Technology has made an unprecedented progress in the current times. If one looks back to the history of human evolution, one will, unfailingly, see how technology has defined and redefined man’s destiny on earth! There was a time, when entire human technology summed up to a collection of bones and stones that were sharpened to provide a sharp edge. Gradually, with the passage of time, scientific inventions took place that introduced newer technolgies, which in turn, developed the society to its contemporary state. As such, the technology of the day is mobile technology, which has revolutionized human communication like never before. In this context, it is necessary to introduce the Android technology?
What is Android?
- Android is a special type of Operating System (OS) that is exclusively designed for Smartphones and tablet computers.
- As such, presently, the software is running on a few billion – if not more – devices, across the world. This proves the unbelievable popularity of the product among the global community!
Now, what makes Android so overwhelmingly popular? It has a set of stunning, easy-to-use features. However, the best part of Android is its revolutionary user-interface. a few of which are summed up below.
Android phones provide a state-of-the-art user interface. The user interface is based on direct manipulation by applying touch inputs. As such, physical actions like
- Pinching and
- Tapping, etc.
are used to instruct the phone, as well as to manipulate the screen. Even, one can customize the screen with shortcuts to different applications. This is not all with this new-age device. One can also access emails and as well can procure live information like that of weather from an Android handset.
The Applications for an Android are better known as Apps and are intrinsic software component to run a device smoothly, optimizing the various functionality and features it offers. These apps are usually written in Java, using the Android Software Development Kit (or, SDK). The SDK – on the other hand – includes a set of elements including
- Software libraries
- Handset emulator
- Debugger and
- Entire documentation, including sample codes and tutorials, etc.
Memory management for an Android phone
Androids usually run on batteries, just like normal mobile sets. Therefore, memory-management of the device has been designed in such way that it consumes minimal energy. The devices are apt in managing the volatile (RAM) memory.
Interestingly, a suspended Android app does not consume any resource, either battery or processing power, etc. As such, when an app is no longer in use, the system smartly suspends it in the memory, while technically, the app remains open. Users do not have to handle the memory issue by terminating an app themselves.
Latest Android devices are recommended to possess at least 512 MB RAM, apart from a number of other hardware. These usually include
- Cameras (still, video or both)
- Dedicated gaming consoles
- Hardware orientation censors
- Thermometers, barometers and magnetometers
- Proximity and pressure sensors and most importantly,
- Touch Screens, etc.
Versions and timeline
Initially, the first version of Android was designed by Android Inc. and the project was financed by Google. However, commercially the first Android set that was launched into the market was HTC Dream, which was in 2008.
As such, there are several versions of the OS that have come up till date. In fact, Google pairing with Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is still undergoing the process of Android development. Different versions of the software that came across the timeline are as follows.
- Android 1.0 (API Level 1) – 2008
- Android 1.1 (API Level 2) – February 2009
- Android 1.5 (API Level 3) – named Cupcake – April 2009
- Android 1.6 (API Level 4) – named Donut - September 2009
- Android 2.0 (API Level 5) – named Éclair – October 2009
- Android 2.0.1 (API Level 6) – named Éclair – December 2009
- Android 2.1 (API Level 7) – named Éclair – January 2010
- Android 2.2 to 2.2.3 (API Level 8) – named Frozen Yogurt or, FROYO – May 2010
- Android 2.3 to 2.3.2 (API Level 9) – named Gingerbread – December 2010
- Android 2.3.3 to 2.3.7 (API Level 10) – named Gingerbread – February to September 2011
- Android 3.0 (API Level 11) – named Honeycomb – February 2011
- Android 3.1 (API Level 12) – named Honeycomb – May 2011
- Android 3.2 (API Level 13) – named Honeycomb – July 2011
- Android 4.0 to 4.0.2 (API Level 14) – named Ice Cream Sandwich – October 2011
- Android 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 (API Level 15) – named Ice Cream Sandwich – December 2011 to March 2012
- Android 4.1 to 4.3 (API Level 16 to 18) – named Jellybean – July 2012 to October 2013
- Android 4.4 (API Level 19) – named Kitkat – October 2013
Development of Android is – as has been mentioned above – an on-going process. Considering the fast pace of technology evolution, it is really challenging to speculate the future versions of this OS. A set of unbelievable features and more and more of user-friendliness are certainly going to be the roadmaps upon which the software will be gradually updated.