bhar OS
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Prelims: BharOS Operating System, Google and iOS, Atmanirbhar Bharat, Indigenous mobile operating system.

Mains: BharOS Operating System and its Significance.

Why in News?

Recently, an IIT Madras-incubated company has developed the BharOS.

What is BharOS?

  • About:
    • It is an indigenous mobile operating system (OS), like Android or iOS. It is focused on privacy and security.
      • A mobile operating system is a software that is the core interface on a smartphone like Android by Google and iOS by Apple, which help smartphone users interact with their device and access its features, while ensuring safety.
    • BharOS is a contribution towards the idea of a self-reliant India or ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat by creating a secure OS environment for India-based users.
    • BharOS Services are currently being provided to organisations that have stringent privacy and security requirements and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles.
    • Such users require access to private cloud services through private 5G networks.
  • Features:
    • Native Over the Air:
      • BharOS would offer Native Over the Air (NOTA) updates, meaning that security updates and bug fixes will be automatically installed rather than users having to check for updates and implementing them on their own.
    • No Default Apps:
      • No Default Apps (NDA) setting, means that users do not have to keep or use pre-installed apps in this mobile operating system.
        • NDA is key as many pre-installed apps that currently ship with other smartphones can slow down the device or take a toll on battery life by acting as bloatware.
      • Going with an NDA design for BharOS was intentional as it will let users have more control over the apps on their mobile phones based on the user’s trust in the app and the kind of data they store on their phone.
    • Private App Store Services:
      • It will use a system known as Private App Store Services (PASS), which will examine and curate the apps that are safe for the users.
      • Users will be able to use other apps, as long as they meet BharOS’ PASS standards.
  • Significance:
    • The project aims to reduce the dependence on foreign OS in smartphones and promote the use of locally developed technology.
    • It is a huge leap forward to create an indigenous ecosystem and a self-reliant future.
    • It aspires to put India on par with those few countries that currently possess such capabilities.

How BharOS is Different from Google Android?

  • BharOS is based on Android Open-Source Project (AOSP) and is somewhat similar to Google Android. However, it does not come preloaded with Google services like in regular Google Android phones. So BharOS users are free to download only those apps that they like or prefer rather than being forced.
  • Android phone with stock OS usually have Chrome set up as default browser. BharOS makers are looking to partner with DuckDuck Go for its default browser.
    • DuckDuck Go is a privacy-focused browser with several privacy-centric features like anonymous browsing mode and Privacy Grade.

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