Android OS

Android is a Linux-based operating system, which was basically designed for touchscreen mobile devices like tablets and smart phones. It is an open-source platform. Since, Android is an open-source, it allows the software code to be modified and even distributed by the device manufacturers.Android’s first release was in 2008, Google in collaboration with T1 mobile came up with the first Android handset which is “T-Mobile G1 spec”. Approximately there are 700,000 apps available for Android in October 2012 and the number of downloaded apps from Google Play was 25 billion. Google Play is the Android’s Apps store provided by Google to download and purchase the apps like games and even songs, videos etc.

Each of the Android applications is compiled and packed in a single file called .apk (Android Application Package). APK is a file format used to install the application software onto the device. It includes all the compiled programs of the applications, resources, manifest files, assets etc.


The first version of Android OS - Android OS 1.5 was released in 2009. This was followed by many other versions as follows:

Version Code Name Main Feature Added Date of Release
Android OS 1.5 Cupcake Media recording and playback, native codes Apr 30 2009
Android OS 1.6 Donut Different screen resolution Sep 15 2009
Android OS 2.0 - 2.1 Eclair HTML 5 and multi-touch screens Oct 26 2009
Android OS 2.2 Froyo Added JIT compilation to increase the performance Mar 20 2010
Android OS 2.3 Ginderbread Supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and concurrent garbage collector Dec 6, 2010
Android OS 3.0 Honeycomb Supports multi-core processors, USB peripherals (only tablets but not Smart Phones) Feb 22, 2011
Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich All features of both 3.0 and 2.0 versions to support both tablets and smart phones Oct 19, 2011
Android OS 4.1 Jelly Bean Introduced Google Search experience Jun 28, 2012
Android OS 4.2.2 Jelly Bean Gallery app animation, USB debug whitelist Bug fixes Feb 11, 2013

Distinctive features of Android over other Operating systems:

Android has unique and eye-catching features to provides with high - class touch screen experience for its users. Some of these are:

  • Uses SQL lite, which is a light-weight relational data base, for storing the data
  • Supports wide range of connectivity options including GSM/EDGE, CDMA, EV-DO, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, WiMAX and others
  • Media support, for all formats of both audio and video files like MPEG4, MP3, AAC, AMR, H.264, PNG, GIF, and JPG
  • You can perform multitasking of the applications, with a unique handling of memory allocation
  • It is powered by customized 2D graphics library along with 3D graphics based on the OpenGL ES 1.0 specifications
  • Its’ web browser is based on the WebKit layout engine along with the V8 JavaScript engine of Chrome
  • Earlier screen shots could be captured only by connecting it to PC,s but Android has a special feature to capture screenshot on mobile phones itself
  • Hardware support includes Compass, barometer, camera, GPS, Accelerometer etc.
  • Designed with unique frameworks that enable reuse and replacement of the components
  • Android also supports GSM Telephony

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