Mobile operating system


Mobile operating system

A mobile operating system, also known as a mobile OS, mobile software platform or a handheld operating system, is the operating system that controls a mobile device or information appliance—similar in principle to an operating system such as Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux distributions that controls a desktop computer or laptop. However, they are currently somewhat simpler, and deal more with the wireless versions of broadband and local connectivity, mobile multimedia formats, and different input methods.

Typical examples of devices running a mobile operating system are smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet computers and information appliances, or what are sometimes referred to as smart devices, which may also include embedded systems, or other mobile devices and wireless devices.

Contents

History

The increasing importance of mobile devices has triggered intense competition amongst software giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple, as well as mobile industry leaders Nokia, Research In Motion (RIM), and Palm, in a bid to capture the largest market share pre-emptively.[1]

With the release of the iPhone in 2007, Apple significantly disrupted the mobile industry and effectively ushered in a new era of mobile operating systems for smartphones and other devices that focus on user experience and rely on finger-operated touch-based interaction. In November 2007, Google formed the Open Handset Alliance with 79 other hardware, software, and telecom companies to make inroads into the smartphone market through its new Android operating system.[2] Though its reception was mainly positive from the media and public, the release of Android created a rift between Apple and Google, eventually leading to the resignation of Google's ex-CEO, Eric Schmidt, from Apple's board of directors.[3]

Since the launch of both Apple's iOS and Google's Android, the smartphone market has exploded in popularity and in May 2010 accounted for more than 17.3% of all mobile phones sold.[4] This has led to greater consumer awareness of the various mobile operating systems, with telecoms and manufacturers regularly advertising the advantages of their OS. As of January 2011, Google holds 33.3% of the smartphone market worldwide, demonstrating amazing growth for Android which held only 4.7% a year earlier. Nokia, Apple, RIM, and Microsoft hold 31%, 16.2%, 14.6%, and 3.1% respectively.[5]

Market projection

Mobile platforms are in the nascent stage and any projection regarding market growth is hard to make at the present time. However, a clear trend is the surging growth of mobile operating systems which are developed for smart devices, rather than for feature phones. As of February 2011, Nokia has announced a partnership with Microsoft which effectively ends the development of Symbian OS, the most popular feature phone OS, by the end of 2011 in favor of Windows Phone.

It is noteworthy that Intel is taking the initiative to focus on portable devices other than mobile phones. They are Mobile Internet Devices (MID) and Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC). Meantime, Palm abandoned its plan to develop Foleo, which was to be a companion device for a smartphone.

Mobile navigation

Canalys has estimated that in 2009 the installed base of smartphones with integrated GPS was 163 million units worldwide, of which Nokia accounted for more than half (51%), having shipped cumulatively 83 million GPS devices. On January 22, 2010, Nokia released a free version of Ovi Maps in an effort to increase its number of users.

Popular operating systems

Operating systems that can be found on smartphones, mobile OS-powered tablet computers, and other mobile devices include Google's Android, Apple's iOS, RIM's BlackBerry OS, Microsoft's Windows Phone, Linux, HP's webOS, Samsung's Bada, and Nokia's MeeGo among many others. Android, Bada, webOS and Maemo are built on top of Linux, and iOS is derived from the BSD and NeXTSTEP operating systems, which are all related to Unix.

Common software platforms

The most common mobile operating systems are:

Android from Google Inc. [6] (closed source since version 3. Android was open source for versions 1 and 2. Google promised to release Android 4 source code[7])
Android was developed by a small startup company that was purchased by Google Inc., and Google continues to update the software. Android is a Linux-derived OS backed by Google, along with major hardware and software developers (such as Intel, HTC, ARM, Samsung, Motorola and eBay, to name a few), that form the Open Handset Alliance.[8] Released on November 5th 2007, the OS received praise from a number of developers upon its introduction.[9] Android releases prior to 2.0 (1.0, 1.5, 1.6) were used exclusively on mobile phones. Most Android phones, and some Android tablets, now use a 2.x release. Android 3.0 was a tablet-oriented release and does not officially run on mobile phones. The current Android version is 4.0. Android releases are nicknamed after sweets or dessert items like Cupcake (1.5), Frozen Yogurt (2.2), Honeycomb (3.0), and Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0). Most major mobile service providers carry an Android device. Since the HTC Dream was introduced, there has been an explosion in the number of devices that carry Android OS. From Q2 of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010, Android's worldwide market share rose 850% from 1.8% to 17.2%.
The Apple iPad tablet computer uses a version of iOS.
BlackBerry OS from RIM (closed source, proprietary)
This OS is focused on easy operation and was originally designed for business. Recently it has seen a surge in third-party applications and has been improved to offer full multimedia support. Currently Blackberry's App World has over 15,000 downloadable applications. RIM's future strategy will focus on the newly acquired QNX, having already launched the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet running a version of QNX and expecting the first QNX smartphones in early 2012.[10]
iOS from Apple Inc. [6] (closed source, proprietary, on top of open source Darwin core OS)
The Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and second-generation Apple TV all use an operating system called iOS, which is derived from Mac OS X. Native third party applications were not officially supported until the release of iOS 2.0 on July 11th 2008. Before this, "jailbreaking" allowed third party applications to be installed, and this method is still available. Currently all iOS devices are developed by Apple and manufactured by Foxconn or another of Apple's partners.
Symbian OS from the Symbian Foundation [6] (open public license)
Symbian has the largest share in most markets worldwide, but lags behind other companies in the relatively small but highly visible North American market.[11] This matches the success of Nokia in all markets except Japan. In Japan Symbian is strong due to a relationship with NTT DoCoMo, with only one of the 44 Symbian handsets released in Japan coming from Nokia.[12] It has been used by many major handset manufacturers, including BenQ, Fujitsu, LG, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson. Current Symbian-based devices are being made by Fujitsu, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson. Prior to 2009 Symbian supported multiple user interfaces, i.e. UIQ from UIQ Technologies, S60 from Nokia, and MOAP from NTT DOCOMO. As part of the formation of the Symbian OS in 2009 these three UIs were merged into a single OS which is now fully open source. Recently, though shipments of Symbian devices have increased, the operating system's worldwide market share has declined from over 50% to just over 40% from 2009 to 2010. Nokia handed the development of Symbian to Accenture, which will continue to support the OS until 2016.[13][14]
The Palm Pre running HP (formerly Palm) webOS. HP purchased Palm in 2010.
Windows Phone from Microsoft (closed source, proprietary)
On February 15th, 2010, Microsoft unveiled its next-generation mobile OS, Windows Phone. The new mobile OS includes a completely new over-hauled UI inspired by Microsoft's "Metro Design Language". It includes full integration of Microsoft services such as Windows Live, Zune, Xbox Live and Bing, but also integrates with many other non-Microsoft services such as Facebook and Google accounts. The new software platform has received some positive reception from the technology press.[15][16][17]
webOS from HP (certain parts[clarification needed] open sourced)
webOS is a proprietary mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel, initially developed by Palm, which launched with the Palm Pre. After being acquired by HP, two phones (the Veer and the Pre 3) and a tablet (the TouchPad) running webOS were introduced in 2011. On August 18th, 2011, HP announced that webOS hardware is discontinued[18] but HP will continue to support and update webOS software and develop the webOS ecosystem.[19]

Other software platforms

GridOS from Fusion Garage [20]
GridOS was built using open source code from the Android kernel.[21] It is used as the operating system of the Grid 4 mobile phone and Grid 10 tablet, which are due to start shipping September 15th 2011.
BlackBerry Tablet OS from QNX Software System/RIM [6] (closed source, proprietary)
BlackBerry Tablet OS is based on QNX. QNX is a commercial Unix-like real-time operating system, aimed primarily at the embedded systems market. The product was originally developed by Canadian company, QNX Software Systems, which was later acquired by BlackBerry-producer Research In Motion. This OS is primary for BlackBerry Playbook (tablet).
BlackBerry BBX from RIM
BlackBerry BBX is the next generation platform for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. In other words, there will be only one OS for both Blackberry smartphones and tablets going forward.[22]
SHR (community-driven)
SHR is a GNU/Linux based operating system for smartphones and similar mobile devices. It integrates various Free and Open Source Software projects into a versatile platform - flexible enough to run on a vast selection of mobile hardware such as the Openmoko Neo Freerunner, Nokia N900, Palm Pre and variants, T-Mobile G1, HTC HD2, iPhone 3Gs and more. The SHR build system is based on OpenEmbedded - well known from the Yocto project. For telephony, networking, etc. freesmartphone.org framework is used. On top of that an easy to use graphical interface centered around Enlightenment libraries is used to provide phone calls, messaging and pim. A growing amount of available applications offers SHR users with everything expected on a smartphone. But also numerous classical programs well known from other Linux distros can be made available easily.
SHR is 100% community driven and based on Free and Open Source Software. This empowers everybody to realize their innovations or add support for new hardware - without needing to ask some CEO or strategy manager first.[23]
MeeGo from non-profit organization The Linux Foundation (open source, GPL)
At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia and Intel both unveiled 'MeeGo' a brand new mobile operating system which would combine the best of Moblin and the best of Maemo to create a truly open-sourced experience for users across all devices. As of 2011, Nokia has announced that it will no longer be pursuing MeeGo and will instead adopt Windows Phone 7 as its primary mobile OS. Nokia announced the Nokia N9 on June 21, 2011 at the Nokia Connection event [24] in Singapore. The phone is presumed to become available to the public in September 2011. LG announced its support for the platform.[25]
bada from Samsung Electronics (closed source, proprietary)
This is a mobile operating system being developed by Samsung Electronics. Samsung claims that bada will rapidly replace its proprietary feature phone platform, converting feature phones to smartphones.The name 'bada' is derived from 바다, the Korean word for ocean or sea. The first device to run bada is called 'Wave' and was unveiled to the public at Mobile World Congress 2010. The Wave is a fully touchscreen phone running the new mobile operating system. With the phone, Samsung also released an app store, called Samsung Apps, to the public. It has close to 3000[26] mobile applications.
Samsung has said that they don't see Bada as a smartphone operating system, but as an OS with a kernel configurable architecture, which allows the use of either a proprietary real-time operating system, or the Linux kernel. Though Samsung plans to install bada on many phones, the company still has a large lineup of Android phones.
Linux based operating system (open source, GPL) [6]
Linux is strongest in China where it is used by Motorola, and in Japan, used by DoCoMo.[27][28] Rather than being an OS in its own right, Linux is used as a basis for a number of different operating systems developed by several vendors, including Android, GridOS, B2G, LiMo, Maemo, MeeGo, Openmoko and Qt Extended, which are mostly incompatible.[29][30] PalmSource (now Access) is moving towards an interface running on Linux.[31] Another software platform based on Linux is being developed by Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung, and Vodafone.[32]
Brew from Qualcomm
Brew is used by a some mobile phone manufacturers and mobile networks, however most often the end-user does not know this since mobile phones running Brew most often lack any Brew branding. Brew runs in the background with the custom "skins" of the mobile phone manufacturer or operator on-top. Brew is used by Sprint Nextel, metroPCS, U.S. Cellular and Verizon in the US and by the Three network in much of Europe, the UK and Australia on many mobile phones produced especially for their network. Manufacturers such as Huawei, INQ Mobile, Amoi, and Samsung Mobile amongst others use Brew in some of their mobile phones and it is featured in Three UK phones such as the 3 Skypephone, INQ1 and Huawei u7510 (3 Touch). Two of HTC's mobile phones use Brew's successor Brew MP.
LiMo 4 from LiMo Foundation
LiMo Foundation launched LiMo 4 on 14 february 2011, the latest release of the LiMo Platform. LiMo 4 delivers complete middleware and base application functionality, including a flexible user interface, extended widget libraries, 3D window effects, advanced multimedia, social networking and location based service frameworks, sensor frameworks, multi-tasking and multi-touch capabilities. In addition, support for scalable screen resolution and consistent APIs means that the platform can deliver a consistent user experience across a broad range of device types and form factors[33]

Historical software platforms

Maemo from Nokia (open source, GPL)
Maemo is a software platform developed by Nokia for smartphones and Internet tablets. It is based on the Debian operating system.
Maemo is mostly based on open source code, and has been developed by Maemo Devices within Nokia in collaboration with many open source projects such as the Linux kernel, Debian and GNOME.
Maemo is based on Debian GNU/Linux and draws much of its GUI, frameworks and libraries from the GNOME project. It uses the Matchbox window manager and the GTK-based Hildon as its GUI and application framework.
Windows Mobile from Microsoft[6][34] (closed source, proprietary)
The Windows CE operating system and Windows Mobile middleware are widely spread in Asia. The two improved variants of this operating system, Windows Mobile 6 Professional (for touch screen devices) and Windows Mobile 6 Standard, were unveiled in February 2007. It has been criticized for having a user interface which is not optimized for touch input by fingers; instead, it is more usable with a stylus. However, unlike iPhone OS, it does support both touch screen and physical keyboard configurations.
Windows Mobile's market share has sharply declined in recent years to just 5% in Q2 of 2010.[35] Microsoft is phasing out the Windows Mobile OS to specialized markets and is instead focusing on its new operating system and software platform, Windows Phone.
Palm OS/Garnet OS from Access Co. (closed source, proprietary)
webOS was introduced by Palm in January 2009 as the successor to Palm OS with Web 2.0 technologies, open architecture, and multitasking capabilities.
DangerOS from Danger, Inc. (closed source, proprietary)
DangerOS was a largely Java-based operating system for the Danger Hiptop line of smartphones produced by Danger Incorporated from 2002 to 2010, also sold as the T-Mobile Sidekick. In 2008, Danger, Inc. was acquired by Microsoft.[36] Former Danger, Inc. employees were tasked to work on the Microsoft Kin line of phones, and in 2010 DangerOS was discontinued as a smartphone platform after the Kin phones were released. In 2011 T-Mobile introduced a new smartphone using the Sidekick branding based on Google's Android platform, with no relation to the previous Danger Hiptop phones.[37]

Future software platforms

Boot 2 Gecko[38] from non-profit organization Mozilla Foundation (open source, GPL)
According to Ars Technica, "Mozilla says that B2G is motivated by a desire to demonstrate that the standards-based open Web has the potential to be a competitive alternative to the existing single-vendor application development stacks offered by the dominant mobile operating systems."[39]
Aliyun OS from Alibaba/AliCloud (cloud based)
AliCloud's operating system revolves around the idea of bringing cloud functionality to the mobile platform. According to the company, Aliyun will feature cloud-based e-mail, Web search, weather updates, and GPS navigation tools. In addition, the operating system will synchronize and store call data, text messages, and photos in the cloud for access across other devices, including PCs. Alibaba says it will offer customers 100GB of storage at launch. the operating system would allow users to access applications from the Web, rather than download apps to their devices.[40]
Tizen from non-profit organization The Linux Foundation (open source, GPL)
Tizen is an open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation, with Intel and Samsung leading its development steering group, and support from the LiMo Foundation. According to Intel, Tizen “combines the best of LiMo and MeeGo." HTML5 apps will be emphasized for the new OS, with the MeeGo project encouraging its members to transition to Tizen, stating that the "future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5." Tizen will be targeted at a variety of platforms such as handsets, tablets, smart TVs and in-vehicle entertainment. The initial release of Tizen is targeted for Q1 2012, with the first devices using the OS planned to reach the market in mid 2012.[41][42]
Meltemi from Nokia (open source, GPL)
Meltemi is an open source project hosted by Nokia
Windows 8 from Microsoft (closed source, properitary)
Microsoft announced that Windows 8 will support tablet devices as well as PCs.

Market shares

Smartphone operating systems' market share

Share of worldwide 2011 Q2 smartphone sales to end users by operating system, according to Gartner.[43]
Table showing most of the current mobile operating systems for smartphones, PDAs and netbooks in 2010
Source Year Symbian Android RIM iOS Microsoft Other OSs
Gartner [44] 2011 Q1 27.4% 36.0% 12.9% 16.8% 3.6% 3.3%
Gartner [45] 2010 37.6% 22.7% 16.0% 15.7% 4.2% 3.8%
Gartner [45][46] 2009 46.9% 3.9% 19.9% 14.4% 8.7% 6.1%
Gartner [46][47] 2008 52.4% 0.5% 16.6% 8.2% 11.8% 10.5%
Gartner [47] 2007 63.5% N/A 9.6% 2.7% 12.0% 12.1%

Total mobile OS market share including tablets and connected devices

Worldwide OS Market Share by Digital Traffic (Browser-based page views)
MOBILE OS Percent
Apple iOS
  
61.4%
Google Android
  
18.9%
Java ME
  
12.8%
Symbian
  
3.5%
RIM
  
2.5%
Other OS
  
0.7%
Source: Net Applications, October 2011[48]


U.S. OS Market Share by Audience Installed Base
MOBILE OS Percent
Apple iOS
  
43.1%
Google Android
  
34.1%
RIM
  
15.4%
Other OS
  
7.8%
Source: comScore, August 2011[49]
U.S. OS Market Share by Digital Traffic (Browser-based page views)
MOBILE OS Percent
Apple iOS
  
58.5%
Google Android
  
31.9%
RIM
  
5.0%
Other OS
  
4.6%
Source: comScore, August 2011[49]

The disparity between the U.S. installed base of iOS at 43.1% and its share of browser-based page views at 58.5% suggests that iOS users are heavier-than-average consumers of Internet content. Additionally, in August 2011, 97.2% of all tablet Internet traffic in the U.S. was delivered to iPads.[49]

Mobile OS comparison

Only the latest versions are shown in this table, even though old versions may still be marketed.

Legend
Yes Tablet-only Beta Limited 3rd party No
Feature iOS Android webOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone BlackBerry OS Symbian Maemo MeeGo bada
Company Apple Open Handset Alliance/Google Palm, Inc (HP) Microsoft Microsoft RIM Symbian Foundation Nokia Linux Foundation Samsung
Current Version 5.0 4.0 2.1.2 (Phones)
3.0.2 (Tablet)
6.5.3 7.5 7.0.0 9.5 5.0 1.1.2 2.0
OS Family Darwin Linux Linux Windows CE 5.2 Windows CE 7 Mobile OS Mobile OS Linux Linux Proprietary RTOS or Linux
Supported CPU Architecture ARM ARM, MIPS, Power Architecture, x86 ARM ARM ARM ARM ARM ARM ARM, x86 ARM
Programmed in C, C++, Objective-C C, C++, Java C C++ Many, .NET (Silverlight/XNA) Java C++ C/C++ C++ C++
License Proprietary EULA except for open source components Closed source from version 3 (1.0-2.x were Free and open source). Google promised to release Android 4 source code[7] Free and open source except closed source modules Proprietary Proprietary Proprietary Eclipse Public License Free and open source except closed source components[50] Free and open source Proprietary
Public issues list No, But there is an unofficial tracker[51] Yes[52] No No No, but there is a unofficial collection[53] No Not anymore[54] Yes[55] Yes[56] No
Package manager iTunes APK App Catalog (Official)
Preware (3rd party homebrew)
Windows Mobile Device Center/ActiveSync Zune Software BlackBerry Desktop Manager Nokia Ovi Suite dpkg+apt-get rpm+yum+zypper ?
Wireless system updates 5+[57] Yes Yes No No Yes[58] Yes[59] Yes[60] ? No
Multi-user No[61] No[62] No[63] No No No No No No[64] No
Guest Mode No No,[65] but possible with 3rd party ROM MIUI[66] No No No No No No No No
Per application runtime modifiable permissions Location access;[67] Notifications in 5+[68][69] No[70], only Background Data Usage on 4+[71], more with 3rd party firmwares[72] No[73] ? No[74] Yes[75] ? ? ? ?
Parental controls Yes[76] 3rd party software[77] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Remote device location tracking Yes[78] 3rd party software[79] ? ? Yes[80] ? ? ? ? ?
Remote device locking and/or data wipe Yes[78] ? Yes[81] Yes Yes[80] Yes ? ? ? ?
Non English languages support Yes[82][83][84] Limited[85] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Limited (Search is not diacritical mark insensitive)
Underlining spell checker Yes[86] 4+[87] Yes ? Yes[88] Yes Yes Yes ? No
Built-in system-wide dictionary 5+[89] No, available on selected devices[90] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Autoexpanding text replacements 5+[91] ? Yes[92] ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Emoji support Yes[93] ? ? ? Yes[94] ? ? ? ? ?
Accessibility features Yes[95][96][97] ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ? ?
Search multiple internal applications at once Yes Yes Yes Yes No[98] Yes Yes Yes ? Yes
Core applications missing search Bookmarks[99] Calendar[100] (available since 3+ and HTC Sense) ? ? Text Messages[101] nor Calendar[102]
Search all fields of internal objects iOS will not search Contacts notes field[103] Only search Contacts name field but not any other field[104] Yes Yes Contacts are only search by name[105] Limited on most models[106] Yes Yes ? Only searches contacts by name
Proxy server Yes 3.1+[107] but only global, not per connection[108] No[109] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes
On-device encryption Yes[110] (3rd party software may attempt brute-force attacks on password[111]) 3+[112] No Yes[113] No[114] Yes[115] (3rd party software may attempt brute force attacks on password[111]) ? Yes ? No
External storage encryption External storage not supported No[116] External storage not supported ? External storage not supported Yes[117] ? ? ? No
Cloud encrypted storage No, data stored on iCloud is accessible by Apple[118] No, data is accessible by Google and US Intelligence Agencies[119] ? ? No, data is accessible by Microsoft and the US Government[120] ? ? ? ? ?
Sync to Cloud communication encryption Yes[121] 2.3.4+[122] ? ? 7.10.7720.0+[123] Yes[124] ? 3rd party software ? ?
Desktop Sync Yes No,[125] but available on HTC Sense[126] 3rd party software[127] Yes No[128][129] Yes Yes Yes[130] Yes Yes
Local Full backup Yes, using external computer[131] No,[132] but possible with rooted devices and 3rd party software[133] Limited official backup. Full backup via homebrew[134] Yes No[135] Yes, using external computer[136] and memory card (7+)[137] Yes, using external computer and memory card ? ? No[138]
Core Data missing Sync Bookmarks[139] (before 4), SMSs and Settings[132] Favorites,[140] Text Messages[141] and Settings[142]
cut, copy, and paste Yes[143] Yes[144] Yes Yes Yes[145][146] Yes Yes Yes ? Yes[147]
undo Yes[148] No[149] Limited Via Ctrl+Z using default keyboard No No No Yes ? No
Visual voicemail Yes 4+[150] ? ? Yes[151] ? ? ? ? ?
Call log duration Yes[152] Yes[153] ? ? No[154] Yes[155] ? ? ? ?
Contact Groups 3rd party software[156] 4+[157] or 3rd party software[158] ? ? 7.5+[159] ? ? ? ? ?
Phone number linking to dialer Yes Some devices[160] Yes Yes, but not in browser Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes, but not in browser
Addresses link to maps Yes[161] In Contacts, but not in Calendar[162] nor in Gmail[163] ? ? Yes[164] ? ? ? ? ?
Dates link to calendar Yes[165] No ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Default Web Browser/Engine Webkit Webkit Webkit Trident Trident Webkit Webkit Gecko Webkit Webkit
Browser direct Internet connection (increased resilience to outages) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No, routes through BlackBerry Internet Service Yes Yes Yes Yes
Browser keeps windows open on shutdown or crash Yes No[166] No No Yes ? ? Yes ? No
Browser Search Engine options Bing, Google, Yahoo! Search Many[167] Many[168] ? Bing, Google[169] ? ? ? ? ?
Browser Find on Page 4.2+[170] 1.5+[171] ? ? Removed in Mango update[172] Yes[173] Yes ? ? ?
Browser/Email Save Images Both[174] Yes ? ? Browser[175] ? ? ? ? ?
Browser/Email Save PDFs Yes[176] Yes ? ? Yes[177] ? ? ? ? ?
Browser Save Audio/Video No Yes, but only links, not embedded media Yes ? No Yes (embedded media not supported) ? ? ? ?
Browser Save Page Offline web apps;[178][179][180] Any page in 5+[181] 4+[182] No ? No Yes[183] Yes ? ? ?
Browser Text Reflow Reader mode on 5+;[181][184] 3rd party browsers on prior versions[185] Yes No[186] ? No Yes[187] No ? ? No
Browser Reader Mode Yes[181][184] ? ? ? ? Beta PlayBook OS 2.0[188] ? ? ? ?
Browser file upload 3rd party software[189] 2.2+,[190] but crashes on big files[191] ? ? Yes Yes Yes ? ? Yes
Browser form navigation Previous, Next, AutoFill, and Done buttons[192] Next button[193] ? ? No[194] ? ? ? ? ?
Browser Private Browsing mode 5+[195] 4+[196] or with rooted devices and 3rd party firmware[197] ? ? 3rd party software[198] ? ? ? ? ?
Official Application Store App Store Android Market App Catalog Windows Marketplace for Mobile Windows Phone Marketplace App World Symbian Horizon, Ovi store maemo.org, Ovi store ? Samsung Apps
Non-discriminatory Stores Apple discriminates based on country[199] and own Apple policies[200] ? Discriminates by country.[201] Can be circumvented via homebrew[202] ? Discriminates by country[203] ? ? ? ? ?
Unified Inbox Yes No[204] Yes Yes 7.10.7720.0+[205] Yes Yes ? ? Yes
Email Sync protocols supported POP3, IMAP, MAPI POP3, IMAP, MAPI POP3, IMAP, MAPI POP3, IMAP, MAPI POP3, IMAP, MAPI BES, BIS, Push e-mail POP3, IMAP POP3, IMAP, Exchange POP3, IMAP POP3, IMAP
Non-intrusive Notifications 5+[206] Yes[207] Yes ? Yes[208] 6+[209] Symbian Belle+[210] Yes[211] Yes[212] ?
Push Notifications Yes (Apple Push Notification Service) Yes[213] Yes ? Yes[214] Yes Yes 2+[215]
End-to-end Encrypted Push Notifications Not possible, Apple must have access to notifications cleartext[216] Possible, notifications are handled by the application that can decrypt it[213] ? ? Possible, raw notifications are handled by the application that can decrypt it[217] ? ? ? ? ?
Screen orientation lock Yes[176] Yes[218] ? ? No[219] ? ? ? ? ?
Custom Home and Lock Screen wallpaper Both[176] Yes ? ? Yes ? ? ? ? ?
Custom Ringtones Yes Yes Yes Yes 7.10.7720.0+[220] Yes Yes 3rd party software[221] ? Yes
Custom SMS/MMS tones 5+[222] No[223] Via homebrew[224] ? ? Yes[225] ? ? ? ?
Custom Vibrate Alert patterns 5+[226][227] No[223] ? ? ? Yes[225] ? ? ? ?
Non-carrier-based integrated messaging 5+ (iMessage)[228] Google Talk AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo[citation needed] ? Windows Live Messenger, Facebook Chat[229] BBM ? ? ? ?
Offline Voice Commands Yes[230] No[231] 2.1+ Microsoft Voice Command Yes Yes Yes Yes
Voice Recognition 5+ (Siri on iPhone 4S)[232] Yes[233] 2.1+ Yes Yes[234][235] Yes Yes Yes
Non-English Voice Recognition Yes[84] Yes ? ? Yes[94] ? ? ? ? ?
Sound Recorder Limited (Not voice controlled) Very limited (Doesn't work in background[236] and not voice controlled) 3rd party software ? 3rd party software; Very limited (Doesn't work in background and not voice controlled) Very limited (Doesn't work in background and not voice controlled) Yes 3rd party software[237] ? ?
Call Recorder Prevented by OS restrictions Prevented by OS restrictions,[238] but possible with 3rd party firmware[239] No Yes[240] No No[241] Yes 3rd party software[237] ? ?
Camera tap-to-focus Yes[176] 4+[242] ? ? Yes[243] ? ? ? Yes[244] ?
On device picture info (including Exif data) Only location[245] Only date and location; more with 3rd party software[246] Yes ? No ? Not full Exif ? ? ?
On device picture categorization 5+[247] No[248] 3.0+ ? No[249] Yes, photos can be renamed and searched Yes, albums and tags[250] ? ? ?
On device picture description and search No No[251] ? ? No ? No, Allows setting a description, but search will not use it ? ? ?
Turn off shutter sound In silent mode[252] In silent mode[253] In silent mode ? 7.10.7720.0+[254] ? ? ? ? ?
Picture crop 5+[255] Yes 3rd party software ? 3rd party software[256] ? Yes Yes ? Yes
Photo red-eye reduction 5+[257] 4+[258] ? ? 3rd party software[259] ? Symbian Anna+[260] ? ? ?
HDR photos option Yes[261] No,[262] 3rd party software available[263] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Photo/video import from memory cards With Camera Connection Kit[264] No ? ? ? Yes Yes ? ? ?
Video trim Yes No,[265] but 3rd party software available.[266] Yes ? No ? Yes[267] ? ? Yes
Sound trim Yes No,[268] but 3rd party software available[269] No ? No sound recorder ? ? ? ? ?
Tethering Bluetooth, USB (carrier dependent), Personal Hotspot (Wi-Fi Tethering) (carrier dependent, iPhone 4s since iOS 4.2.5/4.3, or with 3rd party software and "jailbreak") Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot, USB, Bluetooth Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot (officially AT&T and Verizon Wireless only). USB, Bluetooth, and Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot via homebrew[270] USB, Bluetooth, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot (with 3rd party software) Internet Sharing (Wi-Fi Hotspot)[271] USB, Bluetooth, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot USB, Bluetooth, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot (with 3rd party software) microUSB, Bluetooth, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot microUSB, Bluetooth 3.0, Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot
USB On-The-Go No[272] 3.1+[273][274] No ? No ? Yes[275] ? ? ?
Interchangeable external memory cards Only for photo/video import with an optional accessory Yes No Yes No[276] Yes[277] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Text/Document Support Microsoft Office,[278][279][280] iWork, PDF, Images, TXT/RTF, VCF Microsoft Office, PDF Microsoft Office Mobile, PDF Microsoft Office Mobile, PDF Microsoft Office, PDF Microsoft Office Mobile, PDF, djvu text files, PDF, HTML, Multiple office formats with free 3rd party software Read only: text files, PDF, HTML, Multiple office formats
Printer support Yes (AirPrint)[281] No built-in function,[282] but have apps use Google Cloud Pint available for 2.0+[283] Yes[284] ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Audio Playback AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV AAC LC/LTP 3GPP, HE-AACv1 (AAC+) (before Android2.1),[285] HE-AACv2 (enhanced AAC+)(before Android2.1),[285] AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MP3 (Mono/Stereo 8-320 Kbps constant or variable bit-rate), MIDI (Type 0 and 1, DLS versions 1 and 2), Ogg Vorbis, PCM/WAVE (8- and 16-bit linear PCM, rates up to limit of hardware), WAVE [286] MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR, QCELP, WAV MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, WMA pro, AMR-NB, MIDI MP3, WAVE, WMA, AAC+, MIDI, AMR, eAAC+, FlAC, OGG All All (some require optional debian packages) MP3, AAC, WMA, M4A, XMF, 3GA, MMF, MIDI, WAV, AMR [287]
Video Playback H.264 AVC, MPEG-4, M-JPEG H.263, H.264 AVC, MPEG-4 SP, DivX, XviD, VP8 [286] MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 H.263, H.264, WMV, MPEG4, MPEG4 @ HD 720p 30fps, DivX, XviD MP4, WMV, H.263, H.264, DivX, WMV, XviD, 3gp H.263, H.264, WMV, MPEG4, MPEG4 @ HD 720p 30fps, MKV, DivX, XviD All (some require optional debian packages) WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, AVI [287]
Wired video out Up to 720p via HDMI[288] or VGA,[289] 576p/480p via component[290] or composite;[291] 1080p on iPad 2 or iPhone 4S in 5+ 1080p on select devices No ? ? No Nokia AV Out (PAL/NTSC), HDMI Nokia AV Out (PAL/NTSC) ? ?
Wireless video/audio streaming to set top boxes/TVs/speakers AirPlay[292] No,[293] DLNA available on selected devices ? ? Play To (DLNA)[294] ? ? ? ? DLNA[295]
Media player on-device playlist creation Yes[176] Yes[296] ? ? Yes[297] ? ? ? ? ?
Media Player Fine Scrubbing Yes[298] 3rd party software[299][300] No ? 7.10.7720.0+[301] ? ? ? ? ?
Media Player Double Speed Playing Only Audio Podcasts[302] 3rd party software[303][304] ? ? No ? ? ? ? ?
Turn-by-turn GPS 3rd party software Google Maps Navigation (will not work with limited phone coverage[305] as it only downloads a 10-mile radius[306]) or 3rd party software Carrier software, 3rd party software 3rd party software 7.10.7720.0+[307] and 3rd party software[308] 3rd party software free global Nokia Ovi Maps and 3rd party software Nokia Ovi Maps and 3rd party software Samsung LBS (Route 66)
Alternative routes in maps 5+[309] No[310] ? ? 3rd party software ? ? ? ? ?
Multitasking Yes[311] Yes Yes Yes Yes[312] Yes Yes Yes Yes 2+[215]
Desktop interactive widgets No Yes Via homebrew Yes Yes (through "live tiles") No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lock screen widgets Media player; 5+: Notifications,[206] voicemail, camera[313] Notification and Camera ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Notification view widgets 5+: Stocks and weather;[206] 3rd party software with "jailbreak"[314][315] ? 3.0+[316] 3rd party firmware Yes (through "live tiles")[317] ? ? ? ? ?
Bluetooth keyboard Yes[318] 3.1+;[319] previous versions via 3rd party software[320] 2.0+ Yes No[321] Yes Yes Yes, with plugins ? ?
USB keyboard With Camera Connection Kit[264] 3.1+[319] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Videoconference front video camera Yes (FaceTime)[322] (iPhone 4, iPod touch 4th generation, iPad 2; can connect to Macs with webcams) Hardware currently available on some models Pre3 and TouchPad only No Yes[323] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Direct file transfer Bluetooth using 3rd party software on jailbroken devices[324] Bluetooth[325], Wi-Fi Direct 4+[71] and selected devices[326][327] and NFC (small data) 4+[71] No Bluetooth No[328] Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth Yes Wi-Fi Direct 2+ and NFC (small data) 2+[329]
Voice over IP FaceTime or 3rd party software (like Skype) Yes (SIP)[330] or 3rd party software (like Skype) Yes[331] 3rd party software (like fring) 7.10.7720.0+[332] 3rd party software[333] Yes (SIP) or 3rd party software (like Skype) Yes (SIP)[334] ? No[335]
SSH[clarification needed] Yes[336][337] Yes Via homebrew No No Yes ? Yes Yes ?
OpenVPN ? No, but possible with 3rd party firmware[338] Yes Remote Desktop ? Yes 3rd party software Yes Yes ?
WPA PEAP Yes[339] Yes[340] Yes[341] ? Yes[342] ? ? ? ? ?
Remote Frame Buffer ? Yes[343] Via homebrew[344] ? ? ? ? Yes Yes ?
Screenshot Yes[176][345] 4+[346] Yes Yes[347] No[348], but possible through homebrew or SDK.[349][350] 3rd party software Yes[351] Yes ? Yes
GPU Accelerated GUI Yes 3+[352] Partially (in Enyo apps) No Yes[353] ? Yes Yes ? ?
Official SDK platform(s) Mac OS X using iOS SDK Linux, Mac OS X and Windows[354] Linux, Mac OS X and Windows[355] Windows[356] Windows[357] Windows[358] Windows using Symbian SDK[359] or Linux, Mac OS X and Windows using Nokia Qt SDK[360] GNU/Linux[361] GNU/Linux and Windows[362] Windows[363]
Extra cost to develop Free ($99/year to distribute on App Store[364]) Free ($25 once to offer it on the Android Market[365]) Free [366] Free Free ($99/year to offer it on the Windows Phone Marketplace[367]) ? Free (1€ once to offer it in the Ovi Store[368] Free Free ?
Feature iOS Android webOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone 7 BlackBerry OS Symbian Maemo MeeGo bada

See also

References

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  41. ^ Welcome to Tizen!
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  99. ^ "iPhone 3.0 spotlight - bookmarks?". macrumors.com. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=711973. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  100. ^ Android Issue 2518: Calendar app has no search.
  101. ^ How do I search for a SMS/Text message? - Microsoft Answers
  102. ^ Search Improved With Mango, But Still Lacking In Features - myWindowsPhone
  103. ^ "iOS will not search Contacts notes field". Apple Inc.. 2010-08-12. http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=12439417. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  104. ^ "Android Issue 3732: Only search Contacts name field but not any other field". Google.com. 2009-08-31. http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=3732. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  105. ^ "WP7 on HTC Mozart - Unable to search for additional Contact fields - by design or bug?". Microsoft. 2010-11-11. http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsphone7/thread/b29e7b1a-c870-4061-bad7-9669187a465f. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  106. ^ "Notes search not available in BB Torch". Research In Motion. 2010-12-11. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Torch-9800-smartphone/Notes-search-not-available-in-BB-Torch/m-p/675645. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
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