IIT Madras recently announced a new home-grown operating system called BharOS, which has been developed to offer a securer and private mobile operating system. It is an AOSP-based Indian operating system and is said to benefit India's 100 crore mobile phone users, who are currently using smartphones dominated by Android and iOS operating systems, owned by foreign companies.
The new indigenously developed OS system is intriguing the developing tech industry of India, and the first question which is coming to everyone's mind is if BharOS can be an alternative for Google's Android. Or how is it different and better than the Android or iOS, or will they survive in the iOS and Android-ruled market?
Here we have answered some frequently asked questions about the new made-in-India OS:
BharOS is an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) operating system that is designed to be secure and powerful. It is developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), a non-profit organisation incubated at IIT Madras.
The new operating software can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets. BharOS developers are claiming that the new indigenous OS has been designed to provide a more secure experience to users.
BharOS is a mobile operating system that aims to give users more control over their device's security and privacy. Here are some key features of the new made-in-India OS shared by its developers.
BharOS does not include any bloatware or default apps, giving users more storage space.
Without any default apps, users are also not forced to use any app they may not trust.
BharOS offers "Native Over The Air" (NOTA) updates, similar to Android, which means the software updates will be automatically downloaded and installed on the device.
The new OS will also provide access to Private App Store Services (PASS), that offer trusted apps from specific organisations. "A PASS provides access to a curated list of apps that have been thoroughly vetted and have met certain security and privacy standards of organisations. This means users can be confident that the apps they are installing are safe to use and have been checked for any potential security vulnerabilities or privacy concerns," the developers said in a statement.
Answer: BharOS is technically similar to Android as it is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The main difference between BharOS and Google's Android is the absence of Google services on BharOS and the ability for users to install their own apps. In terms of features, BharOS is similar to Android as it is based on AOSP and does not come with pre-installed apps.
Before comparing both, there are some key differences between BharOS and Android that should be noted.
Firstly, it is not yet clear how an individual could replace a pre-installed OS with BharOS.
There are no details available on how to install the OS or which devices will support it.
Additionally, it is not known how long BharOS will receive security and software updates, or if the developers of the OS will collaborate with any OEMs to launch smartphones with BharOS.
Furthermore, the developers of BharOS have not provided any information on when the OS will be available for download.
Thus, more information about the BharOS is awaited to determine when or if the operating system will become a viable alternative to Android. Notably, even after the full-fledged launch of the OS, BharOS will not replace Android; instead, it may become an alternative to Android and iOS.
BharOS is currently only for those organizations that have stringent privacy and security requirements and "whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles." The new OS is yet to release officially for the masses.
The developers of BharOS have not provided any information on its release date or supported smartphones. However, it is speculated that the developers will collaborate with smartphone manufacturers to launch smartphones running on BharOS in the near future.
Since not much information has been released about the new home-grown OS, it is yet to be determined on how it will be possible to replace a pre-installed OS with BharOS. Additionally, it is expected that OS developers will collaborate with OEM- Original equipment manufacturers, to launch the smartphone supported by BharOS in future. However, while BharOS is said to be compatible with Google Pixel smartphones, developers have not confirmed the exact models of pixels that will support BharOS.
BharOS is developed to provide users with an alternative to the traditional Android experience. The main aim of the developers is to offer a home-grown operating system which does not rely on any foreign company. So, it will have its own app store which will allow users to download and install apps, eliminating the need for the Google App Store.
Additionally, users will have the ability to load third-party apps, which will further expand options to install more apps. However, it should be noted that while BharOS can run most apps, there may be certain apps that are not compatible with the new OS.
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