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What is Android? What is the Open Handset Alliance?

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Architecture of android. Description of different layer The competition. Version history Android is growing. Usage Share. Features of Android Latest Development in Android. Android Market. Future of Android. Conclusion Bibliography

Android is a ground-breaking innovation from the scientists down at Google Labs. It is touted as the next big revolution in the
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mobile phone Operating System playground. The reason why Android Operating System is so famous amongst the masses of today is because of its flexibility and ease of resources. The different applications which are used in the Operating System are easy to create and are developed by users the world over. Android is one of the fastest growing OSs in the world as of now. It also holds the distinction of being the first to facilitate the Dual-Core Processor families into its fold. Let us explore why Android is hailed as the saviour of the Open Source revolution and why it has been able to grow at the exponential rate it has.

What is ANDROID?
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Android is a mobile operating system initially developed by Android Inc. Android was bought by Google in 2005. Android is based upon a modified version of the Linux kernel. Google and other members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) collaborated on Android's development and release. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android. In 2010 the Android O.S. was the world's best-selling smart phone platform, dethroning Nokia's Symbian from the 10year top position.

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Open Handset Alliance (OHA):

On the 5th of November 2007 the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of several companies which include Texas Instruments, Broadcom Corporation, Google, HTC, Intel, LG, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile was unveiled with the goal to develop open standards for mobile devices. Along with the formation of the Open Handset Alliance, the OHA also unveiled their first product, Android, a mobile device platform built on the Linux kernel version 2.6. On 9 December 2008, it was announced that 14 new members would be joining the Android Project, including PacketVideo, ARM Holdings, Atheros Communications, Asustek Computer Inc, Garmin Ltd, Softbank, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba Corp, and Vodafone Group Plc.

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Android will ship with a set of core applications including an email client, SMS program, calendar, maps, browser, contacts, and others. All applications are written using the Java programming language.

Application Framework
By providing an open development platform, Android offers developers the ability to build extremely rich and innovative applications. Developers are free to take advantage of the device hardware, access location information, run background services, set alarms, add notifications to the status bar, and much, much more. Developers have full access to the same framework APIs used by the core
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applications. The application architecture is designed to simplify the reuse of components; any application can publish its capabilities and any other application may then make use of those capabilities (subject to security constraints enforced by the framework). This same mechanism allows components to be replaced by the user. Underlying all applications is a set of services and systems, including:

A rich and extensible set of veiws that can be used to build an application, including lists, grids, text boxes, buttons, and even an embeddable web browser Content providers that enable applications to access data from other applications (such as Contacts), or to share their own data A Resource Manager, providing access to non-code resources such as localized strings, graphics, and layout files A Notification Manager that enables all applications to display custom alerts in the status bar An Activity Manager that manages the lifecycle of applications and provides a common navigation backstack

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Android includes a set of C/C++ libraries used by various components of the Android system. These capabilities are exposed to developers through the Android application framework. Some of the core libraries are listed below:

System C library - a BSD-derived implementation of the standard C system library (libc), tuned for embedded Linux-based devices Media Libraries - based on PacketVideo's OpenCORE; the libraries support playback and recording of many popular audio and video formats, as well as static image files, including MPEG4, H.264, MP3, AAC, AMR, JPG, and PNG Surface Manager - manages access to the display subsystem and seamlessly composites 2D and 3D graphic layers from multiple applications LibWebCore - a modern web browser engine which powers both the Android browser and an embeddable web view SGL - the underlying 2D graphics engine 3D libraries - an implementation based on OpenGL ES 1.0 APIs; the libraries use
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either hardware 3D acceleration (where available) or the included, highly optimized 3D software rasterizer FreeType - bitmap and vector font rendering SQLite - a powerful and lightweight relational database engine available to all applications

Android Runtime
Android includes a set of core libraries that provides most of the functionality available in the core libraries of the Java programming language. Every Android application runs in its own process, with its own instance of the Dalvik virtual machine. Dalvik has been written so that a device can run multiple VMs efficiently. The Dalvik VM executes files in the Dalvik Executable (.dex) format which is optimized for minimal memory footprint. The VM is register-based, and runs classes compiled by a Java language compiler that have been transformed into the .dex format by the included "dx" tool.

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The Dalvik VM relies on the Linux kernel for underlying functionality such as threading and low-level memory management.

Linux Kernel
Android relies on Linux version 2.6 for core system services such as security, memory management, process management, network stack, and driver model. The kernel also acts as an abstraction layer between the hardware and the rest of the software stack.

Different competitors of ANDROID in market.

iOS Apples proprietary mobile OS, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. Derived from OS X, very UNIX like Symbian Acquired by Nokia in 2008 Windows Phone 7 Microsoft Kin, discontinued 6 weeks after initial launch
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Blackberry OS RIM (Research Motion), proprietary OS Bada OS Developed by Samsung.


Androids version history:

Android has seen a number of updates since its original release. These updates to the base operating system typically fix bugs and add new features. Generally each new version of the Android operating system is
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developed under a code name based on a dessert item. Android Version Name 1.0 1.5 1.6 2.0/2.1 2.2 2.3 3.0 Ice-cream sandwich Version 1.0 (G1): Its the 1st version of ANDROID which is developed in 2005 and 1st phone having this version of OS in HTC G1 which released in 2008. Version 1.5 (Cupcake): This is the 2nd version of ANDROID which is also named based on a dessert item that is cupcake. Also known as G1 Cupcake Donuts clair Froyo Gingerbread Honeycomb

Version 2.0/2.1 (Eclair):

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Also known as Eclair this revamped the user interface and introduced HTML5 for the 1st time in ANDROID and Retrieved in 27th October 2009. Version 2.2 (Froyo): Its also known as Froyo developed in 20th may 2010 which introduced speed improvements with the Chrome V8 JavaScript engine, and added Wi-Fi hotspot tethering and Adobe Flash support. Version 3.0 (Gingerbread): This version supports larger screen devices and introduces many new user interface features, and supports multicore processors and hardware acceleration for graphics. A preview of the Honeycomb SDK has been released and the first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, is released in 5th February 2011.

Ice-cream sandwich: Ice-cream sandwich is the combination of 2.3 Gingerbread and 3.0 Honeycomb in to a "cohesive whole", with a possible release in mid-2011.
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Android is growing.
This a pie chart below which shows us the world wide uses of the mobile phone OS in 2010. World Operating System Wide
1% 5% 2% 2% 34% 33% 23%

Symbian Andriod I OS RIM OS Windows Mobile OS Web OS Others

We can see that now the 2nd largest OS among all these smart phones operating system is ANDROID. The Research Company Canalys estimated in Q2 2009 that Android had a 2.8% of worldwide smartphone shipments. By Q4 2010 this had grown to 33% of the market, becoming the top-selling smartphone platform. And this is a good sign as the android is just brought in 2005.
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Usage Share:
This Data collected during two weeks ending on 2nd February 2011. The pie chat shows us the usage share of different versions of ANDROID.
Android 2.3, 0.80% Android 1.5 Android 1.5 Android Android 1.6 , 3.90% 1.6, 6.30% Android 2.0/2.1 Android Android 2.2 2.2, 57.60% Android 2.0/2.1 Android 2.3 , 31.40%


Platform Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Android 2.2 (Froyo) Android 2.0/2.1 (Eclair) Android 1.6 (Donut) Android 1.5 (Cupcake)

API Level 9/10 8 7 4 3

Distribution 0.8% 57.6% 31.4% 6.3% 3.9%

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We can assume that most have Android 2.1 Eclair or 2.2 Froyo.

Features of Android 2.1

Live Wallpaper: Android 2.1's Live Wallpapers move and react in different ways when you touch the desktop--again, not strictly useful, but they make the phone feel as if it is alive in your hand and responding to your every action. Voice Typing For All Text Fields: Every single text area in Android 2.1 is speech-to-text enabled, which means you can say your text messages, emails, tweets, notes to self, whatever. It works like Google's voice-enabled search box does. You tap the microphone button on the keyboard, speak, and then the spinner grinds away at the recording, translating it to text. 3D Photo Gallery:

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Android 2.1 ships with a new Gallery application for your photos, which syncs with Picasa Web Albums. It includes photos you add to the phone's hard drive or take with the phone itself.

Supports 3G: International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT 2000), Which is better known as 3G or 3rd Generation, is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunications services fulfilling specifications by the International Telecommunication Union. Application services include wide-area wireless voice telephone, mobile Internet access, video calls and mobile TV, all in a mobile environment. Compared to the older 2G and 2.5G standards, a 3G system must provide peak data rates of at least 200 Kbit/s according to the IMT-2000 specification.

Features of Android 2.2

Mobile hot spot and Tethering

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Certain devices like the Nexus One can be turned into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared with up to 8 devices. Tethering is accessing the Internet by using the phone as a modem and connecting it to the computer through the USB port. Multilanguage keyboard Multi-lingual users can add multiple languages to the keyboard and switch between multiple Latin-based input languages by swiping across the space bar. This changes the keys as well as the auto-suggest dictionary. Supports flash 10.1 Flash is used to use real life interaction on a web page. Using Flash helps in better utilization of web resources. Most web pages of today use heavy Flash support based features which make Flash 10.1 a very

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useful feature to have on your phone if you use the net frequently. Supports 3G and 4G 4G stands for the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to 3G and 2G families of standards. Speed requirements for 4G service set the peak download speed at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users). A 4G system is expected to provide a comprehensive and secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to smart phones, wireless modems and other mobile devices. Facilities such as ultrabroadband Internet access, IP telephony, gaming services, and streamed multimedia may be provided to users. Optimised application support App Error Reports A new bug reporting feature enables developers to receive crash and freeze reports from users of their Android Market apps.
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Apps can be installed on external storage. (microSD card for example) Apps can participate in data backup and restore, allowing users to reset their device to factory defaults and not lose any personal data.

Latest Development in Android

Recently mobile phone companies have successfully integrated Dual-Core processors into the Mobile Phones. Higher versions of GPUs have been built into both the tablets and the mobile phones. Native support for 1080p video recording and 802.11n

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Bluetooth 3.0 has been built into the new factory made phones. They allow for better battery conserving.

Android Market.
Android Market is the online software store developed by Google for Android devices. An application program ("app") called "Market" is preinstalled on most Android devices and allows users to browse and download apps published by third-party developers, hosted on Android Market. As of December 2010 there were about 200,000 games, applications and widgets available on the Android Market, with an estimated 2.5 billion total downloads. Only devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements are allowed to preinstall Google's closed-source Android Market app and access the Market. The Market filters the list of applications presented by the Market app to those that are compatible with the user's device, and developers may restrict their applications to particular carriers or countries for business reasons.
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Google announced the Android Market on 28 August 2008, and it was available to users on 22 October 2008. Support for paid applications was available from 13 February 2009 for US and UK developers, with additional support from 29 countries on 30 September 2010. In February 2011, the Android Market was made fully accessible on the web, allowing users to browse and pick up applications using their PCs, send them to their mobile phone and make comments on them. All this functionality was previously accessible only from mobile phone devices.

Future of Android.
Android 3.0 is the latest version to hit the market. The Motorola Xoom tablet has just launched in 5th February 2011 and this is the first device to showcase the Android 3.0 OS. Android 3.0 is also called Honeycomb. It fixes several bugs found over the earlier version of Android 2.3 which is also known as gingerbread. The next version is to be called Ice-Cream Sandwich which is possibly release in mid of 2011.

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Android is undoubtedly one of the most innovative software to have been introduced at the term of the decade. No doubt it has taken time to capture the market share, but the final outcome is more than worth the wait. Like all good things, Android has taken time to develop. More development is underway but it is sure to be successful in the years to come.

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Bibliography: om

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