|OS family||Android (Operating System)|
|Initial release||July 28, 2011|
|Latest release||5.0 / December 10, 2015|
AliOS (formerly Yun OS and Aliyun OS) is an Linux distribution developed by Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Chinese company Alibaba Group. It is designed for smart devices such as smart TVs and it has been used as a mobile operating system. It is an operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
AliOS took three years for Alibaba Cloud, involving 1,600 engineers, to develop it from the code-base of the Android Open Source Project. The company is challenging the dominant Android in China and is also looking to expand into Western markets. It was first used in the K-Touch W700 in 2011.
As of May 2012, 1 million AliOS-powered smartphones have been sold. It is expected to become the second biggest mobile operating system in China by shipments at the end of 2016, with 14% of the market.
On October 20, 2017, Alibaba Cloud announced a new name and focus for the operating system in Alibaba's 2017 Computing Conference in Hangzhou. At the same time Alibaba introduced an open-source edition of AliOS, named as AliOS Things. This edition focuses on IoT and would allow developers to download the source code for free.
AliOS revolves around the idea of bringing cloud functionality to mobile devices. According to the company, AliOS will feature cloud-based e-mail, Web search, weather updates, and GPS navigation tools. In addition, the AliOS services will synchronize and store call data, text messages, and photos in the cloud for access across other devices, including personal computers. Alibaba says it will offer customers 100 GB of storage at launch. AliOS would allow users to access applications from the Web, rather than download apps to their devices.
Relations with Android
According to Google, AliOS is a forked but incompatible version of its open-source Android operating system. The company therefore attempted to prevent Acer Inc. from shipping an AliOS-powered phone, arguing that Acer, a member of the Open Handset Alliance, had agreed not to produce phones running incompatible Android versions. Andy Rubin, who at the time was in charge of the Android division at Google, stated that while AliOS is not part of the Android ecosystem, it uses runtimes, framework and various tools from Android.
"Aliyun OS [now AliOS] incorporates its own virtual machine, which is different from Android's Dalvik virtual machine. AliOS' runtime environment, which is the core of the OS, consists of both its own Java virtual machine, which is different from Android’s Dalvik virtual machine, and its own cloud app engine, which supports HTML5 web applications. AliOS uses some of the Android application framework and tools (open source) merely as a patch to allow AliOS users to enjoy third-party apps in addition to the cloud-based AliOS apps in our ecosystem."
In 2015 November, following Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television's policy, dozens of third-party applications installed by users on their own Yun OS set-top boxes are automatically removed and blocked from re-installation.
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