Mobile phone predictions for 2012 - The Operating System

ITProPortal.com is continuing with its predictions as to what we might be seeing in the mobile phone and related device world, during 2012.

These could be existing features that are set to become more widespread this year, or new introductions that are going to succeed the current abilities found in mobile devices.

We will be covering this week a set of daily features, around what is likely to be arriving on new mobile phones and mobile devices that will have everyone talking in 2012 - along with attracting new purchases of these upcoming products.

Yesterday, we covered NFC that will be more prevalent in phones this year, along with quad core processing that will be coming to mobiles and tablets throughout the course of the next 12 months.

OS

2011 saw some changes in operating systems, with Nokia ceasing to use Symbian on their flagship mobile phones and replacing it instead with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7; along with that very platform gaining a new release in 'Mango' and RIM updating its BlackBerry OS, with Apple revising its iOS platform too.

We predict this year that Google's Android operating system will gain more ground, and with a single version too. This comes off the back of the Android ‘Honeycomb' 3.x platform merging with the mobile phone variant, to create a single product - instead of one for the handsets and another for the larger touch screen devices. Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich' 4.0 is that operating system's codename, which has only just arrived on a solitary mobile phone - the Samsung made for Google, Galaxy Nexus. This OS will stay a focus of Google and various handset and tablet manufacturers throughout the year, as not only will this be key on upcoming yet-to-be-announced devices but it will also be rolled out to existing products too.

These will be the tablets and phones that were the mid-range or flagship products of 2011, with the likes of Samsung, Sony Ericsson or HTC - which currently run Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.3 or ‘Honeycomb' 3.x. This roll out in itself will keep the Android name in the headlines during 2012, where an entirely new version is likely to be released towards the end of the year, possibly with the code name of ‘Jelly Bean'.

Research In Motion is due to be releasing the next version of its BlackBerry operating system this year, whilst taking a page from Google's merging of the Honeycomb and Gingerbread platforms. RIM's next version of its mobile phone operating system, will be a cross between the tablet OS and the phone's - which will be known as BlackBerry 10, previously, BlackBerry BBX.

The single platform will run both the Canadian mobile phone makers next generation of handsets and tablets, whilst bringing in the best parts of the BlackBerry 7 operating system and their PlayBook QNX platform. The BB 10 OS will include support for BlackBerry cloud services, with development environments for both HTML5 and for native developers. It will also feature BlackBerry runtime for Android applications, allowing Google OS developed apps to be run on RIM's phones and tablets.

Microsoft is reportedly issuing two updates to its Windows Phone 7 platform this year, with the codenames of ‘Tango' and ‘Apollo'. These are likely to be released during the second quarter of the year and in the fourth quarter, respectively. Not a great deal is known at this time about these two, only that it has been rumoured the first version could be for lower-end mobile phones - with the other being a superphone platform.

The upcoming year is set to offer consumers and buyers of both phones and tablets a diverse array of operating systems, with the latest developments and features to suit all tastes and needs.