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iOS 4.3 vs Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 vs Apple iOS 4.3

Can Apple's ageing smartphone platform hold its own against the new blood of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7? Let's dig-in and find out!

Last week saw the release of version 4.3 of Apple's ground breaking iOS, and the update brought previously unseen levels of intuitiveness and stability to the software, but at nearly 5 years old is Apple's platform still up to the job of competing with newer, feature packed operating systems?

Well that's a question that we felt begged to be answered, so we went looking for a conclusion in the only way that felt right - a good old fashioned mano-a-mano!

But which of the new kids on the block do you choose to put iOS through its paces? The newest one of course! Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. So sit back and get comfy as iOS 4.3 and Windows Phone 7 go head-to-head!

User Interface
When Apple rolled out iOS (or iPhone OS as it was then called) in 2007 it was a revelation. With minimal effort users could navigate their way around the attractive minimalist landscape, achieving as much (or as little) as they chose, and that ethos has paid dividends for Apple. iOS is still the operating system that others aspire to be, and its colourful icon/grid layout has served as the inspiration for many an imitator but has yet to be bettered.

Version 4.3 sees the OS get a newly designed on-screen QWERTY and features some neat refinements to icons and graphics, but overall it remains the same great piece of software that it always has been.

Microsoft took a different approach with the development of Windows Phone 7. It wanted people to have access to all of the information and functionality that they need without being drawn into the device at the expense of their day-to-day lives, and on that level Windows Phone 7 is a success.

It gives users up to the minute information via live tiles which can be customised, and menus can be accessed via a handy swipe of the thumb, meaning that you seldom have to dig below the surface to find what you need.

The simplicity of Windows Phone is at turns a virtue and a curse though, as some users may find the big button layout to be inelegant and the live information displayed therein is pumped out irrespective of whether the users demands it or not. In short, you can sometimes feel that you're being force-fed updates and information.

Winner - iOS 4.3

Apple's App Store is a burgeoning marketplace stocked to the gills with applications that cater for even the most esoteric of tasks. With over 300,000 titles on offer, including over 65,000 specifically aimed at iPad users, you'll have plenty to pass the time and over 30% of the content of offer is completely free of charge!

Apps for iOS are of a generally high standard but some of Apple's screening policies are a little draconian, so don't expect anything too liberal. A great feature of iOS 4.3 sees third party developers finally given access to the AirPlay API, so we should see some interesting new content emerge as the year plods on.

Microsoft's Marketplace is in hot pursuit though, with an estimated 11,100 titles on offer, which isn't bad going when you take into account that WP7 only launched in October 2010! The number of free titles on offer isn't dreadful either, though it isn't quite on par with iOS, but for those of you that don't mind a small fee for quality content you'll find plenty to love, and you can even make use of the try before you buy scheme to ensure that you spend your hard earned cash on the right software!

Winner - iOS 4.3

If you're looking for a mobile platform that encourages the end-user to tinker you'd be best served avoiding both of our competitors as they both live by a fairly stringent set of rules and policies.

Sure, you can jailbreak your iPhone or iPad in order to stamp a little personal touch on it but that would see you invalidate your warranty, and when the hardware comes at a premium,  as Apple products invariably do, voiding that particular assurance mightn't be the best idea. Windows Phone 7 is similarly locked-down, and while you can choose colour schemes and personalise tile layouts you never really get the feeling that the device is your own.

Winner - Draw

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