Tablet Battle: Windows 8.1 vs. Android 4.4 – Settings

Second in a Series

If you missed the Introduction

Accessing Settings is a necessity with any device. Rarely do people stay with the default set-up, at some point you will want to change things, to personalize it, and that is where settings come in.

Windows 8.1 vs Android - Settings

Windows 8.1 vs Android – Settings

To begin with you need to find them.

With Windows, you swipe from the right and touch Settings. You’ll have a few settings readily available such as Personalize, Tiles, Wi-Fi, Volume, Brightness, Power, Keyboard and Notifications. Don’t be fooled by the notifications option as it just hides them for a period of time.  These initial settings can mostly be adjusted right on this screen with a minimum of fuss.

Windows 8.1 Settings Access

Windows 8.1 Settings Access

If you want to get even deeper you’ll need to click the text “Change PC Settings”. This opens  an app-like experience to make many more changes as shown above.  It immediately opens to a Recent Changes section and has a list of other choices on the left. Each section on the left opens a new page with several more choices. While there is text present, the view is a visual experience.

Android Settings Access

Android Settings Access

To access Settings in Android you can use the app, but easiest to swipe down from the upper right(location is important) and you’ll get several quick settings and a main one to take you to them all. The quick settings are for brightness, Wi-fi, airplane mode, Bluetooth, location and battery. Each choice cannot be set while here, it will take you to where the setting is in the Settings app.

Besides having more options due to supplying a desktop, Windows has a more pleasing Settings section. Android is easier to locate and open specific settings but with Windows you can make some changes right on the screen with little movement. Still lets compare a couple of sections they have in common to get a better idea on the differences in approach.


Windows 8.1 Settings - Disk Space

Windows 8.1 Settings – Disk Space

Windows:  The view is a nice break-down of different types of files on the device, though certainly if you have a large drive it will take a bit of time for the information to show up. It doesn’t give you a nice colored graph at the top like you’ll see in Android, but the main information you need is there. You can click to see sizes of individual apps and get the option to uninstall from here if you no longer need them (or need to free up space). If you do go to see All Apps, you cannot easily return to the view shown above. The back arrow takes you back to the main settings, not the Disk Space section. A bit of an inconvenience and not normal behavior.

Android Settings - Storage Info

Android Settings – Storage Info

Android: Not only do you get a nice colorful bar at the top of the screen that relates to each category, but you see more than just apps. You see overall categories and with a touch you can delve deeper into each. I’m disappointed the color bars don’t stretch across like the main bar and the list itself isn’t in order of largest space to smallest. Touching a category will give you more detail and a bit of a graph but still mostly text. at the bottom of the screen.

Both views have their faults but my far the Android view gives more information. Let’s check out Security.


Windows 8.1 Settings - Account Sign-in

Windows 8.1 Settings – Account Sign-in

Windows:  Simple entries to change the sign-in process (i.e. picture password, password, etc). There are more settings available online through a text link (in the  “Your Account” section– which is related to your Microsoft Account if using one. The available options do change if you are using a local account. “Your Account” also allows you to change your avatar using apps or the camera on your device. You can use this image elsewhere if you know where to find it. It is “hidden” in C:\Users\YourLoginNameHere\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures. It should be more easily accessible.

Android Settings - Security

Android Settings – Security

Android: There are several choices within each section for Android. Each choice can often open up another window rather than doing more on screen you are on. Unlike Windows, the image for your avatar is from your Google Account, if you wish to change it, do it there – online. On the device you can just change your name that shows on the title screen and there is an option to add another user/profile but if you want to mess with passwords or how you log-in you will have to find the Security section.

I haven’t looked at every section since there is far too much dissimilar with how they are laid out to directly compare, so now it is time to determine a winner in this look at settings in our Tablet Battle.

Windows provides good access to many settings with a tilt towards a more visual look, less going back and forth though security has fewer options than Android and it is a little weak on the Storage view. Android provides about the same amount of quick access settings, though opens a new screen to actual make changes. Android does have the nicer view in some areas, but in others it is pretty drab. Then again, settings aren’t not necessarily the most exciting area of an operating system.

However, due to the fact that I prefer the columned layout, the nod goes to Windows.


Windows 1    Android 0


Next up:  Start Screen/Home

Devices used in comparison

Asus Vivotab Smart: Windows 8.1 Update 1, 10.1” screen 1366×768, microsd slot, micro hdmi, micro USB, 2mp front camera, 8mp rear camera w/flash, 64GB storage,  2GB RAM, NFC, 2in1 audio jack.

Nexus 7 (original): Android KitKat 4.4.2, 7” screen 1280×800, micro USB, 1.2 mp front camera, 8GB storage, 1GB RAM, NFC, headphone jack



51-yr-old father of 3, work in telemarketing, like computers and technology

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Posted in Tablet Battle, Windows 8
One comment on “Tablet Battle: Windows 8.1 vs. Android 4.4 – Settings

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