First, I want to thank everyone which have read my article about how great AmigaOS would be as a mobile operating system. Many liked it, but also many got very frustrated about it. I can understand, as it is a difficult topic when many only see one side of AmigaOS. It looks for me like many just want AmigaOS to be the old classic AmigaOS. But many that loves the next generation of AmigaOS, people outside of the Amiga community and me see possibilities so that it can evolve even further.
So, before I wrote the article. I investigated and did some research. It wasn’t until that I saw that the AROS team actually have managed to build a Android version of the operating system, that I knew it was correct to write and publish about this topic. I wanted it to have depth to it and not just a visionary article.
AmigaOS is not suited for on-line usage at All
The idea behind the article, was to explain the low requirements that AmigaOS had since the start for everyone. One even wrote to me that AmigaOS is not suited for on-line usage at all. But, I have been using AmigaOS, MorphOS and now AROS on-line without any issues. Others is saying that AmigaOS would never be useable on a mobile device. Well! Here, in this article. I want to address how AmigaOS for any mobile device could have become. What options are there are out ther and what kind of roadmap to achieve it to be useable on a mobile device.
BlackBerry OS 10 let’s You swipe and see the Screen behind like in AmigaOS
Before mentioning AROS or AmigaOS for Android or any mobiles out there with ARM. Let me introduce you to a mobile operating systems today, that is out and already got some of that AmigaOS feeling. One of them is BlackBerry OS 10. I tried it at a mobile conference in Barcelona a few years back, but now I have some of them sent to Distrita office. Make sure you will have a full review of it soon!
QNX, which BlackBerry OS 10 is got roots in the AmigaOS history as it was mentioned to become the nextgen AmigaOS at some point. QNX is fast and stable. It is a operating system that used in hospitals, at police and other places where they need a operating system that wont fail. So, it’s quite amazing to see BlackBerry moving it onto the mobile phone market.
But as you see on the picture, you can swipe and see other programs running in the background. This is a feature that is brought from AmigaOS to QNX. Anyway! This operating system is a desktop OS that have been transformed to a mobile operating system. The same thing can be done with AmigaOS. The project would eventually need fundings and people that would be interested in doing so. I’ve communicated with AROS developers on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) about the Android version and I got information back that they stopped to develope it because of lack of interest. Not because it’s not possible.
AmigaOS for Mobiles would give Sticky menus, Icon sizes, Swipe and Themes
From the very first moment when AmigaOS was brought alive by Commodore in 1985. The community have always been the one helping the platform by making great software and even hardware. After AmigaOS 3.0 was released in 1992, the development of AmigaOS extensions in different forms was created and put on Aminet and other file archivers on-line. MUI (Magic User Interface), Dopus Magellan Workbench Replacement, AmiStart (Start Menu for AmigaOS) and many other commodities in different variations were just fraction of this movement. But these made AmigaOS that soon was to be left for itself after spring 1994, to actually survive. It is these movements that have made it possible for MorphOS, AROS and finally AmigaOS 4 to get released for nextgen hardware.
These extensions though, they added sticky menus, new type of window borders, textures on window borders and different windows styles. They also gave different icon systems to AmigaOS, with PowerIcons by Elena which gave classic AmigaOS 32-bit icon support. However, the AmigaOS nextgen support extended even more by MorphOS, AROS and AmigaOS 4. MorphOS added very cool menus in Ambient (Workbench replacement) that can show icons in different sizes. AROS added quite cool transparent icon bar (as seen on the mockup aros mobile desktop image that I made) and AmigaOS 4 added very intuitive menu bar.
By having added sticky menus, Icon sizes, Swipe, Theme selections and even add Keyboard control which MorphOS got then we are on the right path towards AmigaOS for mobiles a much bigger reality. I haven’t tried the Android version of AROS which is out, but as for now I think AmigaOS for Android tablets and Android PC‘s would do fantastic things. Also, AROS is out for ARM mini hardware computers like Raspberry Pi. I don’t expect AmigaOS for mobiles to have classic AmigaOS support. AROS, MorphOS and AmigaOS 4 already got minimal classic AmigaOS support. Also, without Amiga hardware its difficult. But to some extend, like apps supporting graphics cards and sound cards thru AHI etc. It would be fully possible. Also, on AROS you have ZUNE which is a open source version of MUI4.
Anything is really possible with AmigaOS. With some development, AmigaOS could have become a light-weight mobile operating system that would fly like BlackBerry OS 10 does for sure. People have commented AmigaOS lack of memory protection, smp and ARM support. But as I understand and see from the development at AROS arena, this is stuff that is now in development.
Also, with AmigaOS alike GUI implemented to a mobile enviroment would make thousands of Amiga users love it. Also people that are tired of the monopoly that Google and Apple got in todays mobile market. There should be options on the mobile platform as on the desktop platform. People should be able to choose and thats was the purpose of the article. To release thoughts and to give people thoughts about choices. The very same people that just says this is a bad idea is the very same people saying that Doom or 3D FPS games is impossible on Amiga. With development and interest I am sure this is possible. But then the most important question rather goes to you!? Do you want Google and Apple to win forever?
I don’t and thats why I will continue supporting BlackBerry OS 10, SailfishOS and even SymbianOS today. There must be room for choices and in my mind AmigaOS as a mobile operating system feels totally sane thing to do.
BlackBerry OS 10
SailfishOS by Jolla
AROS for Android
Nokia 9500 on GSMarena
SymbianOS info on Computer Hope
AmigaOS 4 by Hyperion Entertainment
AROS Research Operating System
QNX owned by BlackBerry
Android community Review of Android PC from Acer