Ice Cream Sandwich has yet to make its debut, but the Microsoft system has been out for a while now, so let's see how the two systems' social features compare. As with Apple's iOS 5 update, the Android and Windows Phone operating systems are moving toward integrating the functions of social network apps right into the fabric of mobile devices.
Of course there is an app for that, but what the Ice Cream Sandwich and Microsoft smartphone systems are trying to do is make the system itself more integrated with social networks. That way, any phones running those systems don't have to rely so much on separate apps. Not that they have anything against apps, they just want to make things simpler for people to use their respective devices.
The Microsoft Windows Phone system has what's called the People Hub, and it takes information from your contacts and puts it all in one place for easy access. With People Hub, you'd be spending less time going through e-mails, texts and social network messages and instead be getting all that from one of Windows Phone's live tiles. Live tiles are what is on the Windows Phone home screen, and they automatically update your networks' information right there. Below is a video overview of the People Hub.
Android 4.0, or what we know of it so far, uses what Google is calling the People app. Not to say they are copying Microsoft here, but it's a new function that does some of the same things. (Apple integrated Twitter into some of its iOS 5 apps, so it's more of a broad trend thing than anything else).
The new app uses bigger images for each of your contact's photos and takes their status updates from Google+ and Twitter and syncs them up. It pulls in contact information and photos from all the people you're connected with and even shows you how you are connected to them. Additionally, Android 4.0's new photo Gallery app allows photos to be shared right from inside the app. The Windows Phone Pictures Hub has similar functionality, and you can tweet, text or email photos inside the app.
The Windows Phone system is more social than Ice Cream Sandwich in this battle. When ICS goes live, it will be easier to see who pulls it off better, but Windows Phone is out now, so they win by default.
Let us know in the comments if you are planning on getting a Microsoft run device like the Samsung Focus S or an Android phone like Droid Razr.