BharOS native mobile OS with no default apps, automatic updates announced: all the details

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A company incubated by IIT Madras has developed an indigenous mobile operating system called “BharOS,” officials said Thursday.

The system can be installed on commercially available handsets. BharOS services are currently provided to organizations that have strict privacy and security requirements and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communication on restricted mobile phone apps.

Such users need access to private cloud services over private 5G networks.

BharOS is developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which is incubated at IIT Madras.

“BharOS Service is a mobile operating system built on a foundation of trust, with a focus on providing greater freedom, control and flexibility to users to choose and use only the apps that meet their needs,” said IIT Madras Director V Kamakoti.

“This innovative system promises to revolutionize the way users think about security and privacy on their mobile devices,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely with many more private industries, government agencies, strategic agencies and telecom service providers to increase the use and adoption of BharOS in our country,” he added.

BharOS comes with no default apps (NDA). This means that users are not forced to use apps they may not be familiar with or trust.

In addition, this approach gives users more control over the permissions that apps have on their device, as they can choose to allow only apps 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 keep the devices secure.

“NOTA updates are automatically downloaded and installed on the device, without the user having to start the process manually. This ensures that the device is always running the latest version of the operating system, including the latest security patches and bug fixes. With NDA, PASS and NOTA, BharOS ensures Indian mobile phones are reliable,” he said.

Ayyar explained that BharOS provides access to trusted apps from organization-specific Private App Store Services (PASS).

A PASS provides access to a curated list of apps that have been thoroughly vetted and meet certain organizational security and privacy standards.

“This means users can rest assured that the apps they install are safe to use and have been checked for potential security vulnerabilities or privacy concerns,” he said.

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