India’s Android Competitor

India’s Android Competitor

By julianapardogonzalez

In today’s article we will talk about how to get out of the system, without getting out of the system. What am I talking about? It’s easy! A group of university students supported by their government decided to create an operating system for Android mobiles. 

Let me explain it in more detail 

We can say, that the principal factor to make this project real, is Google. As a result of not being able to get rid of Google services. And this is happening for the Android monopoly and Google’s failure to adhere to rules and regulations structured, especially by the Indian government. (Yes, the students are from Indian).  

This situation led to university students creating BharOS, which is the subcontinent’s attempt to rule out Google from its own game. A lot of developers who were concerned about their privacy have created loads of AOSP projects to get de-googling Android devices. However, at the end of the day, the bond and dependability of people around these services are so strong that they are incapable of trying something new and better.  

Here is what you need to know

It is a free and open-source OS project created by students at IIT Madras. Which is funded by the Indian government, created to reduce India’s dependence on foreign operating systems while promoting the make-in-India technology campaign. As you may have guessed it comes with zero preinstalled Google apps. It is emphasized that BharOS pays special attention to the privacy and protection of users’ personal data, as well as to the flexibility of its configuration. 

For those who are unaware, AOSP stands for Android Open-Source Project, which is the base operating system of all OEM’s current Android OSes and their skins, including Google’s Pixel UI. Yes, as you read, BharOS is not an operating system completely designed and developed by scratch but just compiled AOSP without Google apps. 

Unfortunately, the BharOS developers have not yet disclosed any details about notification settings, battery monitoring, home screen widgets and many other settings 

BharOS supported devices 

Now, the developers do not have any information on supported devices. However, the OS is “shown running” on a Pixel 6a, during the meetings of the officials. The new OS has already been tested by India’s Ministers of Communications and Information Technology, Electronics and Information Technology and Education. On the other hand, the developers also aim to partner with OEMs to roll out the OS once it becomes stable enough to be released to the masses. 

BharOS release date 

It is currently only available for organizations that need secure devices to protect the privacy of their users and the sensitive data of the company.  

BharOS alternatives 

If this idea resonated with you, and you are really interested to get serious about your privacy, you need not wait until BharOS’s release. There are already a few excellent Android-based OSes that you can install, provided your device supports them.  

  •  CalyxOS 
  • GrapheneOS 
  • LineageOS (No Gapps) 
  • /e/OS 

 There are lots of Linux-based OSes, too, like: 

  •  Ubuntu Touch 
  • postmarketOS 
  • Plasma Mobile 
  • PureOS 
  • Sailfish OS  

BharOS will not replace Android 

Let us be realistic here, people find it hard to get out of their comfort zone and leave those devices that they understand how they work. And just like Apple users, Android users are happy in their enclosed garden, and Google will make things hard for people switching to a de-googled ecosystem. This adds to the learning curve, which not most users might be willing to go through. 

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