Definition of handheld devices
Handheld devices are, in essence, computers that are small enough to hold them in one hand. They range from low-end consumer gadgets all the way up to state-of-the-art productivity tools and gaming machines. They have varying degrees of feature sets and prices, but they share a common denominator; they are all designed for easy portability to the point where most people can use them without looking at the screen.
These devices run on software that is not always meant for the purpose of displaying information, but to make the device perform certain tasks, such as communicating with the outside world or playing videos. All operating systems — operating systems are programs which computers use to do a particular task—have at least one program which works with handheld devices, and that program is called a “handheld interface.”
Most of these interfaces are developed by companies and produced by software developers as part of their package offerings. They’re nicely packaged as applications (shortening them to “apps” often) that run on the handheld hardware, and can be used by anyone to get basic tasks done. Some of these programs are made by the mobile industry itself, especially ones such as Android that were created for specific markets. These programs can take advantage of the hardware and software already on the device, or they may need to be downloaded from some external source or have data pulled from their own server.
Categories of operating systems for handheld devices
The mobile operating system market is currently dominated by four main players: Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, and Windows Phone. In recent years the choices have become fewer – and more confusing – as BlackBerry OS is quickly disappearing from the scene. Android remains the most common mobile operating system and is in the process of becoming more practical for use in the hands of average users. The Windows Phone operating system recently joined in, also with a goal of becoming more user-friendly.
Android is the main competitor for iOS and BlackBerry OS in terms of the percentage of worldwide market share. Due to its open-source heritage, it is also becoming more customizable by third-party developers. Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS are both losing ground in global sales due to their very specific use cases and customer bases. Android’s success will continue because of its size, developer support, and affordability. According 1 in 2010 Appolicious reported that Android is the number 1 mobile OS worldwide with a market share of 62.7%, while iOS is second with a market share of 16.6%.
The two main competitors in the mobile operating systems war, iOS and Android, are related to each other by more than one feature. Both run on an open-source kernel (which Apple calls “ABI”), meaning that both have similar code bases running inside the same operating system. Both iOS and Android have features that make them “easy” to use by doing things like automatically saving work when the user stops inputting information. Both have push notifications that alert users to message and call arrivals. Both are designed to be secure, which means they are protected from viruses and other malicious software.
Pros and cons of each category of operating system
Android is the most diversified operating system in terms of price and performance. iOS devices are made specifically for Apple fans, making them the highest priced on the market, but also carry a reputation for being incredibly well built. The Windows Phone operating system is relatively new, so it is too early to tell if it will ever be a serious competitor for global market share. It does have one advantage that its competitors do not – it was designed to be used by people who do not want to necessarily be connected all the time.
There are many more operating systems out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. These are the main categories we work with:
Linux: A free and open source operating system, Linux runs on desktops and laptops as well as in a huge number of embedded systems, even for things like refrigerators.
Microsoft: Windows is the only operating system that does not have a free and open source alternative. It was created for the desktop, and still has more users than any of its competitors. Many people fear that Microsoft will use its control to gain an unfair advantage in the mobile space. But others are intrigued by what it might mean for users – if you want to be connected all the time, Windows beats Android any day.
Android: The most popular operating system, Android is an open source Linux system that was built by Google. It can be used in phones as well as tablets.
iOS: A proprietary system created by Apple, the iPhone and iPad are the only devices that you can connect to their operating system.
How to decide which operating system is best for you
Choosing the right handheld device operating system for you depends on what you will use it for. If you will only occasionally use it, the operating system will be of little importance. Conversely, if you plan to use it extensively and make frequent use of its capabilities, then the operating system is crucial. That said, there are benefits to using smartphone operating systems that allow much simpler integration with other devices and services.
· Much easier to use and learn than other handheld operating systems.
· Open source, allowing you to tailor the system to suit your computing needs.
· Links with Google’s “cloud” services. With no limitations or fees, Google Drive, Gmail, YouTube and other services become usable wherever you are. This is not available on smartphone operating systems running BlackBerry or Symbian. Twitter also has an Android app that works with Android smartphones (and of course a web interface).
· User-friendly interface, good for smartphone beginners.
· Many apps are available in the Play Store.
Examples of popular handheld devices with different categories of operating systems
There are many handheld devices available, but the most popular categories tend to be the ones listed above. The category of operating system used for a device is not always easy to determine because it is often hidden behind different ways of advertising the product. Regardless, here are some examples of popular handheld devices with their respective operating systems: Android Devices: Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, Google Nexus 7P, Google Nexus 10, HTC One X+, HTC One M8. iOS Devices: iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S Plus, iPhone 6 Plus, Nokia Lumia 1020. BlackBerry OS Devices: RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer. UWP (Universal Windows Platform): Windows Phone 8, Windows Mobile 10.2. Nokia: Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 820, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 925, Nokia Lumia 1020. Sony Devices: Sony Xperia Z Series smartphones, the PlayStation Vita handheld games console. Blackberry: BlackBerry 10 smartphones .