iOS is a nice looking operating system that is well polished in its OS and its apps. Windows Phone is sleek and has features that I really like. Sadly, neither of them are for me and I'll tell you why.
I have not had an iOS device since the iPad and my 3G iPhone, although my wife does have an iPhone 4S which I pick up and look at regularly. I do not have full access to newer devices but what I will do is compare the devices that I do have and have used.
First of all, people will say that iOS is better because of the lag issue with Android. Yes, this was an issue but its an issue with iOS as well. There is plenty of lag with my wife's iPhone 4S. The device is pretty slow at times. I guess it may have to do with Apple's routine efforts to slow down devices in hopes that people will eventually get fed up with it and upgrade. Its kind of Apple's MO.
iOS is a nice looking OS and has really nice looking apps. Unfortunately, its not enough for me because Android looks pretty nice as well. Google has done a pretty good job in spicing up their OS. Since they are considered to be inferior in that area, they can experiment without making too many people angry. I will agree, early android had that "linux" look and feel that makes you think you are using an interface that was made around 10 years ago. I feel like thats pretty much fixed. Android does not have the amount of quality apps that iOS has but the ones that are nice are just as good or even better than iOS.
I am a nerd and I like to tinker with my devices. I get bored with looking at the same interface and I like to look at something new every so often. I know this is a me problem but this article is also my opinion so bear with me. iOS pretty much looks the same as it had when it came out. For a lot of people this is a good thing, especially for those who aren't very tech savvy. Its almost like they are facing the same issue that Microsoft is facing with Windows. Microsoft can't change windows dramatically without alienating a large portion of their user base. I think Apple is in the same boat so they keep their OS looking the same each time. Apple also wants to control EVERYTHING. I do not want a company telling me what I can and cannot do to a device that I spend two hundred dollars on, and like I said earlier, I like to tinker. I want to have a device that is as best tailored to my needs as possible. Android is the best option for that.
I also like how Android has plenty of choice in their devices. I am not stuck using whatever device Apple says I should use. Again, this is a problem that I have and not one that many other people have. I like that range of device sizes and OS skins that are out there. Companies are competing with each other constantly and I think it has led to lots of innovation and great products. Google has done a good job getting companies on the newest OS version. Consumers have done a good job punishing companies that cannot keep their end of the bargain. I also like that if I do not like the skin I get with a manufacturer, I can just change it.
Android does a great job with notifications and syncing on an OS level. I am not 100% sure how well iOS notifications work. Google provides really great services, some of the best in the business. These services are on iOS but they work better on Android.
Lastly, I like how Google is not afraid to release a product that might fail. They subscribe to the iterate over time while Apple is more get it right the first time and if it isn't right the first time, they scratch it. Google will also scratch a service that isn't working but they also release so many that more of them stick and become significant in the industry. Sometimes Google does over extend themselves. The company has done a good job honing in on core services.
I had a Windows Phone 7 and 8. I thought they would actually improve Windows Phone 8. They didn't. Why is it that there is only one volume setting OS wide. This infuriates me to no end and yet Microsoft thinks its ok. There isn't a notification center. Live tile apps are pretty much useless. The apps aren't there and probably won't be there. The people people hub is a good idea. I do miss that and that's about it. It just isn't doing anything interesting that either iOS or Android already does. This goes the same for Blackberry. I know there are many OSs in the pipeline for other companies. This always happens when a new market begins. Too bad for those companies, its probably too late for them to do anything meaningful, although I can't wait to see what they do. I think Windows Phone 8 will never really be relevant. Blackberry will fail. What the hell is Ubuntu thinking, they can't get any market share with their desktop OS. If Firefox OS can get the HTML5 apps to work properly, they could have a chance in emerging markets.
In conclusion, Android is great for me. I think over time it will catch up to iOS in the app department. The OS will continue to get better. If it gets worse then I'll move on to something else.
If I forgot anything or you don't like what I have to say, tell me. That is if anyone is actually going to read this.