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Difference Between Android and Maemo

Portable devices have become the new battleground for operating systems. Two of the major players in this battle are Android and Maemo.  Both are based from Linux, but the main difference between them is how much they in common with it. Maemo is more of a direct descendant to Linux than Android because the latter runs apps on top of a virtual machine. As such, Android is not capable of running any of the Linux packages or programs. Maemo, on the other hand, does not use a VM; and some Linux can be run within Maemo without any modifications. Porting applications to Maemo is also an easier task than it is for Android.

Another difference between Android and Maemo is how their interfaces look. Android aims for a more polished look that eliminates as much of visible controls as possible in favor of button presses and keystrokes. On the other hand, Maemo resembles computer operating systems more closely than Android does. Each application has its own window with the corresponding minimize and close buttons on the upper right corner; just like what you would get in your desktop or laptop.

An area where Android has Maemo beat is in market penetration. Android, in a very short span of time, has become the leading smartphone and tablet operating system; ahead of even Apple’s iOS. This is because Android is being used and supported by a lot of phone manufacturers; including Samsung, HTC, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, LG, and many more. Even cheap Chinese knock-offs even run Android. On the other hand, the only phone manufacturer that made use of Maemo was Nokia. And due to poor sales figures, Nokia has decided to abandon Maemo in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

Maemo is a decent operating system that gives you a lot of features that you would otherwise find only in computers. But it is not as optimized towards ordinary users who want simplicity over capability. That, and the huge disparity in third party apps, means that Android has Maemo beat. Its future is not really very clear but it is currently being merged with Meego. Hopefully, the outcome is something that would give modern smartphone operating systems a run for their money.

Summary:

Maemo is able to run some un-modified Linux packages while Android does not

Maemo resembles PC OS more than Android does

Android is a thriving OS while Maemo is struggling


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