Something about Android

Started using Android phone (HTC Desire) from last August and soon became a fan of Android and wanted to write something about it.

The smartphone race was started by IBM and Nokia in 90s, but they were not able to compete with the Apple, Blackberry and Android. The race continued and Android became the leader in smartphones and also in the number of applications downloaded (more than 10 billion). How this happened?? Let’s see some history

What is Android?

Android is a Linux based OS for mobile devices - smartphone and tablet computers and it is developed by Open Handset Alliance led by Google, and later purchased the initial developers. The basic idea behind the Android was to create smarter mobile devices which are aware of owner’s location and preferences (idea of Andy Rubin – one of the developers). Google acquired Android Inc on Aug 2005 to step into the mobile market.

Technical details + basic Feature

  •  OS – Linux kernel + middle-ware libraries and API written in C
  •  Virtual platform – Dalvik virtual machine with JIT
  •  License – Open source under Apache license
  •  Applications – developed using customized version of Java and can be downloaded using third party sites such as Android Market
  •  Storage – uses SQLite , a lightweight relational database + micro SD for external
  • Connectivity – Supports GSM, EDGE, Wi-Fi, LTE, NFC, Wi-Max etc
  • Messaging – SMS, MMS, Cloud to device messaging
  • Web browser – Open source webkit layout engine with Chrome’s JavaScript engine

On November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of several companies [including Google, HTC, Intel, LG, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, NVIDIA, and Samsung Electronics, T-Mobile etc] to develop open standards for mobile devices unveiled their first product. Android has a large community of developers writing apps to extend the functionality of devices. The 1st commercial phone from Android was HTC Dream.

There was number of updates (9 versions and upgrades) since the initial release and the major versions are given below
Nick Name
Android 2.0
HTML, Digital zoom, Microsoft Exchange support, Bluetooth 2.1, Live Wallpapers, Updated UI
Android 2.2
Speed improvements, JIT implementation, USB Tethering, Applications, Installation to the expandable memory, Upload file support in the browser, Animated GIFs
Android 2.3
Updated UI, WebM video playback capability, Improved copy/paste, Social networking, Near Field Communication support, Native VoIP/SIP support, Video call support
Android 3.0
Multi core support, Better tablet support, Updated 3D UI, Google Talk video chat, Google eBooks, "Private browsing"
Android 4.0.1
Ice cream sandwich
Facial recognition (Face Unlock), UI use Hardware acceleration, Better voice recognition , Web browser, allows up to 16 tabs, Updated launcher (customizable), Android Beam app to exchange data through NFC ,Resizable widgets

Though this was designed for smartphones and tablets, the customizable OS allows it to be used in Laptops, Netbooks, Smartbooks and e-book readers. Google is also planning to use this for Google TV, wristwatches, headphones, DVD players, Digital cameras, Landlines etc. Yeah, SKY is the Limit!!!!

Market Trend

Android is the leader of smartphones according to the survey conducted in Dec 2011.
Also Android helped Samsung to become the largest sold phones overtaking Nokia and Apple.

Battle with Apple
The battle was started in 2007, after the launch of Google’s mobile OS – 10 months after the launch of iPhone. Steve, the founder of Apple accused Schmidt copied the concept from Apple since he served Apple’s board till the launch of IPhone. Keeping this in mind, Google has acquired Motorola mobility and gets 17000 patents. The battle continues and now the major war is with Samsung selling the tablets, which looks like iPAD J

The End
So, that’s the end of Android story. Hope my article is not biased towards Android since I luv it. I am also gonna write about IOS to make Apple guys happy. Anyways, are you planning to buy a smartphone?? Android or IOS?? Decide based on your requirements, usage and most importantly BUDGET