Android is an open source and a free development Linux based operating system for mobile devices. It is a complete and modern embedded operating system providing a cutting edge mobile user experience. Android was designed as a free platform for software development. It was initially developed by Google and later by Open Handset Alliance.
Android was built to help the developers to develop exciting mobile applications that would not only have all the features of a handset like making calls , sending messages, using a camera etc, but also user customizable features such swapping home screen, changing the dialer style, photo viewing applications etc. An android developer can combine information from the web with data on an individual’s mobile phone — like as the user’s contacts, calendar, or geographic location — to provide an enhanced user experience.
Notable features of Android
* Java programming language is used for developing Android based Apps.
* Android enables multiple applications to run at the same time.
* It supports VGA graphics, 2D/3D graphics.
* Android enables the user to change various phone settings.
* User can get any App as a default app in Android.
* Syncing is easy, user just needs to drag and drop by using USB cable on the computer.
* It also supports Flash on the devices
* It also enables popping up of instant email notifications.
Versions of Android
Android development was done in many versions; each new version had enhanced features than the previous versions. Each major version had nick names based on the dessert themes. A quick glance at the major Android versions.
Cupcake – This version features such as Blue tooth support, camcorder functions, Ability to upload to YouTube and Picasa.
Doughnut – This Android 1.6 version supported higher resolution touch screens,improved camera and gallery support etc.
Éclair – This Android 2.0 version enabled customizing the Home screen, arranging apps and widgets across multiple screen and had amazing wall papers that responded to touch.
Froyo – In this Android 2.2 version ‘Just-in-time’ compiler was introduced to speed up the phone’s processing power, and along with this users were able to play flash based games in the Android’s web browser. This version also supported Blue tooth hands free, push notification, greater screen resolution and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.
Ginger bread – This Android 2.3 version has a few UI enhancements to Android, like a more consistent feel across menus and dialogs, and a new black notification bar, front facing camera, enhanced copy/paste functionality, high resolution themes NFC (Near Field Communication) and SIP (Internet calling).
Honeycomb – This Android 3.0 version was specifically developed for tablets. Quite a few elements like system bar at the bottom of the screen, and a new recent applications button are the new additions in this version. Gmail app, Video chat feature is also supported in this feature.
Ice Cream Sandwich – This Android4.0 version brought many of the design elements of Honeycomb to smart phones. It has new refined designs, which are simple awesome and smart.
Jellybean – This Android 4.1 version is considered as a turning point version of Android. It supports Bluetooth Smart, Dial pad auto complete, Hebrew and Arabic language support, brings multi-user accounts, actionable notifications, lock screen widgets, quick-settings in the notification bar etc.
Kitkat– This Android 4.4 version is smart yet simple. It support various features such as ‘OK Google’ to launch voice search, sending text or to get directions, Faster multi-tasking, Smarter caller ID, Displays all the messages in the same locations and many more.
Lollipop– The Android version 5.0 is the latest and its feature list includes A responsive and colorful UI design for consistency across all devices, New ways to control how and when to receive notifications, battery saver, device sharing and many more features.
To conclude, it can be affirmed that with the various benefits, with release of different versions, and manifold increase in mobile phone usage, Google has weaved a success story with Android.
With a large number of Apps available on Android mobile devices, Android has gained tremendous popularity among users. Due to this popularity, Android App development is becomes one of the top career options.