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Operating on a Touch - The Touch OS Feature

Operating on a Touch - The Touch OS Feature



Introduction

You've Got the Touch

Transformers fanboys, remember the iconic song "The Touch" by Stan Bush? Well, it's time to rejoice, because if you are a Guitar Hero World Tour player, you are going to get a chance to rock to this song when it becomes downloadable on Guitar Hero World Tour, for free!

All jokes (and glee for the song aside), today we'll be discussing a touch of a different nature: mobile phone operating systems that utilize touch-screen technology. In a market that was once dominated by Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform, we have seen the birth of new players that redefines how touch technology works, on mobile devices. Though they may be new in the touch screen arena, there's nothing new about their history. We're talking about big names and tech manufacturers such as Apple, Palm, Nokia, Research in Motion (i.e. BlackBerry) and even the most unusual entry of the lot, Google.

Bring yourself back to the year 2007. A year when Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone, and all hell broke loose for the touch-screen kingdom. Basing the iPhone's OS on its successful OS X kernel, and complementing it with a capacitive touchscreen, the iPhone was the messenger of what's to come of touchscreen mobile devices. From its version 1.0 in 2007, to the upcoming version 3.0 in late 2009, we'll be expecting great things from Apple.

Over on the Symbian platform, it has traditionally stuck to its tried and tested non touch-screen route, with multiple iterations of it been installed on mostly Nokia, and a myriad of other devices out there. Like the Cupertino company, the move to a touch-screen based OS is a move that highlights the evolution of mobile devices in the months to come. The recently introduced Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and the upcoming Nokia N97 will put the Symbian S60 V5.0 OS to the test, and its results will definitely be of interest to us.

Google is what we would call a revolutionary player. With absolutely no track record in the mobile device industry, the tech giant took a big step and pushed its way into the scene with the introduction of its Android OS. First revealed on the T-Mobile G1 (or known as the HTC Dream), the Android OS serves to enhance the web experience of a user on the move. Though the OS is a dream made into a reality from scratch, you will be surprised at its first time offerings, and many more to come as it matures over the months.

And the last of the lot, Microsoft Windows Mobile. Though its bigger desktop cousin is moving onto its next iteration under the Windows 7 guise, the mobile platform will take more time to develop. In its stead, we've seen the slow and steady introduction of its updates, such as Windows Mobile 6.1 and its imminent Windows Mobile 6.5 that'll be powering a wide variety of devices. Will Microsoft be able to hold onto its piece of the pie in the touchscreen market, or will it start to share its turf amongst the newcomers?

The aim of this article is to help users figure out what kind of touchscreen capable mobile phone operating systems is best suited for what kind of usage. Read on to learn how all of these mobile operating systems stack up in usability and features as well as what you can expect out of them in the months to come.