When it comes to mobile devices, two major operating systems are competing for traction. Both Android and iOS are commonly used on a global scale. Even though there is nothing wrong with Google’s popular mobile operating system, there are those users looking for viable alternatives which offer a user-friendly experience. The following operating systems all borrow aspects from Android, yet add their own twist.
LineageOS Gains More Traction
Ever since Android was turned into an open source repository for developers to tinker with, a few different iterations of Google’ popular OS have emerged. LineageOS is one of the operating systems gaining a fair bit of traction lately, primarily because it offers a convenient experience but without Google being the nosy neighbor no one really likes. It is a free and open source operating system which is compatible with a growing list of devices, which makes it of great value to many users. Having an alternative to Android is never a bad thing, after all.
Under the hood, LineageOS focuses on all aspects which matter to users. Security is the number one priority, as the team ensures users remain in control of the applications and which information they can collect. There are also monthly security updates, which is a positive sign of future development. Secondly, the OS focuses on longevity. This is achieved by extending the functionality and lifespan of the supported mobile devices. Last but not least, the platform offers a plethora of open source applications which can get anything done traditional Google apps will take care of as well.
Eelo: The Google-free Android Clone
No one will deny the traditional version of Google’s mobile operating system is convenient and makes life a lot easier. However, there are also numerous drawbacks which need to be addressed. Especially users who value privacy will not be too amused by using Google’s OS. Gael Duval, a Linux pioneer, is in the process of further developing a Google-free Android alternative which focuses on user privacy first and foremost.
Known as Eelo, this new solution will remain a non-profit project at all times. There was never an intent to commercialize this software. Nor it is a traditional Linux-based smartphone OS, as previous attempts at doing so have all failed. Eelo is, in fact, derived from LineageOS, and supports all applications provided by F-Droid and APKPure. Traditional Google Services will be replaced by MicroG, and DuckDuckGo is the native search engine together with Qwant. Very interesting choices, and it seems the list of supported devices is growing rather nicely.
Huawei’s Mysterious OS
The big news this week is how Google officially pulled Huawei’s Android license. While this will not directly affect existing devices, those units will potentially not receive further software updates. While some people expect this to be the downfall of Huawei, the company has been working on its own mobile operating system for some time now. While exact specifics remain unclear, it seems the OS is usable for both smartphones and computers alike. For the time being, the company has confirmed it will not release this OS unless “extenuating circumstances would present themselves”.
Given how most of these mobile manufacturers operate, it seems plausible to assume this OS will be based on Android’s open source version. That wouldn’t necessarily make it suitable for computer usage, albeit there are numerous ways to run or emulate mobile operating systems on a computer. Another option is how Huawei has built something akin to Microsoft’s Continuum, which would extend a mobile OS to a computer-based interface through proprietary hardware.
Special Mention: Google Fuchsia
Who better to make Android obsolete than Google itself. The technology company has been working on Google Fuchsia for some time now, although it remains to be seen where these developments will lead in the years to come. It is expected this operating system will replace both Chrome OS and the popular mobile operating system in one go. That would make for a unified user experience, albeit still under the purview of the technology giant.
Fuchsia’s main selling point is how it allows developers to create applications and programs which work on all of Google’s platforms. Since there is no official release date associated with this project right now, one has to wait and see if Google effectively plans to move ahead with Fuchsia. It would not be the first time the technology giant announces a mystery project and later on abandons it quietly.