Are there alternatives to Android for mobile phones?

Are there alternatives to Android?

Commenting the article sAbout Huawei's not-so-new OS, the post-clear reader wrote:

And what did you expect it to be, an alien spaceship? Well, of course it is a reworked Android. Today nothing is invented. There is much criticism that if Google's monomopoly so and that, but then nobody has eggs to invent anything new.

Leaving aside the fact that it is a rhetorical question I will answer that considering that

  1. Huawei manufactures the hardware and therefore you will not have problems developing the drivers
  2. The same embargo that prevents you from using Android prevents you from having WhatsApp, Instragram and other popular apps so you don't have to bother with them working on the new OS

They might as well having taken the trouble to create an operating system from scratch thatThat will leave us with our mouths open.

As for the final statement, my answer is that it depends.

Are there alternatives to Android for mobile phones?

If we mean by inventing something new the development of an operating system from scratch, it must be said that, at least if we talk about open source ones, the answer is no. After all, Android itself is a Java virtual machine running on the Linux kernel.

And anyway, the "alternatives" take it with a grain of salt. They do not work on all Android-compatible devices and in some cases they are intended for use.

Mobile operating systems based on Linux distributions

Plasma Mobile

Es a Linux distribution (in some places they say Kubuntu) with a user interface that adapts to both mobile devices and larger screens.  This operating system combines Android graphics drivers with the following open source technologies:

  • Wayland: Graphic server.
  • KWin: Window manager.
  • KDE Frameworks: Graphic library set.
  • Kirigami: Framework for the creation of graphical interfaces.
  • Ofono: Framework for the creation of telephone applications.
  • Telepathy: Framework for creating messaging and voice over IP applications.

Ubuntu Touch

If Canonical's plans to enter the mobile market had worked, I could have told Postclaro that he was wrong. Unfortunately the thing did not work and this version of Ubuntu for mobile is developed by a small but active community.

This version of Ubuntu is optimized for touchscreens and is convergente, adapting its graphical interface to one more suitable for a computer in case of connecting to a monitor.

Ubuntu Touch has a complete application store.

Tizen OS

If there was something like an official Linux distribution for mobile devices, it would undoubtedly be Tizen. After everything is sponsored by the Linux Foundation itself. In terms of accuracy, it is not just a mobile-only operating system. It can also be used in smart TVs, vehicles, and Internet of Things devices.

The project was originally created by Samsung and has a comprehensive guide for application development.

Mobian OS

As the name implies, it is based on Arch Linux. Okay, the joke is bad. But they could have chosen a slightly more imaginative name than the contraction of Mobile phone numberhere DebJanuary

The project look for himbring Debian to mobile devices. At the moment it only works on the PinePhone, PineTab and Librem 5.

The distribution allows install applications from repositories using APT, self-contained from FlatPak or web apps.

The latest version available is dated December 2020, so we see that the project is still active.

postmakerOS

En this houseor we have an operating system based on Alpine Linux that can run Android applications within Anbox, a solution that allows running Android in a container.

The guiding purpose of postmakerOS is to delay the scheduled obsolescence of mobile devices, allowing equipment up to 10 years old to remain usable.

Its developers assure that it supports at least 250 devices.

Going back to the beginning, I would like an operating system that proposed something original, but I don't think it is possible. Part of the failure of Firefox and Canonical on mobile phones was that the companies in charge of marketing the equipment did not know how to sell them. Not to mention the lack of disruptive apps like WhatsApp or Tik TOK. Therefore, we will have to live with a two-course menu for quite some time.


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  1.   bubexel said

    I bought a pine phone with plasma mobile pre-installed and it is not a kubuntu, it is a delicacy.

    1.    Diego German Gonzalez said

      Thanks for the information.
      Yes, Plasma Mobile is an interface, it is likely that there are versions with different distros as a base.

  2.   Nonamed said

    recalling old times with that manga cut that Mr. Trovalds made to nvidia, we can do the same to android: "Fuck you android!"

  3.   juliosao said

    Missing Salfish OS, it seems to me a very promising system.