You are on page 1of 25

Android Overview

Why Mobile App Development?

The fact that we can! Only a few years ago you had to be in the Motorola inner circle to do it! Mobile platform is the platform of the future

Double-digit growth in world-wide smartphone ownership3 Market for mobile software surges from $4.1 billion in 2009 to $17.5 billion by 20121 2010 survey: 72% of recruiters looking for iPhone app developers, 60% for Android1 mobile app developers made $85,000 in 2010 and salaries expected to rise2

Job market is hot

1 2

Students (and faculty!) are naturally interested! 3

Why Android?

A lot of students have them

2010 survey by University of CO1: 22% of college students have Android phone (26% Blackberry, 40% iPhone) Gartner survey2: Android used on 22.7% of smartphones sold world-wide in 2010 (37.6% Symbian, 15.7% iOS) Low learning curve CS0 students can use App Inventor for Android

Students already know Java and Eclipse

1 2

Why Android?

Transferring app to phone is trivial

Can distribute by putting it on the web Android Market for wider distribution

Its not 1984

Types of Android Devices

Brief History


The WWW already had websites with color and images But, the best phones displayed a couple of lines of monochrome text! Enter:

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) stripped down HTTP for bandwidth reduction Wireless Markup Language (WML) stripped down HTML for content

Brief History

Many issues (WAP = Wait And Pay)

Few developers to produce content (it wasnt fun!) Really hard to type in URLs using the small keyboards Data fees frightfully expensive No billing mechanism content difficult to monetize

Other platforms emerged

Palm OS, Blackberry OS, J2ME, Symbian (Nokia), BREW, OS X iPhone, Windows Mobile

Brief History - Android


Google acquires startup Android Inc. to start Android platform Work on Dalvik VM begins Open Handset Alliance announced Early look at SDK



Google sponsors 1st Android Developer Challenge T-Mobile G1 announced SDK 1.0 released Android released open source (Apache License) Android Dev Phone 1 released

Brief History cont.


SDK 1.5 (Cupcake)

New soft keyboard with autocomplete feature Support Wide VGA Revamped UI, browser

SDK 1.6 (Donut) SDK 2.0/2.0.1/2.1 (Eclair)


Nexus One released to the public SDK 2.2 (Froyo)

Flash support, tethering UI update, system-wide copy-paste

SDK 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Brief History cont.


SDK 3.0/3.1/3.2 (Honeycomb) for tablets only

New UI for tablets, support multi-core processors

SDK 4.0/4.0.1/4.0.2/4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Changes to the UI, Voice input, NFC

Ice cream Sandwic

Android 4.0+

The Android Developer Website This should be your homepage for the next semester!

Distribution of Devices

Data collected during a 14-day period ending on January 3, 2012

What is Google Android?

A software stack for mobile devices that includes

An operating system Middleware Key Applications

Uses Linux to provide core system services

Security Memory management Process management Power management Hardware drivers

Mobile Devices: Advantages (as compared to fixed devices)

Always with the user Typically have Internet access Typically GPS enabled Typically have accelerometer & compass Most have cameras & microphones Many apps are free or low-cost

Mobile Devices: Disadvantages

Limited screen size Limited battery life Limited processor speed Limited and sometimes slow network access Limited or awkward input: soft keyboard, phone keypad, touch screen, or stylus Limited web browser functionality Range of platforms & configurations across devices

Mobile Applications

What are they?

Any application that runs on a mobile device Web apps: run in a web browser


HTML, JavaScript, Flash, server-side components, etc. Often make use of web services

Native: compiled binaries for the device

Android Apps

Built using Java and new SDK libraries

No support for some Java libraries like Swing & AWT Oracle currently suing Google over use

Java code compiled into Dalvik byte code (.dex)

Optimized for mobile devices (better memory management, battery utilization, etc.)

Dalvik VM runs .dex files

Building and running (more details)

Android Asset Packing Tool

Expand figure
Android Interface Definition Language (AIDL) Definitions to exchange data between applications (think SOAP)

Allows processes across apps to communicate. veloping/building/index.html#detailedbuild

Applications Are Boxed

By default, each app is run in its own Linux process

Process started when apps code needs to be executed Threads can be started to handle time-consuming operations

Each process has its own Dalvik VM By default, each app is assigned unique Linux ID

Permissions are set so apps files are only visible to that app

Publishing and Monetizing

Paid apps in Android Market, various other markets Free, ad-supported apps in Android Market

Ad networks (Google AdMob, Quattro Wireless) Sell your own ads Ex. Skyhook Wireless (

Services to other developers

Contests (Android Developer Challenge) Selling products from within your app

Android Market

Has various categories, allows ratings Have both free/paid apps Featured apps on web and on phone The Android Market (and iTunes/App Store) is great for developers

Level playing field, allowing third-party apps Revenue sharing

Publishing to Android Market

Requires Google Developer Account

$25 fee Google Checkout Link to your checking account Google takes 30% of app purchase price

Link to a Merchant Account

Android Design Philosophy

Applications should be:


Resource constraints: <200MB RAM, slow processor Apps must respond to user actions within 5 seconds Apps declare permissions in manifest Usability is key, persist data, suspend services Android kills processes in background as needed




Leveraging the web

To keep your apps fast and responsive, consider how you can leverage the web

What ____________ can be ________ on a server or in the cloud?

Tasks/performed Data/persisted Data/retrieved

Beware, data transfer is also expensive and can be slow

Apple vs. Google

Open Handset Alliance

30+ technology companies Commitment to openness, shared vision, and concrete plans

Compare with Mac/PC battles

Similar (many PC manufacturers, one Apple) Different (Microsoft sells Windows, Google gives away Android)