Android

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The world’s most popular mobile OS 

Android powers more than a billion phones and tablets around the world. It’s customizable, yet easy to use, and since it’s made by Google, it works seamlessly with all your favorite Google apps.

 

What is Android?

Android is a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google.

It most commonly comes installed on a variety of smartphones and tablets from a host of manufacturers offering users access to Google’s own services like Search, YouTube, Maps, Gmail and more.

Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005. The unveiling of the Android distribution in 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 86 hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.

Google releases the Android code as open-source, under the Apache License. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android. Android was listed as the best-selling smartphone platform worldwide.

 


Open Handset Alliance (OHA)

On November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium (A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.) of several companies which include Broadcom Corporation, Google, HTC, Intel, LG, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Texas Instruments unveiled itself.

The goal of the Open Handset Alliance is to develop open standards for mobile devices. On the same day, the Open Handset Alliance also unveiled their first product, Android, a mobile device platform built on the Linux kernel version 2.6.

 


Android updates

With Android 4.4 KitKat now officially outed by Google we are looking ahead to learning about the details and intricacies of the next release of the platform.

 

Android 1.5 Cupcake

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Android 1.5 Cupcake

Introduced: April 30, 2009

Key features in this version of Android: Integration of home screen widgets, support for folders on home screen, stereo Bluetooth support, copy/paste in web browser, video recording and playback.

Notable devices of the day: HTC Hero, T-Mobile G1, T-Mobile Cliq, Samsung Moment, LG Eve, Motorola Backflip

 

Android 1.6 Donut

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Android 1.6 Donut

Introduced: September 15, 2009

Key features in this version of Android: Quick search box, updated interface for camera, camcorder, and gallery, updated Google Play (Android Market), battery usage indicator, text-to-speech engine,

Notable devices of the day: LG Optimus, Motorola Devour, Samsung Behold II, Samsung Galaxy, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, Garminfone

 

Android 2.0 – 2.1 Eclair

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Android 2.0 – 2.1 Eclair

 

Introduced: October 26, 2009

Key features in this version of Android:  Google Maps Navigator (beta), updated browser, support for multiple accounts, improved keyboard, SMS search, Exchange support

Notable devices of the day: Motorola Droid, Motorola Charm, Motorola Flipout, Samsung Galaxy S, Acer Liquid E, HTC Desire

 

Android 2.2 – 2.3 Froyo

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Android 2.2 – 2.3 Froyo

Introduced: May 20, 2010

Key features in this version of Android: Support for Adobe Flash, portable hotspots, multiple keyboard languages, speed and performance improvements, enhanced Microsoft Exchange support

Notable devices of the day: Nexus One, HTC EVO, Droid Incredible, Droid X, Samsung Droid Charge, Sidekick 4G

 

Android 2.3 – 2.3.7 Gingerbread

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Android 2.3 – 2.3.7 Gingerbread

Introduced: December 6, 2010

Key features in this version of Android: UI refinements, NFC support, native support for SIP VOIP, faster/more intuitive text input, enhanced copy and paste

Notable devices of the day: Nexus S, HTC Sensation, HTC EVO 3D, Motorola Droid Razr, Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Xperia Play

 

Android 3.0 – 3.2 Honeycomb

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Android 3.0 – 3.2 Honeycomb

Introduced: February 22, 2011

Key features in this version of Android: Revamped (holographic) UI designed specifically for tablets, action bar, improved multi-tasking, updated standard Android apps, better copy/paste, redesigned keyboard

Notable devices of the day: Motorola Xoom, Eee Pad Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab

 

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Introduced: October 19, 2011

Key features in this version of Android: improved multi-tasking, face unlock, resizeable widgets, Android beam, enhanced email options, improved text and voice input, soft buttons can replace hard keys

Notable devices of the day: Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Motorola Droid Razr M, Sony Xperia T

 

Android 4.1 – 4.3 Jelly Bean

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Android 4.1 – 4.3 Jelly Bean

Introduced: July 9, 2012

Key features in this version of Android: larger, rich, and actionable notifications, Google Now, offline voice dictation, streamlined UI, performance improvements “Project Butter”, smart widget placement, multi-user profiles for tablets (4.2), lock screen widgets (4.2), daydream (4.2),  OpenGL ES 3.0 (4.3), Bluetooth Smart Ready (4.3), restricted user profiles for tablets (4.3)

Notable devices of the day: Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Motorola Moto X, LG G2, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, Motorola Droid Razr Ultra

 

Android 4.4 KitKat

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Android 4.4 KitKat

Introduced: September 3, 2013

Key features in this version of Android: Full-screen Immersive Mode, NFC, Ok Google, Improved multi-tasking, Low-power audio playback, Calls and messages, Printing, Google Drive, Bluetooth MAP support, Chromecast support, Chrome web view, Device management built-in, Downloads app redesign, Easy home screen switching, Email app refresh, Full-screen wallpapers with preview, Infrared blasting, Location in Quick Settings, Location modes and monitoring, Music and movie-seeking and artwork on the lock screen, Secure app sandboxes, Step counting built-in.

Notable devices of the day: HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, Moto X, Moto G, the Nexus 5, and 2013 Nexus 7

 

 

 

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