A mobile operating system is an operating system for smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, smartglasses, or other non-laptop personal mobile computing devices. While computers such as typical/mobile 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, 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 and the hybridization of the two in 2-in-1 PCs.
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 123 million smartphones were sold (highest ever recorded) with 60.2 percent running Android and 20.9 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 53.32 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. Android and iOS currently dominate 80% of the market share of mobile operating systems worldwide.
See also: History of tablet computers
Mobile operating system milestones mirror the development of mobile phones, PDAs, and smartphones:
These operating systems often run atop baseband or other real-time operating systems that handle hardware aspects of the phone.
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 13, released on August 15, 2022.
Main article: Android One
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.
Main article: BharOS
BharOS is a mobile operating system in India. It is an Indian government-funded project to develop a free and open-source operating system (OS) for use in government and public systems. The Indian Express said it appears to be a forked version of Android. Since "BharOS can run most apps" it is presumably based on the Android Open Source Project.
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.
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."
Main article: ColorOS
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.
CopperheadOS is a security-hardened version of Android.
DivestOS is a soft fork of LineageOS. Includes Monthly Updates, FOSS Focus, Deblobbing, Security and Privacy focus, and F-Droid
Main article: EMUI
Huawei EMUI is the 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. Since the US sanctions, it is currently a fork of Android similar to FireOS instead of a compatible one.
In mainland China, and internationally since 2020 due to U.S. sanctions, EMUI devices utilize Huawei Mobile Services such as Huawei AppGallery instead of Google Mobile Services. Aside from based on Android, Huawei also bundle the HarmonyOS microkernel in the latest EMUI update inside Android which handle other process including security authentication such as the fingerprint authentication. 
Main article: /e/ (operating system)
/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.
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.
FuntouchOS is a custom user interface developed by Vivo that is based on the Android Open Source Project. FuntouchOS 10.5 had a redesigned UI that resembled stock Androids.
Main article: GrapheneOS
GrapheneOS is a variant of Android for Pixel hardware.
Main article: HiOS
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.
Main article: HTC Sense
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.
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.
Main article: Indus 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.
Main article: LG UX
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.
Main article: LineageOS
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.
"MagicOS" (formerly known as Magic UI and Magic Live) is a front-end touch interface developed by Honor as a subsidiary of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd before Honor became an independent company.
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.
Microsoft Launcher (formerly known as Arrow Launcher) is an application launcher for the Android mobile platform developed by Microsoft and intended to provide a more convenient integration between Windows desktop PCs and Android smartphones. Originally available as a beta in October 2015 and published to the Google Play Store on October 5, 2017. It does not replace the stock Android operating system, but adds an additional graphical layer with a focus on Microsoft applications and services. It was pre-installed on both the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2.
Starting from Android 12 onwards, the UI on both Surface Duo and Duo 2 has been updated with the Fluent Design System, which closely resemble to those of Windows 11.
Main article: MIUI
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.
A specific version of MIUI developed for Xiaomi sub-brand (Currently an independence brand) POCO, the overall experience of the "skin" is similar to those of standard MIUI expect during the early release of MIUI for POCO where compared to standard MIUI it has an app drawer and allowed for 3rd party Android icon customization. Whereas the current MIUI for POCO shared all the common experience with those of standard MIUI, except the icon and the 3rd party icon customization which remained only available to MIUI for POCO.
MyOS (formerly called MiFavor) 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.
My UI (formerly called My UX) 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 UI 3.x.
Nothing OS is a custom Android UI developed by Nothing for their Nothing Phone (1). Nothing OS design interface are identical to the stock Android and Pixel UI experience, aside from their custom font and widget which is based on dot design.
nubia UI is a custom Android UI developed by ZTE and nubia for their smartphones. nubia UI is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
Main article: One UI
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.
Origin OS is a custom user interface developed by Vivo that is based on Android. It is a redesigned skin of Funtouch OS. It is currently only available in China but may someday be released globally.
Main article: OxygenOS
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.
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.
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.
realme UI R edition is a custom Android skin that Realme developed for their lower-end device line with "C" and Narzo series, the Android based line of is based on Android Go, hence the overall experience is tune down to allowed for smoother experience on budget Realme devices.
Red Magic OS is a mobile operating system developed by ZTE and Nubia for their Red Magic devices.
Main article: Replicant (operating system)
Replicant is a custom mobile operating system based on the Android with all proprietary drivers and bloated closed-source software removed.
TCL UI is a custom user interface developed by TCL Technology for their in-house smartphone series. The OS is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
VOS is a custom Android UI developed by BQ Aquaris and Vsmart.
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.
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.
Main article: Asus Zen 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).
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).
Main article: Wear OS
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.
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.
Main article: ChromeOS
ChromeOS 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, ChromeOS 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 ChromeOS 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 ChromeOS devices. With the support of Android applications, there are Chromebook devices that are positioned as tablet based instead of notebooks.
ChromeOS is only available pre-installed on hardware from Google manufacturing partners. An open source equivalent, ChromiumOS, can be compiled from downloaded source code. Early on, Google provided design goals for ChromeOS, but has not otherwise released a technical description.
Main article: Sailfish OS
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.
Nemo Mobile is a community-driven OS, similar to Sailfish but attempting to replace its proprietary components, such as the user interface.
Each Sailfish OS version release is named after a Finnish lake:
|184.108.40.206||17||Eineheminlampi||Pretransition to version 2.0; major UI revamp.|
|220.127.116.11||18||Saimaa||Full transition to version 2.0; minor UI and function improvements.|
|18.104.22.168||27||4 October 2017||Kymijoki||Cbeta release. Xperia X only.|
|22.214.171.124||6 October 2017||Cbeta release. Xperia X only.|
|126.96.36.199||11 October 2017||Public release of Sailfish X. Xperia X only.|
|188.8.131.52||31 October 2017||Early access release.|
|184.108.40.206||13 November 2017||Public release.|
|220.127.116.11||28||20 February 2018||Lapuanjoki||Early access release.|
|18.104.22.168||28 February 2018||Early access release.|
|22.214.171.124||6 March 2018||Public release.|
|126.96.36.199||29||31 March 2018||Mouhijoki||Early access release.|
|188.8.131.52||7 June 2018||Public release.|
|184.108.40.206||30||4 September 2018||Nurmonjoki||Early access release.|
|220.127.116.11||12 September 2018||Public release.|
|18.104.22.168||31||31 October 2018||Lemmenjoki||Early access release. Introduction of the Sailfish OS 3.0 GUI. Includes changes from planned 2.2.2 release.|
|22.214.171.124||11 November 2018||Public release.|
|126.96.36.199||32||7 January 2019||Sipoonkorpi||Early access release.|
|188.8.131.52||16 January 2019||Public release.|
|184.108.40.206||31 January 2019||Beta release. Xperia XA2 (Ultra/Plus) only.|
|220.127.116.11||33||18 March 2019||Oulanka||Early access release.|
|18.104.22.168||25 March 2019||Public release.|
|22.214.171.124||34||24 April 2019||Hossa||Early access release.|
|126.96.36.199||7 May 2019||Public release.|
|188.8.131.52||29 May 2019||Public release.|
|184.108.40.206||35||18 July 2019||Seitseminen||Early access release.|
Main article: SteamOS
SteamOS is a Linux distribution developed by Valve. It incorporates Valve's popular namesake Steam video game storefront and is the primary operating system for Steam Machines and the Steam Deck. SteamOS is open source with some closed source components.
SteamOS was originally built to support streaming of video games from one personal computer to the one running SteamOS within the same network, although the operating system can support standalone systems and was intended to be used as part of Valve's Steam Machine platform. SteamOS versions 1.0, released in December 2013, and 2.0 were based on the Debian distribution of Linux with GNOME desktop. With SteamOS, Valve encouraged developers to incorporate Linux compatibility into their releases to better support Linux gaming options.
In February 2022, Valve released the handheld gaming computer Steam Deck running SteamOS 3.0. SteamOS 3 is based on the Arch Linux distribution with KDE Plasma 5.
Main article: Tizen
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 focuses 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 was 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.
Main article: KaiOS
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.
Smart Feature OS is a custom version of KaiOS that was developed and solely used by HMD Global for their KaiOS line of Nokia feature phone, the main differences between stock KaiOS and Smart Feature OS is mainly on the atheistic such as the icon and some UI element, including custom Nokia ringtone and notification tone.
Main article: Fuchsia (operating system)
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 ChromeOS 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.
Main article: LiteOS
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.
Main article: HarmonyOS
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.
See also: List of open-source mobile phones
Fedora Mobility is under developing mobile operating system by the Fedora Project that are porting Fedora to run on portable devices such as phones and tablets.
Main article: LuneOS
LuneOS is a modern reimplementation of the Palm/HP webOS interface.
Manjaro ARM is a mobile operating system with Plasma Mobile desktop environment that is running and default operating system on the PinePhone, an ARM-based smartphone released by Pine64.
A mobile Debian focused for PinePhone and soon Librem.
Main article: Plasma Mobile
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.
The Necuno phone uses Plasma Mobile. It is entirely open-source and thus does not have a cellular modem, so it must make calls by VOIP, like a pocket computer.
Main article: PostmarketOS
PostmarketOS is based on the Alpine Linux Linux distribution. It is intended to run on older phone hardware. As of 2019[update] it is in alpha.
Main article: PureOS
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.
Main article: Ubuntu Touch
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.
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.
Main article: iPadOS
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.
Main article: watchOS
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.
bridgeOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. for use exclusively with its hardware. bridgeOS runs on the T series Apple silicon processors and operates the OLED touchscreen strip called the "Touch Bar" as well as multiple other functions, including managing the encrypted data in their Secure Enclave and acting as a gatekeeper and video codec to the device's cameras. bridgeOS is a heavily modified version of Apple's watchOS.
Main article: Amazon Kindle
Kindle firmware is a mobile operating system specifically designed for Amazon Kindle e-readers. It is based on a custom Linux kernel, however. It is entirely closed-source and proprietary.
Main article: HarmonyOS
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.
The Nintendo Switch system software (also known by its codename Horizon) is an updatable firmware and operating system used by the Nintendo Switch hybrid video game console/tablet and Nintendo Switch Lite handheld game console. It is based on a proprietary microkernel. The UI includes a HOME screen, consisting of the top bar, the screenshot viewer ("Album"), and shortcuts to the Nintendo eShop, News, and Settings.
The PlayStation Vita system software is the official firmware and operating system for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV video game consoles. It uses the LiveArea as its graphical shell. The PlayStation Vita system software has one optional add-on component, the PlayStation Mobile Runtime Package. The system is built on a Unix-base which is derived from FreeBSD and NetBSD. Due to it capabilities on browsing the internet and multimedia capabilities, it is treat as an gaming tablet or tablet replacement by community and reviewer/publisher.
The Intel Management Engine (ME), also known as the Intel Manageability Engine, is an autonomous subsystem that has been incorporated in virtually all of Intel's processor chipsets since 2008. It is located in the Platform Controller Hub of modern Intel motherboards.
While not an actual operating system or even a mobile one, the firmware which installed in the microprocessor was in fact based on the Minix 3 operating system, starting with Intel ME 11. Due to it was install on the mobile (Laptop) version of Intel chips, hence it can considered as a mobile operating system that running on the subsystem of the microprocessor of a mobile devices.
Main article: Windows 10
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.
Main article: Windows 11
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 in 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.
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.
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 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.)
Proprietary OS develop by Lenovo for their fitness tracker and smartwatch.
A proprietary operating system design to run on realme smartband and smartwatch.
A proprietary RTOS powering TCL and Alcatel brand smartband and smartwatch.
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)
Main article: CyanogenMod
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.
See also: Comparison of Firefox OS devices
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.
Main article: webOS
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.
Main article: Bada
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.
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".
Main article: BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry 10 (based on the QNX OS) is from BlackBerry. As a smartphone OS, it is closed-source and proprietary, and only runs on phones and tablets manufactured by BlackBerry.
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.
The Nintendo 3DS system software is the updatable operating system used by the Nintendo 3DS.
Main article: Symbian
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.
Main article: Palm OS
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.
Main article: Windows Mobile
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.
Main article: Windows Phone
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.
Main article: Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 10 Mobile (formerly called Windows Phone) is from Microsoft. It is closed-source and proprietary.
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:
Developed in 1999, as a platform for wireless applications on CDMA-based mobile phones, it debuted in September 2001 ... Originally made for the Kyocera QCP-3035 (which was the very first Brew-enabled phone)
The P800 resembles its Symbian predecessor, the R380
Thing is, Nokia's been absolutely emphatic with us – Maemo's intended for handheld computers (read: MIDs) with voice capability, while S60 continues to be the choice for purebred smartphones
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Built into many Intel Chipset–based platforms is a small, low-power computer subsystem called the Intel Management Engine (Intel ME).