Android Dominates Other Mobile OSs
Android is an operating system for mobile devices that was created by Android Inc and later acquired by Google. This operating system is designed by some modifications in the Linux kernel and some other open source softwares, and it primarily dwells in touchscreen mobile devices and smartphones.
Android dominates the global smartphone market with 82.8% of the market share while iOS just has 13.9%. Since smartphones have become a necessity in almost everyone’s life, this necessity has majorly been created by Android Operating System. The reason behind the popularity and success of Android are its reliability, versatility, and scalability. Also, it is compatible with almost all main browsers that are used in your smartphones. This makes it extremely popular as well.
Android, as compared to the other operating systems is an open source platform that provides an immense scope of innovation and enables the developers to create some exceptional apps for smartphones. In addition, it is easy to develop apps on Android platform due to the availability of SDK (Software Development Kit), that you can download from the internet free of cost. This SDK provides appropriate tools and a basic platform for creating apps and APIs to the developer community.
Android being Linux Kernel-based helps you to access appropriate functionalities and environment to build some useful mobile apps. In this article, we will look at the potential reasons behind monopoly of Android among other smartphone OSs.
1. Support from Handset Manufacturers
If we talk about different operating systems available today, they are created by the industrial giants. For instance, iOS was developed by Apple Inc, Windows phone OS by Microsoft Corporation, Ubuntu Touch by Canonical, and Firefox OS by Mozilla. Each of these entities can claim to be outstanding, but none of them could even match closer closer to Android except Apple.
A smartphone is altogether different from a desktop computer, where you can purchase the hardware and assemble it and then install a desired operating system. In case of smartphones, you do not purchase a blank smartphone and carryout OS installation, here everything is provided by the handset manufacturer. This alliance is something which plays an important role in the success of Android.
It is not only Google that empowers Android, there is an Open Handset Alliance (OHA) that plays a crucial role in the augmentation of Android.
As per the official website of wikipedia, the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is a consortium of 84 firms to develop open standards for mobile devices. Member firms include HTC, Sony, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Google, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, T-Mobile, Sprint Corporation, Nvidia, and Wind River Systems.
Wikipedia also says that Android, the flagship software of the alliance (first developed by Google in 2007), is based on an open-source license and has competed against mobile platforms from Apple, Microsoft, Nokia (Symbian), HP (formerly Palm), Samsung Electronics / Intel (Tizen, bada), and BlackBerry. As part of its efforts to promote a unified Android platform, OHA members are contractually forbidden from producing devices that are based on incompatible forks of Android.
So, it is absolutely convincing fact that the main reason behind the growth, success and popularity is the strong support from the handset manufacturers.
2. User Interface
When it comes to user interface, it’s sort of monotonous. Every OS developer seems to be following the other one instead of innovating something interesting. As a result there is no significant differences observed in the mobile operating systems, and they are less interactive. You can find some noticeable differences between desktop OSs, but not in mobile OSs.
Android has vastly contributed towards improving the interactivity of Mobile OSs, and it will be absolutely a tough task for the other OSs to beat Android unless they come up with something exceptional.
3. Language Compatibility
Smartphones have become ubiquitous to our existence, and nearly everyone is using a smartphone. These are not meant for only working professionals or business entrepreneurs, but students, and housewives are also using these devices extensively. People who are not familiar with English are also using them. This is only possible because approximately 70 languages are supported by Android interface, which shows that a large number of people can use the Android platform in their native language.
4. App Store (Play Store)
An operating system incomplete without apps, so apps are crucial. Android has 1 million+ apps being developed so far, and many more are in progress, and these apps reside in a app store, which is commonly known as “Play Store” in Android. The idea of an app store was introduced by iOS, but it was taken to a next level by Android. Windows phones could not be successful because they didn't have a good app store, Ubuntu touch apps are very small in number, and the same is the case with Firefox marketplace which is a repository of firefox apps. An advantage of having a vast app is that, all Android smartphone users looks at Google play store only for any software that they wish to install. Google play store, as the name suggests, is the home of android based games as well.
All Android apps run an isolated area known to us a sandbox. However, you can give certain permissions explicitly at the time of installation of the app. Any app cannot be installed in your mobile device without your permission, unless someone else has access to your phone. A built-in encryption facility for storage of data is not available. iOS seems to have some limited security features, but all major OSs need third party support here.
Android malware has no existence, and according to Wikipedia, the conclusion of a research conducted in 2015 says that there are almost 90% of Android phones with which are prone to security risks because of the absence of support and updates
6. Hardware Support
A large number of platforms are supported by Android which includes 32- and 64-bit: ARM architectures, x86, x86-64, MIPS and MIPS64. This allows you to use Android in devices other than limited mobile phones. Android tablets having Intel processors have been available from 2012 onwards. You can run Android-x86 on desktop PCs. The requirement of RAM in Android begins from 512 MB (normal cases), which is far lower as compared to Ubuntu Touch (1GB).
Why Android Is Better Than Other OSs?
- Due to open source nature of Android, you can easily build a variety of android apps and upload them on Google Play Store
- It consists of user-friendly developer tools, due to which millions of apps have been developed on this platform
- You can get the benefit from the high levels of customization that provides a whole range of possibilities
- You can download a lot of free apps in order to get the maximum benefit out of your smartphones
Google is the most esteemed global brand that owns Android, and because of this only, this platform keeps getting updated frequently. With the advent of Android, you would have surely come across the different names over the past few years such as Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, Kitkat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo and Pie. You might be wondering that these are the names of deserts, but these are the names of periodically upgraded versions of Android OS giving users plenty of reasons to rejoice. Pie is the ninth version of Android and is the latest one