We are familiar with the popular skins of Android such as Samsung’s TouchWiz and HTC’s Sense, but have you heard of the newest, what would at first glance appear to be a skin, one on the market? This new thing, called China Operating System, is a mobile OS that looks like it is HTC’s Sense skin, but dedicated as the OS itself. The origins of COS are shadowy to say the least. All we know for a fact is that it is a joint project between the Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai Liantong Technology. The rumor that makes the most sense is that this OS was developed by HTC specifically for the Chinese market. The first phone to run on this OS is the HTC Butterfly S for China Mobile. The phone has a 5 inch 1080p FHD display with a Snapdragon 600 processor alongside 2GB RAM and 16GM internal storage with a 4 Ultrapixel Camera.
If you were to use a phone with COS running under the hood, you would not be able to tell the difference between it and one running Android with an HTC Sense 5.5 skin, like what runs on most of HTC’s flagship devices. The only way to tell the difference is to go look at the device settings, where you see that it is running COS rather than Android. Now the reason that they are so similar is that COS and Android have the same Linux roots. Now the next big question is why this exists if it is just so similar to the Android Sense skin? Some obvious benefits are that HTC, or whoever the official creator of COS is, would not be reliant on a third part, Google, for OS updates. They would be able to update their phones on their schedule. This OS, by the name, sounds like it will only be released in China, which would give it geographic isolation, again allowing for more efficient updates. However it is entirely possible that it could become a regional thing should it be released to the Eastern half of the world. Regardless, this shows us that there is a third OS that has come out, and seems to be starting its roll out. If it becomes a major trend in the Chinese markets, it would definitely split the mobile OS world even further down, especially with the impending debut of Tizen by Samsung. How do you feel about this? Could it be a game changer, or just another to-be failed attempted at breaking the almost Android-iOS duopoly on the mobile OS markets? Let us know your thoughts below!