In the past few years we have see a rise in the smartphone category . we have also seen many new smartphone Operating systems come up and fail as well. Ubuntu is the latest one to join the bandwagon in 2013!
Palm OS, Bada are among the few to lose the race. Mobile OSes like Symbian and windows mobile are struggling to get a foothold in the growing Smartphone category. The only 2 Mobile OSes that have been lapped up by smartphone consumers are Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Among new entrants Firefox OS for mobiles and ubuntu mobile OS have to prove themselves in the coming years…
So what should a good smartphone Operating System comprise of ? Lets take a look!
An excellent intuitive UI
A good smartphone OS should boot quickly and allow for a quick and beautiful UI that is both fully functional and yet not overwhelming to the users , windows phone , I believe , is doing a really good job at that , it has a pretty minimal design and yet gives the users some really powerful features. Android on other hand is still termed as techie’s OS, which it has improved upon largely over past couple of years.
A great App Store / App Ecosystem
This is probably the most important success reasons for a Mobile OS. Android, though was not very simple to operate has a great App Market as well as great developer ecosystem and that is the reason for its success.
Smartphones are nothing without good and functional apps , and an app store is where you get the apps , but the prospect of getting quick cash drives some developers to make irrelevant apps and so a good and curated app store is vital for the smartphone to function as intended . Apple app store is winning in this respect both in terms of quantity of apps and relative quality of apps.
Personal Information Management
Personal information management includes notes, calendar, to-do lists, alarms and reminders. A Mobile OS needs to have the right information in the right place , in the right form, and quality to meet users needs. Smartphones can then help us spend less time with time-consuming and error-prone activities of PIM such as looking for information. We then can be a lot more productive with our time.
Although most modern smartphone operating systems today have a decent PIM built in ,but the complex nature of the apps that provide these functionality might be overwhelming to some users
One major feature of the smartphone systems is the ability to multitask but with that ability , comes the need to monitor the data and network usage and in some cases even limit them so that they do not incur additional cost. Android, for one, has a very good data usage monitoring system but there is no way to limit access for a single app without root access
As smartphones include more sensors and processor cores and gpu , in general more processing power , the amount of power required by the smartphone keeps on ever increasing , so smartphones need to have a good battery management which can help battery to last through the day, with moderate to high usage. Graphene batteries / chargers may help with that in the future, but currently only a few phones last through an entire day of average use..This is in part a fault of the processor and wireless radio management systems that are used in the operating system which are not ‘smart’ enough to turn of the radio when not in use for an extended period of time .
So there you go, these are a few of the things that I believe every good smartphone Operating System must have.
Did we miss anything? What else do you think are the important features for a Smartphone Operating System?
[About Author: Prashant Mohta is a geek in every sense and likes all kinds of gadgets and science fiction. He currently has a blog at http://gadget-geek-prashant.