Your Smartphone OS: What Is It Doing?


BlackBerry smartphone OS

With so many buzzwords flying across the web, I’m learning new acronyms and abbreviations every day. Sometimes I see conversations happening on our social networks – like the BlackBerry Developer Twitter page – with such technical language that using acronyms and abbreviations becomes necessary to fit within the 140 character limit.

There are a couple of acronyms we see every day that can be confusing. An operating system (OS) is the software platform that supports your device’s basic functionality, like native apps. OS’s go through periodic upgrades to ensure that they support the latest software applications. With BlackBerry 10, we talk about how we’ve re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented our products, and we are largely talking about the OS here. BlackBerry 10 is a completely different software foundation than previous generations of BlackBerry smartphones. We’ve made these changes so that the BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Q10 and future BlackBerry 10 products are at the forefront of technology, now and for years to come.

Now, if you were to think of your mobile device like the clothes you’re wearing, the hardware would be the base layer (long underwear up here in Waterloo), making the operating system the t-shirt (the second layer). But the user interface (UI) sits on top of your device’s OS, and is the layer you actually see and interact with. To use the example of a wardrobe once again, think of this layer like a nice suit or cocktail dress (or a snowsuit in Waterloo). So while people might notice how good you look on the outside, there are many more critical and functional layers underneath.

When a developer creates apps for a BlackBerry smartphone or BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, they code the app based on the OS, while also taking the UI into consideration to ensure that everything on the app looks great and performs well.

I’ve talked about CDMA, HSPA, LTE and more in the “Acronyms Demystified” post here on the Inside BlackBerry Blog, but tell us what other acronyms you want to learn about in the comments.

About Donny Halliwell

Donny is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at BlackBerry and Former Editor-in-Chief for the Inside BlackBerry blogs. There's no disputing, #TeamBlackBerry is awesome. I'm pumped to have the opportunity to talk with you and bring you the latest and greatest from Inside BlackBerry every day. In my spare time, I can be found helping entrepreneurs and startup companies grow their business. I spend the rest, obsessing over the auto industry, or enjoying music. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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