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A Note on Mobile Operating System

Today, mobile phones are an indispensable part of our life. But do you know what it takes for a mobile phone to function? Yes, it is the operating system. This article gives a brief introduction to mobile operating systems in an easy way.

An operating system, abbreviated as OS, is a software interface. OSes manage the working and operations of a device or digital hardware like computers and make its use easy for a user. Without an operating system, it’s not difficult to use computers, but it’s impossible altogether! An operating system runs all the functions and applications. Some of the important functions carried out by an operating system are listed here-

  • Managing Memory

  • Managing Processor

  • Managing Devices

  • Management of File System

  • Computer Security

  • Controlling Performance of the System

  • Job allocation

  • Detection of Errors and Troubleshooting

  • Coordinating other users and software applications

Today there are at least 10 different OSes available for personal computers. Windows, Mac OS, and Linux are popular among them. 

Mobile Operating System

Mobile operating systems, just like the OS for personal computers, are software interfaces to run all applications and basic functions of mobile devices. Devices where these mobile OSes are employed, include cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, tablet computers, etc.  

With these specially designed mobile OSes, it is now very much possible to enjoy almost all the features of a computer’s OS on small, handy devices with a touchscreen, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS navigation, camera, music player, voice search, and other perks of mobile phones.

An ideal mobile operating system is expected to meet the following criteria:

  1. With catchy graphics, it should also be easy to use

  2. It should provide a good useful app store

  3. It should have a longer battery life

  4. Should be good at managing data and network usage

One of the very important and distinctive features provided by mobile operating systems is a native modem and wireless service provider. This enables us to connect our mobile devices to the internet directly, without Ethernet, which is required in the case of computer operating systems.

Some mobile operating systems offer a wide range of in-built, native applications. For example, web browser applications, email applications, etc., most of the popular mobile operating systems, like iOS and Android, provide the feature of an app store. This enables users to either buy or freely download other applications as per the requirement of the user. This feature gives scope to enhance the in-built user interface and run different applications. 

Nowadays, there are various options for mobile operating systems; below is a list of some examples for the same:

  • Symbian OS 

  • Android OS 

  • iPhone OS (iOS ) • BlackBerry Motion for its BlackBerry

  • Windows Phone 7 ( Windows Mobile ) 

  • Palm OS (Garnet OS)

  • Palm WebOS 

  • Bada 

  • Maemo

Some popular mobile operating systems

  1. Android operating system

The primary developer of Android is Android Inc. After purchasing this software, Google and other members made collaboration as Open Handset Alliance and released the updated version of Android in 2008. It is an open-source type mobile OS and is based on the Linus operating system. Android employs Linus 2.6 and offers all core services along with a broad scale of options for libraries. These libraries help in app development for other applications. Java is the basic programming language used for all Android applications. 

  1. iOS

iOS or iPhone OS is an extension of Mac OS X. Mac OS and iOS both are closed-source type software. This was developed by Apple in 2007 and is exclusively available for Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod. iOS is a three-layered operating system, and all three layers are interconnected. The third layer offers core functions, whereas the second and first layers provide other distinctive features. The second layer offers features like audio, animation video, documents, and 2D & 3D graphics. Hence the second layer is also known as the media layer. The first layer is called the Cocoa touch layer and is specified to offer basic infrastructure.

  1. Symbian operating system

It is another example of an open-source type phone operating system and was developed in 1977 by Symbian Ltd. Most Nokia phones used to use this mobile OS, and it was widely in use for other mobile devices also, till 2010. C++ is the basic coding language of Symbian mobile OS. This also comprises several layers and offers OS libraries, Base-kernel, a hardware interface layer, etc.

  1. Windows operating system

Like iOS, Windows Phone OS is also a closed-source mobile operating system. It is used in many smart digital devices. The Microsoft Corporation is the developer of this system. This mobile operating system is beneficial for development. Net-oriented phone apps. This advantage is the result of the fact that this mobile OS is based on the .Net Framework.

These were just some examples of commonly used mobile operating systems. Here we have provided some references to go through to contain your curiosity with more details! 


Operating systems, since the first generation computers and now these mobile OSes, have evolved dynamically. The technological advances and subsequent growth in mobile OS & mobile applications is a positive feedback loop that will continue to grow. This growth, in turn, will bring more changes in our lifestyle and never-ending knowledge.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the Bank Examination Preparation.

What are the constraints of mobile operating systems?

Ans. Currently, the constraints of mobile OS are network issues, storage issues, data usages problems, etc. But w...Read full

Which are the most widely used mobile operating systems?

Ans. Android, iOS, and Windows are the most popular mobile OSes.