What is Android : Introduction, Features & Applications

Android is a Linux based mobile device operating system developed by the Open phone Alliance LED by Google. Android is especially utilized in Smartphone and tablet computers. Android is open supply i.e. its options are often extended to include new technologies as they emerge.

Android, Inc. was supported by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sear and Chris White in Palo Alto, California. On August 17, 2005 Google acquired android inc. creating it a subsidiary of Google Inc.

On November 5, 2007, the Open handset Alliance in public announced their initial product, Android, a mobile device platform engineered on Linux kernel version 2.6.


Android Software a broad spectrum of applications and services to its user. Users will absolutely customise their mobile phones to their interests. The primary mobile phone that has used android was the HTC Dream, release on 22 Oct 2008.

Here are some features of Android Operating System:

  • Layout: The layout is mainly based on VGA, 2D graphics library and 3D graphics library based on OpenGL ES 2.0.
  • Storage: For data storage SQLite is used.
  • Connectivity: Android supports GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, WI-Fi, LTE, NFC and WiMAX connectivity technologies.
  • Multi Lingual Support: It supports multiple languages.
  • Messaging: Android supports SMS and MMS including threaded text messaging and Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM).
  • Web Browser: It is mainly based on the open-source WebKit layout engine and Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine.
  • Java Support: Most of the applications are written in Java but they run on Dalvik, a specialized virtual machine designed specifically for Android.
  • Media Support: Android supports WebM, H.263, H.264, MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR-WB, AAC, HE-AAC, MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP and WebP media formats.
  • Hardware Support: It can support wide variety of hardwares including video/still cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers, dedicated gaming controls, proximity and pressure sensors, thermometers, accelerated 2D bit blits and accelerated 3D graphics.
  • Multitasking: Android supports multitasking.
  • Multi-touch: It supports multi touch natively, but previously it was disabled at the kernel level. An update was released by Google which enables multi-touch natively.
  • External Support: Now the majority of Android devices support microSD slot and can read microSD card formatted with FAT32, Ext3fs or Ext4fs file system.

How Does It Work?

The Android device runs on an open source operating system and this means that it can be accessed by the public. This is one of the beneficial features of the device since many people are able to enjoy its features through the open source operating system. The aim of Google providing the code for the Android operating system to users and manufacturers may be more than just its application.

It may be argued that Google may not be very well positioned in the design and manufacturing of these devices and this means that it could be seeking for ways in which the design features could be explored by professional companies that have invested heavily in tablet design and manufacturing.

This could be a way of offering an opportunity to manufacturers who can improve the features of Androids by working on OS advancement and not coming up with their own systems, which could mean starting from the scratch. And because Android operating system is open source, it means that the manufacturers can focus on channelling their resources on the equipment or hardware and not concentrating on the software.


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