Android - 101 Facts - 51 to 101
Android is an operating system used in smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices. It is highly customizable and user friendly - find out more below!
Yes, Android logo is also open sourced as that of the operating system. Hence, it has been reinterpreted into many variations since the launch of the original green logo design.
Android updates are quick and are out every 6 to 9 months. Google provides these updates which can be received immediately on its flagship Nexus devices.
For devices which do not belong to the Nexus brand, updates take time to arrive, usually in terms of months because there is variation in hardware between Android devices and each update has to be specifically tailor made for other devices.
Porting Android to each and every model with varying hardware features is a resource and time consuming process. So device manufacturers give more priority to newest devices. Also sometimes the phone may not be capable of running the update. So the reason can be resource constraints or technological handicap.
The frequent complaint about Android devices is that the updates are not coming to older devices which forces users to buy new ones. So Google partnered with other industry players created this alliance pledging to deliver updates on time for 18 months after its release.
Google has decoupled certain aspects of the Android which can be updated through Google Play Store independent of the Android. Now Google can add functionality to the operating system through Play services and distribute the updates without updating the Operating system itself.
Android consists of a Linux Kernel and unlike desktop Linux, Android owners are not allowed root access to the OS and this partition remains read only. Third parties obtain access to the root only by exploiting the security flaws in the OS. This allows them to either enhance the capabilities of their devices or even install malicious software to the device.
Android has its own community of developers who make use of the Android Open Source Project source code to develop their own versions of the OS. Though these modifications may be unsuitable for non-technical users they have their advantages. These are the community firmware in Android and CyanogenMod is one of the most widely used firmware.
Sandbox is an area of the operating system which is isolated and does not have access to the remaining system resources. Android applications run in a Sandbox. In order to enable access, permissions have to be explicitly granted by the user when the application is being installed. Only upon providing access the application is installed on the device.
Security and privacy in Android is enhanced by the Sandboxing and permissions system. But limited documentation and confusion between developers has resulted in a number of applications which request unnecessary permissions and this reduces the effectiveness of the sandboxing and permissions system. This system also limits the effectiveness of third party antivirus software.
Google Bouncer malware scanner is currently used by Google to scan and watch over the apps in the Google Play store. It flags up suspicious apps and warns the users of any potential issues with the application before its download. From Android 4.2 Jelly Bean version enhanced security features are built into the OS in the form of a malware scanner.
The Android Device Manager is a component that allows the users to track or locate their devices through a web interface. It can even wipe the Android device through web. This ADM is available as an Android application in the Google Play store for devices running version 2.2 and higher.
It was the situation when users of Android and its devices were hesitant to buy a tablet running on Android because it lacked high quality apps specifically designed for tablets. The developers were also not very eager to spend time and resources for developing such apps. So there was a chicken or egg situation. It took a little push from Google for developers to write more tablet specific apps and the release of Nexus 7 which solved the situation.
Android is one of the most popular Operating systems in the market. Android has a share of 80% in the global Smartphone market and has a weekly growth rate of 5%. The share of Android in the global Smartphone market has been led by Samsung products, which is around 65%.
Android is also used on many other electronic products other than Smartphones and tablets. It is used on Smartbooks, Smart TVs, laptops, netbooks etc. Some of the innovative products which use Android are Google Glass, Smart watches, headphones, media players and gaming consoles. It is also being used in Home automation technology which allows Android to control most of the household devices such as thermostats, light switches and power sockets. This allows these household devices to be controlled with the help of a Android phone or a tablet.
The advantages of Android are many. It has provided a wide range of mobile phone applications, has made available information such as weather details, RSS feeds, location aware services etc to the palm, support a number of other technologies such as GSM telephone, WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth and so on.
The fact that the makers have made the Android OS available as an open-source OS makes it the most preferred choice for the smart-phone manufacturers. Not only do the highly intellectual techies at Google get to make the OS as user-friendly as possible, but the smart-phone manufacturers can give their own touch as well to the OS as well by customizing it with the device at hand.
Well, disintegrate Google from your internet usage and you are totally lost I would say! From the most commonly used Gmail to the emerging favorite Google Voice, all the services of Google instantly sync to your smart-phone thereby making it your one shot stop right from the moment you buy your phone and power it on. Pay for an iPhone and all you may be doing for the first few exciting hours is sandwiching yourself between your desktop and the phone! Also, do you have an interesting app which isn’t powered by Google? No problem, go ahead and get it installed effortlessly while iPhone owners around would have to put up a strong fight with their new sleek friend for the same! The list goes on..
The only possible instance where you will probably hate your Android smart-phone is while you want to plug in your ears to your favorite song and you don’t find it right there on the phone’s music player. While Android syncs your contacts and mails, it fails to sync the part of media you love – music and videos! iPhone scores here with its iTunes app.
When ease of interface, speed of browsing and effortless slide is guaranteed with Android OS, you really do not have many factors to ponder about! Big screen may be your fantasy or need (for e-mails), while a small display may concisely fit for text messages. While cost does plays a role, with the wide variety of choices, picking one drawn to your needs is definitely not an uphill task! Although, make sure you check the version of Android before swiping your card!
To have an application installed on your Android smart-phone, Navigate to ‘Applications’ in the menu and select the ‘Android Market’ Application. Click on the ‘Search’ icon and search for E.ON. You can now get the app on the phone by choosing the ‘Free’ button which will be available on the left hand side. A screen opens detailing the various aspects of the app. Once you have read through, respond with an ‘OK’ to get the app running on your phone.
‘App’ is short form for the word ‘Application’. An application in smart-phone world can be defined as an integrated service which lets you perform an intended action. While few applications are in-built and come along with your smart-phone, few need to be installed. Some are available for free while some need to be paid for and brought.
Dalvik is the Virtual Machine behind the physical smart-phone you own in your hand! It is a machine configured to keep your smart-phone running by executing the files. All the files it executes are stored such that the storage and mapping to memory are highly effective. The .dex is the format which makes this possible. Anyone with a hold in Java can develop applications for Android as the Dalvik easily customizes these Java classes for execution.
DDMS stands for Dalvik Debug Monitor Service. As can be predicted from the name, this service is predominantly for monitoring purposes. In other words, this application audits continuously and aids in debugging issues by providing snapshots. The application has a Graphical User Interface and hence it is user-friendly by virtue. It is also capable of investigating the processes in the device.
‘Fragments’ relate to a sub-portion of an activity. They are individual components which can be added or deleted while designing an activity in order to customize the behavior. ‘Fragments’ are the ones that enable more than one activity up and running on the single screen. These were introduced in the Honeycomb version of Android.
The data in your Android smart-phone is and can be stored in multiple ways. This is the reason why you find your smart-phone behaving differently when you have removed the memory card you inserted in the side slot! While predominately data storage is classified into internal and external memory, the storage also happens through Network. There are also other means of storage like Shared Preferences.
Android applications types can be classified into four- they are Foreground (Front-end), Background (Back-end), Intermittent and Widgets. While the first three types are self-explanatory, the term Widgets might be new for you. Widgets are like applications which are predominantly designed to occupy your home and lock screens in Android Smartphone. The Weather Information Widget is one which is commonly found on the home screen of smart-phones.
The Android Software Development Kit has an array of tools each of which aids in different functionality. DDMS – Dalvik Debug Monitor Server is one tool which comes in handy when you need to debug an Android app to understand and analyze its behavior. While ‘layoutopt’ lets you choose an efficient layout for your application, ‘Monkey’ lets you find out how your applications react to erratic behaviors. As in any kit, there is an emulator which lets you test how the applications you developed perform in real-time.
In this fast-moving world, it is definitely desirable to have things you need at one command! Android lets you keep pace with the help of Widgets. Be it just getting info and organizing things in common place, widgets come in all types enabling effortless usage of Android phones. Widgets are enabled by two actions. One is a vertical swipe which brings the screen down to display the widgets. Other is just a touch which triggers the specified action.
A smart-phone should stand by its name and Android just makes magic with the use of Widgets. You are showing your recent nice click to your friend and you do definitely want the screen to be as bright as your excited face, yes? Bring it on in one go by dragging the screen down and clicking on the last dot of the brightness line. You have exhibited your gallery and suddenly you find your phone’s battery dying down fast! Wouldn’t you like to bring down the brightness in one-touch again? Widgets do just that for you!
Assigning boring numbers to favourite people in your contact list belongs to the bygone era! Android smart-phones add a personal touch with the ‘Direct-Dial’ Widget. Just add your frequently contacted people’s number to your direct dial and place it on the home screen. You can now reach out to your best buddy in one click! Aren’t your close ones' pictures more easy and appealing than the numbers which you need to remember with difficulty?!
Choosing an Android phone from the numerous smart-phones in the market can really be a very challenging task. The version of Android could well be considered a driving factor of your choice. Though physical aspects like color and size and monetary aspects might lead you, you must also give considerable importance to the version of Android if you are interested beyond the basic features – such as call, text, email, etc. There are many advanced features such as speech to text convertor, USB tethering, etc which you should not mistake for availability across all Android smart phones.
Apple does score over Google when it comes to welcoming the users to the world of smart-phones. Beginners may initially seem amazed at the ease and smoothness of the use of iPhone additional to its sleek and slender looks! While Android, with an open world of countless applications may seem too much for the beginner, as one gets used to smart-phones, iPhone users might slightly be taken back by the strict authority over the restrictions.
Apps are nothing but applications which can be installed on your Android smart-phone for a specific purpose. An app can be anything that performs a particular task for you. While there are commonly used built-in apps like Alarm, Calendar, Music Player, etc, for more advanced functions or in other words more specific functions like ‘Locking a particular folder such as Message or Picture Gallery’, you need to get a specific app installed on your Android.
WhatsApp is an instant messenger service which has a similar interface to online chat applications. In order to use WhatsApp, go to Play Store and download the app which is available for free. Once installed, you can easily reach out to people in your contact list. You can set your status, display picture and also choose to block contacts that you do not wish to WhatsApp with.
Android has a number of features. Its application framework enables replacement and reuse of components. It uses SQLite for structured data storage. It even provides media support for many audio, video and image formats.
For an Individual to develop apps for Android the first and foremost requirement is a development environment. One needs to download the Android Software Development Kit, Install ADT plugin for Eclipse, Download the latest tools and platforms with the help of SDK Manager. With the help of these an individual can develop Android apps.
Information and tools for creating Android apps are available easily. All that one has to do is to look for the tutorials available in the web, download them and follow the instructions provided. The step by step information makes it easy for app development.
The popular apps in the Google play store are many. The addictive Temple run and the famous instant messaging service WhatsApp are two of the most famous Android apps. Other popular Android apps include Angry Birds, Chrome Browser, Skype, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Fruit Ninja etc. These apps provide great source of information as well as entertainment.
Installing the popular Android game Angry Birds is easy. One has to search for the app in the Google Play store and download it. Following its download it automatically gets installed in the device and one can simply open it and start playing.
First one has to register or sign in with a valid Google account. After which all one has to do is search for the app and download it. In case it is a paid app, the person is required to register his credit card and pay from the same. Upon payment the app is downloaded and installed in your device.
Android and Chrome OS are both based on Linux but more than that there aren't many similarities between them. In the Chrome operating system almost everything is done with the help of a browser. The apps in the Chrome OS are HTML5 apps.
The Chrome OS is all about the browser but it makes use of HTML5. Since most of the Android apps are written in Java, it is not possible for Chrome OS to replace Android any time soon. But in case Google comes out with an impressive SDK for Chrome OS where HTML5 apps can run inside a powerful Chrome browser, there might be some scope.
The first biggest rival or competitor of the Android OS is the iOS though it is nowhere near competition. Android OS occupies 81.3% of the market share while the iOS occupies a mere 13.4%. One area where iOS scores over Android is in terms of its updates. iOS updates are available to all its users whereas many of the old Android devices are left out of its updates.
In case a person wants to use his Android device to its fullest potential, then a Google account is a must. After signing into Google on the device, the person can access a wide range of useful services.
Currently most Android devices have a single physical button. This button will take one to the home screen at all times. Other buttons are generally integrated along with the touch interface. They are the ‘Back’ and ‘Menu’ buttons. The Back button takes a person to the previous screen while the Menu button displays a list of settings which can be accessed.
Android’s home screen is a popular feature. It can be customized using widgets and live wallpapers. Widgets are applications which run directly on the screen. Live wallpapers are ones that change constantly.
All the apps in the device can be found in the App Drawer. It is simply a grip of the apps in the form of tiles. It can be accessed by clicking the button which shows a grid of 16 squares on the home screen.
Clicking on the Menu one can see the settings option. In the Settings option one can find Wireless and other networks, clicking on which one can scan for any WiFi networks. Once the network is located one can easily get connected by clicking on the network itself.
In order to turn off these services, it is not required to wade through a series of complex menus. Opening the notification bar a number of buttons can be seen which can help one successfully turn off GPS, Screen rotation etc.
With a new Android device, it is common for a person to download countless apps. However you might not use many of them. So it is important to uninstall them to free up system resources and space. In order to uninstall one simply goes to the Settings menu and chooses applicationsàManage Applications and choose the app which you wish to uninstall. Once you click the uninstall button, you are done!