Android is the leading mobile platform thanks to its flexibility and affordability. It has taken over a large percentage of the market and it continues attracting users with a wide selection of features and customization options. Although Android is the first choice for many people, there are other operating systems that could be considered. Even if you are happy with Android, there are a few reasons why you may want to find out about other options available. One of them is that according to some reports, Android is more likely to be affected by malware and viruses. Although Google has tackled security issues with the latest versions of Android, iOS is still considered by many as a safer option.
In addition, Android fragmentation issues may also prompt people to look for an alternative. Android fragmentation is when devices run different versions of the operating system, which results in bad app performance, security issues and more. The problem is that although Google has tried to take control over Android, the nature of the platform has allowed manufacturers to have the final say on many aspects related to the performance and design of Android on their devices. As such, users may have different experiences as some devices are still running older versions of the operating system. In spite of some flaws, Android and iOS are the most popular and complete solutions but if you want to find out what else is there, take a look at our list of the best alternatives.
iOS is most likely the first name that comes to mind in terms of an Android alternative that is truly worth considering. Android and iOS are the most popular mobile platforms in the world and they are the major competitors in the industry. If you are looking for a different option to Android, iOS is a great choice since it offers a great set of features and strong security. The unique design and outstanding interface of iOS has helped it to become the favorite choice for many. Some of the advantages of iOS include seamless performance and regular updates. There is also a great selection of high quality apps that are only available for iOS. The main downside of iOS is that it is not as flexible as Android.
Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile
Windows Phone has been around for a few years and while it hasn’t achieved the popularity of iOS and Android, it has a few features that make it a good option. The user interface is very interesting and Microsoft has worked to offer intuitive functionality and to launch regular updates. The platform has evolved throughout the years, but it still feels limited when compared to the main players in the mobile market. Given that Windows Phone is not as widely used as Android and iOS, there are not as many apps available for this operating system. However, Microsoft is prepared to continue competing, this time with the new Windows 10 Mobile platform, which offers a new set of features including Cortana, Universal apps, new Edge browser, a revamped interface and Continuum. This last option gives you the possibility of transforming your mobile device into a full Windows computer through a practical dock.
Ubuntu Touch is the mobile version of Ubuntu and it is designed to run in a large number of devices. It offers a fantastic user interface and although it stands out for relying on a lot of gestures, as it uses the four edges of the display. BQ and Chinese manufacturer Meizu offer smartphones that run Ubuntu Touch, but the platform is still well-behind in terms of popularity and there are very few apps available. Although it is not as used and recognized as Android or iOS, Ubuntu Touch can be a good alternative thanks to its innovative interface and its support for cloud-based solutions.
Tizen OS is an open-source solution supported by Samsung and it was launched as a replacement to Meego, the OS created by Nokia in collaboration with Intel. When Nokia brought Meego to an end, Intel approached Samsung and together, they developed Tizen OS. Although Tizen takes a lot from Android in terms of design and functionality, it supports a wider range of gestures and intuitive features. Since it is an HTML5 OS, it is ideal for developers since it facilitates the creation of apps. Although Tizen hasn’t earned a lot of attention, there are a few Samsung devices that feature this platform. Still, there are only a few apps available at the moment and the appearance of Tizen OS is too close to Android’s.
Custom ROMS/ Android forks
It is also possible to find Android-based custom ROMs. There is a variety of custom ROMs and while they are inspired in the Android code, some of them have built their own platforms. These operating systems based on the Android code are known as Forked Android operating systems. While they are similar to Android, they offer unique features that set them apart. Instead of relying on Google services, custom ROMs and Android forks have created their own options. Let’s take a look at the custom ROMs and Android forks that deserve to be considered.
Cyanogen offers its own operating system that initially came pre-installed with the OnePlus One phone and currently, it is used by Micromax for its YU phones and by other manufacturers. Cyanogen OS may share many similarities with Android in terms of appearance and performance, but it stands out thanks to the fact that it offers more customization options. It comes with a wide selection of controls, themes and it has an enhanced camera interface. Cyanogen OS doesn’t use Google services and instead, it offers Microsoft solutions like Outlook, Cortana and OneDrive. Cyanogen OS is regularly updated and it has many customization features. It is a good option if you like Android, but don’t want to rely on Google services.
Xiaomi devices have gained a lot of popularity thanks in great part to their low prices, but MIUI, their operating system has also played a part on their success. MIUI resembles iOS and it offers many customization options. Apart from being available on Xiaomi products, MIUI can also be found as a custom ROM for other devices. MIUI is a good option that combines the versatility of Android with the appearance of iOS. There are many themes available and you have freedom to customize the device to suit your style. The main downside is that the updates are not as regular.