.

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