A mobile operating system is an operating system for mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, 2-in-1 PCs, smart speakers, or other mobile devices. While computers such as typical laptops are 'mobile', the operating systems used on them are generally not considered mobile ones, as they were originally designed for desktop computers that historically did not have or need specific mobile features. This line distinguishing mobile and other forms has become blurred in recent years, this is due to the fact that newer devices have become smaller and more mobile unlike hardware of the past. Key notabilities blurring this line are the introduction of tablet computers and light-weight laptops.
Mobile operating systems combine features of a desktop computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use, and usually including a wireless inbuilt modem and SIM tray for telephony and data connection. In Q1 2018, over 383 million smartphones were sold (highest ever recorded) with 86.2 percent running Android and 12.9 percent running iOS. Nonetheless, although not as many as 2018 (1.56 billion), 2021 still had soaring sales, 1.43 billion to be exact with 83.32 percent being Android. Android alone is more popular than the popular desktop operating system Microsoft Windows, and in general smartphone use (even without tablets) outnumbers desktop use.
Mobile devices, with mobile communications abilities (e.g., smartphones), contain two mobile operating systems – the main user-facing software platform is supplemented by a second low-level proprietary real-time operating system which operates the radio and other hardware. Research has shown that these low-level systems may contain a range of security vulnerabilities permitting malicious base stations to gain high levels of control over the mobile device.
Mobile operating systems have majority use since 2017 (measured by web use); with even only the smartphones running them (excluding tablets) having majority use, more used than any other kind of device. Thus traditional desktop OS is now a minority-used kind of OS; see usage share of operating systems. However, variations occur in popularity by regions, while desktop-minority also applies on some days in countries such as United States and United Kingdom.
- 1997 – EPOC32 first appears on the Psion Series 5 PDA. Release 6 of EPOC32 will later be renamed to Symbian OS.
- 1998 – Symbian Ltd. is formed as a joint venture by Psion, Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia, Psion's EPOC32 OS becomes Symbian's EPOC operating system, and is later renamed to Symbian OS. Symbian's OS was used by those companies and several other major mobile phone brands, but especially Nokia.
- June – Qualcomm's pdQ becomes the first smartphone with Palm OS.
- October – Nokia S40 Platform is officially introduced along with the Nokia 7110, the first phone with T9 predictive text input and a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) browser for accessing specially formatted Internet data.
- 2000 – The Ericsson R380 is released with EPOC32 Release 5, marking the first use on a phone of what's to become known as Symbian OS (as of Release 6).
- June – Nokia's Symbian Series 80 platform is first released on the Nokia 9210 Communicator This is the first phone running an OS branded as Symbian, and the first phone using that OS that allows user installation of additional software.
- September – Qualcomm's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform on their REX real-time operating system (RTOS) is first released on the Kyocera QCP-3035.
- Microsoft's first Windows CE (Pocket PC) smartphones are introduced.
- Nokia's Symbian Series 60 (S60) platform is released with the Nokia 7650, Nokia's first phone with a camera and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). S60 would form the basis of the OS on most of Nokia's smartphones until 2011, when they adopted Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. S60 was also used on some phones from Samsung and others, and later by Sony Ericsson after the consolidation of some Symbian UI variants in 2008.
- October – The Danger Hiptop (T-Mobile Sidekick in U.S.) is first released by Danger, Inc., running DangerOS.
- 2003 – Motorola introduces first Linux-based cellphone Motorola A760 base on Linux MontaVista distribution.
- January – Apple's iPhone with iOS (named "iPhone OS" for its first three releases) is introduced as a "widescreen iPod", "mobile phone", and "Internet communicator".
- February – Microsoft announces Windows Mobile 6.0.
- May – Palm announces the Palm Foleo, a "Mobile Companion" device similar to a subnotebook computer, running a modified Linux kernel and relying on a companion Palm Treo smartphone to send and retrieve mail, as well as provide data connectivity when away from WiFi. Palm canceled Foleo development on September 4, 2007, after facing public criticism.
- June - World's very first iPhone is released in the United States.
- November – Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is established, led by Google with 34 members (HTC, Sony, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, LG, etc.)
- February – LiMo Foundation announces the first phones running the LiMo mobile Linux distribution, from Motorola, NEC, Panasonic Mobile, and Samsung, released later in the year. The LiMo Foundation later became the Tizen Association and LiMo was subsumed by Tizen.
- June – Nokia becomes the sole owner of Symbian Ltd. The Symbian Foundation was then formed to co-ordinate the future development of the Symbian platform among the corporations using it, in a manner similar to the Open Handset Alliance with Android. Nokia remained the major contributor to Symbian's code.
- July – Apple releases iPhone OS 2 with the iPhone 3G, making available Apple's App Store.
- October – OHA releases Android (based on Linux kernel) 1.0 with the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) as the first Android phone.
- November – Symbian^1, the Symbian Foundation's touch-specific S60-based platform (equivalent to S60 5th edition) is first released on Nokia's first touchscreen Symbian phone, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, with a resistive screen and a stylus. Symbian^1 being derived from S60 meant that support for UIQ disappeared and no further devices using UIQ were released.
- Intel announces Moblin 2, specifically created for netbooks that run the company's Atom processor. In April 2009 Intel turned Moblin over to the Linux Foundation.
- Palm introduces webOS with the Palm Pre (released in June). The new OS is not backward-compatible with their previous Palm OS.
- Palm announces that no further devices with Palm OS are going to be released by the company. (The last was the Palm Centro, released October 14, 2007.)
- Microsoft announces Windows Mobile 6.5, an "unwanted stopgap" update to Windows Mobile 6.1 intended to bridge the gap between version 6.1 and the then yet-to-be released Windows Mobile 7 (later canceled in favor of Windows Phone 7). The first devices running it appeared in late October 2009.
- May – DangerOS 5.0 becomes available, based on NetBSD.
- June – Apple releases iPhone OS 3 with the iPhone 3GS.
- November – Nokia releases the Nokia N900, its first and only smartphone running the Maemo OS intended for "handheld computers...with voice capability", while stating that they remain focused on Symbian S60 as their smartphone OS. (Nokia had previously released three Mobile Internet devices running Maemo, without cellular network connectivity.)
- MeeGo is announced, a mobile Linux distribution merging Maemo from Nokia and Moblin from Intel and Linux Foundation, to be hosted by Linux Foundation. MeeGo is not backward-compatible with any previous operating system.
- Samsung introduces the Bada OS and shows the first Bada smartphone, the Samsung S8500. It was later released in May 2010.
- Apple releases the iPad (first generation) with iPhone OS 3.2. This is the first version of the OS to support tablet computers. For its next major version (4.0) iPhone OS will be renamed iOS.
- HP acquires Palm in order to use webOS in multiple new products, including smartphones, tablets, and printers, later stating their intent to use it as the universal platform for all their devices.
- May – Microsoft Kin phone line with KIN OS (based on Windows CE and a "close cousin" to Windows Phone) become available.
- June – Apple releases iOS 4, renamed from iPhone OS, with the iPhone 4.
- July – Microsoft Kin phones and KIN OS are discontinued.
- Apple releases a variant of iOS powering the new 2nd generation Apple TV.
- Symbian^3 is first released on the Nokia N8. This would be Nokia's last flagship device running Symbian (though not their last Symbian phone), before switching to Windows Phone 7 for future flagship phones.
- The Danger Hiptop line and DangerOS are discontinued as a result of Microsoft's acquisition of Danger, Inc. in 2008.
- April – BlackBerry Tablet OS, based on QNX Neutrino is released on the BlackBerry PlayBook.
- August – HP announces that webOS device development and production lines would be halted. The last HP webOS version, 3.0.5, is released on January 12, 2012.
- MeeGo is introduced with the limited-release Nokia N9, Nokia's first and only consumer device to use the OS. (A small number of the Nokia N950, a MeeGo phone available only to developers, were released in mid-2011.)
- After Nokia's abandonment of MeeGo, Intel and the Linux Foundation announce a partnership with Samsung to launch Tizen, shifting their focus from MeeGo (Intel and Linux Foundation) and Bada (Samsung) during 2011 and 2012.
- November – Fire OS, a fork of the Android operating system, is released by Amazon.com on the Kindle Fire tablet.
- May – Nokia releases the Nokia 808 PureView, later confirmed (in January 2013) to be the last Symbian smartphone. This phone was followed by a single last Symbian software update, "Nokia Belle, Feature Pack 2", later in 2012.
- Finnish start-up Jolla, formed by former Nokia employees, announces that MeeGo's community-driven successor Mer would be the basis of their new Sailfish smartphone OS.
- Mozilla announces that the project formerly named Boot to Gecko (which is built atop an Android Linux kernel using Android drivers and services; however it uses no Java-like code of Android) is now Firefox OS (since discontinued) and has several handset OEMs on board.
- August – Samsung announces they won't ship further phones using their Bada OS, instead focusing on Windows Phone 8 and Android.
- September – Apple releases iOS 6 with the iPhone 5.
- January – BlackBerry releases their new operating system for smartphones, BlackBerry 10, with their Q10 and Z10 smartphones. BlackBerry 10 is not backward-compatible with the BlackBerry OS used on their previous smartphones.
- February – HP sells webOS to LG.
- September – Apple releases iOS 7 with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
- November – Jolla releases Sailfish OS on the Jolla smartphone.
- Microsoft releases Windows Phone 8.1
- Nokia introduces their Nokia X platform OS as an Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean fork on the Nokia X family of smartphones. Similar to Amazon.com's Fire OS, it replaces Google's apps and services with ones from Nokia (such as HERE Maps, Nokia Xpress and MixRadio, and Nokia's own app store) and Microsoft (such as Skype and Outlook), with a user interface that mimics the Windows Phone UI. After the acquisition of Nokia's devices unit, Microsoft announced in July 2014 that no more Nokia X smartphones would be introduced, marking the end of the platform just a few months later.
- August – The Samsung SM-Z9005 Z is the first phone released running Tizen, with v2.2.1 of the OS.
- November – Google releases Android 5.0 "Lollipop"
- February – Google releases Android 5.1 "Lollipop".
- October – BlackBerry announces that there are no plans to release new APIs and software development kits for BlackBerry 10, and future updates would focus on security and privacy enhancements only.
- November – Microsoft releases Windows 10 Mobile.
- February – Microsoft releases the Lumia 650, their last Windows 10 Mobile phone before discontinuing all mobile hardware production the following year.
- July – The BlackBerry Classic, the last device to date running a BlackBerry OS is discontinued. While BlackBerry Limited claimed to still be committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, they have since only shipped Android devices after releasing the BlackBerry Priv, their first Android smartphone in November 2015.
- September – Apple releases iOS 10 with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and watchOS 3 with the Apple Watch Series 1 and 2.
- Samsung announces Tizen 4.0 at Tizen Developer Conference 2017.
- Google releases Android 8.0 "Oreo".
- Microsoft announces that Windows 10 Mobile development is going into maintenance mode only, ending the release of any new features or functionality due to lack of market penetration and resultant lack of interest from app developers, and releases the final major update to it, the "Fall Creators Update."
- Cherry Mobile release CherryOS based on Android
- Samsung releases Samsung Experience 9.0 based on Android "Oreo" 8.0 globally to Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.
- Google and partners officially launches Android Go (based on Android "Oreo" 8.1 but tailored for low-end devices) with Nokia 1, Alcatel 1X, ZTE Tempo Go, General Mobile 8 Go, Micromax Bharat Go and Lava Z50.
- Google releases Android "9" as a developer preview.
- Huawei release LiteOS version 2.1.
- Google releases Android 9.0 "Pie".
- UBPorts released Ubuntu Touch OTA-14, upgrading the OS based on the Canonical's long-term support version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus".
- Xiaomi officially introduces MIUI for POCO for their Poco series smartphone.
- Samsung officially introduces Tizen 4.0 with the release of Samsung Galaxy Watch series.
- Samsung announces the One UI 2.0 as the latest version of their Galaxy Smartphone and Smartwatch UI .
- Microsoft releases the Windows 10 November 10, 2019 Update.
Current software platformsEdit
Android (based on the modified Linux kernel) is a mobile operating system developed by Google. The base system is open-source (and only the kernel copyleft), but the apps and drivers which provide functionality are increasingly becoming closed-source. Besides having the largest installed base worldwide on smartphones, it is also the most popular operating system for general purpose computers[further explanation needed] (a category that includes desktop computers and mobile devices), even though Android is not a popular operating system for regular (desktop) personal computers (PCs). Although the Android operating system is free and open-source software, in devices sold, much of the software bundled with it (including Google apps and vendor-installed software) is proprietary software and closed-source.
Android's releases before 2.0 (1.0, 1.5, 1.6) were used exclusively on mobile phones. Android 2.x releases were mostly used for mobile phones but also some tablets. Android 3.0 was a tablet-oriented release and does not officially run on mobile phones. Both phone and tablet compatibility were merged with Android 4.0. The current Android version is Android 12L, released on March 7, 2022.
Android One, a successor to Google Nexus, is a software experience that runs on the unmodified Android operating system. Unlike most of the "stock" Androids running on the market, the Android One User Interface (UI) closely resembles the Google Pixel UI, due to Android One being a software experience developed by Google and distributed to partners such as Nokia Mobile (HMD) and Xiaomi. Thus, the UI is intended to be as clean as possible. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners may tweak or add additional apps such as cameras to the firmware, but most of the apps are handled proprietarily by Google. Operating system updates are handled by Google and internally tested by OEMs before being distributed via an OTA update to end users.
- Current Android One version list
- Android One versions follow those of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), starting from Android 5.0 "Lollipop"
BlackBerry Secure is an operating system developed by BlackBerry, based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). BlackBerry officially announced the name for their Android-based front-end touch interface in August 2017, before which BlackBerry Secure was running on BlackBerry brand devices, such as BlackBerry Priv, DTEK 50/60 and BlackBerry KeyOne. Currently, BlackBerry plans to license out the BlackBerry Secure to other OEMs.
- Current BlackBerry Secure version list
CalyxOS is an operating system for smartphones based on Android with mostly free and open-source software. It is produced by the Calyx Institute as part of its mission to "defend online privacy, security and accessibility."
ColorOS is a custom front-end touch interface based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and developed by OPPO Electronics Corp. In 2016, OPPO officially released ColorOS with every OPPO and Realme device and released an official ROM for the OnePlus One. Future Realme devices will have their own version of ColorOS.
- Current ColorOS version list
- ColorOS 1.x - based on Android "Jelly Bean" 4.2.x and "KitKat" 4.4
- ColorOS 2.x - based on Android "KitKat" 4.4 and "Lollipop" 5
- ColorOS 3.x - based on Android "Lollipop" 5, "Marshmallow" 6, and "Nougat" 7
- ColorOS 5.x - based on Android "Oreo" 8
- ColorOS 6.x - based on Android "Pie" 9
- ColorOS 7.x - based on Android 10
- ColorOS 11.x - based on Android 11
- ColorOS 12.x - based on Android 11 and 12
Huawei EMUI is a front-end touch interface developed by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its sub-brand Honor which is based on Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP). EMUI is preinstalled on most Huawei and Honor devices. While it was based on the open-source Android operating system, it consists of closed-source proprietary software.
/e/ is an operating system forked from the source code of LineageOS (based on Android). /e/ targets Android smart phone devices and uses MicroG as a replacement for Google Play Services. /e/OS is not completely open source software, because it comes with the proprietary Magic Earth 'Maps' app.
Amazon Fire OS is a mobile operating system forked from Android and produced by Amazon for its Fire range of tablets, Echo and Echo Dot, and other content delivery devices like Fire TV (previously for their Fire Phone). Fire OS primarily centers on content consumption, with a customized user interface and heavy ties to content available from Amazon's own storefronts and services.
- Current Fire OS version list
- Fire OS 1.x
- Fire OS 2.x
- Fire OS 3.x
- Fire OS 4.x
- Fire OS 5.x
- Fire OS 6.x
- Fire OS 7.x
Flyme OS is an operating system developed by Meizu Technology Co., Ltd., an open-source operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Flyme OS is mainly installed on Meizu smartphones such as the MX series. However, it also has official ROM support for a few Android devices.
- Current Flyme OS version list
- Flyme OS 1.x.x (based on Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" 4.0.3, initial release)
- Flyme OS 2.x.x (based on Android "Jelly Bean" 4.1.x – 4.2.x)
- Flyme OS 3.x.x (based on Android "Jelly Bean" 4.3.x)
- Flyme OS 4.x.x (based on Android "KitKat" 4.4.x)
- Flyme OS 5.x.x (based on Android "Lollipop" 5.0.x – 5.1.x)
- Flyme OS 6.x.x (based on Android "Nougat" 7.x, "Marshmallow" 6.0.x and "Lollipop" 5.0.x – 5.1.x for old devices)
- Flyme OS 7.x.x (based on Android "Pie" 9.0, "Oreo" 8.x and "Nougat" 7.x)
- Flyme OS 8.x.x (based on Android 10, "Pie" 9.0, "Oreo" 8.x and "Nougat" 7.x)
- Flyme OS 9.x.x (based on Android 11 and 10)
- Current FuntouchOS version list
- FuntouchOS 2.x - Based on Android "KitKat" 4.4, Android "Lollipop" 5 and Android "Marshmallow" 6, initial release
- FuntouchOS 3.x - Based on Android "Marshmallow" 6 and Android "Nougat" 7
- FuntouchOS 4.x - Based on Android "Oreo" 8
- FuntouchOS 9.x - Based on Android "Pie" 9
- FuntouchOS 10.x - Based on Android "Pie" 9 and Android 10
- FuntouchOS 10.5 - Based on Android 10 and Android 11, redesigned UI
- FuntouchOS 11.x - Based on Android 10 and Android 11
- FuntouchOS 12.x - Based on Android 11 and Android 12
GrapheneOS, formerly named Android Hardening, is a variant of Android that runs on Pixel 2 or Pixel 3 hardware. It is mainly developed by Daniel Micay, as of 2019[update], and aims to focus on security and privacy.
HiOS is an Android-based operating system developed by Hong Kong mobile phone manufacturer Tecno Mobile, a subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, exclusively for their smartphones. HiOS allows for a wide range of user customization without requiring rooting the mobile device. The operating system is also bundled with utility applications that allow users to free up memory, freeze applications, limit data accessibility to applications among others. HiOS comes with features like Launcher, Private Safe, Split Screen and Lockscreen Notification.
- Current HiOS version list
- HiOS 1.x - based on Android "Marshmallow" 6
- HiOS 2.x - based on Android "Nougat" 7
- HiOS 3.x - based on Android "Nougat" 7
- HiOS 4.x - based on Android "Oreo" 8
- HiOS 5.x - based on Android "Pie" 9
- HiOS 6.x - based on Android 10
- HiOS 7.x - based on Android 10
- HiOS 7.6.x - based on Android 11
- HiOS 8.x - based on Android 11
HTC Sense is a software suite developed by HTC, used primarily on the company's Android-based devices. Serving as a successor to HTC's TouchFLO 3D software for Windows Mobile, Sense modifies many aspects of the Android user experience, incorporating added features (such as an altered home screen and keyboard), widgets, HTC-developed applications, and redesigned applications. The first device with Sense, the HTC Hero, was released in 2009.
- HTC Sense 1.x (based on Android "Eclair" 2.0/2.1, initial release)
- HTC Sense 2.x (based on Android "Eclair", "Froyo" and "Gingerbread" 2.0/2.1, 2.2.x and 2.3.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 3.x (based on Android "Gingerbread" 2.3.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 4.x (based on Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" and "Jelly Bean" 4.0.x and 4.1.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 5.x (based on Android "Jelly Bean" 4.1.x – 4.3.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 6.x (based on Android "KitKat" 4.4.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 7.x (based on Android "Lollipop" 5.0.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 8.x (based on Android "Marshmallow" 6.0.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 9.x (based on Android "Nougat" 7.x, redesigned UI)
- HTC Sense 10.x (based on Android "Oreo" 8.x and "Pie" 9.0, redesigned UI)
iQOO UI is a custom user interface that is based on Vivo's Funtouch OS, which itself is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The UI mostly resembles its predecessor, but with a customized UI on top of the Funtouch OS.
- Current iQOO UI version list
- iQOO UI 1.x - Based on Funtouch OS
Indus OS is a custom mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It is developed by the Indus OS team based in India. No longer valid as of 2018, Indus OS is available on Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, and other Indian smartphone brands.
- Current Indus OS version list
- Firstouch OS (based on Android "Lollipop" 5.0)
- Indus OS 2.0 (based on Android "Marshmallow" 6.0)
- Indus OS 3.0 (based on Android "Nougat" 7.0.1)
LG UX (formerly Optimus UI) is a front-end touch interface developed by LG Electronics and partners, featuring a full touch user interface. It is not an operating system. LG UX is used internally by LG for sophisticated feature phones and tablet computers, and is not available for licensing by external parties.
Optimus UI 2, based on Android 4.1.2, has been released on the Optimus K II and the Optimus Neo 3. It features a more refined user interface compared to the prior version based on Android 4.1.1, along with new functionalities such as voice shutter and quick memo.
- Current LG UX version list
- Optimus UI 1.x – based on Android "Gingerbread" 2.3.x, initial release
- Optimus UI 2.x – based on Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" and "Jelly Bean" 4.0.x and 4.1.x – 4.3.x, redesigned UI
- LG UX 3.x – based on Android "KitKat" and "Lollipop" 4.4.x and 5.0.x, redesigned UI
- LG UX 4.x – based on Android "Lollipop" and "Marshmallow" 5.1.x and 6.0.x, redesigned UI
- LG UX 5.x – based on Android "Marshmallow" and "Nougat" 6.0.x and 7.0.x, redesigned UI
- LG UX 6.x – based on Android "Nougat" 7.0.x, redesigned UI
- LG UX 6.x+ – based on Android "Oreo" 8.0.x, redesigned UI
- LG UX 7.x – based on Android "Oreo" 8.x, redesigned UI
- LG UX 7.x+ – based on Android "Oreo" 8.x., redesigned UI
- LG UX 8.x – based on Android "Pie" 9.0, redesigned UI
- LG UX 9.x – based on Android 10 redesigned UI
Lineage Android Distribution is a custom mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It serves as the successor to the highly popular custom ROM, CyanogenMod, from which it was forked in December 2016 when Cyanogen Inc. announced it was discontinuing development and shut down the infrastructure behind the project. Since Cyanogen Inc. retained the rights to the Cyanogen name, the project rebranded its fork as LineageOS.
Similar to CyanogenMod, it does not include any proprietary apps unless the user installs them. It allows Android users who can no longer obtain update support from their manufacturer to continue updating their OS version to the latest one based on official release from Google AOSP and heavy theme customization.
Magic UI is based on Huawei EMUI, which is based on Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The overall user interface looks almost identical to EMUI, even after the separation. While it was based on the open-source Android operating system, it consists of closed-source proprietary software.
Due to sanctions imposed by the US on Huawei, new devices released by both Huawei and Honor are no longer allowed to include Google mobile services. To allow Honor to regain access to Google services, Huawei sold off Honor to become an independent company, thereby allowing them to pre-install Google mobile services on their latest devices.
- Magic UI 1.x - Based on EMUI 8 with Android "Oreo" 8 (Initial released)
- Magic UI 2.x - Based on EMUI 9 with Android "Pie" 9 (Minor UI update)
- Magic UI 3.x - Based on EMUI 10 with Android 10 (Minor UI update)
- Magic UI 4.x - Based on EMUI 11 with Android 10 and Android 11 (Minor UI update)
- Magic UI 5.x - Based on EMUI 11 with Android 10 and Android 11 (Minor UI update)
- Magic UI 6.x - Based on EMUI 12 with Android 12 (Major UI redesigned)
MiFavor was the custom Android UI developed by ZTE for their Android-based smartphone. Similar to most other commercial Android UIs, MiFavor replaces most of the stock Android apps with the company's own apps, though the user experience still closely resembles that of stock Android.
- Current MiFavor version list
- MiFavor 1.x – based on Android "KitKat" 4.4.x, initial release
- MiFavor 2.x – based on Android "Lollipop" 5.0.x – 5.1.x, redesigned UI
- MiFavor 3.x – based on Android "Marshmallow" 6.x, redesigned UI
- MiFavor 4.x – based on Android "Nougat" 7.x, redesigned UI
- MiFavor 5.x – based on Android "Oreo" 8.x, redesigned UI
- MiFavor 9.x – based on Android "Pie" 9.0, redesigned UI
- MiFavor 10.x – based on Android 10, redesigned UI
Mi User Interface (MIUI), developed by the Chinese electronic company Xiaomi, is a mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). MIUI is mostly found in Xiaomi smartphones such as the Mi and Redmi Series. However, it also has official ROM support for a few Android devices. Although MIUI is based on AOSP, which is open-source, it consists of closed-source proprietary software.
MyOS is a custom Android UI developed by ZTE for their flagship smartphones. MyOS is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This is a redesign from their previous custom Android UI, MiFavor.
- Current MyOS version list
- MyOS 11.x - based on Android 11, initial release
- MyOS 12.x - based on Android 12, upcoming update
My UX (formerly called MyUI) is a custom Android UI developed by Motorola for their devices. My UX used to look like the stock Android user experience up until My UX 3.x.
- Current My UX version list
- My UI 1.x - based on Android 10, initial release
- My UX 2.x - based on Android 11
- My UX 3.x - based on Android 12
- Current nubia UI version list
- Nubia UI 6.x - based on Android 8 "Oreo"
- Nubia UI 7.x - based on Android 9 "Pie"
- nubia UI 8.x - based on Android 10
- nubia UI 9.x - based on Android 11
One UI (formerly called TouchWiz and Samsung Experience) is a front-end touch interface developed by Samsung Electronics in 2008 with partners, featuring a full touch user interface. It is not a true operating system, but a user experience. Samsung Experience is used internally by Samsung for smartphones, feature phones and tablet computers, and is not available for licensing by external parties. The Android version of Samsung Experience also came with Samsung-made apps preloaded until the Galaxy S6, which removed all Samsung pre-loaded apps except Samsung Galaxy Store (formerly Galaxy Apps) to save storage space due to the removal of its MicroSD. With the release of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung Experience 8.1 was preinstalled on it with new functions, known as Samsung DeX. Similar to the concept of Microsoft Continuum, Samsung DeX allowed high-end Galaxy devices such as S8/S8+ or Note 8 to connect into a docking station, which extends the device to allow desktop-like functionality by connecting a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Samsung also announced "Linux on Galaxy", which allows users to use the standard Linux distribution on the DeX platform.
- Previous Samsung Android UI version list
- TouchWiz 3.x (based on Android 2.1 "Éclair" and Android 2.2 "Froyo") (Initial release for Android UI)
- TouchWiz 4.x (based on Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" and Android 3.0 "Honeycomb") (Minor UI update)
- TouchWiz Nature UX (based on Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich") (Minor UI update)
- TouchWiz Nature UX 2.x (based on Android 4.2 "Jellybean") (Minor UI update)
- TouchWiz Nature UX 3.x (based on Android 4.4 "KitKat") (Minor UI update)
- TouchWiz Nature UX 4.x (based on Android 5 "Lollipop") (Minor UI update)
- TouchWiz Nature UX 5.x (based on Android 5 "Lollipop") (Major UI update)
- TouchWiz Nature UX 6.x (based on Android 6 "Marshmallow") (Minor UI update)
- TouchWiz Grace UX (based on Android 6 "Marshmallow") (Major UI update)
- Samsung Experience 8.x (based on Android 7 "Nougat") (Initial release migrate from TouchWiz)
- Samsung Experience 9.x (based on Android 8 "Oreo") (Minor update)
- Samsung Experience 10.x (based on Android 9 "Pie) (Minor and Last update before redesign One UI)
- Current One UI version list
- One UI 1.x (based on Android 9 "Pie") (Initial release)
- One UI 2.x (based on Android 10) (Minor UI update)
- One UI 3.x (based on Android 11) (Minor UI update)
- One UI 4.x (based on Android 12) (Minor UI update)
- Current Origin OS version list
- Origin OS 1.0 - based on Android 10 and Android 11 (initial release)
- Origin OS Ocean - based on Android 12
- Origin OS HD - based on Android 12 (currently only used in Vivo Pad)
OxygenOS is based on the open source Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and is developed by OnePlus to replace Cyanogen OS on OnePlus devices such as the OnePlus One. It is preinstalled on the OnePlus 2, OnePlus X, OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, and OnePlus 6. As stated by Oneplus, OxygenOS is focused on stabilizing and maintaining of stock Android functionalities like those found on Nexus devices. It consists of mainly Google apps and minor UI customization to maintain the sleekness of stock Android.
- Current OxygenOS version list
- Oxygen OS 1.0.x (based on Android 5.0.x "Lollipop") (initial release)
- Oxygen OS 2.0.x (based on Android 5.1.x "Lollipop") (overall maintenance update)
- Oxygen OS 3.0.x (based on Android 6.0 "Marshmallow") (major Android update)
- Oxygen OS 3.1.x (based on Android 6.0.1 "Marshmallow") (minor maintenance update)
- Oxygen OS 3.2.x (based on Android 6.0.1 "Marshmallow") (major Android update)
- Oxygen OS 4.x.x (based on Android 7.x "Nougat") (major Android update)
- Oxygen OS 5.x.x (based on Android 8.x "Oreo") (major Android update)
- Oxygen OS 9.x.x (based on Android 9.0 "Pie") (major Android update)
- Oxygen OS 10.x.x (based on Android 10.0 "10") (major Android update)
- Oxygen OS 11.x.x (based on Android 11.0 "11") (major Android update)
- Oxygen OS 12.x.x (based on Android 12.0 "12") (major Android update)
Pixel UI (Pixel Launcher)Edit
Google Pixel UI or Pixel Launcher is developed by Google and based on the open-source Android system. Unlike Nexus phones, where Google shipped with stock Android, the UI that came with first-generation Pixel phones was slightly modified. As part of the Google Pixel software, the Pixel UI and its home launcher are closed-source and proprietary, so it is only available on Pixel family devices. However, third-party mods allow non-Pixel smartphones to install Pixel Launcher with Google Now feed integration.
- Current Google Pixel Launcher version list
- Pixel Launcher – "7.1.1" (based on Android 7.x "Nougat") (Initial release)
- Pixel Launcher – "8.1.0" (based on Android 8.x "Oreo") (Minor UI update)
- Pixel Launcher – "9.0" (based on Android 9.0 "Pie") (Minor UI update)
- Pixel Launcher – "10.0" (based on Android 10.0 "10") (Moderate UI update that support themes)
- Pixel Launcher – "11.0" (based on Android 11.0 "11") (Minor UI update)
- Pixel Launcher – "12.0" (based on Android 12.0 "12") (Major UI update)
realme UI is a mobile operating system developed by Realme which is based on OPPO ColorOS, which itself is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The UI mostly resemble its predecessor, but with a custom UI on top of ColorOS to match Realme's target audience.
- Current realme UI version list
- realme UI 1.0 - Based on ColorOS 7.0 - Android 10 - Initial Release
- realme UI 2.0 - Based on ColorOS 11.0 - Android 11
- realme UI 3.0 - Based on ColorOS 12.0 - Android 12
- Current TCL UI version list
- TCL UI 1.x - Based on Android 9 "Pie" and Android 10 - Initial Release
- TCL UI 2.x - Based on Android 10 - Minor UI upgrade
- TCL UI 3.x - Based on Android 11 - Minor UI upgrade
- TCL UI 4.x - Based on Android 12 - Minor UI upgrade
- Current VOS version list:
- VOS 1.x - based on Android "Nougat" 7.1, "Oreo" 8
- VOS 2.x - based on Android "Pie" 9
- VOS 3.x - based on Android 10
- VOS 4.x - based on Android 11
XOS (formerly known as XUI) is an Android-based operating system developed by Hong Kong mobile phone manufacturer Infinix Mobile, a subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, exclusively for their smartphones. XOS allows for a wide range of user customization without requiring rooting the mobile device. The operating system comes with utility applications that allow users to protect their privacy, improve speed, enhance their experience, etc. XOS comes with features like XTheme, Scan to Recharge, Split Screen and XManager.
- Current XOS version list:
- XUI 1.x - based on Android "Lollipop" 5, initial release
- XOS 2.x - based on Android "Marshmallow" 6 and "Nougat" 7
- XOS 3.x - based on Android "Nougat" 7 and "Oreo" 8
- XOS 4.x - based on Android "Oreo" 8
- XOS 5.x - based on Android "Pie" 9
- XOS 6.x - based on Android 10
- XOS 7.x - based on Android 10
- XOS 7.6.x - based on Android 11
- XOS 10.x - based on Android 11, redesigned UI, latest update
Sony Xperia UI (formerly known as Sony Ericsson Timescape UI) was the front-end UI developed by Sony Mobile (formerly Sony Ericsson) in 2010 for their Android-based Sony Xperia series. Sony Xperia UI mostly consisted of Sony's own applications such as Sony Music (formerly known as Walkman Music player), Albums and Video Player. During its time as Timescape UI, the UI differed from the standard Android UI—instead of traditional apps dock on the bottom part, they were located at the four corners of the home screen, while the middle of the screen consisted of the widget. However, recent UI developments more closely resemble those of stock Android.
- Current Xperia UI version list:
- Timescape version 1 – based on Android "Eclair" 2.0/2.1, initial release
- Timescape version 2 – based on Android "Gingerbread" 2.3.x, redesigned UI
- Xperia UI version 3 – based on Android "Gingerbread" and "Ice Cream Sandwich" 2.3.x and 4.0.x, redesigned UI
- Xperia UI version 4 – based on Android "Jelly Bean" 4.2.x – 4.3.x, redesigned UI
- Xperia UI version 5 – based on Android "KitKat" 4.4.x, redesigned UI
- Xperia UI version 6 – based on Android "Lollipop" 5.0.x – 5.1.x, redesigned UI
- Xperia UI version 7 – based on Android "Marshmallow" 6.0.x, redesigned UI
- Xperia UI version 8 – based on Android "Nougat" 7.x, redesigned UI
- Xperia UI version 9 – based on Android "Oreo" 8.x, redesigned UI
ZenUI is a front-end touch interface developed by ASUS with partners, featuring a full touch user interface. ZenUI is used by ASUS for its Android phones and tablet computers, and is not available for licensing by external parties. ZenUI also comes preloaded with ASUS-made apps like ZenLink (PC Link, Share Link, Party Link & Remote Link).
- Current ZenUI version list:
- ZenUI 1.0 – based on Android "Jelly Bean" and "KitKat" 4.3.x and 4.4.x, initial release
- ZenUI 2.0 – based on Android "Lollipop" 5.0.x – 5.1.x, redesigned UI
- ZenUI 3.0 – based on Android "Marshmallow" 6.0.x, redesigned UI
- ZenUI 4.0 – based on Android "Nougat" 7.x, redesigned UI
- ZenUI 5.0 – based on Android "Oreo" 8.x, redesigned UI
- ZenUI 6.0 – based on Android "Pie" 9.0, redesigned UI
- ZenUI 7.0 – based on Android 10, redesigned UI
- ZenUI 8.0 – based on Android 11, redesigned UI
ZUI is a custom operating system originally developed by Lenovo subsidiary ZUK Mobile for their smartphones. However, after the shutting down of ZUK Mobile, Lenovo took over as the main developer of ZUI. The operating system is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
- Current ZUI version list:
- ZUI 1.x - Initial Release
- ZUI 2.x
- ZUI 3.x
- ZUI 4.x
- ZUI 4.x
- ZUI 10.x (Based on Android 9 "Pie")
- ZUI 11.x (Based on Android 9 "Pie" and Android 10)
- ZUI 12.x (Based on Android 11)
- ZUI 13.x (Based on Android 11)
Wear OS (also known simply as Wear and formerly Android Wear) is a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables. By pairing with mobile phones running Android version 6.0 or newer, or iOS version 10.0 or newer with limited support from Google's pairing application, Wear OS integrates Google Assistant technology and mobile notifications into a smartwatch form factor.
In May 2021 at Google I/O, Google announced a major update to the platform, internally known as Wear OS 3.0. It incorporates a new visual design inspired by Android 12, and Fitbit exercise tracking features. Google also announced a partnership with Samsung Electronics, who is collaborating with Google to unify its Tizen-based smartwatch platform with Wear OS, and has committed to using Wear OS on its future smartwatch products. The underlying codebase was also upgraded to Android 11. Wear OS 3.0 will be available to Wear OS devices running Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 system on chip, and will be an opt-in upgrade requiring a factory reset to install.
- Current Wear OS version list:
- Android Wear 4.4w (Based on Android 4.4 "KitKat") - (Initially release)
- Android Wear 1.0 - 1.3 (Based on Android 5.0 "Lollipop) - (Minor update)
- Android Wear 1.4 (Based on Android 6.0 "Marshmallow) - (Minor update)
- Android Wear 2.0 - 2.6 (7.1.1W2) (Based on Android 7.1 "Nougat") - (Minor update)
- Android Wear 2.6 (7.1.1W3, 8.0.0 W1) - 2.9 (7.1.1W6, 8.0.0W4) (Baded on Android 8.0 "Oreo") - (Minor update)
- Wear OS 1.0 (Based on Android 8.0 "Oreo") - (Renamed and Minor update)
- Wear OS 2.0 (Based on Android 8.0 "Oreo") - (Minor update)
- Wear OS 2.2 (Based on Android 9.0 "Pie") - (Minor update)
- Wear OS 3.0 (Based on Android 11) - (Major UI and system update)
One UI WatchEdit
One UI Watch is the user interface Samsung developed for their Wear OS based smartwatch, officially announced after both Google and Samsung confirmed they would unify their respective wearable operating systems (Google Wear OS 2.0 and Samsung Tizen) into Wear OS 3.0.
- Current One UI Watch version list:
- One UI Watch 3.0 (Based on Wear OS 3.0 - Android 11)(Initially release)
Chrome OS is an operating system designed by Google that is based on the Linux kernel and uses the Google Chrome web browser as its principal user interface. As a result, Chrome OS primarily supports web applications. Google announced the project in July 2009, conceiving it as an operating system in which both applications and user data reside in the cloud: hence Chrome OS primarily runs web applications.
Due to increase of popularity with 2-in-1 PCs, most recent Chromebooks are introduced with touch screen capability, with Android applications starting to become available for the operating system in 2014. And in 2016, access to Android apps in the entire Google Play Store was introduced on supported Chrome OS devices. With the support of Android applications, there are Chromebook devices that are positioned as tablet based instead of notebooks.
Chrome OS is only available pre-installed on hardware from Google manufacturing partners. An open source equivalent, Chromium OS, can be compiled from downloaded source code. Early on, Google provided design goals for Chrome OS, but has not otherwise released a technical description.
This article or section may need to be formatted. (March 2020)
Sailfish OS is from Jolla. It is open source with GNU General Public License (GPL) for middleware stack core which comes from MER. Sailfish due to Jolla's business model and due to alliances with various partners and due to intentional design of OS internals, is capable to adopt in several layers third-party software including Jolla software e.g. Jolla's UI is proprietary software (closed source), so such components can be proprietary with many kinds of licences. However, user can replace them with open source components like e.g. NEMO UI instead Jolla's UI.
After Nokia abandoned in 2011 the MeeGo project, most of the MeeGo team left Nokia, and established Jolla as a company to use MeeGo and Mer business opportunities. The MER standard allows it to be launched on any hardware with kernel compatible with MER. In 2012, Linux Sailfish OS based on MeeGo and using middleware of MER core stack distribution was launched for public use. The first device, the Jolla smartphone, was unveiled on May 20, 2013. In 2015, Jolla Tablet was launched and the BRICS countries declared it an officially supported OS there. Jolla started licensing Sailfish OS 2.0 for third parties. Some devices sold are updateable to Sailfish 2.0 with no limits.
Each Sailfish OS version release is named after a Finnish lake:
|22.214.171.124||17||Eineheminlampi||Pretransition to version 2.0; major UI revamp.|
|126.96.36.199||18||Saimaa||Full transition to version 2.0; minor UI and function improvements.|
|188.8.131.52||27||4 October 2017||Kymijoki||Cbeta release. Xperia X only.|
|184.108.40.206||6 October 2017||Cbeta release. Xperia X only.|
|220.127.116.11||11 October 2017||Public release of Sailfish X. Xperia X only.|
|18.104.22.168||31 October 2017||Early access release.|
|22.214.171.124||13 November 2017||Public release.|
|126.96.36.199||28||20 February 2018||Lapuanjoki||Early access release.|
|188.8.131.52||28 February 2018||Early access release.|
|184.108.40.206||6 March 2018||Public release.|
|220.127.116.11||29||31 March 2018||Mouhijoki||Early access release.|
|18.104.22.168||7 June 2018||Public release.|
|22.214.171.124||30||4 September 2018||Nurmonjoki||Early access release.|
|126.96.36.199||12 September 2018||Public release.|
|188.8.131.52||31||31 October 2018||Lemmenjoki||Early access release. Introduction of the Sailfish OS 3.0 GUI. Includes changes from planned 2.2.2 release.|
|184.108.40.206||11 November 2018||Public release.|
|220.127.116.11||32||7 January 2019||Sipoonkorpi||Early access release.|
|18.104.22.168||16 January 2019||Public release.|
|22.214.171.124||31 January 2019||Beta release. Xperia XA2 (Ultra/Plus) only.|
|126.96.36.199||33||18 March 2019||Oulanka||Early access release.|
|188.8.131.52||25 March 2019||Public release.|
|184.108.40.206||34||24 April 2019||Hossa||Early access release.|
|220.127.116.11||7 May 2019||Public release.|
|18.104.22.168||29 May 2019||Public release.|
|22.214.171.124||35||18 July 2019||Seitseminen||Early access release.|
Tizen (based on the Linux kernel) is a mobile operating system hosted by Linux Foundation, together with support from the Tizen Association, guided by a Technical Steering Group composed of Intel and Samsung.
Tizen is an operating system for devices including smartphones, tablets, In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) devices, however currently it mainly focus on wearable and smart TVs. It is an open source system (however the SDK was closed-source and proprietary) that aims to offer a consistent user experience across devices. Tizen's main components are the Linux kernel and the WebKit runtime. According to Intel, Tizen "combines the best of LiMo and MeeGo." HTML5 apps are emphasized, with MeeGo encouraging its members to transition to Tizen, stating that the "future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5." Tizen will be targeted at a variety of platforms such as handsets, touch pc, smart TVs and in-vehicle entertainment. On May 17, 2013, Tizen released version 2.1, code-named Nectarine.
While Tizen itself was open source, most of the UX and UI layer that developed by Samsung was mainly closed-source and proprietary, such as the TouchWiz UI on the Samsung Z's series smartphone and One UI for their Galaxy Watch wearable lines.
KaiOS is from Kai. It is based on Firefox OS/Boot to Gecko. Unlike most mobile operating systems which focus on smartphones, KaiOS was developed mainly for feature phones, giving these access to more advanced technologies usually found on smartphones, such as app stores and Wi-Fi/4G capabilities.
It is a mix of closed-source and open-source components. FirefoxOS/B2G was released under the permissive MPL 2.0. It does not redistribute itself under the same license, so KaiOS is now presumably proprietary (but still mostly open-source, publishing its source code). KaiOS is not entirely proprietary, as it uses the copyleft GPL Linux kernel also used in Android.
Fully open-source, entirely permissive licensesEdit
Fuchsia is a capability-based, real-time operating system (RTOS) currently being developed by Google. It was first discovered as a mysterious code post on GitHub in August 2016, without any official announcement. In contrast to prior Google-developed operating systems such as Chrome OS and Android, which are based on Linux kernels, Fuchsia is based on a new microkernel called "Zircon", derived from "Little Kernel", a small operating system intended for embedded systems. This allows it to remove Linux and the copyleft GPL under which the Linux kernel is licensed; Fuchsia is licensed under the permissive BSD 3-clause, Apache 2.0, and MIT licenses. Upon inspection, media outlets noted that the code post on GitHub suggested Fuchsia's capability to run on universal devices, from embedded systems to smartphones, tablets and personal computers. In May 2017, Fuchsia was updated with a user interface, along with a developer writing that the project was not a for experimental, prompting media speculation about Google's intentions with the operating system, including the possibility of it replacing Android.
LiteOS is a lightweight open source real-time operating system which is part of Huawei's "1+2+1" Internet of Things solution, which is similar to Google Android Things and Samsung Tizen. It is released under the permissive BSD 3-clause license. Huawei LiteOS features lightweight, low-power, fast-response, multi-sensor collaboration, multi-protocol interconnect connectivity, enabling IoT terminals to quickly access the network. Huawei LiteOS will make intelligent hardware development easier. Thereby accelerating the realization of the interconnection of all things.[peacock prose] Currently LiteOS are introduce to the consumer market with the Huawei Watch GT series and their sub-brand Honor Magic Watch series.
OpenHarmony is an open-source version of HarmonyOS developed and donated by Huawei to the OpenAtom Foundation. It supports devices running a mini system with memory as small as 128 KB, or running a standard system with memory greater than 128 MB. The open source HarmonyOS is based on the Huawei LiteOS kernel. OpenHarmony LiteOS Cortex-A brings small-sized, low-power, and high-performance experience and builds a unified and open ecosystem for developers. In addition, it provides rich kernel mechanisms, more comprehensive Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), and a unified driver framework, Hardware Driver Foundation (HDF), which offers unified access for device developers and friendly development experience for application developers.
Fully open-source, mixed copyleft and permissive licensesEdit
PureOS is a Debian GNU/Linux derivative using only free software meeting the Debian Free Software Guidelines, mainly the copyleft GPL. PureOS is endorsed by Free Software Foundation as one of the freedom-respecting operating systems. It is developed by Purism, and was already in use on Purism's laptops before it was used on the Librem 5 smartphone. Purism, in partnership with GNOME and KDE, aims to separate the CPU from the baseband processor and include hardware kill switches for the phone's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, microphone, and baseband processor, and provide both GNOME and KDE Plasma Mobile as options for the desktop environment.
Ubuntu Touch is an open-source (GPL) mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system originally developed in 2013 by Canonical Ltd. and continued by the non-profit UBports Foundation in 2017. Ubuntu Touch can run on a pure GNU/Linux base on phones with the required drivers, such as the Librem 5 and the PinePhone. To enable hardware that was originally shipped with Android, Ubuntu Touch makes use of the Android Linux kernel, using Android drivers and services via an LXC container, but does not use any of the Java-like code of Android. As of February 2022, Ubuntu Touch is available on 78 phones and tablets. The UBports Installer serves as an easy-to-use tool to allow inexperienced users to install the operating system on third-party devices without damaging their hardware.
Plasma Mobile is a Plasma variant for smartphones. Plasma Mobile runs on Wayland and it is compatible with Ubuntu Touch applications, PureOS applications, and eventually Android applications via KDE's Shashlik project – also sponsored by Blue Systems, or Anbox. It is under the copyleft GPLv2 license.
LuneOS is a modern reimplementation of the Palm/HP webOS interface.
iOS (formerly named iPhone OS) was created by Apple Inc. It has the second largest installed base worldwide on smartphones, but the largest profits, due to aggressive price competition between Android-based manufacturers. It is closed-source and proprietary, and is built on the open source Darwin operating system. The iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and second and third-generation Apple TV all use iOS, which is derived from macOS.
Native third-party applications were not officially supported until the release of iPhone OS 2.0 on July 11, 2008. Before this, "jailbreaking" allowed third-party applications to be installed. In recent years, the jailbreaking scene has changed drastically due to Apple's continued efforts to secure their operating system and prevent unauthorized modifications. Currently, jailbreaks of recent iterations of iOS are only semi-untethered, which requires a device to be re-jailbroken at every boot, and exploits for jailbreaks are becoming increasingly hard to find and use.
Currently all iOS devices are developed by Apple and manufactured by Foxconn or another of Apple's partners.
iPadOS is a tablet operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. specifically for their iPad line of tablet computers. It was announced at the company's 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), as a derivation from iOS but with a greater emphasis put on multitasking. It was released on September 24, 2019.
watchOS is the operating system of the Apple Watch, developed by Apple Inc. It is based on the iOS operating system and has many similar features. It was released on April 24, 2015, along with the Apple Watch, the only device that runs watchOS. It is currently the most widely used wearable operating system. Its features focus on convenience, such as being able to place phone calls and send texts, and health, such as fitness and heart rate tracking.
The most current version of the watchOS operating system is watchOS 8.
Kindle firmware is mobile operating system specifically design for Amazon Amazon Kindle e-readers, it is based on custom Linux kernel however it is entirely closed-source and proprietary, and only runs on Amazon Kindle line up manufactured under Amazon brand.
HarmonyOS is a distributed operating system developed by Huawei that was specifically designed for smartphones, tablets, TVs, smartwatches, smart devices of Huawei brand and its ecosystem. It is based on a proprietary multi-kernel and Linux kernel subsystem. Released officially for smartphones on June 2, 2021, from its initial launch on August 9, 2019, for smart screen TVs.
Windows 10 (not to be confused with Windows 10 Mobile—see below) is a personal computer operating system developed and released by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released on July 29, 2015, and many editions and versions have been released since then. Just like its predecessors, it was designed to run across multiple Microsoft product such as PCs and Tablets. The Windows user interface was revised to handle transitions between a mouse-oriented interface and a touchscreen-optimized interface based on available input devices—particularly on 2-in-1 PCs.
Windows 10 also introduces the universal apps, expanding on Metro-style apps, these apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code—including PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub and Mixed Reality.
Windows 11 is a major version of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft that was announced on June 24, 2021, and is the successor to Windows 10, which was released n 2015. Windows 11 was released on October 5, 2021, as a free upgrade via Windows Update for eligible devices running Windows 10.
Microsoft promoted that Windows 11 would have improved performance and ease of use over Windows 10; it features major changes to the Windows shell influenced by the canceled Windows 10X, including a redesigned Start menu, the replacement of its "live tiles" with a separate "Widgets" panel on the taskbar, the ability to create tiled sets of windows that can be minimized and restored from the taskbar as a group, and new gaming technologies inherited from Xbox Series X and Series S such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage on compatible hardware. Internet Explorer is fully replaced by the Blink layout engine-based Microsoft Edge, while Microsoft Teams is integrated into the Windows shell. Microsoft also announced plans to offer support for Android apps to run on Windows 11, with support for Amazon Appstore and manually-installed packages.
Similar to Windows 10, it was designed to run across multiple Microsoft product such as PCs and Tablets. The Windows user interface was further revised to combine the UI element of both mouse-oriented interface and a touchscreen-optimized interface based into a hybrid UI that combined touch and traditional desktop UI.
Minor proprietary operating systemsEdit
Other than the major mobile operating systems from the major tech companies, some companies such as Huami (Amazfit), Huawei, realme, TCL, and Xiaomi have developed their own proprietary RTOSes specifically for their own smartbands and smartwatches that are designed to be power efficient and low battery consumption and are not based on Android or Linux Kernel.
- Proprietary Amazfit OS
Operating System that is primarily designed for their Bip series, however, Huami is currently developing the operating system to run on other company smartwatches as well. (Not to be confused with the Android-based Amazfit OS as both of them sharing the name yet both are based on different operating system, for their Android-based Amazfit OS, kindly refer to the Android section)
- Huawei/Honor Band Operating System
Huawei Band Operating system is an operating system specifically designed and developed by Huawei for their fitness tracker, including smartband series from Honor. (Not to be confused with another RTOS (LiteOS) which was also developed by Huawei.)
- Lenovo RTOS
Proprietary OS develop by Lenovo for their fitness tracker and smartwatch.
- realme Wearable Operating System
A proprietary operating system design to run on realme smartband and smartwatch.
- TCL Wearable Real Time Operating System
A proprietary RTOS powering TCL and Alcatel brand smartband and smartwatch.
- Xiaomi Mi Band Operating System
Proprietary RTOS that is develop by Huami for Xiaomi Mi Band series. (Not to be confused with Xiaomi MIUI for smartwatch which is based on Wear OS)
Discontinued software platformsEdit
CyanogenMod was a custom mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It was a custom ROM that was co-developed by the CyanogenMod community. The OS did not include any proprietary apps unless the user installed them. Due to its open source nature, CyanogenMod allowed Android users who could no longer obtain update support from their manufacturer to continue updating their OS version to the latest one based on official releases from Google AOSP and heavy theme customization. The last version of the OS was CyanogenMod 13 which was based on Android Asus
On December 24, 2016, CyanogenMod announced on their blog that they would no longer be releasing any CyanogenMod updates. All development moved to LineageOS.
Cyanogen OS was based on CyanogenMod and maintained by Cyanogen Inc; however, it included proprietary apps and it was only available for commercial uses.
Firefox OS (formerly known as "Boot to Gecko" and shortly "B2G") is from Mozilla. It was an open source mobile operating system released under the Mozilla Public License built on the Android Linux kernel and used Android drivers, but did not use any Java-like code of Android.
According to Ars Technica, "Mozilla says that B2G is motivated by a desire to demonstrate that the standards-based open Web has the potential to be a competitive alternative to the existing single-vendor application development stacks offered by the dominant mobile operating systems." In September 2016, Mozilla announced that work on Firefox OS has ceased, and all B2G-related code would be removed from mozilla-central.
MeeGo was from non-profit organization The Linux Foundation. It is open source and GPL. At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia and Intel both unveiled MeeGo, a mobile operating system that combined Moblin and Maemo to create an open-sourced experience for users across all devices. In 2011 Nokia announced that it would no longer pursue MeeGo in favor of Windows Phone. Nokia announced the Nokia N9 on June 21, 2011, at the Nokia Connection event in Singapore. LG announced its support for the platform. Maemo was a platform developed by Nokia for smartphones and Internet tablets. It is open source and GPL, based on Debian GNU/Linux and draws much of its graphical user interface (GUI), frameworks, and libraries from the GNOME project. It uses the Matchbox window manager and the GTK-based Hildon as its GUI and application framework.
webOS was developed by Palm. webOS is an open source mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel, initially developed by Palm, which launched with the Palm Pre. After being acquired by HP, two phones (the Veer and the Pre 3) and a tablet (the TouchPad) running webOS were introduced in 2011. On August 18, 2011, HP announced that webOS hardware would be discontinued, but would continue to support and update webOS software and develop the webOS ecosystem. HP released webOS as open source under the name Open webOS, and plans to update it with additional features. On February 25, 2013, HP announced the sale of webOS to LG Electronics, who used the operating system for its "smart" or Internet-connected TVs. However, HP retained patents underlying WebOS and cloud-based services such as the App Catalog.
In 1999, Research In Motion released its first BlackBerry devices, providing secure real-time push-email communications on wireless devices. Services such as BlackBerry Messenger provide the integration of all communications into a single inbox. In September 2012, RIM announced that the 200 millionth BlackBerry smartphone was shipped. As of September 2014, there were around 46 million active BlackBerry service subscribers. In the early 2010s, RIM has undergone a platform transition, changing its company name to BlackBerry Limited and making new devices on a new platform named "BlackBerry 10".
One of the dominant platforms in the world in the late 2000s, its global market share was reduced significantly by the mid-2010s. In late 2016, BlackBerry announced that it will continue to support the OS, with a promise to release 10.3.3. Therefore, BlackBerry 10 would not receive any major updates as BlackBerry and its partners would focus more on their Android base development.
Symbian platform was developed by Nokia for some models of smartphones. It is proprietary software, it was however used by Ericsson (SonyEricsson), Sending and Benq. The operating system was discontinued in 2012, although a slimmed-down version for basic phones was still developed until July 2014. Microsoft officially shelved the platform in favor of Windows Phone after its acquisition of Nokia.
Bada platform (stylized as bada; Korean: 바다) was an operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It was developed by Samsung Electronics. Its name is derived from "바다 (bada)", meaning "ocean" or "sea" in Korean. It ranges from mid- to high-end smartphones. To foster adoption of Bada OS, since 2011 Samsung reportedly has considered releasing the source code under an open-source license, and expanding device support to include Smart TVs. Samsung announced in June 2012 intentions to merge Bada into the Tizen project, but would meanwhile use its own Bada operating system, in parallel with Google Android OS and Microsoft Windows Phone, for its smartphones. All Bada-powered devices are branded under the Wave name, but not all of Samsung's Android-powered devices are branded under the name Galaxy. On February 25, 2013, Samsung announced that it will stop developing Bada, moving development to Tizen instead. Bug reporting was finally terminated in April 2014.
Palm OS/Garnet OS was from Access Co. It is closed-source and proprietary. webOS was introduced by Palm in January 2009, as the successor to Palm OS with Web 2.0 technologies, open architecture and multitasking abilities.
Windows Mobile is a family of proprietary operating systems from Microsoft aimed at business and enterprise users, based on Windows CE and originally developed for Pocket PC (PDA) devices. In 2010 it was replaced with the consumer-focused Windows Phone.
Versions of Windows Mobile came in multiple editions, like "Pocket PC Premium", "Pocket PC Professional", "Pocket PC Phone", and "Smartphone" (Windows Mobile 2003) or "Professional", "Standard", and "Classic" (Windows Mobile 6.0). Some editions were touchscreen-only and some were keyboard-only, although there were cases where device vendors managed to graft support for one onto an edition targeted at the other. Cellular phone features were also only supported by some editions. Microsoft started work on a version of Windows Mobile that would combine all features together, but it was aborted, and instead they focused on developing the non-backward-compatible, touchscreen-only Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by Microsoft for smartphones as the replacement successor to Windows Mobile and Zune. Windows Phone features a new touchscreen-oriented user interface derived from Metro design language. Windows Phone was replaced by Windows 10 Mobile in 2015.
Windows 10 MobileEdit
Unveiled on February 15, 2010, Windows Phone includes a user interface inspired by Microsoft's Metro Design Language. It is integrated with Microsoft services such as OneDrive and Office, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Xbox Live games, and Bing, but also integrates with many other non-Microsoft services such as Facebook and Google accounts. Windows Phone devices were made primarily by Microsoft Mobile/Nokia, and also by HTC and Samsung.
On January 21, 2015, Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone brand will be phased out and replaced with Windows 10 Mobile, bringing tighter integration and unification with its PC counterpart Windows 10, and provide a platform for smartphones and tablets with screen sizes under 8 inches.
On October 8, 2017, Microsoft officially announced that they would no longer push any major updates to Windows 10 Mobile, instead it would put it in maintenance mode, where Microsoft would push bug fixes and general improvements only, therefore Windows 10 Mobile would not receive any new feature updates.
On January 18, 2019, Microsoft announced that support for Windows 10 Mobile would end on December 10, 2019, with no further security updates released after then, and that Windows 10 Mobile users should migrate to iOS or Android phones.
Current Windows 10 Mobile version list:
- Windows 10 Mobile – Version 1511 (November Update "Threshold") – major UI update
- Windows 10 Mobile – Version 1607 (Anniversary Update "Redstone 1")
- Windows 10 Mobile – Version 1703 (Creators Update "Redstone 2")
- Windows 10 Mobile – Version 1709 (Fall Creators Update)
This section needs to be updated.(August 2018)
In 2006, Android and iOS did not exist and only 64 million smartphones were sold. In 2018 Q1, 383.5 million smartphones were sold and global market share was 85.9% for Android and 14.1% for iOS. Other OS smartphones were 0,131 million, counting the 0.03% of the total.
According to StatCounter web use statistics (a proxy for all use), smartphones (alone without tablets) have majority use globally, with desktop computers used much less (and Android, in particular, more popular than Windows). Use varies however by continent with smartphones way more popular in the biggest continents, i.e. Asia, and the desktop still more popular in some, though not in North America.
The desktop is still popular in many countries (while overall down to 44.9% in the first quarter of 2017), smartphones are more popular even in many developed countries (or about to be in more). A few countries on any continent are desktop-minority; European countries (and some in South America, and a few, e.g. Haiti, in North America; and most in Asia and Africa) are smartphone-majority, Poland and Turkey highest with 57.68% and 62.33%, respectively. In Ireland, smartphone use at 45.55% outnumbers desktop use and mobile as a whole gains majority when including the tablet share at 9.12%. Spain is also slightly desktop-minority.
The range of measured mobile web use varies a lot by country, and a StatCounter press release recognizes "India amongst world leaders in use of mobile to surf the internet" (of the big countries) where the share is around (or over) 80% and desktop is at 19.56%, with Russia trailing with 17.8% mobile use (and desktop the rest).
Smartphones (alone, without tablets), first gained majority in December 2016 (desktop-majority was lost the month before), and it wasn't a Christmas-time fluke, as while close to majority after smartphone majority happened again in March 2017.
In the week from November 7–13, 2016, smartphones alone (without tablets) overtook desktop, for the first time (for a short period; non-full-month). Mobile-majority applies to countries such as Paraguay in South America, Poland in Europe and Turkey; and most of Asia and Africa. Some of the world is still desktop-majority, with e.g. in the United States at 54.89% (but no not on all days). However, in some territories of the United States, such as Puerto Rico, desktop is way under majority, with Windows under 30% overtaken by Android.
On October 22, 2016 (and subsequent weekends), mobile showed majority. Since October 27, the desktop hasn't shown majority, not even on weekdays. And smartphones alone have showed majority since December 23 to the end of the year, with the share topping at 58.22% on Christmas Day. To the "mobile"-majority share then of smartphones, tablets could be added giving a 63.22% majority. While an unusually high top, a similarly high also happened on Monday April 17, 2017, with then only smartphones share slightly lower and tablet share slightly higher, with them combined at 62.88%.
According to a StatCounter November 1, 2016 press release[update], the world has turned desktop-minority; at about 49% desktop use for the previous month, but mobile wasn't ranked higher, tablet share had to be added to it to exceed desktop share. By now, mobile (smartphones) have full majority, outnumbering desktop/laptop computers by a safe margin (and no longer counting tablets with desktops makes them most popular).
By operating systemEdit
- Windows includes all versions.
- BlackBerry includes all versions.
- Other includes all other smartphone OSes but not feature phone OSes.
This section needs to be updated.(August 2018)
|Quarter||Android||iOS||KaiOS||Windows||BlackBerry||Symbian||Other||Total smartphones||Total phones|
This section needs to be updated.(August 2018)
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