While Google recently confirmed that it is ready to cooperate with CCI, it is also facing a lot of heat due to its monopoly in the smartphone OS segment, where, it pushes its own apps as default services in Android devices. Now, IIT-Madras has developed a new operating system called BharOS which is said to benefit 100 crore smartphone users in India by offering a more secure and private mobile operating system.
Can BharOS compete against Google’s Android? How different is BharOS when compared to Google’s Android and is it really safe to use in this modern world? We tried to answer every question you have been asking about BharOS since its announcement.
What is BharOS?
BharOS is an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) based operating system with no Google apps or services. It is developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which is a non-profit organization incubated at IIT Madras.
How is BharOS different from Android?
Technically, BharOS is not that different from Android’s Google OS. In fact, it is based on the AOSP (Android Open Source Project). The major difference between BharOS and Google’s Android OS is the fact that BharOS does not ship with Google services, and it will be a barebone operating system, which allows users to install apps of their own interest.
While BharOS is known as an indigenous operating system, it is still based on AOSP, hence, it is not that different from Google’s stock Android in terms of features and UI. Not just that, BharOS also doesn’t come with any pre-built applications. Having no pre-installed applications will allow users to sideload an app of their choice. However, sideloading an APK could compromise the device’s security, and could make the device more vulnerable to hacking.
As of now, it is unclear how one can replace a pre-installed OS with BharOS. Does it require bootloader unlocking, which could further compromise the device’s security? On top of that, how long will the operating system receive software and security updates? These are the questions that the developer of the BharOS should answer.
It is also interesting to see that the current build of BharOS has third-party apps like DuckDuckGo and Signal as default browsers and messaging apps. It is also interesting to see if the team that has developed BharOS will partner with OEM to launch phones with BharOS.