Android is a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google.
Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005.The unveiling of the Android distribution in 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 86 hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. The Linux kernel manages the hardware and provides security, resource/file/process management, networking and drivers. A range of libraries sit on top of this kernel to provide functionality such as media playback, 2D/3D graphics, font rendering, data management, and web page rendering.
Android was listed as the best-selling smartphone platform worldwide.
Foundation of Android
Android originally began as a product of Android Inc. in 2003 and was founded by a group of people including Andy Rubin, a co-founder of Sidekick phone manufacturer Danger, and Nick Sears, a former vice president at large US mobile phone carrier T-Mobile. In 2005, Google bought the company, and although they knew little about Android’s inner operations, it caused people to speculate whether Google was interested in getting into the mobile phone market.
Key employees of Android Inc., including Andy Rubin, Rich Miner and Chris White, stayed at the company after the acquisition. Not much was known about Android Inc. at the time of the acquisition, but many assumed that Google was planning to enter the mobile phone market with this move.
Android consists of a kernel based on the Linux kernel, with middleware, libraries and APIs written in C and application software running on an application framework which includes Java-compatible libraries based on Apache Harmony. Android uses the Dalvik virtual machine with just-in-time compilation to run Dalvik dex-code (Dalvik Executable), which is usually translated from Java bytecode.
The main hardware platform for Android is the ARM architecture. There is support for x86 from the Android x86 project and Google TV uses a special x86 version of Android.
Android OS Versions
1) Android 1.0: First commercial version released in September 2008. Features were mainly oriented for business and work purposed. This version does not have any official name. Main focus of this version was on lifting the business side of smartphones with a lack on focus on entertainment.
a) This version was packed with great apps and support for using Internet and Internet based services such Gmail, Gtalk, Google maps and Android market. Even many more apps like Android market, camera, bluetooth, Wi – Fi was supported in this version.
b) Android 1.1 was the first ever update for Android which was released in February 2009 which featured mostly the bug fixes for Android version 1.0
2) Android 1.5 [CUPCAKE]: Released on April 2009 this was the second major release but the first commercial version available with plenty of good features. It was based on Linux kernel 2.6.27 and this was the first official release to use a named based on dessert and a theme that would be used for all releases henceforth.
3) Android 1.6 [DONUT]: This was based on Linux kernel 2.6.29 with many new features and updates.
a) Its major feature was text- to – speech technology.
b) Web search can be done through text and voice.
c) Contact search can also be done in both the above ways.
d) Ability for users to select multiple photos for deletion.
4) Android 2.0 [ECLAIR]: Release on October 2009 based on Linux kernel 2.6.29. Actual release was 2.0 SDK and its update was 2.1. More attractive features were released in this version.
a) Live wallpapers were introduced in this version.
b) Advanced features like multiple email browsing, flash support for cameras, browser zoom options were introduced.
c) Improved Google maps, support for higher screen resolution were some of the updates in this version.
5) Android 2.2 [FROYO]: Released on May 2010 Froyo (Frozen Yogurt) based on Linux kernel 2.6.32 had amazing improvements in terms of OS speed.
a) Features like USB Tethering, WIFI hotspot, remote wipe data was introduced in this version.
b) Adobe flash support was introduced.
c) Support for installing applications to expandable memory.
6) Android 2.3 [GINGERBREAD]: Released on December 2010 based on Linux kernel 2.6.35. This version is more stabilized to use and can be found in many devices.
a) Copy – paste can be done word by word rather than blocks of texts.
b) Update 2.3.7 introduced Google wallet which ensures payments through market are safe.
c) Support for multiple cameras – front and rear.
7) Android 3.x [HONEYCOMB]: Released on February 2011 based on Linux kernel 2.6.36.This was a major release in Android as this version supports tablet.
a) This version has better 3D support.
b) Support for video chat using Google talk.
c)Multiple browser tabs
d) Redesigned keyboards.
8) Android 4.x [ICE CREAM SANDWICH]: Released on October 2011 based in Linux kernel 3.0.1. This version had numerous improved features. This made the UI faster, smoother and more responsive. Animations and transitions are also visibly enhanced with vsync timing. These are some of the improved features in this version.
a) Easy to create folders in drag and drop manner.
b) Zoom functionality in calendar.
c) Face unlock using facial recognition software.
d) Built in photo editor.
e) Task manager has screenshot of recently open apps.
Android version demand status
What Makes Android Special
With 500,000 activations a day, Android is becoming the dominant player in the mobile eco-system, now powering the majority of mobile devices sold. Android is one of the mobile operating systems that combines component based architecture, open source, out-of-the-box built in services, effective automatic management of appliation lifecycle, good graphics support, wide range of hardware support. Thats why Android is so special among all available mobile platforms.
Good things android holds:
a) Open source-developer can customize the platform
c) Built in services like GPS,SQL,DATABASE,Browser and maps
d) Management of process life cycle
e) High quality graphics and sound
f) Bluetooth Smart Ready
g) Voice based features
h) Component-based architecture and Reusable, replaceable modules
i) Multi-layer isolation of programs
k) Java programs executed by Davlik virtual machine and Support by multiple large organizations
Top 10 Awesome Android Features that the iPhone Doesn’t Have
1) True App Integration
3) Controlling Your Phone From Your Compute
4) Custom ROMs
5) Wireless App Installation
6) Removable Storage and Battery
7) The Tasker apps
8) Custom Home Launchers: While iPhone users can customize their home screen quite a bit if they’ve jailbroken, they don’t allow the kind of customization that you can get on Android with custom home launchers.
9) Automation: One of the most powerful, useful Android apps around is Tasker, the automation program that lets you turn your phone into a superphone.
Advantages and Disadvantages Android
a) Android is open, because it is linux based open source so it can be developed by anyone.
b) Easy access to the Android App Market: Android owners are people who love to learn the phone, with Google’s Android App Market you can download applications for free.
c) Populist Operating System: Android Phones, different from the iOS is limited to the iphone from Apple
d) Android has many manufacturers,with their respective flagship gadget from HTC to Samsung.
e) USB full facilities.You can replace the battery, mass storage, Disk Drive and USB tethering.
f) Easy in terms of notification: the operating system is able to inform you of a new SMS, Email, or even the latest articles from an RSS Reader.
g) Supports all Google services: Android operating system supports all of google services ranging from Gmail to h) Google reader. all google services can you have with one operating system, namely Android.
i) Install ROM modification: There are many custom ROM that you can use on Android phones, and the guarantee will not harm your device.
a) Drain battery: disadvantages of Android is its drain battery very fast. You play games for 5 minutes and your battery meter drop from 98 to 82. This is how android sucks and eat up your battery as soon as you touch your phone.
b) Box of Malware Google play store : I agree that Google play has some nice applications sorry many nice applications but somehow spammers, hackers are ahead of putting malware in Google play store. If you download 10 Applications a day, 6 will be shit or malware, so be careful.Android Market is less control of the manager, sometimes there are malware.
c) Internet connection is important: Android can be said is in need of an active internet connection. At least there should be a GPRS internet connection in your area, so that the device is ready to go online to suit our needs.
Android market status
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. With a total base of 211.6 million smartphone units shipped during the quarter, Android accounted for 81.0% of all smartphone shipments, marking the first time that Android topped 80% in its short history.
Android applications run in a sandbox, an isolated area of the system that does not have access to the rest of the system’s resources, unless access permissions are explicitly granted by the user when the application is installed. Before installing an application, the Play Store displays all required permissions: a game may need to enable vibration or save data to an SD card, for example, but should not need to read SMS messages or access the phonebook. After reviewing these permissions, the user can choose to accept or refuse them, installing the application only if they accept.
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