Android™ brings a entire set of software for mobile devices: an operating system, middleware and vital mobile applications. The field of Android programming is in a full swing right now. And perhaps, we thought it would be cool to start a course on it ! In the coming days, we’ll be starting a cool course on Android Programming, free for you all !
We have heard the word android from so many different people and sources, but what exactly does it mean? In very technical terms, it is a form of an operating system based on Linux especially designed for tablets, smartphones and touchscreen mobile phones. The user interface is built on direct touch by sweeping, sliding, pinching and the like. It is possible to slide back and forth everything displayed on the screen such as the text, images as well as sounds.
Also the home screen of the device can be customized with the help of widgets which are basically shortcuts to the entire contents of the phone. These widgets are displayed on the home screen itself for the sake of ease and convenience. Statistically 71% of mobile users today use android as their operating systems. Its popularity lies on the fact that it is user friendly, easy to avail as well as cost effective. But the fundamental aspect that works in its favour is its customizability. It is also being used in electronics such as television sets, gaming consoles, digital cameras as well as a host of other electronic items. Another feature of the android device is that it helps provide a status bar that can be pulled up or down according to the convenience of the users.
It contains all the relevant notifications, like unread messages or a newly received email text. These can be tapped to be read or dismissed until further notice. In newer versions of the android, the action buttons are placed alongside so that the task can be performed at the same time as it is received. It also contains a variety of applications under various headings such as books, games, news, entertainment, sports, movies, music, television programs and the like. These can be obtained by the user through various virtual markets such as the Google play store and the amazon appstore which aid the user to download and install these applications from a third party site.
Google play is a virtual market used for the digital distribution of online applications operated upon by google. Such applications are either free of cost or available at a certain charge. These applications come with updatable versions. A user can update these applications by himself one at a time or all at once. However these are also auto updatable. This market was made available to users on October 22, 2008. Also another important thing to note is that the software is not open sourced, which basically means that it is not available to all users with all mobile devices and soft wares.
Also another interesting thing to be noted is that Google is currently in the process of developing its own anti-virus software to remove malicious applications and software. This was meant to develop a system to check malicious applications, viruses that may creep in while downloading them, or anomalies in certain versions of the applications. One such application is called Adblock Plus. Thus these are some basic features of the android that we use, have already used or wish to use in the future.
Before we move on to the course, lets have a walk-through of some features of this incredible Operating System, which we often take for granted. Have a look :
Android was put up from the bottom-up to facilitate developers to generate convincing mobile applications that capture complete benefit of all a handset has to put forward. It was fabricated to be justly open. For instance, an application can label upon any of the phone’s core functionality such as making calls, using the camera, or sending text messages, allowing developers to create more affluent and more concrete experiences for users. Android is built on the open Linux Kernel. Besides this, it makes the most of a custom virtual machine that was intended to optimize memory and hardware resources in a mobile environment. Android is open source; it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. The platform will continue to evolve as the developer community works together to build innovative mobile applications.
All applications are created equal
Android does not differentiate between the phone’s core applications and third-party applications. They can all be built to have equal access to a phone’s capabilities providing users with a broad spectrum of applications and services. With devices built on the Android Platform, users are able to fully tailor the phone to their interests. They can swap out the phone’s homescreen, the style of the dialer, or any of the applications. They can even instruct their phones to use their favorite photo viewing application to handle the viewing of all photos.
Breaking down application boundaries
Android breaks down the barriers to building new and innovative applications. For example, a developer can combine information from the web with data on an individual’s mobile phone — such as the user’s contacts, calendar, or geographic location — to provide a more relevant user experience. With Android, a developer can build an application that enables users to view the location of their friends and be alerted when they are in the vicinity giving them a chance to connect.
Fast & easy application development
Android provides access to a wide range of useful libraries and tools that can be used to build rich applications. For example, Android enables developers to obtain the location of the device, and allows devices to communicate with one another enabling rich peer–to–peer social applications. In addition, Android includes a full set of tools that have been built from the ground up alongside the platform providing developers with high productivity and deep insight into their applications.