The Android Operating System
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Consumers have become very educated when it comes to the technology purchases they make for business and personal use. We are well beyond the point where users will go out any purchase a computer, smartphone, or mobile device without first researching very specific details about the product such as the operating system and they can use these devices in conjunction with other products.
While they may not have been part of the decision making process in the past, more and more users are taking a device operating system into consideration when making a purchase. One operating system that has become very popular is Android.
What is Android?
Android is an operating system that was developed for mobile devices. It is not used for desktop or laptop computers and is used only for smartphones and tablets.
The following is a brief history of the development of the android operating system:
- In 2005 Google purchased the software developer Android inc.
- In 2007 Android distribution was announced in conjunction with Open Handset Alliance
- Google released the majority of the code through a free software license
- The AOSP (Android open source project) maintains and work on the future development of Android
Since it is open source, Android has a large number of third party developers that continuously write new apps for the operating system. These apps, which can be downloaded from many different websites online, and from online stores such as Android market, help to enhance the functionality of the mobile devices.
Android is equipped with a number of features that makes it attractive to both individual and business users. They include:
- An integrated internet browser: This open source browser allows users to access the internet in the same way they would on a computer.
- App integration: Android allows users to download third party apps that can be used for gaming, entertainment, news, and many other functions.
- Wireless integration: Android allows users to wirelessly connect to the internet through WI-FI, Bluetooth, 3G, EDGE, and a number of other connection methods.
- Diverse media capabilities: Android supports most of the commonly used video, image, and audio formats much as MP3, JPG, and PNG.
- Data Storage: Data can be stored through SQLite, which is a relational database
- Messaging: Android supports both SMS and MMS forms of messaging.
- Language: Android can support a number of commonly used languages
- Java Script support: The majority of Android applications are written in Java programming language
- Video calling: This is available in some mobile devices that have a customized version of the Android operating system.
- Streaming video: Android support streaming video capabilities through a Flash plug in
- Multi touch: Touch screen capabilities are available for mobile devices such as tablets.
- Tethering abilities: Android allows mobile devices to act as a pseudo WI-FI hotspot for both wired and wireless connections.
- Voice Features: Users can take advantage of voice functionality such as voice calling, navigation and texting.
- Multitasking: Android supports the multitasking capabilities of a number of applications simultaneously.
Android also supports many other hardware components that increase mobile devices functionality. The operating system can be used for:
- Act as a number of types of sensors
- 2D and 3D graphics
- A gaming control
Since it uses open source programming and has a considerable amount of flexibility and functionality, Android can is used by many mobile phone manufacturers and developers, allowing it to be widely distributed and used in many different ways by many different users.
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