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: