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What is Mobile Operating System ?


Mobile devices has become a part of everyone’s life and there are wide number of options available when we want to pick one for us. So it’s essential to know about what a Mobile OS is , it’s features and how it evolved.

To begin with, an Operating system (OS) is computer software that supports basic functions of a computer and manages computer hardware by providing services for the Computer Programs. Mobile Operating System is the one which Operates on Mobile devices such as Smartphones, Tablets and Other PDAs.

Some of the the major Mobile Operating Systems are,

  1. Android
  2. Blackberry
  3. iOS
  4. Windows
  5. Symbian
  6. Tizen
  7. Firefox

Let’s have a look at Android OS in detail and a summary about other major competitors.

Android

Before we get to know what an Android Operating System is, let us know what OHA is.

Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is a consortium formed by Google in 2007 to develop Open standards for the mobile devices. The consortium has 84 firms approximately (as of 9th Aug 2013) such as Google,Sony,Dell,Samsung, Lg,HTC etc.,The license is based on Open Source and OHA members should only manufacture mobiles which are compatible with Android OS. Some of the major competitors include Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, HTC etc., HTC is listed in OHA list and the competitors list as well because HTC manufactures mobiles for Android Platform and other platform as well like, Windows mobile.

OHA

Android means Human Robot or a robot with Human Appearance. It’s a Linux based (Open Source) Operating System and the earlier intention was to develop OS for Digital Cameras. It was found by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White in October 2003 at California. Android was acquired by Google on 17th August 2005. Key employees of Android including Rubin, Miner and White stayed at the company after acquisition. Till March 2013, Android was led by Andy Rubin and then he was replaced by Sundar Pichai. Andy Rubin moved to a different project and Sundar who also continues his role in Google Chrome division. Sundar Pichai was born in India.

There are various versions of Android. They are,

  • Cupcake 1.5
  • Donut 1.6
  • Eclair 2.0 – 2.1
  • Honeycomb 3.0
  • Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 – 4.0.4
  • Jelly Bean 4.1 – 4.3

AndroidGingerbread is considered to be the most stable one than the previous versions and only by that time, there has been a steady rise in the Android Users. The recent version Jelly Bean 4.3 is released on 24th July 2013.

Android applications can be developed using Android SDK or by using android plugins for Eclipse IDE. Android applications are available to users from Google Play store.

The limitation of Android is that, since its Open source, there are possibilities for hackers to hack it since they can learn the core of OS and the battery consumption of Andriod OS is slightly higher.

Blackberry

Blackberry is a closed source mobile operating system, designed and marketed by Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd. During a public event recently during Blackberry 10 launch, the company has changed its name from RIM to Blackberry. It was found by Mike Lazaridis in 1984. RIM launched its product primarily as a Pager in 1999.

RIM

Blackberry is widely referred to as Crackberry in United States. Most of the models have QWERTY keyboard and holds 3% of the mobile sales worldwide.The Operating system is programmed in C, C++, HTML 5 etc., BlackBerry can be integrated into Organizations mail system through BlackBerry Enterprise Server. So it is mostly used by business people.

The recent versions of Blackberry are Blackberry Z10 and Blackberry Q10.The applications for blackberry is available in “Blackberry World”. Compared to Android the number of free applications available is less.

iOS

iOS refers to iPhone Operating System which is developed and distributed by Apple inc. The OS is programmed in C , C++ , Objective C,Java and was released initially in 2007. It’s a closed source OS and accounts 21% of Smartphone sales around the world. The recent version of iOS is iOS 6.x.Apple iOS

 Windows

Windows, by its name we can find out that it’s OS from Microsoft. It was earlier called as Windows Phone and later as Windows Mobile. It’s a closed source Operating System, programmed in C, C++ and the initial release was in November 2010. The recent release of Windows is Windows Phone 8. There has been a boost in Windows phone sales once after its tie up with Nokia, making windows a primary OS replacing Symbian OS.

Windows Mobile

Symbian

Symbian was created by Psion in 1980s and the company was named as Symbian Ltd., in 1998. Then it became one of the major joint venture between Psion and various mobile phone manufacturers such as Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. There has been a tremendous boost in mobile customer base when Symbian OS was introduced and by the same time there has been outstanding growth in telecom industry too.Symbian Logo

It’s a closed source Operating System and is programmed in C++ .Symbian was acquired by Nokia in June 2008.Once after Nokia’s tie up with Microsoft , Symbian was replaced by Windows Mobile.

Tizen

Tizen OS was developed by Samsung / Intel and is released on January 2012. It’s based on Linux Kernal and is a mixed source model (Open source and Proprietary). It has been said in a press release that Android applications can run on Tizen but it’s yet to reach out the consumers widely.

Tizen Logo

Firefox

Firefox is a Linux based Open Source Operating System developed by Mozilla. It’s programmed in HTML5, CSS,Javascript and C++ . The initial release was in April 2013.Similar to Tizen , it’s yet to reach out the Consumers hand widely.

Firefox OSOverall, Android seems to be ruling the mobile market in recent times. We have to wait and watch if we can get a better one.

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