THE ANDROID PLATFORM
Many people toss around the word “Android” like it has been a part of the language for a long time. However, some do not know exactly what Android is or where it began. Android is an operating system specifically designed for mobile devices such as phones and tablets, with its foundation being built for innovative capabilities concerning the touchscreen format. The operating system puts major emphasis on the user interface and how one can interact with their device, leading to features like swiping, tapping, and typing on virtual keyboards to perform the various function that a phone or tablet offers. This system has led to the groundwork for some of the most popular mobile devices on the market.
Some History Behind Android
Years back, Android first came to light in 2003 thanks to the efforts of a handful of engineers, including the former Vice President of T Mobile, Nick Sears. The startup originally wanted to focus on creating a new operating system that would work in digital cameras, but the market for that product was not large enough to carry the idea any further. Instead, the company known as Android, Inc. shifted its efforts into creating a smartphone system that could compete with the industry leaders of the time.
In 2005, Google proceeded to acquire Android and start marketing the operating system as a competitive new way to power smartphones. Within the next few years, the Android system had made its way to mobile hardware companies such as Sony, Samsung, and HTC with a vision of creating more personalized mobile devices that were easy to use and at the forefront of
innovation. The HTC Dream was the first smartphone available for general purchase that included the Android operating system, and its debut was in 2008. Since then, tens of millions devices using Android have been sold around the world, and Google has even launched the Android One as a device that is ideal for consumers in the developing world.
Using Android Apps
In essence, the applications or “apps” for Android were originally created to enhance the functionality that was possible from a phone or tablet. These apps are created using Android’s development kit, which can also be combined with other programs and tools in making new ideas come to life. The best Android apps are known for their convenient features and simple use, allowing even the newest user to start enjoying various programs without much of a learning curve. Since the month of July in 2013, it is estimated that over 50 billion Android apps have been installed.
The Android App Community
Perhaps the most astounding thing about Android is its open-source characteristics and the community of developers behind it. Many individuals have used the Android Open Source Project to create their own versions of operating systems that have been tweaked and modified to suit various needs. In addition, there is a host of third-party companies involved in the development and improvement of different programs related to Android. Unfortunately, many mobile carriers do not support the modified software and have led to the terms “locked” and “unlocked” regarding devices that can be manipulated with other systems. The Android app community still continues to grow and has created great resources for new and exciting software.