We all have one, but many of us don’t really know why we do, other than that it’s all to do with brand loyalty. Smartphones are in everyone’s pocket, and they are great for entertainment and communication. Another use that has blown up over the last five years concerns mobile working. So many companies are now buying their employees smartphones so that they can keep in touch while out of the office that it is almost seen as ‘backward’ if your boss doesn’t hand you one on your first day. They are absolutely essential tools for mobile working, simple as that. However, there is more than one platform.

 

A recent article in PC World highlighted a survey that sough to find out which mobile platform was best for mobile working. Android, iOS and Windows were covered (basically that’s the big three) and the survey responders were asked to offer their views on aspects of mobile working for each platform. We took a look at the results.

 

iOS

 

They asked a respondent who used Blackberry and Windows to have a go at iOS, Apple’s operating system. The initial results were very impressive, with words like ‘intuitive’ being bandied about. The survey taker felt the app system was good and, perhaps most importantly, that the layout of the screens was helpful for his use as regards business matters. Crucially, he found it difficult to download an Office document onto the device, which makes us wonder if the iOS system has legs when it comes to office work. But this may well be a small niggle overall.

 

Android

 

The Android tester had an easier ride. She found all aspects of running the smartphone for business applications and tasks to be much easier than she thought, and there were no problems cited when it came to downloading an Office document, which raised the test above the iOS result.

 

Windows

 

This one came out worst in the big three. Applications were difficult to use in a fluid manner, and there was some frustration when skydrive (the cloud-based storage app) was used. This is a flagship app for Windows, but it wasn’t feeling too clever on the Windows phone.

 

So which is the best?

 

The Apple so came out pretty favourably. The ease of use and fluidity of navigation (long seen as an Apple strength) really helps the business user to get the most out of mobile working. However, there was no easy use of Flash, and if you need to watch a video demonstration file as part of your work and it comes as a Flash file, there are no easy answers.

 

Windows just seemed clunky to the survey respondents, and not easy to use. Everything took time, and if you are busy running to an appointment you want your information there ready for you, not ‘waiting to download’.

 

Then there was Android. This is growing on most business users. It s nearly as intuitive as iOS, and has plenty of software support with some great apps. It needs to grow up a little, but at least there are no problems with Flash, which puts it perhaps one step behind iOS, which still has the ultimate edge due to the simple fact that it is so fluid.