An IIT Madras-incubated firm has developed an indigenous mobile operating system called BharOS. The system can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets.
BharOS services are currently being provided to organisations that have stringent privacy and security requirements, and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles.
Such users require access to private cloud services through private 5G networks.
The BharOS was developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which has been incubated at IIT Madras. It is an Android open source project (AOSP)-based operating system and is funded by the Indian government. It does not have default Google apps or services like Android.
So users will not be pressured to choose apps they do not know or trust. This is ensured through No Default Apps (NDA).
Additionally, this approach allows users to have more control over the permissions that apps have on their device, as they can choose to only allow apps that they trust to access certain features or data on their device.
According to Karthik Ayyar, director of JandK Operations Pvt Ltd, BharOS offers ‘Native Over The Air’ (NOTA) updates that can help to keep the devices secure.
These updates are automatically downloaded and installed on the device, without the need for the user to manually initiate the process. This ensures that the device is always running the latest version of the operating system, which includes the latest security patches and bug fixes.
Ayyar explained that BharOS provides access to trusted apps from organisation-specific Private App Store Services (PASS).
A PASS provides access to a curated list of apps that have been thoroughly vetted and have met certain security and privacy standards of organisations.
"This means users can be confident that the apps they are installing are safe to use and have been checked for any potential security vulnerabilities or privacy concerns," he said.
Reports suggest that currently, the operating system is only being supplied to those users and organisations that handle sensitive information and data that require strong privacy and security requirements.
Additionally, it is unclear how users may switch from their existing operating system to BharOS or whether developers would work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to introduce smartphones that support the locally-developed mobile operating system. According to rumours, the developers plan to work with a few smartphone makers to introduce cell phones running the BharOS.
(With agency inputs)
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)