The advantages of Linux on mobile

I think we all here know the benefits that Linux generates to our computer, whether desktop or laptop, now what does Linux bring to our mobile? Worldwide, Symbian is still the most widely used operating system in these devices, it is logical, 1 in 3 mobile phones in the world is Nokia. But Linux is putting its head in this market with more success than ever thanks to Android and Maemo mainly.

The two most powerful Linux platforms for mobiles are backed by two of the biggest companies in the world: Google for Android and Nokia for Maemo, because I'm not going to get into OpenMoko, LiMo or Qtopia. So, in addition to the support of large corporations, we are going to see what other advantages we have with Linux on the mobile, especially against the great monster of the market, the iPhone.

1 Open Source

Anyone familiar with Linux will already know what this topic is about. But it is also that in the field of mobile telephony it is a very important value to be able to create and run any application on our terminal. This does not happen, for example, with the iPhone (main competitor for all). Since you are limited to the applications that Apple allows in its App Store.

2. Security

Another of the strengths of Linux. In mobile telephony you may think that it is not so important but day by day phones are becoming more and more a computer and therefore the bugs will be more and more critical. As with computers, security updates are more frequent and faster to perform on Linux than on Mac OS or Windows, so at this point an Android has more advantage than an iPhone OS or Windows Mobile.

3. Development

Apple has more applications than anyone, but perhaps it is because they were the first or because the fanboys are many, in any case, development for a Linux platform is easier since it is done on common languages ​​(Java, C, etc.). However, the iPhone SDK can only be installed on a Mac, programs on Objective C and, in addition, to send your application to be reviewed to see if it can enter the App Store, you must do it, imperiously, from a Mac. the perfect maqueros, for the rest of humanity it is a problem and, let's face it, programmers often use Linux.

4. connectivity

Here more than an advantage of Linux, it is a disadvantage of the iPhone. With any phone you can exchange information with your computer, be it PC or Mac, with the simple gesture of copying and pasting. However, an iPhone is linked to iTunes, it is the only way to copy things from mobile to computer and vice versa. A small handicap for those who do not have a Mac or do not want to have iTunes, which, as we know, occupies a lot.

5. Personalization

At this point is where the difference between a Linux device and any other is most noticeable, especially an iPhone. In the Apple phone everything is as Apple wants, the menus, the browser ... However, on a Linux phone you can install practically anything. Browsers, mail managers, you can even change the aesthetics of the phone 100% and, if you want, have the same menu as an iPhone. The possibilities are endless.

In short, without going into evaluating aspects of hardware, usability, design and those things outside the operating system, Linux has more potential than iPhone OS and, of course, Symbian, Windows Mobile, etc. In fact, in Japan and China they cover 40% of the mobile market. But this is how it happens in computers, Linux can have overwhelming benefits over its Windows and Mac OS competitors that without strong support nothing is achieved. The difference is that here it does. We'll see what happens when this spreads further.

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  1.   bachi.tux said

    I think it's exactly the same thing that happens to us on the PC: with Windows everything is closed in its box, with Linux everything is open for the Community.

    Now we go for the mobiles: iPhone, cerradito. Linux, open with availability to infinite changes ...

    By the way, very good entry.

  2.   McLarenX said

    Thank you :) And yes, that's basically it, just like on computers but on mobiles

  3.   LeeK said

    I hope that your post will be read by many, and if possible, hopefully it will be read by an iPhone fan, so that they see that Linux is better than MacOS X.

  4.   Josep said

    I agree with the flexibility that Linux can give and how completely closed the iPhone is, but I think that, much to my regret, the success of the iPhone is precisely this. There are no applications (or very few) that hang the iPhone, there are no viruses or malware, the mobile does not "get tired" when months go by after installing / deleting applications and games and a long etcetera.
    Of course, all this at the cost of freedom, because because you cannot, you cannot even change the battery of the iphone / touch (although there are rumors that in 4G it will be possible).
    We are in business as usual, a user who has an iPhone will speak to another and they will understand each other perfectly, as happens with MacOSX or Windows on PC's. In Linux, an Arch user does not do the same things to install and maintain the system as a debianite or susero, without entering into the fact that one can have Gnome, the other KDE and the other Openbox.
    I have been a user of Unix systems for a long time, but the freedom that I enjoy in my systems I cannot easily transmit and share.
    For developers more of the same, some will write applications with .NET, others with Objective, but what about Linux? GTK or QT?
    It really is all a bit contradictory. The AppStore has a good handful of useful applications, but there are also many complaints from developers who ban their programs. And there are applications that give little pain and they are included.
    But the thing is like that, usually people are satisfied with their iphone / touch and with their applestore, which in short is nothing more than a unix repository but controlled / supervised.
    Windows mobile today is out of date, and luckily we have ROMS cooks who improve the system a lot (if it weren't for them, my HTC Diamond would be a shame with the official Vodafone ROM). And Android I see it in the middle of these two. There are cooks of ROMS for Android but no ROM is as fast as the official one. Your Store will be similar to Apple's.
    In any system, if I have a repository (or store in the case of mobiles), a control is necessary.
    Anyway, it's almost 5 in the morning, I don't know if you have understood where I wanted to go ;-)


  5.   McLarenX said

    Josep, you are very right when it comes to computers, but with mobile phones it will be very different since there really is only one strong Linux, Android, and another that wants to be, Maemo. In addition, the versatility of a mobile cannot be compared to that of a PC.

    On the other hand, you talk about the stability of the iPhone and I, sorry, have to question it. I have checked with my own hands how it hangs and you can not do anything since you can not remove the battery to restart it. There are moments of anguish, and it is even more serious considering that, it is assumed, all applications are perfectly reviewed by Apple so as not to harm the terminal. Something that helps to prevent this from happening is the impossibility of running more than one application at the same time.

    At the end of the day, it is reducing freedom and functionalities in exchange for stability that, above all, they do not fully achieve. Yes, it is the benchmark in the market, but it is not a panacea, far from it. For those who want everything, the iPhone is too small. It is not a handheld computer as you try to do with high-end mobiles.

  6.   pablin said

    Hi, I'm new to linux, I have a motorola zn5 with montavista linux operating system and I want to know if you can put windows mobile on it. Thank you very much in advance, I wait for an answer

  7.   davevo said

    Worldwide, Symbian is still the most widely used operating system in these devices, it is logical, 1 in 3 mobile phones in the world is Nokia. But Linux is putting its head in this market with more success than ever thanks to Android and Maemo mainly.


    How long have the nokias been with your system on the market? If you compare them proportionally, space time / mobile units, you would see that there are more mobiles with android than nokias

  8.   davevo said

    Hi, I'm new to linux, I have a motorola zn5 with montavista linux operating system and I want to know if you can put windows mobile on it. Thank you very much in advance, I wait for an answer

    I do not know that called windows, if you want I can help you install linux and its management.