Android operating system
Intro and history
We all heard about android and it’s market share constantly. Lot of devices run under that mobile OS today. Let’s talk about it’s history and some initial information.
It’s based on Linux kernel and developed by Google. It’s interface based on direct manipulation so whole OS designed for mobile touchscreens like smartphones and tablets with some customization for TV – Android TV, Android Auto – for cars and even for wrist watches called Android wear. OS uses touch inputs which corresponds to actions like swiping, tapping, reverse pinching and simple pinching and sort of virtual keyboard. Not taking in account that main goal of system consists in being used in touchscreens it’s also present in digital cameras, game consoles, usual PC’s and other electronics. Android have biggest install base of all mobile OS. Whole company was founded in Palo Alto, CA in 2003, initial release of the system in 2008.
Like already mentioned above it’s done based on direct manipulation. Response to user input implemented to be immediate and provide that touch interface using vibration feature in order to provide haptic feedback to the user . All Android devices boot to the homescreen, information “hub” and primary navigation. Homescreens made up of widgets and app icons. That app icons launch corresponding app, widgets display content (live, auto-updating one) like users e-mail inbox, forecast of the weather or news ticker right on the screen. Also homescreens can be made up of several pages where user can switch back and forth, though homescreens is customizable heavily allowing user to make feel and look like they want on their android device. Those app from Google Play store can re-theme your device and even mimic some other mobile OS like iOS or Windows Phone. It’s also done by manufacturers itself as well as mobile phone operators to make it competitors advantage.
So called Apps, they extend functions of devices mainly, written using Android software development kit, as well as Java language which have full access to Android APIs. Java in that case could be combined with c/c++ . Since version 1.4 Go programming language is also could be used with allowed set of Android API’s. That SDK have complete set of development tools like debugger, libraries of software, docs, samples and of course tutorials. Android OS have huge and growing base of various third-part applications, it can be obtained by downloading and installing android application package file or by downloading them with application store software which allows anyone to install, remove and update apps from their devices. Google play store is the main application store installed on any Android device which comply with Google compatibility requirements. It allows to browse, download and update applications from Google itself or other developers. There are more than 1 million applications on that android store at the current moment and overall 50 billions applications were installed. Some are free, some are not. Some mobile carriers allow direct billing for Google play app purchases where cost of the software simply added to users usual monthly bill.