Basic operating system
The Vita runs a rather simple proprietary operating system (OS) that has similarities to IOS and Android. Users peel back the corner from the edge of the screen to unlock the device and we found it very easy to navigate.
Apps are represented by little badges that are grouped together in neat rows. Homescreens are arranged vertically, so a swipe up or down will move between them. There are icons for the usual shortcuts such as music, videos, messages and internet. Each game also has its own little badge to allow access.
When you are inside an app, you can give the Playstation button a double tap to bring up a panel view of all apps that are running. Although this gives the impression that the Vita can multitask, this isn't actually the case. When moving between games, the Vita needs to exit one app before it can open the other and is even incapable of displaying a web page and running a game at the same time.
Another irksome feature is the fiddly method for file transfers. The Vita isn't a simple plug-and-play device. Upon connecting the handheld to a PC, users are required to download a Content Manager. This isn't so bad, but the Vita then requests which folders it will have access to on the PC.
Every time users want to add content to the Vita, files need to be added into a specific folder on the desktop that is accessible to the Vita, like the My Videos folder, for example. Users then have to manually find the file on the Vita, copy it and then wait for it to transfer. This is s long-winded and unnecessary process that makes putting content on the Ipad 2 look simple.
On the plus side, at least most common files types are supported. Playable music formats include MP3, MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC) and WAVE (Linear PCM). Users can play MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC) and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High/Main/Baseline Profile (AAC) video files and view JPEG, TIFF, BMP, GIF and PNG pictures.