When you purchase a mobile device, the manufacturer will have chosen the operating system for that specific device.
Often, you may want to learn about the mobile operating system before you purchase a device to ensure compatibility and support for the mobile applications you want to use.
Popular Mobile Operating Systems
1. Symbian OS (Nokia)
Symbian is a mobile operating system (OS) targeted at mobile phones that offers a high-level of integration with communication and personal information management (PIM) functionality.
Symbian OS combines middleware with wireless communications through an integrated mailbox and the integration of Java and PIM functionality (agenda and contacts).
Nokia has made the Symbian platform available under an alternative, open and direct model, to work with some OEMs and the small community of platform development collaborators. Nokia does not maintain Symbian as an open source development project.
2. Windows Mobile (Windows Phone)
Windows Mobile is Microsoft’s mobile operating system used in smartphones and mobile devices, with or without touchscreens.
The Mobile OS is based on the Windows CE 5.2 kernel.
In 2010 Microsoft announced a new smartphone platform called Windows Phone 7.
3. Android OS (Google Inc.)
The Android mobile operating system is Google’s open and free software stack that includes an operating system,
middleware and also key applications for use on mobile devices, including smartphones.
Updates for the open source Android mobile operating system have been developed under ‘dessert-inspired’ version names (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream, Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo (new release) with each new version arriving in alphabetical order with new enhancements and improvements.
4. Bada (Samsung Electronics)
Bada is a proprietary Samsung mobile OS that was first launched in 2010.
The Samsung Wave was the first smartphone to use this mobile OS.
Bada provides mobile features such as multipoint-touch, 3D graphics and of course, application downloads and installation.
5. BlackBerry OS (Research In Motion)
The BlackBerry OS is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by Research In Motion for use on the company’s popular BlackBerry handheld devices.
The BlackBerry platform is popular with corporate users as it offers synchronization with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWise email and other business software, when used with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
6. iPhone OS / iOS (Apple)
Apple’s iPhone OS was originally developed for use on its iPhone devices.
Now, the mobile operating system is referred to as iOS and is supported on a number of Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, iPad 2 and iPod Touch.
The iOS mobile operating system is available only on Apple’s own manufactured devices as the company does not license the OS for third-party hardware.
Apple iOS is derived from Apple’s Mac OS X operating system.
7. Palm OS (Garnet OS)
Palm OS was developed by Palm Inc in 1996 especially for PDAs (Personal Digital Assistance).
Palm OS was designed to work on touchscreen GUI. Some Years later it was upgraded and was able to support smartphones.
Unfortunately, it could not make a mark on the market and currently is not being used in any of the latest top devices.
8. Open WebOS (Palm/HP)
Open WebOS also known as Hp WebOS or just WebOS which was developed by Palm Inc but after some years it became the property of Hewlett-Packard.
WebOS was launched in 2009 and was used in a number of smartphones and tablets.
9. MeeGo OS (Nokia and Intel)
A joint open source mobile operating system which is the result of merging two products based on open source technologies: Maemo (Nokia) and Moblin (Intel).
MeeGo is a mobile OS designed to work on a number of devices including smartphones, netbooks, tablets, in-vehicle information systems and various devices using Intel Atom and ARMv7 architectures.