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Essay: Mobile Operating Systems: A Comparative Analysis

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  • Published: 22 September 2015*
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As a boon, the use of smart phones and tablets has transformed communications, entertainment. The generation of a mobile phone is represented by ‘G’.From 1946 to 1980, 0G i.e. the zero generation (Radio Generation). In 0G there were huge size mobile phone devices with having Voice call feature only and they can be used in Cars, Briefcases & in Trucks (MTS, MTA, MTB, MTC, IMTS, AMTS etc are the technologies used in 0G)
Then comes first generation i.e. 1G(1979-1990). In this generation cell phones were analog devices which functions on AMPS (Advance Mobile Phone Syatem)/DataTac technology (DataTAC is a wireless data network technology originally developed by Motorola in US).Next digital generation is called 2G (1991-2003) It had voice, SMS and circuit switched data features. GSM, iDEN, CDMA, EDGE, GPRS are the technologies used in this era. Then in 2004 we entered in a new era of mobile technology i.e. called 3G. The features that made this generation a revolutionary generations are: broadband data, voice and video streaming with a high data transfer rate. W-CDMA and 1Xev-DO are the technology used. After that 4G came in existence with some additional features. 4G is capable to transfer the data at the speed of 100mbps just like broadband connection.
Currently we are in 4G but moving towards fifth generation i.e. 5G.
This paper compares Windows Mobile OS with Android operating system used in mobile devices based on some key characteristics and drawbacks in a compare and contrast approach. With increasing craze of mobile phones in customers, we often see a wave of confusion for selection of best phone in their minds. Due to increasing competition in mobile companies every company wants to provide best features in their devices. Operating System is the key feature of all as every other feature depends upon the OS compatibility itself.
Operating Systems that are used in mobile devices today are: Symbian OS, Android OS, Windows OS, Blackberry OS, i OS and Web OS.
Symbian OS is the project of Symbian Ltd. Originally but in 2008 Nokia Corporation purchased that company. Nokia aimed to publish the source code under the Eclipse Public Licence(EPL) for entire Symbian platform. Currently it is maintained by Accenture. Symbian OS were licensed by third parties that was very important component in it because it bounded the Symbian Ltd from publishing the entire source code instantly under EPL.
Windows Mobile OS is developed by Microsoft exclusively for mobiles. Windows supports 25 languages which makes possible to sell and purchase applications in more than 35 countries.
(Apple) iOS is developed by Apple Corporation for iPhone but after sometimes they drawn-out it’s support for Apple TV and iPad. It’a an unix based OS. Far from suffering from the “feature creep” that typically bogs down operating systems over time, iOS has managed to stay relatively snappy and is more internally consistent than anything else available today. The iPhone OS security APIs are located in the Core Services layer of the operating system and are based on services in the Core OS (kernel) layer of the operating system.
Blackberry OS is a mobile OS for blackberry series of mobiles with proprietary rights, developed by Research In Motion (RIM). It was once undeniable OS when introduced but their mobile market shares reduced soon and the reason was the arthritic competition from iOS and Android.
This section compares two most popular mobile operating systems Android and Windows
Android OS:
Andy Rubin was the co-founder of ‘Android Inc.’, who was the maker of mobile device Danger Inc. and after 22 months Google purchased it.
Android use Linux kernel as its hardware abstraction layer between hardware and other software. The technology of Android is developed by Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Now it is under company named ‘Open Handset Alliance’ which is led by Google.
One can write the applications of Android device in any language but after that it should be compiled to ARM native code. This technology is based on java software application that requires the use of a special software development kit (SDK) to create applications. SDK can be downloaded from internet in free. Many software developers prefer Android OS just because of it’s multiple operating system support and free availability.
Multi-layered security is implemented in designing of Android OS which makes it flexible for open platform. It tends to usable operating system for mobile platforms.
Figure 1.1
Base Security Structure of Android
The most recent major Android update was KitKat 4.4.
Windows Mobile OS:
Windows is developed by Microsoft corporation. It is offering new user interface with ‘Metro’ design that is based on the Windows CE 5.2 kernel. It is programmed in visual C#/C++ language. Recent version Windows 8.1 mobile OS released at June 2012, it supports many of great features like multi core processor support, hi-fi screen resolution, and higher storage support and near field communications. This mobile OS is almost simulating the personal computer version of Windows 8.1.
Microsoft has built a client for mobile device management (MDM) that can be used by IT organizations to manage devices from their preferred systems like Windows Intune, MobileIron, Citrix, SAP and Sophos. Windows 8.1 Phone users will be having the option to register with Microsoft for an enterprise account which creates a private app catalog for securely distributing apps under the control of the MDM system. Each application can be installed, updated or removed from device.
Windows Phone’s market share is just under 4 percent, while Android is almost 80 percent and Apple is 15 percent, according to IDC (International Data Corporation, A market research company).
This section compares the features and drawbacks operating systems discussed in above section based on some key features.
Criteria Android Windows
Multi-Tasking Possible Limited (v 7.5+)
Memory Management Good Good
Platform Support ARM, MIPS, x86, I.MX x86, ARM
Graphical User interface Multi-touch Metro UI
Source model Open source Closed-source
Applications By an open community of developers. By tie up companies and Microsoft.
Security Less Secure More secure
File Manager Third Pary S/w No
Figure 3.1
Comparison Chart
‘ Advantages of Android:
‘ Open source platform supported by large number of mobile device manufacturer.
‘ Easy access to a lot of free android apps.
‘ Multitasking is possible.
‘ Good for programmers who like to make changes in OS.
‘ Disadvantages of Android:
‘ Unstable and prone to crashes compared to windows.
‘ Hackers attack and viral infection is possible.
‘ Rooting (latest up gradation) should be carefully otherwise you may end up with a piece of bricks in hand.
‘ Advantages of Windows:
‘ Security measures are strictly implemented.
‘ No chance of hacker attacks and less chance of viral infections.
‘ Stable and very less chances to crashes.
‘ Disadvantages of Windows:
‘ As compared to android, limited apps availability.
‘ Limited Multi-tasking (On or above version 7.5)
‘ Application must be approved by Microsoft before being made available.
‘ No adobe flash support.
With the completion of this paper, we can conclude that every operating system has been developed by keeping in mind the targeted customers. Every Operating System provides competitive and unique features for their customers. When filter out the analysis portion, we can bring up few key points which helps to choose the apt and secured mobile OS. Based on user priority ranking they can check which operating system is capable to fulfill user requirements. Based on that they can choose apt and secured one.
[1] ‘Comparison of mobile operating systems’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_mobile_operating_systems.
[2] ‘Mobile OS ‘ Comparative Study’ , Jyothy Joseph, Shinto Kurian K, Volume 2, No.10, October 2013,
[3] ‘A Comparative Study of Mobile Phone’s Operating Systems’
Gaurav Jindal, Mayank Jain, Vol. I, Issue III, November 2012
[4] ‘Comparative Study of Different Mobile Operating Systems’,T.N.Sharma, Mahender Kr. Beniwal, Arpita Sharma
[5] ‘Mobile Operating System ‘ A Comparative Study of Mobile OS’ http://atechjourney.com/mobile-operating-system-a-comparative-study-of-mobile-os.html/

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