BharOS explained: India’s first step towards an indigenous operating system for smartphones

BharOS explained: India’s first step towards an indigenous operating system for smartphones
BharOS- indigenous mobile operating system Image credits- Unsplash
  • BharOS is an indigenous mobile operating system developed by IIT Madras for India to reduce dependence on foreign OS.
  • BharOS operating system is intended to be used in a wide range of devices including laptops, and mobile devices, making it versatile and adaptable to various different use cases.
  • It is a free and open-source operating system, which can be freely modified and distributed by anyone.
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT) developed an indigenous operating system BharOS — a new mobile operating system focused on privacy and security. A mobile operating system is a software which is the core interface on a smartphone like Android by Google and iOS by Apple.

The BharOS is an Indian government-funded project to develop a free and open-source operating system (OS) for use in government and public systems. The project aims to reduce the dependence on foreign OS in smartphones and promote the use of locally developed technology. It is a huge leap forward to create an indigenous ecosystem and a self reliant future.

The developer said the software could be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets, providing a secure environment for users. Also, BharOS comes with No Default Apps (NDA), which means, the users are not forced to use apps that they are not familiar with or that they may not trust. Institute claimed that the users would get more control, freedom, and flexibility to choose and use only apps that fit their needs.
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BharOS is based on the Linux kernel and is intended to be used in a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. It was developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JAndKops), a non-profit organization incubated at IIT Madras. The project is still under development, and the release date is not announced yet.

Currently, BharOS comes with third-party apps like DuckDuckGo and Signal as default browsers and messaging applications.

How is BharOS different from Android?

In terms of technicality, BharOS is not that different from Android. This OS is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The major difference between Google’s Android OS and BharOS is that BharOS does not ship with Google services, and it will allow users to install apps of their interest.

Regarding features, BharOS is not that different from Google’s Android as BharOS is based on AOSP. Not just that, BharOS does not come with any pre-installed applications.

It is not clear how an individual could replace a pre-install OS with BharOS. There are also no details on how long the BharOS will receive security and software updates. Moreover, it is also unclear if the team that has developed BharOS will join hands with the OEM to launch the smartphone supported by BharOS.

The developers of BharOS have provided no information on when the OS will be available for download. In addition, there are no details about which smartphones will support BharOS. However, it is expected from the developers to collaborate with some smartphones manufacturer to launch smartphones with BharOS in the near future.

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