Smartphone once meant Symbian and Blackberry, until iOS and Android made it to the market.Being open source Android today dominates the Smartphone market from low end to high end variants of smartphones and accessories we see Android running.Apple’s iOS though being the proprietary software of Apple Inc., has an appreciable market as an individual company when compared to Android which is used by many companies to power their device.
Apps are one major criteria that decide a OS’s popularity or like by user.Apple and Android have their App repositories with a plethora of apps. Also iOS app development is considered easier than Android’s as in iOS it is for a single device to be tested and for Android a dev has to test on hundreds of popular devices from different companies and different ROMs. This is one main reason why Developers are likely to first choose iOS to Android.As these two giants rival against each other on market there are others emerging up to compete too. Tizen, Firefox OS and Ubuntu for Phones.
Tizen development is led by Linux foundation, Samsung, Intel and other members of Tizen association.The OS is almost complete and there are even rumors saying the first official Tizen device will be unveiled by Samsung in a few months. The recent version 2.0 has seen much advancements in features and test results. It has the best support to HTML5 among other mobile platforms with a html5 test score of 492.There are already developers working on building apps for Tizen having the SDK released much earlier. Also Samsung merges its Bada with the new OS and it is coming up with better features and a support community.But it is said that looks and feel of Tizen are not up to the expectation when compared to the prior discussed market giants.
Coming to the Ubuntu touch OS (or Ubuntu for Phones), it delivers a better look and feel similar to the Desktop version. Its all gestures to interact like swipe from edges for different tasks.The OS has been tested on a Nexus device already. It is a computer by itself and gives a promising experience.Web apps are similar to native apps and they get own icons and access to system notifications.Thus it takes a few steps for existing web apps to transform into better app.High end Ubuntu phones or the superphones just need to be docked to use as a complete PC with a monitor and keyboard, mouse for they have enough power to do what a computer does (Well, remember, its linux folks!).
Jolla’s Sailfish OS ( formerly MeeGo) is also in the row, haven’t heard? Remember a news featuring a Nokia N9 running Sailfish OS? Jolla also aims at a better Mobile OS as the others and the CEO, Marc Dillon, has said confidently that “If we are in competition, then we’ve all already won, because it’s about creating diversity from the existing walled garden and the existing couple of ecosystems… Diversity is the thing that creates innovation”.
So what the mobile industry has got for us in the feature? Will these OS be able to take on the current market leaders Android and iOS? Let us see.
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