Android, Apple, Windows or BlackBerry for business?
Unsurprisingly, various Apple iPhones including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7, alongside Samsung models including the Samsung S7 and Galaxy J3, topped the list of the highest selling smartphones in the world (IHS’ list of 10 ‘Best-selling smartphones for 2016). But is the popular choice always the best choice? With so many models on the market, choosing the right smartphone for yourself and your employees can prove a difficult, and somewhat overwhelming task. To narrow down the choice, we recommend firstly finding out which operating system is best for your business.
Apple’s iPhones run on iOS, the mobile operating system developed specifically by Apple. The Apple iOS is known to be a very ‘closed’ operating system. For example, if an app is developed and Apple doesn’t like it, it won’t be getting onto the iPhone. In principle, this makes the Apple operating system one of the most secure, and thus beneficial to your business’s mobile security. However the high level of control in the Apple environment can also mean a lack of freedom, as the operating system locks you into the Apple world – from iTunes for your music to iCloud for your back-ups. For example, last year Apple rejected Samsung’s Pay Mini app, for ‘undisclosed reasons’, which would have allowed iOS users to use Samsung’s Mobile Payment service. The Apple devices also come at a premium price, however ‘iMessage’ offers a way to message between iPhones without any SMS charge, giving your business a cost-effective way to communicate. When it comes to your conversations, both iMessages and FaceTime are encrypted, so hackers waiting in the middle of a conversation won’t be able to see, hear or read what you are communicating. While Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant is now able to control third-party apps, allowing you to use voice commands to initiate a Skype call with a client or colleague, order an Uber taxi for your next meeting, or send a message on Slack, a chat app specifically designed for business use.
Android comes from the search engine giant Google. Unlike Apple, Google has allowed many phone companies to license it’s operating system, so you’ll find the Android OS in brands such as HTC, Samsung and Sony, amongst many others. This carries both a benefit and a weakness – the openness has meant that many of the large phone companies have tweaked the basic system, so you may experience a slightly different version dependent on the brand you choose. The openness has also heightened the level of competition. With so many Android phones to compete against one another, most android models will come at a cheaper price tag than the Apple devices, or pack some stand-out features such as the eye-popping 4K display featured in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium or the knock-out camera featured in the new Google Pixel 2 (Rated a phenomenal 98/100 on industry benchmark website DxOMark, placing it as the best smartphone camera in their rankings!). The Android home-screens are typically made up of app icons and widgets that automatically update – highly useful for your business calendar and emails.
After a few years out of the limelight, BlackBerry came back with a vengeance. Releasing the KEYone earlier in May this year, as the “World’s most secure Android Smartphone”, with the world’s first embedded fingerprint sensor and largest battery ever featured in a BlackBerry. The KEYone is also preloaded with DTEK™ by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. Beyond BlackBerry’s renowned security features, BB models feature the legendary BlackBerry Hub which brings all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account. Another benefit of BlackBerry Hub, is the ability to manage multiple email accounts without switching between apps, with support for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, Microsoft Exchange accounts, and many other IMAP and POP3 email providers. While the provided email and messaging infrastructure removes another pressure from your business. Finally, BlackBerry offers work-life balance which lets you securely separate any of your work content from your personal content. Almost giving you two devices in one and removing worry for your IT department and your private employees.
Finally, we have the Windows operating system from Microsoft. Models running on Microsoft’s mobile version of Windows include the HP Elite X3, Microsoft Lumia 950 XL and Nokia Lumia 930. Windows models feature Continuum, meaning you can use the phone on a larger display with a PC-like experience including the ability to control it with a mouse and keyboard. Windows phones also offer a personal experience with the ‘live tiles’ feature that lets you customise your home screen, pinning the apps you choose to Start. You can even set the size for each app, making it twice the width of a standard tile, or a tiny quarter-size tile – useful for example if you wanted to see the full details of your next appointment. Another large benefit has to be the built-in Office apps, allowing your employees to work on the go with familiar applications such as Word or Excel. However, there are not many Windows smartphones available. In fact Microsoft hasn’t launched a new Windows smartphone model for more than a year and has sold all licence rights to Nokia products to the Finnish company HMD. However, models are still available and the recent third-party HP Elite X3, is the best Windows 10 smartphone you can buy today.