The mobile operating system is software used to manage users, hardware, and other software of a mobile device. It is designed to work on a device with limited capabilities, unlike the desktop operating system. They are lightweight compared to desktop OS.
Other than the smartphone these operating systems are also used in tablets, smartwatches, and other smart devices that are emerging.
The main features of smartphone OS are telephone communication, wireless network, GPS support, online App store among others. Some examples of types of mobile operating systems are Android, Apple iOS, Windows, Symbian, Banda, Blackberry, etc. Othe his article we discuss these types, features, advantages, and disadvantages of mobile OS.
Types of mobile operating Systems
There are different types of mobile operating systems that are used in different mobile devices on the market. They are categorized according to the provider. The main examples of mobile operating systems are:
This is the most common type of mobile operating system that is used in most smartphones in the world today. According to StatCounter android OS take over 70% market share of mobile operating system in the world.
It is an open-source OS that is developed by Google Inc. Android was developed to be used on touch screen devices by tapping, swiping, pinching, and drawing among other operations.
The OS is not only used in smartphones but is also found in TVs, cars, and IoT devices, among other smart devices in the market.
It was designed by Apple Inc to be used on their smart devices. Just like with Android, it was designed to be used on touchscreen devices. iOS is used in iPad, iPhone, and other Apple smart devices.
In terms of popularity, Apple iOS is the second in smart devices market share with approximately over 25% share as per StatCounter.
It mostly knows for its security features that keep the user document safe and secure. It also helps secure the hardware itself in case it is stolen.
Windows Phone OS
It was developed by Microsoft Inc and it is the predecessor of Windows Mobile OS. Windows Phone OS was mostly used on Nokia smartphones but the uptake was low compared to other smartphones OS. Again compared to its desktop operating system the OS didn’t perform well.
It is among the first types of smartphone OS that were used even before android was a thing. They were used on brands such as Samsung, Motorola, and mostly Nokia.
It was discontinued and it is no longer being used on any devices.
It was designed and developed by Research in Motion organization and was meant to be used on blackberry phones. Just like Symbian OS, it was among the first mobile operating system that shaped the smartphone environment.
It was also discontinued and the company created services for other brands of smartphone OS.
It was developed by Palm Inc but later acquired by HP and then LG. It is also known as LG WebOS. Initially, it was used for smartphones but currently, it is mostly used on LG smart TVs.
It was developed by Huawei as a replacement for Android OS. However, it was hard to have an entrance to the international market outside china. This made the company continue using android on their smartphone alongside Harmony OS.
It is a distributed OS that allows seamless connection and integration of multiple devices. It was first released in 2019 and meant for smartphones, wearables, smart devices, IoT, and other latest devices.
It was developed by Samsung Inc to be used on its smartphones. However, it was later discontinued in favor of android which had more app developers and a user base.
Features of Mobile Operating System
Smartphone OS has all the main functions of the operating system. However, due to its size and additional functionality, it has extra features that you will not find in standard desktop OS. Some of the additional features are as follows:
- Ability to connect to the internet wirelessly. Smartphones are designed for wireless connection hance they have an inbuilt modem. The smartphone OS supports the wireless connection by default.
- Support radio frequency for telephony communication. Mobile phones were originally designed for the telephone voice call. When other features were added to be basic phone the OS had to consider how the phone can connect using different frequencies. Most frequencies that are used are from 2G, 3G, 4G, or the latest 5G technologies.
- Offer online application stores. Each operating system has its online platform where developers can upload mobile applications and users can download them for use. Android users have Google App Store while those on Apple have Apple Stores.
- Global positioning system (GPS). Since smartphones are mobile their OS support GPS which can be used for location-related applications. This can help users navigate easily on their environment using apple like Google Maps.
- Graphic User Interface (GUI) platform. Smartphones are designed to be used by the general public hence they support the best user-friendly interface GUI. Smartphone OS supports user interactions such as tapping, swiping, and pinching, among others. Also, users can customize their interface to make it more personalized.
- Low power consumption. Since smartphones are mobile devices they are designed to have batteries that can last long. The mobile operating system is designed to support low power consumption to preserve the life of the device’s battery.
- Pre-installed applications. Most smartphone manufacturers preinstall the default operating system on their devices alongside other recommended software. Some of these application user may never use them and they are called bloatware since they just fill the storage space of the device. Advanced users can remove bloatware in android OS.
- Manage data and network. Smartphones are designed to manage different telephone network providers depending on the region and country. The OSes are designed to be compatible with all available networks and also manage internet data.
Advantages Mobile Operating System
- User-friendly. Smartphone OSes are easy to use and learn how to use. Actually, most smartphone users have never been trained on how to use it.
- Compared to desktop OS they are lightweight to support device size, power consumption, and processor size.
- The smartphone allows users to customize the device to fit the user’s preferences and become more personalized.
- All smartphone OS push any new updates to the user to download and install. This ensures that users are running the latest OS and applications.
- The mobile platforms have a variety of assorted apps that can be downloaded from different app stores. Think of any type of application and you are more likely to find it on the app store.
- Mobile smartphone OS offers security features such as passwords, to the use of pattern and biometric security features to secure the device. Also, they offer apps to track and trace the device in case it is stolen.
Disadvantages of Mobile Operating System
- Most smartphone operating systems are designed and work for specific hardware. Apple iOS is only compatible with Apple products for example.
- The users are limited to system upgrades that are provided by the system developer. The upgrade cannot be sourced from any other platform other than their center.
- When a new version of hardware or technology upgrade comes to the market users need to upgrade the hardware which is expensive. For example, if you need to use a 5G technology device you need to buy new hardware.
- Smartphone users are more vulnerable to security breaches such as phishing and hacking. This is because most users don’t understand issues to do with security other than how to use the device.
- Limited device battery life. This limit the capability of the device and what the operating system can do.