The mobile industry is being increasing cluttered with jargon, says Anuj Gupta, our latest guest blogger for mobileapptesting.com. In this post, Anuj clears the air with an essential primer for anyone remotely involved in the mobile testing space, including discussions on the most popular operating systems and application platforms for iPhone, Blackberry, Windows mobile and more.
Mobile devices are evolving into increasingly sophisticated general purpose computers and this has led to the development of a variety of platforms and operating systems in the mobile space. Today, the operating system lying inside your mobile device is equally important as the device manufacturer (OEM). The various features, GUI, processing speed, and most importantly, the applications available for your device will depend greatly on the underlying OS.
Unfortunately, industry jargon has cluttered our understanding of this emerging technology. It is my intention to clear the air on a few of these misunderstandings. Here goes….
Manufacturers launch devices based on various user segments, and giving rise to a number of Mobile OS and Application platforms. A mobile OS manages the hardware and software resources of a mobile device, similar to that of a computer OS. Some OS platforms cover the entire range of the software stack, while others may only include the lower levels (typically the kernel and middleware layers) and rely on additional software platforms to provide a user interface framework.
Today’s phones are expected to run a growing range of software such as internet browsers, navigation packages, games and music/video players. Application platforms are supposed to provide a ground for them. Application platforms are built over lower-level kernel operating systems (OS) such as Rex, Linux or compact real-time OS’s such as Nucleus. Software running on the device accesses platform resources through a set of application programming interfaces or APIs. Application development platforms, such as Brew, Symbian UIQ, Android, LIMO, ALP, Qtopia or WIPI provide programming resources for native and Java applications.
Mobile developers typically develop for multiple platforms to maximize their available market. This can be a difficult and time-consuming task as multiple platforms use different API calls for common OS operations and accessing OS resources such as accessing memory and files.
There is a variety of both the OS and the application platforms in the market. Obviously, some are more dominant than others. Here is a list of major mobile operating systems and Application platforms.