The android operating system and various devices based on it
“Android” is an operating system designed for the mobile platform developed initially by Android Inc., which was later purchased by Google. It is based on modified Linux kernel. The easy interface along with fast responsiveness is beyond doubt, proven by the fact that it has already captured the greatest share of smartphone operating system market. There are some good reasons why Android has emerged so successful in the mobile market.
Android runs on almost all types of mobile platform including power architecture, x86, MIPS and ARM. For this reason it has been found to be very effective operating system for tablet pc’s, cell phones and net books. The android operating system can also make use of additional hardware present in today’s internet devices like GPS, touch-screens, gyroscopes, accelerometer, magnetometer, thermometer, proximity sensor, accelerated 2D and 3D graphics. Multi-touch touch screens are also natively supported by android, but initially they were disabled at kernel level due to patent infringement problems.
The interface of the Android family is primarily graphical in nature. The platform adjusts to various screen sizes, even larger than VGA. It also features a 2D and 3D graphics library conforming to openGL 2.0 standards. The graphical user interface is very lucid and fast and looks very similar to a generic smartphone interface.
The platform supports almost all possible connectivity technologies like CDMA, GSM/EDGE, EV-DOIDEN, UMTS, Bluetooth, wi-fi and WiMAX. In case of Bluetooth, the supports for standards like AVRCP and A2DP were also included later. Android operating system also supports tethering, i.e., the phone can be used as a wireless hotspot. This enables a laptop to share an internet connection with a 3G enabled android handset, though some software may be required to be installed on both the phone and the computer.
Multitasking i.e., simultaneous running of more than one application is available. The applications for Android are written in java. Yet there is no actual java virtual machine for the android, and the java byte codes do not get executed. The java classes are recompiled into “Dalvik Executable” and then it is run on Dalvik virtual machine. Dalvik is actually a specially designed java virtual machine for low powered portables, with small processors and memory and optimisation is very much required. With the help of third party applications, J2ME can be made to be supported on Android. For storage purposes, SQlite is used for relational database management. It is the stripped down format of the full fledged Sql suitable for mobile applications. SMS and MMS are the available forms of messaging. But now-a-days android push messaging service is also an integral part of the platform. Video calling is available only on devices having a front camera. Some voice based features are also available from Google.
Web and media Support
Android is fast becoming the best available platform for all mid level internet devices.
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