06 November 2010

What is Android?

   "This article was published in GEC's Newspaper - Graffiti"
          Have you ever thought of customizing your mobile phone according to your taste?(other than just the theme!). Google Android is here for that and much more. Android is the mobile operating system developed by Google.
        Android has become a major player in the smart phone market within a short span of time since its inception in 2008. On average about 2,00,000 Android devices are being sold these days. The sales figures of Android devices is climbing on a daily basis and this, definitely, is a revolution. Android has dethroned major smart phone giants like iPhone, Blackberry, Windows mobile, etc. & is second only to Nokia Symbian OS which, analysts say, will be pushed to the second place shortly.
        The entry of Android has revolutionized the smart phone market. For a  touchscreen smart phone like iPhone you'll have to spend Rs.30,000+ and you have just a few models to choose from. But there are plenty of Android laden smart phones which appeal even the middle-class with a starting price tag of Rs.10,000. The Android phones available in India are from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony, etc.
        The heart of Android OS is a modified Linux kernel. The user interface runs on top of it which is written in Java. The web browser is based on Webkit layout and Chrome's V8 Javascript Engine. Android offers a much intuitive interface and supports features such as multitouch, Wi-fi, bluetooth, multi-tasking, etc. The tight integration with google services - such as Google search, Gtalk, Google Maps, Gmail,etc. - is an inborn feature of Android OS.
        The real strength of Android OS is nothing but the large community of developers writing application programs(apps) that extend the functionality of the devices. There are currently over 70,000 apps available for Android with some estimates saying 100,000 have been submitted. You and me can change the OS and make it the way we want it to be. Applications can be written using Java programming language. If you can't wait to get a Android device you are free to download the Android SDK(Software Development Kit) and emulate a virtual Android mobile in your computer to test! Innovative ideas such as 'Apps without borders' makes it possible to have any sort of apps that you dream to have.
        Android will be a milestone in the history of Open source softwares. Its true that even now many are yet to realise the real magnificence of Free Software. But at least in the realm of hand-held devices, the Open Source softwares will have a much deserving, visible supremacy.

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