What is BharOS, a privacy focused Indian OS for smartphones; check unique features | Tech News

What is BharOS, a privacy focused Indian OS for smartphones; check unique features

Developed by IIT Madras, BharOS is an indigenous mobile operating system designed to reduce the dependency on foreign operating softwares for mobile phones.

| Updated on: Jan 24 2023, 15:18 IST
From Airdrop, 5G in India to Freeform, check out what’s new in iOS 16.2
Indian using smartphone
1/6 5G for India – Despite the rollout for 5G services in India, iPhones were among a very few devices left without support for 5G. That has changed with the iOS 16.2 update and users can now take advantage of blazing-fast network speeds, thanks to 5G options now being available. Users can select between always on and auto-switching settings for 5G.  (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
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2/6 The Freeform App - The new Freeform app is a productivity tool which can be used by the iPhone users to add post-it notes, shapes, files, links, scans, photos and videos, audio, typed text, and more. Users can plan projects, brainstorm ideas, create inspiration boards, and more using the intuitive app.  (Apple)
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3/6 Apple Music Sing – If you enjoy singing along to music, then this latest feature could be a boon for you. Apple Music Sing introduces a karaoke-like option in the Apple Music app. It gives you the option to turn down vocals with the track playing in the background.  (Apple)
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Always on Display- Currently only the iPhone 14 Pro models are available with the Always on display. With the iOS 16.2 update, two new toggles have arrived for disabling wallpaper and notifications when the always on display feature is activated, giving your iPhone a more subtle look.

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5/6 Change to Lock Screen - The iOS 16.2 update has brought Sleep Widget and Medication widget. The Sleep Widget utilizes data collected by the Health app and your Apple Watch to track your sleep cycle. It has also introduced shortcut actions to the Lock Screen including wallpapers for Lock Screen and set Wallpaper Photo.  (Apple)
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6/6 Airdrop - With the latest iOS 16.2 update, Apple has timed the AirDrop's ‘Everyone' option and restricted it to only 10 minutes once it is turned on.Once the iPhone user selects the ‘Everyone for 10 minutes', the AirDrop will turn off after 10 minutes and switch back to ‘Contacts only' to receive only media from the contacts.  (Apple)
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Know all about BharOS, an indigenously built mobile operating system. (Pexels)

For years, the smartphone market has been dominated by Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS. While these operating systems are very advanced, using them also comes with certain restrictions put by their respective parent companies. Recently, Apple came under fire for not letting users download applications from a third-party source and creating monopoly over the market place. Google is facing same kind of allegations. But now, things might be changing. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT) has developed an Indian OS called BharOS which is focused on privacy and security. The developers claim that it will work exactly as Android or iOS but also allow users more control over their devices. Check its unique features.

The Indian Ministry of Education revealed the operating system through its official Twitter account. It tweeted on January 19, “Paving a way for Atmanirbhar Bharat! An indigenously-built #Atmanirbhar Mobile Operating System, “BharOS” has been released today. The Operating System has been developed by @iitmadras incubated firm J and K Ops Pvt. Ltd”.

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BharOS - The indigenously developed mobile OS

BharOS is a government-funded project that aims to create a free and open-source OS which can be used both by the government as well as the general public. With the focus on privacy and security, it also wants to reduce the dependence on foreign OS in smartphones. BharOS also highlights a big step for locally developed technology and building a self-reliant nation.

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One of its major features is ‘No Default Apps' (NDA). Unlike Android and iOS powered smartphones, which come pre-loaded with default Google and Apple apps (which cannot be uninstalled), BharOS will come with no such applications. Users can customize their experience by installing the apps they wish and remove those they don't want to keep.

It is built on Linux and the developers claim that it will give the operating system a use case in a wide-range of smartphones, as well as desktops and laptops in future. Interestingly, the operating system comes with DuckDuckGo and Signal apps for browser and messaging.

Right now, BharOS is under development and it is not out for the general people. It should also be noted that currently, no device will come pre-loaded with this operating system and the only way for users to use it would be by rooting their device, which would immediately void your warranty for most smartphones.

It remains to be seen whether the developers join hands with a smartphone manufacturer to bring it to the market. Also, the frequency of security and feature updates will be a thing to look out for.

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First Published Date: 24 Jan, 14:31 IST