IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Head to Head: iPhone 4 vs Windows Phone 7 vs Android

We compare the features of the three major smartphone operating systems, iOS4, Windows Phone 7 and Android, to see which is best-suited for business use. Our findings may surprise you.

The once-common sight of businessmen on their BlackBerrys is changing. With the introduction of the iPhone, Android and now Windows Phone 7, there are more choices than ever if you're looking for a business smartphone. We compare Windows Phone 7, Android and Apple's iOS to see which mobile operating system is the best for businesses.

Email/Exchange support

Windows Phone 7, iOS4 and Android all have Exchange support using Microsoft's ActiveSync connecting technology, but which is the best for delivering push email on time and managing your schedule?

Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 inbox

One would expect at least a competent email app from a Microsoft smartphone operating system and that's what you'll find in Windows Phone 7. Integrated within the Office Hub, Outlook email allows you to sync your email, calendars and contacts. It's quick to set up and supports multiple Exchange accounts, unlike Windows Mobile.

The Outlook application works as one would expect. It's simple to manipulate multiple emails, either to delete them, mark them as read or flag them for later follow up.

If you have multiple email accounts and calendars, these can be viewed in a unified inbox and unified calendar view respectively. Alternatively, you can switch between accounts by swiping to the left and right. Security-conscious users will be pleased by the ability to remotely wipe them if the phone is lost.

Android

Android 2.2 has significantly improved email and Exchange features compared to previous versions of Google's smartphone operating system. Exchange calendars and address books are now supported, as is remote wiping.

Multiple Exchange accounts have been supported since the introduction of Android 2.0, but there's still no option to have a unified inbox to view multiple email account inboxes in one place. Although unified inboxes don't suit everyone, it would still be good to have the option.

Like the iPhone, SSL is supported. If your accounts support this technology, account passwords can be encrypted instead of being sent across the internet as plain text where they could be intercepted by villains, closing a potential security hole.

iOS4

Unlike previous versions of Apple's groundbreaking smartphone operating system, iOS4 now supports multiple Exchange accounts. Remote wiping, using either Exchange ActiveSync or Apple's paid-for MobileMe service is available. There's also a unified inbox so you can view all of your email inboxes on one screen.

If you have multiple email accounts, all of your inboxes are displayed at the top of the Mail application's window, while the accounts are displayed at the bottom. Tapping on an account shows you all of your other folders as they appear on your computer.

The Edit mode makes it easy to archive, move or delete emails whether you're using the unified inbox or not. There's no option to set a priority when composing emails though and you can't mark emails for later follow up.

Winner: Windows Phone 7

Featured Resources

2022 State of the multi-cloud report

What are the biggest multi-cloud motivations for decision-makers, and what are the leading challenges

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM robotic process automation

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by robotic process automation

Free Download

Multi-cloud data integration for data leaders

A holistic data-fabric approach to multi-cloud integration

Free Download

MLOps and trustworthy AI for data leaders

A data fabric approach to MLOps and trustworthy AI

Free Download

Recommended

Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more
Mobile

Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more

11 Nov 2022
Norfolk Council hits Apple with class action lawsuit
Business strategy

Norfolk Council hits Apple with class action lawsuit

16 Feb 2022
How to turn off battery throttling on an iPhone
battery life

How to turn off battery throttling on an iPhone

10 Feb 2022
Apple will let businesses accept payments on iPhones without the need for extra hardware
Mobile Phones

Apple will let businesses accept payments on iPhones without the need for extra hardware

27 Jan 2022

Most Popular

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

14 Nov 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

15 Nov 2022
Interpol arrests nearly 1,000 cyber criminals in months-long anti-fraud operation
cyber crime

Interpol arrests nearly 1,000 cyber criminals in months-long anti-fraud operation

25 Nov 2022