Android And Symbian Operating Systems Computer Science Essay

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Mobile phone has an operating system to control its applications and activities. Several mobile phone vendors develop different operating systems for their phones. Mobile phone vendors produce many mobile application development kits as an open source through the internet for the application developers to build custom mobile applications. There are three popular mobile operating systems in the market and they are symbian OS, windows OS and Android OS. Android OS just came to the market

recently with new energy and I will compare the mobile application development between it and the symbian OS which occupies big market based on phone to see which one is better.

Symbian OS is a descendant of EPOC (Electronic Piece of Chase)[1] which means "Using electronic goods can be as easy as eating cheese" and that is the idea of its design. It is a real-timing, multi-tasking 32bits operating system with low power and low memory needed which is very fit for mobile phones. The point is that it is a standard open platform that means anyone can develop software's for the phones which support Symbian OS. Although Symbian OS occupies big market, its developers are not enough. Symbian based mobile systems are very cheap as compared to others.

Android is a software stack for mobile device that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications[2],which is said the first real open and integrated mobile software for mobile phones. Android uses Web Kit engine for the browser and has functions supporting touch screen, graphic display and surfing the internet and the user can check the email box, search websites and watch video programs and so on. It has superior search function and bigger interface and it is a platform which compromises all Web applications. The amazing things are the openness and service free. Because it provides an open development platform, so the developers have the chances to build extremely rich and innovative applications and it is free for developers to take advantages of the devices. It is based on java and uses Linux kernel so it will attract more and more developers in future.

2. Android and Symbian OS

Android OS kernel is based on superior network performance Linux so Android OS has very excellent network performance and it makes the hardware platform adapts widely. In addition, Android OS has plenty of JAVA interfaces. Symbian OS with EPOC32 kernel has superiority in phone function, for example, it can get very strong signal, but only in ARM platform.

2.1Communication System

As the era of mobile internet and 3G wireless broadband comes, it determines that it is an unqualified platform if the platform can let the users to connect to internet at any time. Nowadays mobile phone is not only a tool to communicate but also it is a data communication platform. The network function of mobile operating system is very important because its performance will directly influent users' experiencing.

Android OS supports GPRS, WIFI, 3G [3] and it can adapt many different network environments but it does not support CDMA network at present. Its internal Chrome Lite browser supports the format of pages very well and the display effect is almost the same as on the PC. Nevertheless the speed of downloading in WIFI is not satisfactory. Functions such as page, security, privacy are very well-appointed except one disadvantage is that it can not support flash.

Symbian OS [4] internal network browser has good compatibility and max performance especially after taking Flash Lite3.The mobile phones with such excellent browser function can play the internal Flv videos which is built in the pages directly and because it is based on the web kit as same as Safari it can offer desktop like browser. Unfortunately some mobile phone's screens are small and the processors' ability is limit so it cost a lot of throughput and limits the usage range.

2.2 Other Applications

Interactive games, video player and camera are other elements for mobile phones to attract customers. As for the game function, Android OS has ball games with gravity sensing and the screen is beautiful, the game is very smooth flow, realism is still good, the feedback of vibration is pretty good, the difficulty is moderate. Symbian OS with the N-Gage gaming platform offers complimentary and demo version games and the screen is very clear the interface is very shocking. Symbian OS is excellent related to mobile games.

Android OS built-in video player supports WMV, MPEG4, 3GP video formats such as full-screen playback, playback toolbar can automatically hide the interface which is considered excellent. The media file encoding bit rate and playback rate are high, so the implementation of fast-forward operation can sometimes produce images stagnation.The video formats which Android OS supports are not many. Symbian mobile phone with the pre-installed RealPlayer and Flash Lite player ensures the support of Mp4, 3GP , Avi, Flv and RM etc. Generally it is better than Android.

Android's strength is not the camera, the camera interface displays action button and the photograph which already have been taken before, the set menu is too simple and it only supports storage location and the video quality settings, there is no brightness, color, etc. settings options, but there is automatic focus function, but it does not support optical zoom. In Symbian OS it provids variety camera scene modes,auto-zoom, continuous shooting, resolution ratio adjustment, recording video and so on, which Android OS cannot compete.

3. The Software

The software expansibility is a very important element to determine if an operating system is excellent or not. Compared to Symbian OS, Android OS can only support far fewer normal mobile software and some need to use JAVA to run. However, Symbian OS can almost support all normal mobile application software.

4. Conclusion

Android OS's appearance brings the new energy for mobile operating system market. Although it does not support flash and Bluetooth file transfer and so on but it is still developing and all those problems will be solved by system updating and other software. Indeed, Symbian system has powerful functions but its old system code and old-maidish operating interface need new life. Both them have advantages and disadvantages, it needs time to see which one will become the leander in this new era of mobile operating system platform.