Talking about the most popular mobile operating systems, you may come to think of only one or two as there are not many dominant ones in the market however there are in fact several operating systems that look really nice and are fun to play with. While some of these operating systems have their own specific devices, some rely on other brands and some are a mix of both. Let us discover what these amazing and popular mobile operating systems are together.
Android is an operating system that first appeared on September 23 2008 and has had tons of new updates and crazy features along with them. It is currently one of the most popular mobile operating systems that has ever existed and it is quite common among smartphone devices. It was made by Google and is also used by Google’s own smartphone series such as Pixel and so on and outside of Google smartphones, it is also used by many tablets, smartwatches and such. Since it is based on Linux, it allows users to do all sorts of things, making this operating system quite versatile and resourceful.
Currently, Google has been working on the new Android version that is to be Android 13 as known as Tiramisu. Google follows the letters in alphabet to name each Android version and with that letter, it comes up with a dessert name. Android 13 is assigned to the letter T and hence the Tiramisu. If you are interested in knowing more about Android versions, their dessert names and what is going to happen after the letter Z, you might want to check out Is Google going to stop naming Android versions after Z? content.
As far as the most popular mobile operating systems go, IOS is the biggest rival of Android and it came out almost a year before it, June 29, 2007. Created by Apple, it is considered to be a premium experience in smartphone world, thereby making it also quite expensive to acquire. Just like Android, iOS is also quite portable, meaning it is also widely used in iPads, iPods and Apple Watches. Unlike Android however, it is not really a versatile operating system that allows you to do all kinds of stuff.
IOS is simplicity, privacy and safety oriented, therefore Apple puts a damp on quite a lot of things that Android is able to do in order to prevent data leaks, theft and complexity. However, it is safe to say that iOS is quite the smooth and effective experience that has no place for lags, stutters and it is quite visual and aesthetically pleasing, making it one of the most popular mobile operating systems ever. If you wish to know about the history of iOS versions, you may want to take a nostalgic trip down the memory lane of iOS versions and features in A History of iOS: How Apple’s Mobile Operating System Has Changed Over the Years content.
Windows Mobile OS
Windows Mobile OS is one of Microsoft’s operating systems inspired by the PC operating system Windows. It was quite a nice run considering it was a miniature Windows, except for the EXE support of course. Unlike iOS and Android however, it was not very well supported app-wise. It came out about a year after Android, May 11, 2009 but it could not replace the most popular mobile operating systems that are iOS and Android.
Windows Mobile, unlike Android and iOS which have their own specific brands, was available in various brands. It had its own smartphone series too that are called Lumia which was made by Nokia however it was also made for many other brands as well such as HTC, Motorola, Sony and even Samsung and Xiaomi. If you are interested in Xiaomi’s first Windows Mobile device, you can check that out in Did you know that Xiaomi has a Windows Phone? content. Unfortunately, this operating system has come to an end in 2019 with its latest version Windows 10 Mobile version 1709.
Sailfish OS is a gesture based operating system, meaning all the navigation in this OS is without hardware or virtual buttons. Just like Android, It is based on Linux however it is not as versatile as Android can be. App supports is also quite limited however one great thing with Sailfish OS is that it can support Android apps to a certain extent. Sailfish OS is quite similar to Windows Mobile OS in terms of device support, meaning there is a specific smartphone brand called Jolla that solely targets it however it mostly depends on another brands, which is Sony.
Because of its popularity, it was ported to many other brand devices as well by the community enthusiasts. Admittedly, it is not at the top in the list of most popular mobile operating systems however just having ports of it for other devices indicates that it is worthy enough to make it to the list. It is still an ongoing project that seems to be getting updates even today. However, it will not be sufficient enough for daily use.
Ubuntu Touch is as the name suggests inspired by Linux distribution Ubuntu and it is quite like Sailfish OS, no virtual or hardware buttons, fully gesture based navigation. Ubuntu is quite popular among Linux distros, so popular that it makes this mobile version worthy of being one of the most popular mobile operating systems. Unlike any other in the list, Ubuntu Touch has no specific devices that it runs on, but it has a lot of smartphones that it supports by porting. However, this project targets quite old devices that run on ARM and MTK processors.
This is an open-source project and anyone with the right knowledge and experience is welcome to port it to their own device, of course as long as their device supports it. As it is open-source, it relies heavily on donations from the users and porters. It is still an ongoing project that keeps getting updated as the Ubuntu distro gets new and new updates.