We have recently seen the release of new mobile handsets that incorporate the latest versions of some established operating systems. The Apple iPhone 4S is one such release whilst HTC have released a range of new Windows 7 handsets including the new HTC Radar. Rather than focus on the handsets we thought it would be useful to take a look at the PC based software that these models use and see which is best for synchronisation and for general media player usage.
The iPhone 4S uses the iTunes software package and the Radar uses the lesser known but equally as impressive Zune software. When it comes to the design of these two packages then the Zune software catches the eye slightly more than Apples offering. The iTunes software uses a very familiar layout that is more about the ease of use that it offers rather than its visual impact. The platform has hardly changed over the past four years so although it is simple to pick up the layout does look slightly dated. The Zune software offers a layout which catches the eye thanks to impressive wallpapers and its great Metro user interface. There are some lovely touches on Zune which iTunes would really benefit from. If you are listening to a particular artist for example the software loads a background which is made up of all of the album covers ever released by the performer. Although this serves not practical use it does make the software stand out from its rival.
When it comes to synchronisation then the Zune software on the HTC Radaris a joy to use. When you download tracks or albums on your PC they are automatically added to your Zune library. This is in contrast to iTunes for the iPhone 4S where you have to manually add any tracks that were not downloaded using that program. Individual tracks can also be easily added directly to your Radar handset by dragging and dropping the desired track onto the phone symbol at the bottom of the screen. Both of these platforms support WiFi synchronisation which is great as it eliminates the need to have your phone hooked up to your PC or laptop with a USB cable. Another area where Zune seems to have the edge over iTunes is when it comes to obtaining album artwork. With iTunes if the artwork was missing you could search for it using a web browser and then copy it onto your iTunes but this process is quite time consuming. Zune will search for the artwork automatically and when we have tested the system there has not been one occasion where it has failed to find the image that we required.
There is no question that the iPhone 4S is technically a superior phone to the HTC Radar but the HTC certainly has the upper hand when it comes to the software that is needed to keep your phone up to date with all of your favourite music.
The HTC Radar and the iPhone 4S are available now.