Chinese companies are rushing to build their own mobile phone operating systems based on Google’s Android platform. The companies include up-and-coming Chinese mobile phone makers Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Xiaomi, and internet service portals like Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba. Most have outsourced their Android projects to a Chinese company called ArcherMind, which based at Nanjing city, the capital of Jiangsu province in China. ArcherMind is one of the largest Chinese companies devoted to develop Android-based software, they are the software engineers team behind the Android’s face-changed in China …
Chinese mobile phone makers usually need their own user interface or custom ROM. For example, Taiwan’s HTC comes with HTC Sense; China Xiaomi with MIUI, these re-make interfaces take time and resources to develop. When Google launched the Android system in 2007, ArcherMind sensed a great business opportunity, aware that many phone manufacturer could modify the system for their own use. After the company developed a modify version of Android operating system for Huawei, ArcherMind was commissioned to do the same for other companies like ZTE and TCL.
When Google launches a new version of Android, the company examines and tests it for three to four months before modifying it to the requirements of mobile phone makers. The different specifications of hardware will made the difference too. The systems need to be stable over all, but new version of Android releases frequently will have bugs or error that need to be addressed before a new system can be developed on top of it. ArcherMind once found more than 10,000 bugs in one of the older Android version. Meanwhile, ArcherMind has about two thousand engineers to develop new Android ROM and interface for their customer.
The mobile operating system market is attracting many companies to join in the game. Last month, Tencent launched its own custom ROM, Tita which based on Android 4.0. Meizu, the rising Chinese smartphone maker, has provided their own Flyme OS, the company’s proprietary skin where underpinned by Android 4.0. In the meantime, the most popular Android custom ROM in China is MIUI from Xiaomi company. More than 1 million smartphones had installed MIUI. There is another two new comers, the mokeeOS and LewaOS, these custom ROM products are targeting low-end smartphones market where the hardware is limited to run the default Android smoothly.
Custom ROM and special-made user interface usually provide better speed and tons of extra features to the original Android operating system. It does create better user experience overall. Manufacturers who added their own UI will certainly made their products to look better than stock Android.
SOURCE: 21cbh.com (Chinese translated)
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