What OS is on your Phone?

Out of sheer curiosity, what kind of OS do you guys run on your phones? If you have followed this blog for a while, you know I’m a big fan of the iPhone and that most of the time I run the latest, greatest and non-jailbroken version of the iOS. Why? I find it amusing that online I always have to justify this decision, whereas when dealing with techno-muggles in the real world no one ever questions it. To tell you the truth, the biggest reason why I haven’t cut the chain on this device is because it works well enough, and I’m just lazy. Secondly, my phone is a vital device. Unlike a spare laptop with which I can tinker and experiment and repeatedly break it, I have only one phone. If I brick it I will have to promptly figure out how to fix it, replace my exco-contex functionality with an older/subpar device or become lost and confused like the protagonist in Accelerando by Charles Stross.

Why iOS? Because it is simple, sleek and rock solid. I like the idea of Android, but when I was shopping for a new phone to replace my aging Blackberry I’ve played with both, and iOS just seemed a better fit. It just spoke to me more, and it felt better in my hands. Usability and aesthetics won over the openness and I don’t regret it.

What kind of OS do you run on your phone and why? Do you root or jailbreak your device and why? Or conversely, why not? Are you currently locked into a contract? If so, what OS will you be changing to once you are able to?

What OS is on Your Phone?
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Feel free to add other less popular operating systems to the poll. I just couldn’t think of any other ones that would be worth mentioning. I’d especially like to hear from people running unpopular or obscure OS choices. Or those three of you who still insist on using flip phones. Have you guys tried joining us on the dark side and just didn’t like it, or are you just settled in your ways?

Let me know in the comments.

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18 Responses to What OS is on your Phone?

  1. Scott Hansen UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Rooted 2 year old Droid X. I’ve never hesitated to recommend iPhone to people, but both my wife and I love the extreme customizability (is that a word??) of a rooted Android phone.

    I know Google has it’s issues as well, but we also are not believers in the ‘walled garden’ approach that Apple takes with its products. It’s an understable business decision in a lot of ways and they put out solid products, but it’s not something we choose to embrace!


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  2. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I have used both iOS and Android. iOS is cleaner and more responsive, but Android is much more configurable. iOS (and all Apple products really) is binary: if it can do it, it’s great; if not, then it’s not there. Android is more of a jack-of-all-trades: I can do it, but it won’t be pretty.

    I find Android to take less number of clicks to get to what I want. The information I want to know at a glance (calendar, notifications, replying to texts, meddle with settings, etc) cannot be easily done in iOS. On Android, all those can be widget-ized. Usually for free.

    But one thing I really love on iOS is music management. iTunes is a bloated piece of monster but it really makes backing up and syncing music easy and efficient. On Android, music management is a messy flow of importing, exporting, and googling obscure error codes. Backing up is easy with Titanium Backup though, with the paid version doing a backup directly to my Dropbox.

    I decided to get an iPhone 4S because of a promo (oh who am I kidding, its the Reality Distortion Field!!) and the music management. But now with several great Android phones launched recently, I really miss having an Android.

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  3. Morghan Safari Linux says:

    I went from BlackBerry to Android and never regretted the decision. I played with iOS, but I really didn’t like the absolute necessity of jailbreaking the device. Rooting my Android is an added bonus, not a requirement for using my phone the way I want.

    My HTC Merge is getting a bit long in the tooth, new apps don’t always run and GB has nothing on ICS or Jelly Bean. 2GB internal memory is tiny nowadays, and the RAM is pretty much a joke now, though if I upgrade to the SGS3 I will really miss the hardware keyboard, especially for putting in my long and complicated passwords.

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  4. SapientIdiot UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    Android all the way!

    I was actually using a very cheap Motorola F3 for the longest time, and never had any desire for a smart phone until i won a G1 Developer phone at linuxcon in 2009 (only thing i think i’ve ever won in my life), then I fell in love with it. Since then I’ve had 4 different androids, 3 phones and 1 Tablet. I’m currently on the Samsung Nexus S 4G, and will probably soon pick up a Nexus 7.

    I think at this point I base my phone buying decisions on what devices Cyanogenmod supports (or will support). The one thing i really hate about android devices are all the bulk that different carriers and the device makers throw on them. The G1 I started out with was direct from google (no tmobile crapware), and it was great, my second android was a MyTouch Slide, and it came with HTC’s Sense and a bunch of crappy apps i’d never use. The first thing i did when i got it was root and install CM on it and it improved a lot. Now I’ve even got my wife running Cyanogenmod with no complaints (compared to her last android its a pretty big improvement too).

    I tend to not be too dependent on my phone so i will occasionally run nightly or unstable builds just to check them out. My Tablet is running an alpha quality build of Cyanogenmod9 that doesnt work with its camera (and has a few other bugs) but It works for what i need it to, and I really love the android versions of Chrome and Firefox.

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  5. Aaron Google Chrome Linux says:

    I’ve been using androids for a few years now. When iPhones came out, I played around with them, but never went all geek-drool like most people were. Eventually, I started getting the latest Androids, and I’ve always iPhones lacking in some ways vs the equivalent android OS version (as a web dev, I always have one around for testing).

    They do just work for a lot of people, but if have anything special about the way you work or if it’s your only mac product, it’s better to look elsewhere. (Also, the camera is almost always better on an android of the same price point.)

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  6. Alphast GREECE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I have been using Android for the last three years and I am very happy about it. I was always a Google addict anyway, so no problem to fit in. I agree that iOS is nice and shiny (and most likely works better), but I simply can’t afford iOS devices and I don’t like what some have called above the binary aspect of Apple.

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  7. StDoodle UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    Still using my original Droid, after two and a half years. It got a bit sluggish at the two year mark, so I wiped & reinstalled, runs fairly well now. Really wanted to get a Galaxy Nexus, but can’t justify the expense at this point in life.

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  8. Garrick UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I am a huge fan of the original idea for Android, but hardware and OS fragmentation over the last few years has kept me from looking away from my iPhones. With a phone, i want something that just works, and is easy to keep up to date. iOS fits that bill. it’s probably why I turned away from using Linux as my main desktop OS a few years ago and turned to OS X.

    I hate contracts, and now that Apple sells unlocked phones I am willing to pay full unsubsidized pricing for my next phone. That also raises the resale value of the phone when I choose to upgrade a year or two down the line.

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  9. Eric GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I have a phone, it is about eight years old, good for calling and SMS. Probably it runs on some Motorola Custom Symbian…

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  10. Zack UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Jailbroken iPhone, but with each iteration of iOS, I find the Jailbreak more and more unnecessary! There are only a few tweaks that I install now, and if I couldn’t have them, I wouldn’t be heartbroken. I’ve played with a lot of Android phones, but the reason i Keep going back to iOS is the fact that it’s smooth as butter and just works. With Android I feel like you have to root and install a custom ROM just to have solid performance (bloatware removal). I used to deal with that, but as I get older, I just have less time and less interest in those things.

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  11. Garrick UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Zack wrote:

    Jailbroken iPhone, but with each iteration of iOS, I find the Jailbreak more and more unnecessary! …With Android I feel like you have to root and install a custom ROM just to have solid performance (bloatware removal). I used to deal with that, but as I get older, I just have less time and less interest in those things.


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  12. Alan UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    I use a tracphone, because I’m a poor grad student and it costs $6/mo for the security of having a phone especially while on the road. I’d love to have a smart phone, and it would be android, but I’ll wait until I can afford it.

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  13. JuEeHa FINLAND Links Linux says:

    I used to use HTC Wildfire but it broke. I currently use some old nokia dumbphone (it doesn’t even have J2ME or WAP) I bought at a second hand shop for 8 euros. My absolute favourite mobile OS is Maemo. I have used it since 2005 in Nokia Internet Tablets (I still have Nokia 770) but I haven’t been able to get Nokia N900 at reasonable price.

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  14. Gaston Rasemoquette CANADA Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    My phone is a Western Electric Model 2500. It sits on a table in the living room.

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  15. Kim Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    I have a rooted Android running on the original Galaxy. I got an Android phone when Android first came into existence because I believed in the spirits of open source, customizations, etc. etc. etc. (Ironically, I own only Macs, live in a Macs-only household, and work in an all-Macs office.) I don’t know if this is still true, but getting everything to sync between my Mac and my Android phone was really mind boggingly difficult. It took a whole day!

    There are definitely days that I regret it and wish I had just bought an iPhone. My friends sometimes taunt me with their “it just works” facial expressions when I complain for the 1,431th time about one aspect of the ROM not working (I’ve tried all major ROMs for this particular phone. Each one has ONE inexplicable kink that I couldn’t live with.)

    On most days, though, I think about the landline my parents have, and the 3 million people who still use AOL for some reason, and I remind myself that both Android and iOS are now mature enough that options exist for almost everything one would want from a smartphone (with the help of rooting, jailbreaking, apps, etc.).

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  16. My primary phone is a Galaxy Nexus running stock Jelly Bean, but I also have a Transformer 10″ tablet, Nexus 7 7″ tablet, and a few other Android phones and devices. Before I had a smartphone, I used a work-provided iPhone for several months, but there were too many nagging points with it. It being tied to the bloatware known as iTunes was the first issue. Sharing content was just way too much work. Being able to only email one photo at a time was annoying. Notifications were infuriating.

    A lot of those issues have been fixed or at least improved but I still find myself dealing with countless minor frustrations while using an iPhone. Opening apps, even Settings, is annoyingly delayed. Navigation is inconsistent. The dozen behaviors of the home button are constant reminders that having just one button doesn’t work, and why is it so clicky? The UI feels trapped in the 90s (especially the settings app).

    Anyway, Android just works for me. Everything seems easy. Take a screenshot on JB and you can immediately share it from the notifications panel using any app you want (especially helpful for putting screenshots into Dropbox for blogging about later). The widgets are tough to live without. Notifications are unobtrusive but very functional. Apps are well connected (e.g., one app can have a button to take a new photo and I can pick to have that open my custom camera app). The home screen contains exactly what I put there instead of being a dump of the application directory. Being able to replace any app, even the launcher, is awesome. Even simple things like being able to treat the device like a USB thumbstick are extremely helpful.

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  17. Douglas AUSTRALIA Internet Explorer says:

    I have a Nokia Lumia 800 running Windows Phone 7.5. Awesome device… Buttery smooth, excellent keyboard, responsive touch screen (often a little too responsive). There’s a couple of things missing, mainly that my bank doesn’t have a mobile site for it yet. That said, the integration with Facebook and Twitter is awesome – having chat integrated with the messaging app is brilliant (someone goes offline from Facebook chat, it will switch to text if I have that person’s mobile number).

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  18. wittaker25 UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I use a nexus s 4g running android 2.7.1, but rooted and with cyanogenmod (CM7) installed. Been that way since early spring. Need to do a reload/reformat though, been crashing on me about once or twice a week lately.

    Think my favorite thing about having it though is that sprint has it set up so its tied directly to my google voice account. I can view view and send texts I receive both on the phone and through the google voice web interface on my laptop. I’ve always hated trying to tap out sms’s on a phone and I like being able to quickly type out 1000 character verbose messages.

    I use mediamonkey to manage the audiobooks podcasts and music on my phone and find it a much better system than itunes + ipod touch that I used a few years ago.

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