Our mobile operating systems and hardware incorporate a number of modern conveniences. In this video, you’ll learn how Apple iOS, Google Android, and Windows Mobile takes advantage of different display technologies, location services, calling features, and much more.
Apple’s iOS is the mobile operating system that you’ll see on Apple iPhones and Apple iPads. It’s based on Unix, and it’s a closed-source software, which means you don’t have access to the source code. You also only find Apple iOS on Apple products. If you’re writing applications for Apple’s iOS then you need to develop it on the iOS software developers kit, which is available exclusively on Mac OS X. These applications must be approved by Apple before they’re released, and the applications are available to users exclusively from the Apple App Store.
Google Android is the mobile operating system that has managed to maintain by the Open Handset Alliance. It’s an open-source operating system, which means you have access to all of the code. And it’s based on the Linux operating system. You’ll find Google Android running on many manufacturer’s mobile devices. You can write applications for the Android operating system on Windows, on Mac OS X, and in the Linux operating system by using the Android software developers kit. Developers can then make these applications available on Google Play or from third-party sites like the Amazon App Store.
Windows Mobile is the operating system that you will see on the Windows phone. This is a Microsoft operating system and it is closed-source. You do not have access to the source code for Windows Mobile. It’s based on the Windows NT kernel. You’ll find developers creating mobile applications and providing them on the Windows Store. This is a store that is curated exclusively by Microsoft, although there is sideloading you can do so that you can load applications onto the phone from other sources other than the Windows Store.
On our mobile devices, when we touch the screen, we want to be sure the operating system knows exactly where we’re touching. On older devices we have these resistive touchscreens that require that you periodically calibrate the screen so that the system knows exactly where you’re touching. But the capacitive touchscreens that we use in today’s devices don’t require any type of ongoing calibration.
Many of our mobile devices also include technology such as an accelerometer. This will detect when there’s any type of motion to the device. It also helps with orientation because it knows which way happens to be up.
Our latest generation of mobile devices might also include a gyroscope, so it’s able to detect any type of motion in all three different axes. It’s this combination of an accelerometer and a gyroscope that allows our applications to know exactly where our phone might be when we’re moving it around.
The Global Positioning System, or GPS, was created by the US Department of Defense, and it consists of over 30 satellites that are orbiting the earth. This allows us to get very precise navigation. As long as we can see four of these satellites, we’re able to get some very precise coordinates of our longitude, our latitude, and the altitude where we happen to be. On our mobile devices, we use this GPS functionality for our maps and directions. It might also be able to combine GPS with other types of technologies, such as our Wi-Fi and our cellular towers, to really triangulated where we might be.
With Wi-Fi calling, we can use our mobile devices to make calls over a Wi-Fi connection instead of using a traditional cellular phone company’s frequencies. This uses voice over IP technology, and it’s usually integrated into the phone’s operating system. To be able to use this capability it has to be a feature enabled by your carrier. Not every carrier is going to support Wi-Fi calling. This becomes very useful if you’re outside of your calling area or you’re in an area where there’s a bad cellular signal. You can, instead, connect to a Wi-Fi network and make phone calls as normal.
All of the latest mobile operating systems also include a virtual assistant so you can talk to your phone and get a response. Maybe you’d like to set an appointment, turn on a timer, or find out a bit of information from the web by simply speaking to your phone instead of typing things into the keypad. In Apple’s iOS you can hold down the Home button or you can simply say, hey, Siri to get Siri’s attention and then complete your request.
It’s a similar process in Android. You hold down the Home button, or you can say, OK Google. And in Windows Mobile you can hold down the Search button, or you can start your request by saying, hey, Cortana.
Building applications in these mobile operating systems have many similarities across the different OS’s, but there are some specific differences. Applications for iOS are written on the Mac OS X operating system, and you would need Apple’s iOS software developers kit called Xcode.
You have a bit more flexibility with Android. You can create applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux by using the Android software developers kit, or Android Studio. Once you create these applications, they are distributed in a standard format called the Android Application Package, or APK.
And for Windows Mobile, you would write all of your applications on a Windows 8.1 or a Windows 10 desktop using Microsoft’s Visual Studio.
In the United States, our mobile devices are configured with a standard method of receiving wireless emergency alerts. These may be alerts that come directly from the President of the United States. They might be alerts that give us information about an imminent threat, the safety of life, or they may be AMBERT alerts.
These are similar to text messages that pop up on your screen, but there is an audible alert to identify it as a wireless emergency alert. There’s also no cost to receive these alert messages. This is a very standard method of sending and receiving these alerts, so it works across every single one of these mobile operating systems. You may need the latest software to be able to receive these alerts, but once it’s in your operating system, you’ll receive them automatically.
Our mobile devices are also becoming very standardized ways to pay for goods and services. We can use an SMS-based system, for example, to send an SMS message to send money or to receive money on our phone. We might also be using Direct Mobile Billing, where we’re purchasing a product, but we’re billing it to our mobile account rather than to a checking account or a credit card account.
I’ve used mobile web payments, or WAP, to be able to pay for taxi rides. I simply have an application where I put in the number of the taxi, and then it charges everything using the application.
And one of the latest ways to purchase goods and services is with NFC, or Near Field Communication, where we just need to get our phone near the payment device and it’s able to proceed with a credit card transaction.