2.1 Introduction to Mobile Operating Systems
A mobile operating system, also called a mobile OS, is an operating system that is specifically designed to run on mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, PDAs, tablet computers, and other digital mobile devices. Modern mobile operating systems combine the features of a personal computer operating system with touchscreen, cellular, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS mobile navigation, camera, video camera, speech recognition, voice recorder, music player, Near field communication, personal digital assistant (PDA), and other features. Mobile OS is a mobile version of an operating system found on computers. Much like the Linux or Windows operating system controls your desktop or laptop computer, a mobile operating system is the software platform on top of which other programs can run on mobile devices. Below is the list of most common operating systems (OS) found on smartphones and their manufacturers.
• Symbian OS – Nokia’s Cell Phone operating system
• Android OS – Google’s free, open-source cell phone operating system
• iPhone OS (iOS ) – Apple’s mobile operating system
• BlackBerry OS – Proprietary mobile operating system, developed by Research In
Motion for its BlackBerry
• Windows Phone 7 ( Windows Mobile ) – A mobile operating system developed by
• Palm OS (Garnet OS)- mobile operating system initially developed by Palm
• Palm webOS – Mobile operating system from HP/Palm
• Bada – A mobile operating system developed by Samsung Electronics
• Maemo OS – from Nokia (open source, GPL)
2.2 Features of Mobile Operating System
1. Easy to use
- The graphics should be attractive.
- The buttons and features should be easy to use. Moreover, the functionalities should not be very complicated.
- Features should be powerful and useful.
2. Good app store
- An app is one of the basic parts of an OS.
- Good and useful apps form an important part of an OS.
- The apps should be simple and interactive.
3. Good battery life
- Power is one of the main requirements of a smartphone.
- They require power for processors sensors etc. Therefore, the battery holds a very important role.
- Smartphones’ power usage keeps on increasing therefore, a good battery backup is very essential.
4. Data usage and organization
- An operating system should focus on controlling the data and network usage. It should keep the limit and requirements in focus.
- Secondly, the organization of data related to to-do lists, calendars, alarms, reminders, etc is very important. A good OS should keep this data in a very organized and safe manner. Moreover, the data should be readily and easily available.
2.3 Types of Mobile Operating Systems
When a mobile device is purchased the manufacturer will have chosen the operating system
for that specific device. Often, you will want to learn about the mobile operating system
before you purchase a device to ensure compatibility and support for the mobile applications
you want to use.
The following are the common types of mobile operating systems.
- Android OS
Android is a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware, and key applications. Google Inc. purchased the initial developer of the software, Android
Inc., in 2005. Android’s mobile operating system is based on a modified version of the Linux
kernel. Google and other members of the Open Handset Alliance collaborated on Android’s
development and release. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the
maintenance and further development of Android. The Android operating system is the
world’s best-selling Smartphone platform.
- iPhone OS / iOS (Apple)
Apple’s iPhone OS was originally developed for use on its iPhone devices. Now, the mobile
operating system is referred to as iOS and is supported on a number of Apple devices
including the iPhone, iPad, iPad 2, and iPod Touch. The iOS mobile operating system is
available only on Apple’s own manufactured devices as the company does not license the OS
for third-party hardware. Apple iOS is derived from Apple’s Mac OS X operating system
- BlackBerry OS
The BlackBerry OS is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by Research In
Motion for use on the company’s popular BlackBerry handheld devices. The BlackBerry
the platform is popular with corporate users as it offers synchronization with Microsoft Exchange,
Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWise email, and other business software, when used with the
BlackBerry Enterprise Server.