Windows 8.1 vs. iOS 7 – Battle of Operating Systems

Sara Cunningham July 2, 2013 1
Windows 8.1 vs. iOS 7 – Battle of Operating Systems


Mobile devices will be empty boxes without their operating systems. This month, we saw two major updates for Microsoft Windows OS and Apple iOS. Apple has presented its iOS 7 at its developer’s conference held in San Francisco and it was said that this platform will have its public debut this fall. Microsoft has launched its Windows 8.1 preview few weeks ago at Microsoft Build event in SF. Both platforms have been redesigned and gained new upgrades for their previous features. They represent the future and all new devices coming from these companies will have an improved look. It’s time to bring them head to head for comparison. We are not going to say which one is better because it’s up to you to make the decision.

Design

The iOS 7 interface has been completely redesigned. Its elements (apps and icons) look like they are floating in the display. Apple has said that they will bring the 3D effect that will make your icons distanced from your wallpaper. The design as a whole is completely new and looks different than its predecessors. Some users were scared that this difference will make iOS 7 difficult to use. I can assure you that it’s really easy to use and it’s made handier. There are some extra tools included that will make your iOS 7 experience new and easier.

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Microsoft hasn’t done any big changes to Windows 8.1 interface design. There are few additional tweaks though but if you expected a miraculous return to Win 7, we must disappoint you. Windows 8.1 will bring you the same Start Screen interface but with the new additions, like the return of the start button, Windows Blue has been brought closer to Windows PC users.

Features

  • Menus

Control Center is a new feature included into iOS. It puts your most used options and this feature is available from every menu page. Swiping up from the bottom will bring up these tools. The Notification bar has received a slight upgrade. Three tabs will show your calls, messages and alerts you have missed. A new “today” option will keep you on track for your to-do list. It’s not something big but still, it’s pretty useful.

Microsoft has brought back its Start Menu. I know that this is an older feature but it was left out of Windows 8. This time, “Start” doesn’t have the same features like the Start button on Windows 7 but it still useful for many things. It will be used for shortcuts and restart/shut down your system. It’s placed on its casual place, down-left on your screen.

  • Music

iOS 7 brought iTunes Radio that will have the same responsibility as some already known music streaming services. This service will be paired with your Apple ID and yes, you can use it on every platform that has iTunes installed. It includes radio stations created over your favorite music artist and it will let you create some featured radio stations.

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On this, Microsoft has answered with improving its Xbox Music. Windows 8 users can use this Xbox Music for streaming music from 30 million songs included into the music library. Microsoft has redesigned its app and brought an easier user experience. On the left and right side, you can see the panels which will help you watch videos, explore artists and content, manage and create playlists and many more. The only difference is that Apple has made deals with big music labels before entering into the music streaming business.

  • Search

Apple has improved Siri and Microsoft has upgraded its Search feature. Siri now comes with different voices and in full-screen. Siri can now be used for triggering system settings like turning on Bluetooth, regulate brightness or playing your voice mail. It still has that Internet based search feature, though. The upgraded Search feature in Windows Blue will give you much wider results. This feature will use several sources for your search that will include files, apps and Web results. They will be brought to you horizontally and you can see other results by swiping right.

  • Camera

Apple has done a great work redesigning its camera app. You can now add some frames to your shots, you can use panorama, still, square configuration. It will bring you options that will let you use some of the filters on your square taken shots. In this iOS version, photos will be organized by chronology and geotagging locations. You can see your photos organized by year if you use the zoom out option.

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Windows 8.1 brings a lot of new options. On the previous version, you were able to only use the crop option. Now you will get a full list of photo-editing tools that will help you make great photos. As we said earlier, you will lose couple of hours editing your photos because you will want to try every tool possible.

  • Stores

iOS App Store has received Automatic Updates feature. This can be turned on/off in settings. It can save you a lot of time searching for all updates of your applications.

Windows Store has been completely redesigned with larger images and sophisticated layout. All apps available in this store are updated with the latest versions. Microsoft believes this new look will attract the developer’s attention.

Other features

Apple iOS 7 brings more updated features than Microsoft Windows 8.1. Apple has improved its Safari browser with URL field and unified search. iOS 7 brings AirDrop which is used like data sharing service that will support all devices coming from Apple. It uses peer-to-peer connection. FaceTime audio will bring you quality voice and video calls through Wi-Fi connection. iOS 7 brought a new Multitasking experience for the users. There are few more slight improvements made but these are the major ones.

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Microsoft Windows 8.1 (codename Blue) brings the Snap function that will enable you use 4 running apps on one screen at the same time. A high resolution is required. It includes a dual-monitor setup, too and this will let you run 8 different apps at the same time. Personalization feature lets you bring your own style to the devices.

From what we could see, Apple and Microsoft has done a marvellous job improving their OS versions. We are still unable to say which will perform better because we haven’t tested them yet. We have to wait few months more to bring the final conclusion. For now, we are letting you chose between them based on the information we shared.

You can feel free and share with us in comments what you would be your choice.

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One Comment »

  1. Robert Travis  October 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    I have tablets with both OSes. Here’s my take on it. iOS 7 is much more enjoyable to use. The form factor is nice for reading, and thumb typing is easy in portrait mode. But Windows 8.1 is far better for use at work. There is a better software selection because of legacy apps, and the onscreen keyboard is the most natural to use when taking meeting notes.

    So for me, if I need to get something done, I go for my Asus VivoTab Smart, and if I want to play around I go for the iPad.

    One other note, though. I’m a musician, and often need a notation app. With Windows, I have to use Musescore as a legacy app, and it is not touch friendly. I’m really growing to like two apps in particular for work on the iPad: forScore and Notion. But aside from that, it’s pretty much what I said: Windows for work and iOS for play.

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