Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Apr 2013 22:44 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Almost exactly three years ago, I wrote about why OSNews was no longer OSNews: the alternative operating system scene had died, and OSNews, too, had to go with the times and move towards reporting on a new wave of operating systems - mobile, and all the repercussions that the explosion of smartphones and tablets have caused. Still, I was wondering something today: why aren't we seeing alternative operating systems on mobile?
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Comment by ichi
by ichi on Tue 16th Apr 2013 22:53 UTC
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

Flashing a custom ROM can already be obscure and risky enough (even for some otherwise tinkerers) to even consider trying a hobby OS where you'll be missing 99% of your phone's functionality.

PCs are a whole different thing: you can dual-boot or run VMs, and at worst you know you can just restore an image (or reinstall from scratch) and get everything working again. There's no risk involved.

Even if I had the knowledge and desire to build a hobby phone OS I'd probably pass just out of lack of interest in bricking my €400 device (let alone all the other points risen about not being able to target several different devices and my pet project becoming obsolete in less than 2 years... that is, probably before I'd even have something barely interesting working already).

All the trouble kills a lot of the potential fun.

And then there's the fact that smartphones and tablets are primarily consumption devices, and hence a hobby OS that doesn't readily provide consumption capabilities becomes highly unattractive for most (if not all) of the potential target audience.

Would I want to try an OS that doesn't make or receive calls, connect to any network, that runs pretty much no applications and whose install process wipes all my data and has a reasonable chance of bricking my phone? Well, heck no.

Edited 2013-04-16 22:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3