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12 Important Questions About BharOS Answered (FAQS)

On 24th January, BharOS or Bharat OS was launched by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), and IIT Madras. They are calling it as Indigenous Atmanirbhar Mobile Operating System, as it is backed by Indian Government. We dig down into the details of BharOS to answer the most commonly asked questions, and how it is different from Android.

BharOS android

Everything You Need to Know About BharOS

Below we have curated all the things you should know about the BharOS, like who is the developer behind it, when it will be available, how it is different from Android, and more. So without any further adieu let’s dive into it.

What is BharOS?

BharOS (Bharat OS) is a Linux-based operating system, similar to Android, which is being called India’s Indigenous Mobile Operating System, built to gain trust as a privacy-focused OS. It comes with features to provide users with more granular controls, like choosing only the apps they need. BharOS is classified into three major elements: No Default Apps, Private App Store Service (PASS), and Native Over Air Updates (NOTA).

Who is the Developer of BharOS?

BhaOS is developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which is Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), incubated at IIT Madras. This project of IIT Madras is funded by Indian Government to build BharOS as Indigenous Atmanirbhar Mobile Operating System.

BharOS android

Is BharOS based on Android?

Well, the answer to this is a little technical, as Google’s Android is based on Linux kernel and other open-source software. Later on, when Google created Android out of it, it kept it open source as well, as an initiative to guide the development of the Android mobile platform. This initiative is called AOSP (Android Open Source Project), which allows anyone to create a custom version of Android, as we see multiple ROMS, like LineageOS.

Similarly, the developers at IIT Madras took the AOSP, from Google’s platform which is available for Free, and modified its code to create BharOS. So technically, yes it is based on Android, which is based on Linux kernel and other open-source software.

How is BharOS Different From Android OS?

As mentioned above that Google allows anyone to tweak and create a custom version of Android for itself. The developers at JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), did the following changes to the vanilla Android to create the BharOS.

Pre-Loaded App

The first, and foremost change you will notice in BharOS is that it does not come with any pre-loaded apps from Google. That is, you will not find YouTube, Drive, Google, Google One, Google Home, etc., natively installed on it, which can be seen on almost any Android phone.

App Store

The next change in BharOS compared to Vanilla Android is that, there’s no Google Play Store to download apps on a BharOS-enabled phone. There’s a separate Private App Store Services (PASS) that consist of only Privacy-Focused Apps, like Signal Messenger, Duck Duck Go, etc.

Default Apps

BharOS does not enforce any default app on its users, as there’s no Google Phone app, or Gmail app, as the default dialer app. Android does allow you to change the default app, by configuring the settings. However, BharOS gives this freedom to its user to pick any app as their default app, out of the box.

Software Updates

The major change in BharOS, compared to Android is Automatic Native Over Air Updates (NOTA), which automatically install updates on the phone. Whereas on Android, we need to manually install the update.

When Will BharOS Launch?

As of now, JandKops and IIT Madras, have not announced any expected time for the launch of BharOS in the country.

Which Phones will come with BharOS?

BharOS is currently being provided to organizations that have stringent privacy and security requirements to protect data. Later on, they will work with brands to provide it on off-the-shelf phones, to consumers. As of now, JandKops and IIT Madras, have not disclosed any list of brands, that’ll ship BharOS. For testing and launch, they have used a Pixel 7 Series phone, running BharOS.

BharOS android

How to Install BharOS on any Phone?

Currently, there are no details shared by the developers of BharOS, as to how can we install Bharat OS on an Android phone. We will update you as soon as any information drops regarding this.

How to Install Apps on BharOS?

BharOS developers have provided a PASS (Private Apps Store Services) consisting of privacy focussed apps, like Signal, Duck Duck Go Browser, etc. Once we get our hands on BharOS, we will share the detailed steps. As of now, there’s no word shared about side-loading apps.

Does BharOS support Google Apps?

Yes, since BharOS uses the vanilla Android AOSP. The base structure of BharOS and its functionality and compatibility is the same as that of Android. So, yes BharOS does support all Google Apps.

How to Install Google Apps on BharOS?

In order to install Google Apps on BharOS, you need to download them from the provided PASS to use them. As of now, there’s no clarity about side-loading apps, we will let you know if there’s any update on this.

BharOS android

How long will BharOS support Software Updates?

JandKops and IIT Madras, have not shared any details about the software update cycle of BharOS. We will update you guys as soon as any information about it comes out.

How will BharOS Help India?

BharOS can be used by users who handle sensitive information and require confidential information. BharOS also allows you to access trusted and secure apps, via a private cloud service like a Private 5G network. Like, Indian Defence Organisations can use a Private 5G network on BharOS to access confidential data stored on private cloud services.

BharOS android

Wrapping Up

This was all about the BharOS or BharatOS, which is a forked Android, launched by IIT Madras. It’s in the early stage now, where only a handful of organizations doing private testing. We’ll bring our full coverage soon on BharOS, till that time check the other useful reads linked below.

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Gaurav Sharma

As an editor, Gaurav ensures the delivery of quality-rich, detailed, and accurate content tailored to the right audience. His three years of experience as a reviewer allow him to provide comprehensive evaluations of various consumer gadgets. On the video front, Gaurav serves as a video production manager for both long and short formats and anchors short videos at GadgetsToUse.