Are you a smartphone user for a long but always are curious to know about what ‘Android’ is? Have you already heard the term ‘android’ before, but have never got the chance to read everything about it? Has anyone asked you a question about android which you did not know?
Well, do not worry, if you need to know about the above-mentioned stuff then you are totally at the right place in order to know about what is android and come across this article. Today, we will be discussing each and everything about it and will also be making sure to clear all the doubts that you have regarding it.
In this article, you will be able to dig up the history of it, and then come back to its present. We are going to discuss about the various features that android offers its users and how it has revolutionized the smartphone industry. Let us not start with the article or the ultimate guide to it.
Table of Content
- 1 What is an Operating System?
- 2 What is Android OS?
- 3 Is Android Open Source?
- 4 Hardware Specifications
- 5 History of Android
- 6 Android OS features
- 7 Android OS Versions
- 8 What Do You Mean By Android Developer mode and Who Can Make The Best Use Out Of It?
- 9 What is Android Studio?
- 10 Conclusion
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Operating System?
Before knowing what android is, we need to make ourselves aware of an operating system (OS). In short, It is an operating system, which is why we will be looking at what an OS is. The first system software loads into an operating system which is an interface between the device hardware and software.
An operating system performs the necessary basic tasks that include file management and input and output handling. The OS also controls the peripheral devices such as printers connected over LAN or other disk drives. The primary purpose of an OS is to allow application software to interact with the computer’s hardware. It also handles the resources that come under the category of software and hardware both.
Some very popular Operating Systems are Windows Operating System, Linux Operating System, Macintosh (Mac), OS/400, VMS, AIX, etc.
They are generally popular for powering computers (laptops and desktops). The popular operating systems that most smartphones use today are Android, iOS (Apple), Windows, Linux, MIUI (a modified version of Android on Xiaomi and Redmi smartphones), FireOS (Amazon), and so on. After iOS, the smartphone that always remains in great demand and usage is it.
What is Android OS?
A Linux-based operating system is the other name for Android which rules mobiles and smartphones. Today, It is not just about smartphones – it powers smart watches, smart TVs, and many other intelligent devices.
The operating system of the Android platform is primarily based on the Linux kernel and a Graphical User Interface (GUI). It also consists of a web browser and end-user applications, that the android users would download.
Is Android Open Source?
Yes, It is an open-source software! This means that people who know how to code can suggest modifications for Android and then a subsequent version release could implement their suggestions. Under the Apache v2, Android first came into existence as an open source license.
The devices come with an installation along with a suite of proprietary applications because the parent company of it is Google Inc. These include Gmail, Google Chrome, YouTube, and Google Maps.
Being open source allows for the development of many operating system variations for other devices like digital cameras and gaming consoles.
Android uses ARM architecture for its hardware platform. Those versions of it that have come into existence, later on, support only the x86 and x86-64 architectures.
From the year 2012, device manufacturers released Android devices powered by Intel processors. Basically, the minimum hardware requirements of android depend on two things. They are the device’s screen size, and CPU type and density. A 200 MHz processor and 32 MB of storage and RAM was what Google required initially.
History of Android
It initially began in 2003 as a Palo Alto-based start company named Android Inc. It used to be a developing OS for digital cameras, but later abandoned those efforts to reach a broader market, as smartphones were hastily evolving in that period.
Google acquired Android Inc. in the year 2005 for about $50 million. In April 2009, with the release of Android 1.5 (Cupcake), Google introduced the signature dessert-themed naming scheme for android versions.
An official statement is visible on their website that revolves around the release of Android KitKat and it says, “Since we know that these devices make our lives much easier, better and sweet, each Android version’s name is always after a dessert.”
Android OS features
The default user interface of it responds to direct screen-touch inputs on smartphones. These include tapping, swiping left or right and pinching to initiate different actions. Smartphones powered with android provides alerts with vibration to respond to actions. You can download the third party applications in an android smartphone from Google Play Store.
Another way to download and install is downloading ‘apk’ files from the internet and then installing them. Some applications that are in developing stage with an aim to run on android are mostly in apk format. Smart TVs powered by Android responds to remote taps. The remote is generally in connect with the TV over Wi-Fi. Modern Android TV remotes also have voice search features for a seamless search experience. Some of the popular features that Android equips its smartphones with are as follows.
- A status bar at the top of the home screen that shows information about internet connection, signal strength, battery percentage, etc. Users can pull it down to view system as well as third-party app notifications.
- Features to optimize and save battery. Android suspends applications that run in the background and drain battery to save power.
- Memory management features to suspend running apps to save RAM.
- The most widely cellular standards, GSM/HSDPA and CDMA/EV-DO are supported by Android. It also supports Bluetooth, Edge, 3G/4G/5G Communication protocols, Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS, Autocorrect, SMS and MMS messaging, video/still digital cameras, accelerated 3D graphics, compasses, accelerometers, and multitasking applications.
Android OS Versions
There are multiple versions of it as Google makes incremental changes with each release. The changes include performance improvement and security patches. Following are the android versions along with their release dates and dessert names.
- Android 1.0 was released on 23rd September 2008.
- Android 1.5 (Cupcake) was released on 27th April 2009.
- Android 1.6 (Donut) was released on 15th September 2009.
- Android 2.0 (Eclair) was released on 26th October 2009.
- Android 2.2 (Froyo) was released on 20th May 2010.
- Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) was released on 6th December 2010.
- Android 3.0 to 3.2 (Honeycomb) was released on 22nd February 2011.
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) was released on 18th October 2011.
- Android 4.1 to 4.3 (Jellybean) were released on 9th July 2012, 13th November 2012, and 24th July 2013 respectively.
- Android 4.4 (KitKat) was released on 31st October 2013.
- Android 5.0 (Lollipop) was released on 12th November 2014.
- Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) was released on 5th October 2015.
- Android 7.0 and 7.1 (Nougat) were released on 22nd August 2016, and 4th October 2016, respectively.
- Android 8.0 and 8.1 (Oreo) were released on 21st August 2017, and 5th December 2017, respectively.
- Android 9.0 (Pie) was released on 6th August 2018.
- Android 10 (Android Q) was released on 3rd September 2019.
- Android 11 (Red Velvet Cake) was released on 8th September 2020.
- Android 12 (Snow Cone) was released on 4th October 2021.
- Android 12L was released on 7th March 2022.
- Android 13 (Tiramisu) was released on 15th August 2022.
What Do You Mean By Android Developer mode and Who Can Make The Best Use Out Of It?
Many developers have just climbed the first step on the ladder of development and android developer mode is just the right thing for them. Developers present a lot of options and other settings in order to check, see and confirm if some existing apps are in working mode or not. The users who are basically ‘average’ do not really need to have an access to any of the mentioned options and this is one of the main reasons why you should always turn on the developer mode.
Hopefully, now you are aware of the fact that the developer mode is not just developers but it is a tool which comes with a lot of useful features that go beyond the simple testing of apps. In apps like screen recorder, you can enable the developer mode in order to provide access.
It also showcases settings which are there to change or alter the speeds of animation. It also comes as a great tool that helps you to enhance the performance and to be honest, it is very helpful when it comes to rooting your device or even installing a custom operating system.
If you see a pop-up that as ‘spoofing your GPS location or on any app of your need, then also you would need to turn on the developer mode. If spoofing is something you wish to do with your GPS, then you need to turn on developer mode on your respective device.
In case you wish to install a particular app then it would ask you to first enable the developer mode because there is a need for you to the device if you still wish to continue using the app or stop altogether.
Before any further steps, there is a dire need for you to make sure that the app that you download comes from an authentic site and also the app is not a potential threat to your device and could harm it in the future.
What is Android Studio?
This studio is the ultimate IDE, which is quite ideal for the application development in Android. You should know that it comes with a lot of options and abilities for its users to use and you can profile a lot of things ranging from a list of options. Every section has a different set of options available for you to use. You can profile your battery or your memory and can also customize them according to your own choice.
It is all set to release its next version, Android 14, in 2023. The features that the audience are expecting include better 5G support, stacked widgets, home-screen widgets, and enhanced security patches. The dessert name for Android 14 has not yet come into existence. So we can now conclude our brief short-n-sweet article on what is it.
We have discussed a bit about the history of android, and its features. It is greatly changing day by day, how smartphones are in today’s world by making affordable devices. No doubt we will witness a lot of better features in the upcoming versions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A lot of people believe that Android appears to be different and unique on every other device but they are not aware of the fact that the appearance of android is always the same and the only difference is with the different versions of android on different devices. It is a very common fact that android is open-source and any developer or manufacturer can alter or modify it according to their own needs.
The most common advantage of using Android is that you get a vast variety of options to choose from whereas if you go for iOS, then you only have a limited number of options i.e. iPhone and nothing more. You can choose a lot of Android phones based on your budget and your requirements and the best part is that it would never disappoint you. Customization is super-easy when it comes to Android. In short, it’s the best choice for you!
The best thing about android is that once you own an android device, then you can customize the apps you love according to your own style. You can literally alter the entire mobile experience for yourself. Also, all android devices come at the most cheapest and affordable prices.
The worst thing that is probably the most irritating thing for the users is the constant reminder for updates in android. A lot of applications and the software needs updates but there is no management as to when notifying the users about the pending update. If you doing some important work let us say making a big payment, typing an important email, or texting someone and suddenly your an update reminder pops up on your screen. It would obviously hamper your process so this is a disadvantage of android devices.
The Google play store is an in-built app for android devices. It is a digital marketplace exclusively for the benefits of android users. The users can browse through a large number of apps on the google play store and download their desired app. Ranging from email services apps to music apps, the google play store has it all!