Three Viable Alternatives to iOS and Android
Can't afford a $650 iPhone? Sick of Google data-mining and monitoring every step you take, every Tweet you make?
The smartphone market in the United States is a generally seen as a two-man race, with Apple's iOS and Google's Android as the two big ecosystems with all of the apps. Go to any store that sells smartphones and you'll see iPhones, Samsung Galaxies, and a boatload of other Android devices, with a few Blackberries and Windows Phone 8 devices collecting dust in the corner.
Maybe you should take a closer look in that corner. With recent and rumored updates, the also-rans may be viable choices for the app-hungry.
Best Bet: BlackBerry
We'll be working our way back to you, babe, with a burning QWERTY love inside.
Remember when BlackBerry was cool? And when they were pretty much dead? The company's long-term fate is still unclear, but a recent update to BlackBerry OS 10 should keep the devices on life support. The update, released late last month, allows BlackBerry users to install Android apps with little to no trickery or tech savvy needed.
The Verge took the update for a test drive and noted that the only Android apps that proved troublesome were Google's own apps. If you're using those privacy-pillaging apps, well, why aren't you on Android in the first place?
BlackBerry's biggest issue right now is a lack of apps for their devices. Problem solved.
Possible Option: Windows Phones
As we noted last week, rumors point to Microsoft possibly releasing an Android phone, based on a forked (likely less Googley) version of the operating system, similar to Amazon's move with Kindle. The other rumor was that, much like BlackBerry, Microsoft may allow Windows to run Android apps.
Even without support for Android apps, Windows' own app store, while smaller than Google and Apple's marketplaces, should still have apps for most, if not all, of your needs.
Long Term: Ubuntu Phones
Ubuntu, the maker of one of the most popular variants of Linux (a desktop operating system that we've had some fun with), has released early versions of a phone operating system to match their desktop variant. Their eventual aim is convergence: a phone that can be plugged in to a monitor and used as a desktop.
Two Ubuntu phones are set to ship (abroad, of course) this year, and according to Ars Technica, the OS's underpinnings should "provide a high degree of application compatibility" between Android and Ubuntu. In other words, the likely move is to follow BlackBerry's path and make the OS Android app compatible.
Domestically, the company has said that it hopes to have devices available on major carriers in 2015.
Crackberry addict? WinMo pro? Android agnostic? Share your thoughts with us @FindLawLP.
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