It’s safe to say that mobile OSes take some time to catch on, and when they do it’s contagious. Sri Lanka itself went from all-out Symbian to iOS and Android over the course of the past four years, completely ignoring Bada and the other “clones” that popped up on the way. Here are some of the latest up-and-coming m-OSes that you might start seeing around the country pretty soon. Time will tell whether they bite the dust or persevere.
1) Ubuntu Mobile is gorgeous. The unusual Unity interface that split its fanbase looks simply brilliant on a touch-screen device. It’s a full-fledged Linux environment on a smartphone, and the fact that it can utilize Android drivers is definitely going to help. Canonical has been known to do a pretty good job and they happen to have that minimalistic design down to a T. Chances are quite high enthusiasts will start showing up with Ubuntu on their Galaxy’s.
2) Firefox OS
Firefox is targeted at cheap smartphones in the $100 range. On paper, that’s perfect for many South Asian countries, especially for us. In practice, unfortunately, Firefox looks huge, clunky, and had a long road ahead. Especially with Dialog competing so actively in the $100 smartphone range. It’s incompatible with Android, being based on HTML5.
3) Jolla’s Sailfish
Awkward name, ex-Nokia employees …Sailfish actually has a lot of push and rep in the world of things-yet-to-come. Sailfish has a very beautiful, Aero-ish glass UI going for it that looks impressive in demos. Unfortunately there aren’t any Sailfish handsets in Sri Lanka, so we’ll just have to wait and see where this one goes. It’s also compatible with Android apps. Nevertheless, they’re going to need more than a glassy UI to compete. UI’s aren’t exclusive anymore – GO launcher, anyone?
4) Blackberry 10
Blackberry is back in full force, but is it too late? BB’s new OS features THE best stock keyboard ever, brilliant gesture-based touch support, and multitasking that makes switching apps as easy as flipping a page. And no, you don’t need to go through that ridiculous BIS/BES
However, it’s late. Many companies in Sri Lanka – Etisalat and Dialog most prominently – have already taken their eggs out of the Blackberry basket and are pushing Android.
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