Mobile Operating System: Android

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Introduction

A mobile operating system is an OS for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Mobile operating systems serve the purpose of combining personal features of  operating system of computer  with some other features which are useful for handheld use for example a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, touchscreen, cellular, GPS mobile navigation, speech recognition, voice recorder, camera, video camera, music player and infrared blaster. There have been many mobile operating systems in the market some of which have perished whereas some are going strong. Few of them are Bada, Symbian, BOS, iOS, DOS, Android etc.

Everything About Android

Android is based on the Linux kernel and is owned and operated by Google Inc. It is not only the most commonly used operating system for general use computers (a category including both desktop computers and mobile devices) but also has the largest installed base on smartphones worldwide.  Google released the first Android OS (Android 1) named ‘Astro’ on September 20 of 2008. After that updated version of first Android were out by the name Cupcake (1.5) and Donut (1.6) these versions were launched exclusively on mobile phones only. Whereas the later updates which were named by Google after any dessert or sweet-dish in an alphabetical order like Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread (updates of Android 2) Honeycomb (Android 3) Ice Cream, Jelly Bean and Sandwich (updates of Android 4) Lollipop (Android 5) and Marshmallow (Android 6.0) which is the latest Android version so far from Google. Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) was tablet-oriented and was not officially launched on mobile phones but the later updates were launched for both mobile phones and tablets. According to the latest stats revealed by Google approximately 70% of the Android users are still using kit-kat and lollipop versions of Android and a mere 2-3% have upgraded to Marshmallow. The reason for this can be attributed to the hardware requirements needed for Marshmallow and also the fact that it has just been released.

Because of its beautiful appearance and equally efficient working Android has gained immense popularity. Another reason for its mass popularity is an open system unlike its close competitor iOS.  Now a day’s most of the big names in mobile world like HTC, Motorola, Samsung and many others are using Android in their devices.

Features and Specifications

The aim for developing Android was to build it from the ground-up enabling the developers to build and create new mobile applications that can take maximum advantage of a handset. It was built unlike iOS so that it can be truly open. Explaining it we can say an application on Android can make use of any of the mobile phone’s core functionality like making calls, using the camera or sending text messages hence enabling developers to create a more cohesive and rich experience for the users. Moreover, Android makes use of a custom machine which is virtual in nature designed with an aim to optimize memory and make necessary changes in the resources of hardware in mobile environment. Android is an open source meaning it can be extended liberally as per the need of the developer in order to incorporate latest cutting edge in emerging technologies. With the continuous and collective working of the community for the purpose of building innovative and user friendly applications; Android as a platform is set to evolve.

Apart from all these advantages over other mobile operating systems Android also provides access to a vast range of libraries and tools which are very useful and can be used to make rich applications. For example, it enables the developers in obtaining the precise location of the handheld or device, and also allows multiple devices to come in contact with each other and communicate with each other hence enabling richer peer–to–peer social apps. There is a full set of options and tools included in Android which have been built from the ground up providing the developers with ultra-high productivity and deeper insight into the applications they build.

Final Verdict

All these stats and reasons make Android one of the best mobile operating system the world has ever seen. Let’s just hope that the next update of Android can make itself the best among all the operating systems for every mobile user.