In this day and age, we all (or at least most of us) have a mobile phone, usually on either iOS or Android but how much do we think about the other operating systems out there. In this review, we will explain then compare and contrast several operating systems such as KaiOS, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Jolla Sailfish OS and Symbian.
Let’s start with the most used operating system in the world, Android. Based on the Linux Kernel and Oracle Java, Android is an open source operating system meaning that anyone can copy and edit the operating system with some exceptions, Android is currently developed by Google Inc and the Open Handset Alliance. Android uses the famous package manager known as APK. Android is also the root behind many other operating systems including Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Alibaba’s Aliyun OS, Samsung’s TouchWiz OS, Motorola’s (now owned by Lenovo) MOTOBLUR, Oppo/OnePlus’s ColorOS, Replicant OS (based on Lineage OS, an Android fork), Google’s Pixel OS, HTC’s Sense and HMD’s Nokia’s Sense OS.
Android is used by over two billion people out of our 7.4 billion people (Source: Google Knowledge Graph).
You can learn more about Android through Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)
iOS (also known as iPhone OS) is the second most used operating system in the world. Developed by Apple Inc in 2007, it is a closed source operating system based on Darwin (BSD) and macOS (both also developed by Apple Inc). iOS is mostly based on its own products, making it a terrible choice for cross-platform App Developers and those on a low budget. Google’s Knowledge Graph estimates there are 580 million iOS users which are significantly smaller than Android. However, iOS remains owned by one of the world’s largest and most exceptional corporations.
You can learn more about iOS through Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS
Windows 10 Mobile
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile which is now defunct (dead) in most ends and forwarded into Android (under Microsoft Arrow) is known to be the third most used operating system. Windows Phone is part of Microsoft’s family of mobile operating systems (since 2000) consisting of Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Zune OS and Kin OS. In 2011-14, Microsoft worked with (and ended up acquiring) the almost dead Nokia Mobile which at that time was powered by Symbian OS. Nokia Mobile was Microsoft’s biggest bet in the mobile phone market which Android and iOS turned into one of the biggest mistakes in the history of mobile phones. However, Microsoft was lucky and at the mercy of Android, HMD Global (founded by former Nokia executives) acquired the Nokia Mobile brand and worked with Nokia to revive its once dominated phone brand under Android and Smart Feature OS (powered by KaiOS).
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile is currently known to be used by less than one percent of the world, however, Microsoft’s apps on Android or iOS and Microsoft’s other projects are still one of the most popular in the world.
You can learn more about Windows 10 Mobile on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10_Mobile
KaiOS is the new digital trend. Founded in 2017 from the ashes of Mozilla’s Firefox OS (now dead), KaiOS is the budget-friendly, open source feature phone operating system used by over 30 million people. KaiOS consists of many popular apps including Google, Facebook, Twitter and the TickTasksApp. KaiOS is so lightweight that it doesn’t even need a gigabyte of phone storage to power itself. You can learn more about KaiOS on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KaiOS
Sailfish OS is developed by the Scandinavian-Finnish company called Jolla. Sailfish OS phones are primarily manufactured by Jolla themselves, however, Sony (formerly Sony Ericsson) also has support for Sailfish OS. Sailfish OS, like Android and KaiOS, is an open source operating system powered by the same package manager as Android in order to gain app developers. You can learn more about Sailfish OS on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailfish_OS
Blackberry OS was developed by Blackberry Limited (“Research in Motion” or “RIM”) in 1999 and was known for its advanced security features. Programmed in C++ and discontinued in 2013 after moving to Blackberry 10 (Powered by Android), Blackberry was once a leader in the mobile industry. You can learn more about Blackberry OS on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry_OS
Last but not least, we will discuss Symbian OS (based on Psion’s EPOC). While Symbian OS is the last mobile operating system we will discuss today, be aware that they are many other mobile operating systems out there (most based on Android, MeeGo or Firefox OS). Symbian OS was founded in 1998 by Symbian Ltd as a closed source operating system for feature phones. Symbian was used by the biggest brands of its day including Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and Ericsson. Symbian was the world’s most used operating system for twelve years until Android came along and threw them away into a recycling centre. In 2008, Symbian Ltd was replaced by an open-source, non-profit foundation called the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation was Symbian’s final chance for independence but it didn’t last long. Symbian eventually upgraded from a feature OS to a smartphone OS, however, Android, iOS and other smartphone OSs were already far from there beginning and Symbian was rapidly crushed into pieces. In 2010-11, the Symbian Foundation surrendered into the hands of Nokia, who by now was already in a terrible position. Symbian was rented to Accenture in 2011 and until 2013 when Symbian was finally discontinued. Symbian is still estimated to have a share of over four percent in the mobile market.
Here is part two and the final part of the series: http://everythingbouttechnology.com/mobile-operating-system-comparison-part-two/