A smartphone operating system, also referred to as a mobile OS, is an operating system that runs on a smartphone, tablet, PDA, or any other mobile device. Modern day mobile operating systems combine all the features of anindividual computer operating system with other features, such as a touchscreen, cellular, Bluetooth, Wireless- Fidelity, GPS mobile navigation, camera, voice recognition, voice recorder, music player, etc.
An average smartphone with basic features contains two mobile operating systems working simultaneously.The main user-facing software platform is complemented by a second low-level exclusive real-time operating system which controls the radio and other hardware. Studies have shown that these low-level systems may compriseof a range of security liabilitiesthat could allow malicious softwares to take control over the device.
Many different OS have been developed to run on the mobile devices. They include Symbian OS, Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry OS, Windows OS, BADA, Palm OS, Open WebOS, Maemo, MeeGo and Verdict. Of these, Android and Apple iOS are one of the most liked operating systems by the users.
Android OS, which is based on the Linux Kernel is manufactured by Google Inc. It owns the largest installed statistics worldwide on smartphones. Most of Android is free and open source, but many of the softwares like Google Search, Play Store, etc. on Android devices are registered and licensed. Android’s releases prior to 2.0 were used solely on mobile phones. Android 2.x releases were mostly used for mobile phones but also on some tablets. Android 3.0 was majorly a tablet-oriented release and does not officially run on mobile phones.
The latest Android version is 5.0. Android’s releases are nicknamed after sweets or dessert items like Cupcake (1.5), Donut (1.6), Eclair (2.0), Frozen Yogurt (“Froyo”) (2.2), Ginger Bread (2.3), Honeycomb (3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), Jelly Bean (4.1), (4.2), (4.3) Kit Kat (4.4), and Lollipop (5.0).
Android has seen a boominggrowth of third-party applications, which can be attained by users by downloading and installing the application’s APK file, or by downloading them using an application store program that lets users install, update, and deletemobile apps from their smartphones. Google Play Store is the primary application store that is used for this purpose on Android smartphones that conformsto Google’s compatibility requirements and license the Google Mobile Services software.
Google Play Store gives users many options to browse, download and update appsdeveloped by Google and other such third-party Android app developers. According to the latest statistics, there are more than one million apps that are available for Android in Play Store. Some companies offer direct charges for purchasing Google Play application acquisitions, where the cost of the purchase is added to the user’s monthly bill and is then paid through online services. This feature of Android has relieved the misery of the users and has made app download and usage a very easy game. Not only can you now access information on the tips of your fingers, but with the latest social media hype, communication is no longer a problem with the fast versions of Android OS.