Of the three, maybe Windows 8.1 has improved the most with the introduction of Cortana – Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s personal assistant, Siri and Google’s Google now.
Cortana is pretty clever and can do all those things that you would expect of a virtual assistant, placing calls, sending text messages, adding appointments, etcetera. It’s gone an extra step by adding what it calls a notebook feature. Cortana effectively keeps notes on you and what you like to do, so it can give you more accurate data when you need it – much like a real secretary might do. The only difference is that you control what Cortana knows about you- if you don’t want it remembering some information about you – you can delete it.
Another winning feature of the Windows 8.1 is Windows like to call their action center. This allows you quick access to some of your most frequently used settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Action center also gives you notifications of new emails and texts.
The third great enhancement from Windows is Word Flow which can be likened to the Swype keyboard on Android. Simply explained, Word Flow allows users to keep their fingers on the screen and drag the tip of their finger from one letter to the next. Word Flow can then guess the words that you are typing by calculating the pauses and changes of direction as you drag your fingers from one letter to the next.
All in all the Windows 8.1 has greatly improved on previous models, as have both the IOS 8 and the Android L
IOS 8 has a great new feature called Extensibility. This feature is shamelessly taken from previous Android models and allows third party apps to talk to one another and share data.
Another great new feature is the Health App and Health Kit API. This allows you to have all your health data in one place while using different third party apps to collect that data.
Keyboard functionality has also improved because Apple has added support for custom keyboards throughout IOS. This means that if you like a particular custom keyboard on a particular app you can propagate that keyboard throughout your system.
Android L , has improved but many of the updates from its two competitors were in the form of “catch up” areas, Android’s improvements on this occasion have been more incremental with changes to the Lock screen function and the multi tasking functions have been updated so that you can see launched apps in a card like interface.
This means that you can have multiple tabs opened in chrome each with a separate app card.
Android have been the trailblazers in many areas of mobile phone technology but the new IOS 8 and Windows 8.1 models level the playing field quite significantly, right now the choice may well boil down to personal preference.