June 7, 2009

Android: The Next Generation Mobile System

Not sure how many people in Bangladesh heard the term Android. I myself didn’t have any clue what really android is, a few days back. However, I really believe next generation mobile will be ruled by Android systems after I came to know about its features. In this article, I like to share some of the features that Android will bring to us in coming future.

Android is a software platform for mobile devices, powered by the Linux kernel, initially developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries. Applications are written in C. The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 48 hardware, software, and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache license, a free-software and open source license.

Features:

Handset layouts The platform is adaptable to larger, VGA, 2D graphics library, 3D graphics library based on OpenGL ES 1.0 specifications, and traditional smartphone layouts.
Storage The Database Software SQLite is used for data storage purposes
Connectivity Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
Messaging SMS and MMS are available forms of messaging including threaded text messaging.
Web browser The web browser available in Android is based on the open-source WebKit application framework.
Dalvik virtual machine Software written in Java can be compiled to be executed in the Dalvik virtual machine, which is a specialized VM implementation designed for mobile device use, although not technically a standard Java Virtual Machine.
Media support Android supports the following audio/video/still media formats: MPEG-4, H.264, MP3, AAC, MIDI, OGG, AMR, JPEG, PNG, GIF.
Additional hardware support Android can utilize video/still cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers, and accelerated 3D graphics.
Development environment Includes a device emulator, tools for debugging, memory and performance profiling, a plugin for the Eclipse IDE.
Market Similar to the App Store on the iPhone OS, The Android Market is a catalog of applications that can be downloaded and installed to target hardware over-the-air, without the use of a PC. Originally only freeware applications were supported. Paid-for apps have been available on the Android Market in the United States since 19 February 2009.
Multi-touch Android has native support for multi-touch but the feature is disabled at the kernel level (possibly to avoid infringing Apple patents on touch-screen technology). An unofficial mod has been developed that enables multi-touch, but requires superuser access to the device to flash an unsigned kernel.

Updates

On 30 April 2009, the official 1.5 update for Android was released. There are several new features and UI updates included in the 1.5 update:
* Ability to record and watch videos with the camcorder mode
* Uploading videos to Youtube and pictures to Picasa directly from the phone
* A new soft keyboard with an "Autocomplete" feature
* Ability to automatically connect to a Bluetooth headset within a certain distance
* New widgets and folders that can populate the desktop
* Animations between screens
* Wider availability of Copy and paste

Hardware products running Android

Released (preinstalled)
* The HTC Dream was the first phone to the market that uses the Android platform. The phone is part of an open standards effort of the Open Handset Alliance.
* The HTC Magic. The Magic is similar to the Dream but without the slide-out keyboard, instead using an on-screen keyboard.
* HKC Pearl, which claims to dual-boot Windows Mobile 6.1 and Android.
* Samsung I7500 was announced in April 2009 for release in June.

Forthcoming
* In September 2008, Motorola confirmed that it was working on hardware products that would run Android.
* Huawei plans to release a phone that would run Android on T-Mobile.
* Lenovo is working on an Android-based mobile phone that supports the Chinese 3G TD-SCDMA standard.
* HTC is planning a "portfolio" of Android based phones to be released in the middle of 2009,
* Acer is rumored to be releasing phones called the L1, C1, E1, F1, and A1 (unconfirmed) late in 2009.
* Acer is releasing Android for the Acer One netbook in Q3 2009.

Criticisms

* The unrestrictive terms of Android's license have allowed corporations using Android to place restrictions on their own customers. This also means that the apps can be carrier-specific as chosen by Google.
* Android uses a Linux kernel, but, according to Google, it is not a Linux operating system. This specific nature makes it difficult to reuse existing Linux applications or libraries.
* Android does not use established Java standards, i.e. Java SE and ME.
* Android does not officially allow apps to be installed on, nor run from, an SD card. Current Android products such as the HTC Dream and Magic have limited onboard memory and many users feel restricted by this lack of functionality.

3 comments:

Not Jimmy Wales said...

this article is a direct lift from wikipedia

Hamidur said...

@Jimmy
Yes you are right, Most of the information is collected from Wikipedia. I don't mind taking information from wikipedia or other sites cause I want to accomodate information under a unique platform. My aim is to introduce people to the technologies who never heard of such things.

But I forgot to include the exact URL from where I got the information.How ever here it is,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Android

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