Advertising
Advertising

Alternatives to iOS and Android: Mobile Operating Systems for Dummies

Alternatives to iOS and Android: Mobile Operating Systems for Dummies

When it comes to the software that runs on mobile phones and tablets, two names stand out above the rest: Android and iOS, the most prominent mobile operating systems currently available.

iOS is developed by Apple and only runs on specific Apple hardware, like the iPhone and iPad. Android, on the other hand, is developed by Google and can be found on a very wide variety of devices from different manufacturers. Due to the fact that Google makes the code for much of Android freely available, anyone from hobbyists to large corporations can build on top of the Android platform.

While both of these pieces of software are hugely popular, well designed, usable and adored by their respective fans, they are not the only mobile operating systems out there. Here are a few lesser-known mobile platforms that might be worth a deeper look.

Ubuntu for Android

In the desktop computing world, Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux has gained significant traction as a free alternative to OSX and Windows, and they are now poised to break into the phone market with Ubuntu for Android.

Advertising

Ubuntu for Android utilizes Android’s kernel (a core component of the OS) and its drivers, but promises to unleash the true power of multicore devices by accessing the hardware more directly than Android does. Canonical, the commercial entity behind Ubuntu, wants to bridge the gap between your phone and your laptop by bringing a full range of desktop applications to the mobile market, with a focus on true multitasking. Ultimately, they want their users to plug their phones into docks, which provides a laptop-like experience, allowing seamless transitions between work, play and on-the-go use of your handheld device.

Phones running Ubuntu’s mobile OS should be released sometime this year, so keep on the lookout.

Firefox OS

Mozilla, makers of the popular Firefox web browser, are also throwing their hat in the ring and developing an operating system for the mobile market. Firefox OS is Linux-based, like Android, but seeks to differentiate itself by focusing more on utilizing open standards and community supported software as opposed to closed source, proprietary tools.

Firefox_OS_1.5_home_screen

    Firefox OS offers what they are calling a truly adaptive phone experience. This means that your device will anticipate your needs and instantly deliver the information that you want from a variety of sources, including useful local content.

    Advertising

    Firefox OS is currently only available on a handful of devices, but you can expect to see that expand in the near future.

    Sailfish OS

    Developed by Finnish startup Jolla, Sailfish OS is a Linux-based mobile operating system that utilizes Mer, the successor to Nokia’s short-lived MeeGo operating system. The user interface is gesture based, with the a focus on multitasking.

    Device_icon

      One distinct advantage that Sailfish OS boasts over the competition is a huge catalog of apps and software, as it is compatible with software made for Android, Linux, Mer/MeeGo and anything written in HTML5.

      Phones featuring Sailfish OS are currently available in the EU, Switzerland and Norway, at Jolla.com

      Advertising

      MIUI

      MIUI (pronounced “Me-You-I”) is a heavily modified version of the Android OS, made and maintained by Xiaomi Tech, a Chinese electronics company. MIUI offers a higher level of customization than stock Android, allowing users to apply custom themes, lock screens, fonts and more.

      Screenshot_2014-04-17-07-59-49

        MIUI has built-in network monitoring, spam and virus protection, a data backup app and other useful and unique features. The UI is somewhat similar to that of the iPhone, with its glossy icons and smooth screen transitions.

        To get MIUI, you must install it yourself on a compatible Android device, after first rooting and unlocking your phone. The process to accomplish this varies greatly by device and may very well void your warranty, so do your homework. For a list of compatible devices, head on over to MIUI’s website.

        Tizen

        Tizen is an operating system based on the Linux kernel, and is designed specifically for embedded devices including smartphones, tablets, TVs, laptops and cameras. It aims to offer a consistent user experience across a wide range of devices. Tizen is developed by the Linux Foundation, which is governed by such tech industry giants as Samsung, Intel and others.

        Advertising

        Tizen_screenshot_en_original

          While the development of Tizen has been plagued by setbacks and delays, having been declared dead several times over the years, it was just announced last month that the upcoming Samsung Z will ship with Tizen instead of Android. The Z will be released in Russia in the third quarter of this year, with plans to bring it to further markets shortly thereafter.

           

          This is certainly an exciting time in the smartphone world, as competition from new mobile OS makers leads to innovation and, ultimately, an even richer phone experience for end users. What new features you would like to see on your mobile device? Let us know in the comments.

          Featured photo credit: Alfredo Cáceres / Phone Users via flic.kr

          More by this author

          10 Weird Things Brought to you by Climate Change 10 Health Benefits Of Watermelon That Make It The Perfect Summer Fruit Every Man Should Know About These 12 Shaving Tips 25 Things You Can Do With The Cost Of Raising A Child 5 Apps To Start And Run A Blog Entirely From Your Phone

          Trending in Technology

          1 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 2 15 Organization Apps to Boost Your Personal Productivity 3 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2019 5 How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on September 11, 2019

          8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

          8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

          Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

          Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

          Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

          Why Typing Fast Matters?

          Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

          Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

          Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

          Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

          8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

          Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

          Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

          Advertising

          For Beginners

          1. Speed Typing Online

            What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

            The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

            2. Typing Trainer

              Typing Trainer

              is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

              Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

              The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

              3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

                There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

                Advertising

                Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

                The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

                For professional writers and programmers

                4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                  Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                  If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                  Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                  If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                  If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                  5. The Typing Cat

                  Advertising

                    Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                    Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                    The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                    Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                    Fun typing games

                    6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                      Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                      Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                      The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                      7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

                      Advertising

                        Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                        Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                        Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                        8. Daily Quote Typing

                          Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                          Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                          With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                          Bottom Line

                          At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                          By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          Read Next