How Does Windows Phone 8 ‘Apollo’ Compare To Android And iOS?

Windows Phone as an OS certainly doesn’t lead the pack, at a party there’s usually one guy with a Windows Phone while everyone else is on Android or iOS.  And this is due to the fact that it is often considered to be lagging behind in features and release time. With the new touch-friendly Windows 8 on its way later this year, Microsoft will try its hardest again to “catch up” and surpass the competition.  It is imperative that Windows Phone 8 becomes something more than a release to bring them up to “the bar,” because well, that’s all Microsoft has done in the past.  And if its future tablet and smartphone initiatives dream of becoming a staple gadget in someones hand, they’re simply going to have to do more.

“I am very excited to hear that Microsoft is making a strong push to catch up to the iOS and Android platforms,” Sina Mobasser, co-founder of iOS and Windows Phone app BarMax said. “But while the specs that were leaked are certainly appetizing, they will not be enough.” Mobasser thinks Microsoft is still “holding a lot of cards close to its chest,” and we have to agree.

Just last week we talked about a leak regarding Windows Phone Apollo, today we are going to try hard to answer another big question:
How does Apollo stack up against Android (or even iOS)? Are it’s new features enough to draw new users in?

Hardware Options

First off, unlike the current iteration of Windows Phone, Apollo will offer multi-core processors and expandable storage through microSD.

In comparison, iOS doesn’t have expandable microSD ports but certainly does do multi-core. As for Android, while they do both just fine, which essentially means this is one area where Microsoft simply ‘catches up’.

Mobile Payments

Apollo is set to use NFC technology to bring us mobile payments allowing you to simply swipe your phone onto a point-of-purchase RFID tag to buy coffee, consumables, and other awesome goods. This is very similar to what Google is attempting with its “Google Wallet” platform.  The big difference here is that Microsoft’s NFC system will play by carrier rules due to its ability to be directly controlled and branded by the carriers. So, at least in theory this trumps Android’s Wallet, and for now at least, even iOS has a no direct comparable ‘wallet’ feature.

Desktop Integration

There is one of the areas where Apollo is really going to shine: direct integration as a companion experience to the upcoming Windows 8 OS. It seems that Windows Phone 8 is actually switching out to the NT kernel (same core as standard Windows), and apps should easily be able to convert between both platforms, something that will make developers happy.

Additionally, both will have very similar interfaces and experiences, making WP feel more like an extension of our desktop/laptop world, and not something completely foreign.

Apps

It is no secret that both iOS and Android win here, Microsoft hopes that by the time Apollo arrives it has at least 100,000 apps in the market.

Data Management

Both Windows 8 and Apollo tout new features that supposedly are designed to make tracking your mobile usage much easier than in the past. Both have “DataSmart” as a live tile that breaks down your overall usage and automatically tries to go for WIFI whenever possible over cellular connections to data.  This seems to be an area that Android 4 has improved on quite a bit, so overall I’d say WP just plays catch up here.

Enterprise

Another area where Windows Phone could likey shine above the competition is in enterprise. WP8 will offer the same native BitLocker encryption that is found is Windows 8, meaning 128-bit, full-disk encryption. Additionally, companies will be allowed to create personalized, proprietary software for their employees with Windows Phone 8.

Overall

Windows Phone Apollo looks to finally play catch up in a lot of different areas that Apple and Google currently lead the pack on. Whether or not its enough to pull in users remains to be seen.

Either way, 2012 looks to be an interesting year for Windows and Microsoft.

Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com

 


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12 Comments

  1. Dean Lewis says:

    After using both Android and Windows Phone, I say Android NEEDS the multi-core processors while my new Windows Phone out performs my last Android with just the single core. I was impressed and am fairly underwhelmed when I go back to Android after switching.

  2. Vivarda says:

    When will it be available in the Benelux? 
    Greetings!

  3. yoooup says:

    Windows supporters need to lay off the defensive stance that you have regarding your phone. I am considering a windows phone; preferably a windows ’8′ phone but everytime I research a little into the platform, you all seem to actively believe that you are better than android and the iOSX platform. There is a reason why they are comfortably ahead in their sales. However windows have lifted their game in the past year. Just let other people realise what a great platform windows is. No need to call people ‘clueless bloggers’ because other phones now have multi or even quad core phones. 

  4. blue787 says:

    Multicore support on WP7 seems a bit overkill if you ask me unless they’re implementing super features which will demand more power. 1.4 gighz on the Lumia 900 is perfect, the spec race is what it is , a spec race. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ugh.  Another clueless blogger spreading misinformation about multi-core.  I had to stop reading the article right there.  As others have already pointed out, WP7 out-performs iOS and Android using a single core.  Hardware hype is for people who don’t know any better.

  6. Andrew Grush says:

    I want to make it clear, I personally really like Windows Phone, and yes I’ve used it (though not as much as I like). Just perception wise, it hasn’t done as well. The truth is that it doesn’t support dual core yet and does need to catch up there, but at the same time, WP honestly runs faster than Android or iOS, both, even with just one processor. Multi-core should really give it huge edge, I think.

    Right now I have an Android phone because when I purchased it Sprint didn’t yet have WP support (it is very old), or else I would have went with WP. I have NEVER owned an iPhone and have barely ever used one ( I DO have an old iPod somewhere though, and still use my Zune HD).

    Though I believe Apple has a good product, I’m really not into that closed of an environment, which is why I prefer Android or WP (yes, WP is somewhat closed, but not nearly as much as iOS, and WP seems more stable than Android).

    I actually really look forward to 2012 for Microsoft, as both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 look pretty damn nice.

  7. Earledopter says:

    I had a windows phone for several months and really always felt left behind when showing it to others.. Don’t get me wrong, its a great device and OS, but its no where near where Android and iOS are at.. 

    • Simon Paul says:

      How is it behind?

      Its also really ahead of the others in terms of social networking, display information, speed, ease of use, etc.

      The features its “missing” I don’t find myself missing at all.

  8. Anonymous says:

    From your “analysis”, I believe you’ve never used “any” Windows Phone… Enjoy the iKoolaid.  

  9. the person says:

    why do you say catch up to the iPhone?  In terms of 4G speed, screen size, performance per core, it already surpasses the iPhone in a multitude of ways.  The only thing it really adds are novelty technologies like NFC that the android tinkers with in a fragmented way.

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