Smartphone OS Roster

This is a list of current and soon to be released Smartphone operating systems.

Obsolete operating systems [ones no longer being actively developed], such as Symbian, PalmOS, Windows 7, Windows Mobile, and Bada are not in this list.

Several smartphone operating systems exist that are forks of Android, they are not listed separately here.


Android
Companies supporting development: Google; and many others.
Programming Environments: Java
Year first sold: 2008
Linux based? Yes
Supports tablets? Yes
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? Yes
Open Source? Yes
Brief history:
Originally produced by a tiny company called Android, Inc. It was purchased by Google in 2005. Started thin on features. Has steadily grown and improved, becoming, by far, the leading mobile OS.



iOS
Companies supporting development: Apple
Programming Environments: Objective C
Year first sold: 2007
Linux based? No
Supports tablets? Yes
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? No
Open Source? No
Brief history:
Taking ideas from many sources, Apple melded together the first broadly-used consumer smartphone OS in a way that Apple seems only able to do.



Blackberry 10
Companies supporting development: Blackberry [formerly Research In Motion]
Programming Environments: Javascript/HTML5, C++ [Several compatibility environments.]
Year first sold: 2013
Linux based? No
Supports tablets? Yes
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? No
Open Source? No
Brief history:
Based off the Unix-like QNX operating system. Blackberry 10 is a different operating system than the one  used on earlier Blackberry devices. Blackberry at one time was the leading operating system for phones used in the business world, but has massively lost market share in recent years.



Windows Phone 8
Companies supporting development: Microsoft
Programming Environments: C++, Javascript, C#
Year first sold: 2012
Linux based? No
Supports tablets? No [Has some API similarity to the Windows 8 tablet/desktop OS.]
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? No
Open Source? No
Brief history:
Impossible to do briefly. It is the latest in a long series of Microsoft failures.



Tizen
Companies supporting development: Samsung, Intel, Linux Foundation, others.
Programming Environments: Javascript/HTML 5, C++
Year first sold: Is expected to debut in phones this year.
Linux based? Yes
Supports tablets? Yes
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? Not yet, but is flexible and open source.
Open Source? Yes
Brief history:
Complicated, in recent history one can say if formed due to dissatisfaction with the failure of MeeGo.




Ubuntu
Companies supporting development: Canonical
Programming Environments: Javascript/HTML 5, QML/C++
Year first sold: Is expected to debut in phones in early 2014.
Linux based? Yes
Supports tablets? Yes
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? Not yet, but is flexible.
Open Source? Yes [Well sort of... it uses Qt which greatly restricts commercial development as it is expensive to get a commercial license. This may just kill its chances for wide adoption.]
Brief history:
Ubuntu Linux being moved to mobile. Canonical has ambitious plans... it's a shame they used Qt.



Firefox OS
Companies supporting development: Mozilla.org, several partners, mainly carriers.
Programming Environments: Javascript/HTML 5
Year first sold: Is expected to debut in phones this year.
Linux based? Yes
Supports tablets? Yes
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? Not yet, but is flexible and open source.
Open Source? Yes
Brief history:
Firefox leveraging their browser knowledge to move to a new level.


SailFish

Companies supporting development: Jolla
Programming Environments: Javascript/HTML 5, QML/C++
Year first sold: Not yet, but developer preview just became available.
Linux based? Yes
Supports tablets? Yes
Non-traditional usage (refrigerators, toys, etc)? Not yet, but is flexible.
Open Source? Yes [Well sort of... it uses Qt which greatly restricts commercial development as it is expensive to get a commercial license. This may just kill its chances for wide adoption.]
Brief history:
A fork of the failed MeeGo project.




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