The Android OS is developed and supported by Google. It is the most popular mobile operating system in the world. Android app development leads to the creation of millions of available apps in different app stores. In Q2 2017, it shares 87.7% of the market. It is really dominating, and other products are far behind.
Android is a Linux-based operating system available for phones, tablets, smartwatches, TVs, game consoles, digital players, laptops, netbooks, and many others. It is easily customizable, flexible, and high-performance. Android development never stops and Google regularly announces updates. For most users, there is nothing better.
But despite all the benefits, there are some issues.Such as fast battery drain and background activity.We sometimes may think about the alternative operating systems. Besides well-known platforms, you can find really interesting solutions.
In the article, we are going to review the best 6 alternative OSs. The review will include the already popular products as well as new and interesting projects that are trying to carve out a niche.
Best alternatives to Android OS
Apple created iOS to become the first in the mobile market. It was revolutionary for its time and many people really liked it. But later the difference between iOS and Android development was so rapid that now iOS is far behind.
However, it brings a smooth and attractive UI with some unique features. All the devices have an identical interface unlike Android, regular updates, and in many cases the better apps from third-party developers. The apps are very often better, as Android app development is not fully standardized and some programmers provide low-quality content. If you still like using Google services, they are all available for iOS unlike Apple apps on Android.
The biggest disadvantage is that iOS is a locked system, and you will not be able to customize it without jailbreaking. Otherwise, Apple offers the full ecosystem and their OS is installed on all their mobile devices.
- Attractive unified interface.
- Great performance, smooth menu.
- Regular updates.
- High-quality third-party apps.
- Locked and badly customizable system.
- Slower work on older devices.
Tizen is an open source operating system for mobile devices based on Linux. The Linux Foundation officially supports the OS,which is why it is often considered to be the official mobile Linux. As for manufacturers, Tizen is the choice of Intel and Samsung. The first phone model, Samsung Z, was introduced in 2015 but did not gain success.
Tizen OS had several serious security issues but Samsung is constantly working on it and improving the OS. However, we do not predict its bright future.
- Fantastic HTML5 support.
- Intuitive controls and gestures.
- Supported by tech giants.
- Very few available applications and the mobile app development is not active because the developers are still not interested in the platform.
- An interface very similar to Android and does not have its own unique features.
Most Linux users know much about KDE and distributions based on it. Recently, the team announced Plasma Mobile for smartphones and tablets. The official version is based on Kubuntu 16.04 with a KDE Neon environment. It provides an attractive interface and great performance. The platform is still under development and at the moment is available only on Nexus 5 devices. Despite the creating process, it is not as active as Android development, for example,The OS looks promising and we are looking forward to seeing it become a full-fledged Android competitor.
- Attractive interface.
- Open source, theoretically can be developed for many devices.
- Supports only Nexus 5 devices.
- In early development stage.
Librem OS is not distributed separately but comes on the Librem 5 phone. It is developed by the Pure OS team — Linux distro focused on high-level protection, security, and protection of user data. The developers plan to run the touch version based on various Linux distributions — besides Pure OS, it will include Fedora, Arch Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, and SUSE.
The development team plans to use free and open-source software and wants to create the whole ecosystem. It will very interesting to see how they implement their plan.
- High level of protection and security.
- Attractive interface with unique features.
- In the future, it will support many popular Linux distributions.
- Distributed only with the smartphone.
- At the moment, it is in the early development stage.
When several years ago Nokia decided to stop developing the MeeGo mobile operating system, some developers wanted to keep the project alive and forked Sailfish OS. The Linux Foundation planned to develop the platform as Tizen, but soon Tizen became an independent operating system. So, the group of developers called the company Jolla and soon announced the first smartphone with a new operating system very similar to MeeGo. Later the company planned to launch Jolla Tablet, but it was never announced.
The operating system is fully touch screen optimized and is controlled by gestures. It provides some unique features, but there is still a lot of work to do. The creators also invite good programmers to join mobile app development for the OS. Among others, Sailfish OS most probably will become a perfect Android competitor in the near future.
- Unique operating system.
- The platform is constantly developing.
- Some unique features.
- Few available applications.
- Very few devices.
The creator of the popular distribution of the Linux operating system called Mandriva Linux, also known as Mandrake Linux, Gael Duval presented his own mobile operating system eelo. The developer said that he is disappointed with the modern-day state of affairs in the smartphone market, which is dominated by Apple and Google. He believes that in the long term, the enterprise models of Apple, Google, Facebook, and other corporations are disastrous for our monetary and social environment.
To restore privacy to himself and others, Duval decided to create his own open-source operating system. It will be built on the basis of LineageOS so mobile app development for the new OS will not be difficult. At the moment, eelo is launched on the LeEco Le2 smartphone, but the developer is also involved in porting the distribution to Xiaomi Mi5S and LG G6.
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He created Bliss Launcher, which he described in detail in his blog. In general, the interface resembles a mix of iOS and firmware from Chinese manufacturers. Since Duval wants to get as far away from Google as possible, analogs like DuckDuckGo and Qwantare used as search engines.
The system comes with pre-installed Telegram, OnlyOffice + NextCloud, OpenStreetMaps, iRedMail, and other independent services.
The developer will launch a campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds for the development of his OS. He promises in the next three years to release two versions of eelo for smartphones and one distribution for desktop computers.
The project looks extremely interesting, but one person will hardly be able to compete with such market giants as Apple and Google.
Despite the fact that there are some Android alternatives, most of them are in the early development stage. We are not sure that they will become Android competitors in the near future. However, Android app development does not stand still and the platform becomes better each year.We live in interesting times, so anything may happen.