Different Types of Operating Systems Used in Smartphones



Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, empowering us with communication, productivity, and entertainment on the go. At the core of every smartphone lies an operating system (OS), which serves as the foundation for managing hardware resources, providing a user interface, and running applications. In this in-depth blog, we will explore the Different Types of Operating Systems Used in Smartphones, along with a detailed look at their various versions, highlighting their evolution, important features and how they affect the smartphone industry.


Android, developed by Google, is the most widely used operating system for smartphones globally. It is an open-source platform based on the Linux kernel, providing a robust and flexible environment for mobile devices. Let’s delve into the various versions of Android and their key features:

Android 1.0 (Cupcake):

Notable Features:
On-screen keyboard, video recording, web browser enhancements.

Introduced essential features, such as an on-screen keyboard and video recording capabilities, enhancing usability.

Cons: Limited functionality compared to later versions, lacked certain essential features.

Android 1.5 (Donut):

Notable Features: Widgets on the home screen, improved camera functionality, speech recognition.

Pros: Enhanced customization options with the introduction of widgets on the home screen. Improved camera features and speech recognition.

Cons: Limited app compatibility and occasional performance issues.

Android 1.6 (Éclair):

Notable Features: Expanded device support, improved virtual keyboard, enhanced camera features.

Pros: Increased device compatibility, improved user input experience with an enhanced virtual keyboard, and camera feature enhancements.

Cons: Performance issues on low-end devices and limited availability of certain features on older devices.

Android 2.0/2.1 (Eclair):

Notable Features: Turn-by-turn navigation, HTML5 support, voice-guided directions.

Pros: Advanced navigation features with turn-by-turn directions, improved web browsing experience with HTML5 support, and voice-guided directions.

Cons: Limited availability of turn-by-turn navigation in certain regions and occasional performance issues on older devices.

Android 2.2 (Froyo):

Notable Features: Speed improvements, Adobe Flash support, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.

Pros: Improved performance and responsiveness, access to Adobe Flash content, and the ability to use the device as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Cons: Limited availability of Adobe Flash on newer versions and occasional compatibility issues.

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich):

Notable Features: Unified interface, facial recognition, improved multitasking.

Pros: Unified user interface across phones and tablets, improved multitasking capabilities, facial recognition for device unlocking.

Cons: Limited adoption due to device fragmentation and occasional performance issues on lower-end devices.

Android 5.0/5.1 (Lollipop):

Notable Features: Material Design, improved notifications, enhanced battery life.

Pros: Introduction of Material Design, a visually appealing and intuitive design language. Improved notification system and enhanced battery management.

Cons: Performance issues reported on some devices, occasional software bugs.

Android 6.0 (Marshmallow):

Notable Features: App permissions, Doze mode, Google Now on Tap.

Pros: Enhanced app security with granular app permission control, improved battery life with the introduction of Doze mode, contextual information with Google Now on Tap.

Cons: Slower rollout of updates on non-Google devices.

Android 7.0/7.1 (Nougat):

Notable Features: Split-screen multitasking, Vulkan API, improved notifications.

Pros: Improved multitasking capabilities with split-screen mode, enhanced gaming performance with Vulkan API, improved notification system.

Cons: Delayed updates on non-Google devices, occasional compatibility issues with older apps.

Android 8.0/8.1 (Oreo):

Notable Features: Picture-in-Picture mode, Autofill framework, notification dots.

Pros: Enhanced productivity with picture-in-picture mode, improved password management with the Autofill framework, clear notification indicators with notification dots.

Cons: Slow adoption rate on non-Google devices, occasional stability issues with new features.

Android 9.0 (Pie):

Notable Features: Gesture-based navigation, Adaptive Battery, Digital Wellbeing.

Pros: Intuitive gesture-based navigation system, enhanced device performance with Adaptive Battery, tools for managing screen time and promoting digital wellness.

Cons: Limited availability of gesture-based navigation on older devices, occasional compatibility issues with certain apps.

Android 10:

Notable Features: Dark mode, enhanced privacy controls, improved gesture navigation.

Pros: System-wide dark mode for improved visual comfort, enhanced privacy controls with finer app permissions, intuitive gesture navigation system.

Cons: Limited adoption on non-Google devices, occasional compatibility issues with older apps.

Android 11:

Notable Features: Chat Bubbles, built-in screen recording, improved media controls.

Pros: Streamlined messaging experience with Chat Bubbles, convenient built-in screen recording, improved media playback controls.

Cons: Slow rollout on non-Google devices, occasional stability issues with new features.

Android 12:

Notable Features: Material You design, faster auto-rotate, enhanced privacy indicators.

Pros: Revamped design language with Material You, improved auto-rotate functionality, enhanced privacy indicators for increased user awareness.

Cons: Limited availability on non-Google devices (at the time of writing).


iOS, developed by Apple, is the proprietary operating system exclusively used on iPhones and iPads. Known for its smooth performance, security, and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem, iOS has evolved through various versions. Let’s explore them in detail:

iOS 1.0:

Notable Features: Multi-touch gestures, Safari web browser, visual voicemail.

Pros: Pioneered multi-touch gestures, introduced the Safari web browser for a desktop-like browsing experience, and visual voicemail for managing voice messages.

Cons: Limited customization options compared to Android.

iOS 4:

Notable Features: Multitasking, FaceTime, iBooks, Game Center.

Pros: Introduced multitasking capabilities, allowing users to switch between apps seamlessly. Introduced FaceTime for video calling, iBooks for reading e-books, and Game Center for social gaming.

Cons: Limited customization options compared to Android.

iOS 7:

Notable Features: Redesigned interface, Control Center, AirDrop.

Pros: Complete visual overhaul with a flat and modern design language. Introduced Control Center for quick access to essential settings, and AirDrop for easy file sharing between devices.

Cons: Restricted to Apple devices only, limited customization compared to Android.

iOS 10:

Notable Features: Redesigned lock screen, Siri improvements, Home app.

Pros: Redesigned lock screen with richer notifications and quick access to widgets. Improved Siri functionality with third-party app integration. Introduced the Home app for controlling smart home devices.

Cons: Limited customization options compared to Android.

iOS 14:

Notable Features: App Library, Widgets, Picture-in-Picture mode.

Pros: Introduced the App Library for better organization of apps. Enhanced home screen customization with resizable widgets. Picture-in-Picture mode for multitasking while watching videos.

Cons: Limited customization options compared to Android.

Windows Mobile and Windows Phone:

Windows Mobile, developed by Microsoft, aimed to provide a unified experience across smartphones, tablets, and desktops. It was later replaced by Windows Phone. Let’s explore the versions of Windows Phone:

Windows Phone 7:

Notable Features: Metro UI, Live Tiles, Office integration.

Pros: Introduced the Metro UI with its unique and visually appealing design. Introduced Live Tiles for dynamic and informative home screen updates. Deep integration with Office for productivity.

Cons: Limited app selection compared to Android and iOS.

Windows Phone 8:

Notable Features: Expanded hardware support, resizable Live Tiles, Kids Corner.

Pros: Increased hardware compatibility, allowing for a broader range of device options. Introduced resizable Live Tiles for enhanced customization. Added Kids Corner for a child-friendly experience.

Cons: Slower app development compared to Android and iOS, limited app availability.

Windows 10 Mobile:

Notable Features: Universal Windows Platform, Continuum, Cortana.

Pros: Universal Windows Platform for developing apps that work across multiple devices. Continuum feature for transforming a phone into a PC-like experience when connected to a monitor. Cortana digital assistant for voice commands and personalized recommendations.

Cons: Limited app support and decreased market presence.

Also read more about : smartphones


The world of smartphones is fueled by a Different Types of Operating Systems Used in Smartphones, each offering its unique set of features and user experiences. Android, with its open-source nature and extensive customization options, has gained widespread popularity. iOS, known for its seamless performance and tight integration with Apple’s ecosystem, has a dedicated following. Windows Phone, although faced with challenges, introduced distinctive features and aimed for a unified experience across devices. Understanding the evolution, features, and pros and cons of these operating systems empowers users to make informed decisions when choosing their ideal smartphone, ensuring a personalized and satisfying smartphone experience.

FAQ for Different Types of Operating Systems Used in Smartphones:

Q: What is the most widely used operating system for smartphones?
A: Android, developed by Google, is the most widely used operating system for smartphones globally.

Q: What makes Android a popular choice for smartphone users?
A: Android’s popularity stems from its vast app ecosystem, customizable interface, and seamless integration with Google services.

Q: How does iOS differ from Android?
A: iOS, developed by Apple, offers a sleek and polished user interface, seamless performance, and deep integration with Apple’s ecosystem. It is restricted to Apple devices only and provides a curated App Store.

Q: What are some notable versions of Android and their key features?
A: Notable Android versions include Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Ice Cream Sandwich, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo, Pie, Android 10, Android 11, and Android 12. Each version introduced significant features and improvements such as enhanced customization, improved multitasking, and privacy controls.

Q: What are some notable versions of iOS and their key features?
A: Notable iOS versions include iOS 1.0, iOS 4, iOS 7, iOS 10, iOS 14, and more. Each version brought visual overhauls, new features like multitasking, improved Siri functionality, redesigned lock screens, and enhanced home screen customization.

Q: Is there an alternative to Android and iOS?
A: Yes, although less prevalent, there are alternative operating systems like Windows 10 Mobile, BlackBerry OS, Tizen OS, KaiOS, Sailfish OS, and Ubuntu Touch. However, their market share is relatively smaller compared to Android and iOS.

Q: How does Windows Mobile/Windows Phone differ from other operating systems?
A: Windows Mobile and Windows Phone aimed for a unified experience across devices, offering features like Live Tiles, Office integration, and Continuum, which allowed smartphones to transform into a PC-like experience when connected to a monitor.

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