More than 90% of the CPUs in the world are not in desktops and notebooks. But in embedded systems like cell phones, PDAs ,digital cameras, camcorders, game machines, iPods, Mp3 Players, TV Sets and etc. And all of them run a fully developed operating system. But very few people are even aware of the existence of these operating systems.
This paper will help you in understanding various mobile operating systems and it's features, history, and versions.
Operating System for Mobile Devices
An operating system is an interface between hardware and user, which is responsible for communication between input/output device and CPU.
It is the software platform on which other programs, called application programs, can run on mobile devices such as mobile, smartphones, PDAs, and Tablet PC.
Growth of the worldwide smartphones market more than doubled that of the overall mobile phone market in the first quarter.
Top Five Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q1 2010 (Units in Millions)
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2. Research In Motion
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, May 6, 2010
Worldwide mobile device sales to end users totaled 325.6 million units in the second quarter of 2010, a 13.8 percent increase from the same period in 2009, according to Gartner, Inc.
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q10 (Thousands of Units)
2Q10 Market Share (%)
2Q09 Market Share (%)
Research In Motion
Microsoft Windows Mobile
Source: Gartner (August 2010)
Symbian OS is one of Nokia's mobile operating systems for mobile devices and low-end smartphones, with associated libraries, user interface, frameworks, originally developed by Symbian Ltd[  ]. It is a descendant of Psion's EPOC and runs exclusively on ARM processors.
In 2008, the former Symbian Software Limited was acquired by Nokia and a new independent non-profit organization called the Symbian Foundation was established. The platform has been designated as the successor to Symbian OS, following the official launch of the Symbian Foundation in April 2009. The Symbian platform was officially made available as open source code in February 2010.[  ]
Devices based on Symbian OS account for 46.9% of smartphone sales.[  ]
Symbian features pre-emptive multitasking and memory protection. The OS is optimized for low-power battery-based devices and for ROM-based systems. All Symbian programming is event-based, and the CPU is switched into a low power mode when applications are not directly dealing with an event. This is achieved through active objects.
As of 2010, the SDK for Symbian is standard C++, using Qt. It can be used with either Qt Creator, or Carbide (the older IDE previously used for Symbian development). A phone simulator allows testing of Qt apps. Apps compiled for the simulator are compiled to native code for the development platform, rather than having to be emulated. Symbian devices can also be programmed using Python, Java ME, Flash Lite, Ruby, .NET, Web Runtime (WRT) Widgets and Standard C/C++.
Symbian OS 6.0 and 6.1
Released 2001. The first Symbian OS phone, the Nokia 9210 Communicator, was released in June 2001. Bluetooth support was added.
Symbian OS 7.0 and 7.0s
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Released early 2003. It also added EDGE support and IPv6. Java support was changed from pJava and JavaPhone based on the Java ME standard.
Symbian OS 8.0
Released early 2004. Also included new APIs to support CDMA, 3G, two-way data streaming, DVB-H, and OpenGL ES with vector graphics and direct screen access.
Symbian OS 9.1
Released early 2005. It includes many new security related features, including platform security module facilitating.
Symbian OS 9.3
Released on 12 July 2006. Upgrades include improved memory management and native support for Wifi 802.11.
Symbian OS 9.4
Released in March 2007. Provides the concept of demand paging which is available from v9.3 onwards. Applications should launch up to 75% faster.
Symbian OS 9.5
Released in 26 March 2007. It includes native support for mobile digital television broadcasts in DVB-H and ISDB-T formats and also location services.
The Symbian Foundation was announced in June 2008 and came into existence in 2009 and released as Free and Open Source Software.
It was announced on 15 February 2010. This is the first fully open source version of Symbian. It supports Full HD output
It is expected to be released in the first half of 2011.[  ] It provides an entirely new user experience built with Qt
This OS is focused on easy operation and was originally designed for business. Recently it has been moved to third-party applications and has been improved to offer full multimedia support. Currently Blackberry's App World has over 6,000 downloadable applications. BlackBerry OS is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by Research In Motion for its smartphones. The operating system provides multitasking and supports specialized input devices which is produced by RIM.
The BlackBerry platform is perhaps best known for its support for corporate email through MIDP(Mobile Information Device Profile) 1.0. and a subset of MIDP 2.0 which allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise email, calendar, tasks, notes, and contacts. The operating system also supports WAP 1.2.
Third-party developers can write software using the available BlackBerry API (application programming interface) classes.
BlackBerry OS 4.3
BlackBerry OS 4.3 is for BlackBerry mobile devices with 64MB+ storage capacity. OS 4.3 enables video recording with Flash. This version comes with the Dimension L theme that combines the icons from the top left with the ones along the bottom. Additional media enhancements include VoiceNotes. This cool application allows the user to create VoiceNotes and send them via email, MMS, PIN or IM.
BlackBerry OS 4.5
The OS 4.5 features 'Over-The-Air' software upgrades, automatic music playlists, audio-video streaming via RTSP(Real time streaming Protocol), HTML email support, DocsToGo viewing and editing and remote search for email messages.
BlackBerry OS 4.7
This operating system is fast, responsive and offers a neat User Interface. The selection tool found in v4.7 makes copy and paste much easier.
BlackBerry OS 5.0
The speed of operating system is very fast and a lot snappier than the previous version of the OS. Besides speed other changes in the OS are subtle like the User Interface seems a little polished and there's an addition of a new app, Files.
BlackBerry OS 6.0
It comes with an enticing User Interface. The new WebKit browser of the OS allows a faster and richer browsing experience supporting features like tab browsing, multitasking, and favorites.
BlackBerry Tablet OS
On September 27 2010, RIM announced a new unrelated QNX[  ]-based platform, BlackBerry Tablet OS, to run on its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.
QNX is going to completely replace BlackBerry OS as of BlackBerry 7.[  ]
Android Inc. is a small startup company based in Palo Alto, California, USA. In July 2005 Google acquired it. Android's co-founders who went to work at Google included Andy Rubin, Rich Miner Nick Sears and Chris White.
A Google developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel which they marketed to handset makers and carriers on the premise of providing a flexible, upgradable system.
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Android has been available as open source since 21 October 2008. Google published the entire source code (including network and telephony stacks) under an Apache License.[  ]
Android is programmed in C(core), C++, Java(UI). Android applications are written in Java. 100% Java Phone
Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and WiMAX.
Released 9 February 2009
On 30 April 2009
Ability to record and watch videos through camcorder mode
Bluetooth A2DP and AVRCP support
On 15 September 2009
Updated Voice Search, with faster response and deeper integration
Updated technology support for CDMA/EVDO, 802.1x, VPNs, and a text-to-speech engine
Support for WVGA screen resolutions
Gesture framework and GestureBuilder development tool
On 26 October 2009
Optimized hardware speed
New Browser UI and HTML5 support
Microsoft Exchange support
MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch events
On 20 May 2010
General Android OS speed, memory, and performance optimizations
USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
Adobe Flash 10.1 support
Scheduled for Q4 2010 launch. Confirmed new features:
Support for WebM video playback
Scheduled for 2011 launch
Android 4.0 (unconfirmed)
iOS is Apple's mobile operating system. Developed originally for the iPhone. It is also used in the iPod Touch, iPad and Apple TV as well. Apple does not permit the OS to run on third-party hardware.
The user interface of iOS is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements consist of sliders, switches, and buttons. Interaction with the OS includes gestures such as swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching. iOS is derived from Mac OS X, with which it shares the Darwin foundation and therefore it is a Unix-like operating system.
In iOS, there are four abstraction layers:
the Core OS layer
the Core Services layer
the Media layer
the Cocoa Touch layer.
iOS is programmed in C, C++, Objective-C.
1.x: First release of the OS
Intial release on iPhone June 29, 2007
2.x: Second major release of the OS
2.0 came available with the release of the iPhone 3G. Devices running 1.x could be updated to this version. This was the first version of the OS to come with the App Store and made third-party applications available
3.x: Third major release of the OS
3.0 became available with the iPhone 3GS. It was released on June 17, 2009. Devices running 2.x were upgradeable to this firmware.
4.x: Fourth major release of the OS
iOS 4 was made available to the public for the iPhone and iPod Touch on June 21, 2010. The iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G have limited features. While the iPhone 4 have all features enabled in iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 4G & iPod Touch 3G.
Windows Mobile is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft that was for use in smartphones and mobile devices. It is based on the Windows CE 5.2 kernel, and features a suite of basic applications developed using the Microsoft Windows API. It is designed to be similar to desktop versions of Windows.
It is programmed in C++. Third-party software development is available for the Windows Mobile operating system. There are several options for developers to make a mobile application. This includes writing native code with Visual C++, writing Managed code that works with the .NET Compact Framework. Microsoft typically releases Windows Phone Software Development Kits (SDKs) that work in conjunction with their Visual Studio development environment.
There are three versions of Windows Mobile for various hardware devices:
Windows Mobile Professional runs on smartphones
Windows Mobile Standard runs on phones with regular screens
Windows Mobile Classic which runs on Pocket PCs
Pocket PC 2000 released on April 19, 2000, and was based on Windows CE 3.0.
Pocket PC 2002 released in October 2001. Like Pocket PC 2000, it was powered by Windows CE 3.0. New features includes VPN (Virtual Private Network) support, Microsoft Reader 2.
Windows Mobile 2003 was released on June 23, 2003. It was the first release under the Windows Mobile banner. It supports Enhanced communications interface with Bluetooth device management.
Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition was released on March 24, 2004 and first offered on the Dell Axim x30. This was the last version which allowed users to backup and restore an entire device through ActiveSync.
Windows Mobile 5.0 was released on May 9-May 12, 2005. It was first offered on the Dell Axim x51. It used the .NET Compact Framework 1.0 SP3 - an environment for programs based on .NET.
Windows Mobile 6 was released on February 12, 2007. It comes in three different versions: "Windows Mobile 6 Standard" for Smartphones (phones without touchscreens), "Windows Mobile 6 Professional" for Pocket PCs with phone functionality, and "Windows Mobile 6 Classic" for Pocket PCs without cellular radios.
Windows Phone 7 was released during the Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona. Which features a new operating system and integration with Xbox Live and Zune services.
Phones currently running Windows Mobile 6.x will not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 7.