Android: world’s most popular mobile platform
Android is the world’s most popular mobile platform (Operating System). It is the largest installed base of software spanning over 190 countries. It has achieved this humongous task within four years of inception. It gives the hub of entertainment in the form of applications, user interface, gaming and coding. Android supports developers with open software development kit and provides them a world class mobile platform to showcase their application to millions of users worldwide. User can use Google Wallet or debit card for application purchasing. Android is based on the Linux open source platform with over 300 hardware, software and phone manufacturers is an associate themselves to build one of the most desirable and committed mobile dashboard.
With many committed worldwide developers from different partners, Android is improving day by day with continuous innovations. Android is removing all complications for developers as it is offering them a single dashboard for application development, and then all these apps can work within diverse hardware specifications with ease and without any such effort from software developers. Android automatically adjusts your apps in separate devices and make it look better in the corresponding graphical user interfaces (GUI).
Why Tablets are very popular:
Tablets are very popular. Mobile phone first started with simple phone functions and then SMS and pager option added into it. Then, comes the plain browsing option and after that due to come off the ability to roam around, more and more people wanted more able to do things into mobile phone devices. Slowly, mobile is turned into a smart phone device with the introduction of push messages, apps, apps store, word processor, cloud-storage, camera and other new and interesting applications.
Apple with its brilliant iPhone product first innovates the touch phone experience, with due course of time from a resistive touch screen to capacitive touch screen has been prevalent in the market. Apple seems to be a pioneer in many aspects of technology. Many believe that the first tablet comes to the market from a reputed company is iPod from Apple. Though many would disagree this but still the way iPod was launched gives the signal to all hardware companies that tablet is another segment which they can now seriously consider.
What is technology?
Technology is a department of marketing in which companies eager to follow each other within no time. With the introduction of iPod and subsequently with its immense popularity, brings the sense to other hardware manufacturers to go for tablets segments. Within three months, most of top smart phone manufacturers have introduced their tablets versions. Suddenly, market is filled with many different variants of the tablets and the customer has many choices. Then, the cheaper tablets segment, and Chinese products with Indian manufacturers.
Tablets are more instinctive than smart phones. Awaited to its bigger interface and smarter touch enabled functionalities. It is convenient to play games, watch movies and browse. The surprising aspect of it is that the technology inside tablets is nothing fresh, but for many years surprisingly the introduction of this device has not been into the market. First is the basic communicative, then the pager and then the smart phone and smart phone enabled devices. Numerous analysts differ from the view that iPad is the first tablet to reach to market. Nonetheless, most of the time, tablets are compared with the benchmark set by Apple iPad. Apple is always known for its innovation and launching of new products.
Why Google buys Motorola?
Apple introduced touch enabled devices for the first time in the market. It is also true that due to Google product and services. The ability to introduce a touch interface becomes a success. With the continuation improvement of Google services as well as its mobile operating system (hence OS), the touch functionality receives a newer. With the introduction of touch and speak sensitive functionality coupled with gesture functions Google Mobile OS android and its apps, have given all the hardware manufacturers an open-hand invitation to build the touch interface devices that would work on multiple hardware platforms.
Google acquired Motorola two years back. Numerous tech enthusiasts would think at that time. It is a move to counter Samsung. Samsung is the biggest manufacturer of Android devices (46 percentages) through its “Galaxy” brands. It has acquired this company to gain expertise on “push notifications. “Push notifications” are meant for accelerating Internet connectivity of Apps.
Mistakes from Microsoft:
Analysts say Microsoft was the first to conceptualize and jump into tablet edition much before Apple’s iPad. For some strange reason Microsoft stopped pushing these devices. Later on Apple introduces their prime brand iPad and suddenly the concept of tablets gains prominence. Blackberry Playbooks reaches to market, though not so much admired but it gives a strong fight to Apple iPad. Amazon Kindle Fire is built with android, and slowly it comes second in the tablet market segment. It is now the highest selling, Android tablet from all hardware manufacturers. More and more original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are offering cheaper form of tablets to customers.
There are many reasons through for success of tablets. These attributes are the apps, apps store, portability, memory, hardware and software components, loyalty of manufacturer and warranties. Choosing a right smart phone is not an easy task. If you are planning to buy a tablet, you should study all aspects of it and try to compare the devices from separate manufacturers. There is scope for future additional generations tablet devices with augmented reality and hardware independent devices.
The emergence of Android:
Android mobile OS from Google pioneered the movement of free mobile OS for hardware manufacturers. It is not limited to a single hardware manufacturer. It is different from Apple mobile OS in various aspects. Android provides develop friendly environment to hardware manufacturer and they are customizing their products with this mobile OS. The apps ecosystem of android such as “Google Play store” is very popular and it has many popular apps.
Countless such apps are very helpful to tablet users. Tablets are meant for multi tasking. Such apps play a huge role in augmenting the default basic functionalities embedded within tablets. Now, millions of apps, songs, games, books and movies can be downloaded from “Google Play store”. User can download movies and listen to songs by starting Google Play Music. Most of the songs and movies cost is lesser than the market price. Once you have downloaded the songs all will be yours for life time. Tablets give real life experiences.
What is Google Play store?
Google Play is the integrated application marketplace of Android devices. When you create your app, there, your application is visible to millions of users worldwide. As a developer it is easy to get the maximum exposure by building Android apps. Google gives you full support and unstructured as a developer to market your applications. You can market it for all Android devices or go for specific android devices. You can make application free or can charge fees for download. You have complete control over pricing on any supported currencies in any countries of the world. It is one of the best market place where Google is giving the developers their full anticipated enjoying and prepare brilliant application and earn revenue from it.
Google Play gives you the maximum exposure of your applications and according to download rate it gives ranking of your applications. Google publishes its recommended applications within Google Play and it updates from time to time with further suggestions. Most useful applications are listed on it and this gives the application maximum visibility and credibility. Google counts the number of downloads of application and ranks them according to comparison with other applications.
There are plenty of popular games by Android and most of them can be downloaded from “Google play store”. “Google play store” is an android eco-system of a repository of apps. Each versions of android are named after the sweet-dishes. The latest version of Android is Jelly-Bean.
Acquisition of Android by Google:
Google got Android in 2005. Numerous tech pundits interpreted this as the launching of a new phone from Google. However, Google has other ideas. The main aim of Google is to make easier web browsing experience in which major web services at Google will have an easier time. What is open source popular Linux kernel model to notebook computers, Android is the same as to movable enabled devices such as tablets, smart phones and smart phone enabled devices. The software development kit (SDK) is released by Android empowered hardware manufacturers to build their devices. The Android continuous development adds a new functionality which is making this platform popular. Android is the assimilation of all the features that allows the tablets, smart phones, and smart phone enabled devices to function. The fundamentals of Android include:
- It uses the free and open source Linux kernel.
- Android is utilizing ARM architecture to make energy efficiency.
- Android code library is written in “C”.
- Data mining is written in “SQL Lite”.
- Memory is managed by “DalVik virtual machine”.
- Android apps are built upon “Application Framework layer”.
- Google Play Store forms the bridge between developers and customers.
Open handset alliance (OHA):
Android gives right to open handset alliance. This means all handsets are given equal status. Before android the ROM (read only memories) refers only to RAM components. Android has completely changed this concept. Its developers built OS on the ROM platform so that updated versions can be flashed like random access memory in physical computing environment. When you have a, android smart phone, you will have to sign in with new gmail account for Android activation. All yours contacts, images, videos, notes and apps are synchronized with this google account. It will stay there forever. When you purchase one more trendy phone and signed with the same account, all the apps and information which have been there at the previous phone will automatically transfer to your new device.
Yours stuffs (data) are always available without any wire and synchronization. Android gives rooting capacity to the user. It is a complicated process. User will get administrative privileges to change system settings. The immense strength of Android OS lies with its huge developers and followers; it is also its biggest weakness. Scheduled to this weird numerous developers have been creating malicious apps and other programs in order to gain malicious advantages. Here, apps from third party store are disabled by default. Google screens every apps which is inside of Google play store to secure Android OS.
The single most destructive conclusion Android device can draw upon is it is meant for high end devices. Large chunk of society could not use this device. For this, Google is planning to develop latest incarnation of this OS, code named Kit kat to work not only with high end devices such as Galaxy series of Samsung, but also it is planning to cater to low end devices below 4000 bucks smart phones. If it is true, this is going to be the smartest move ever and with this it will fight be a new competitor to Samsung Bada mobile OS as well as Nokia Asha mobile OS. Android 4.4 will reportedly work wonders with older Android OS at low end smart phone enabled device. It has been optimized to work with 512mb of RAM efficiently so that almost all sections of traveling users can taste the fluidity of this OS.
With this newer version of Android OS, which will preferably adopt by all hardware manufacturer to introduce within tablets and smart phones, will have three newer features on beta (trial run) basis. Those features are geo-magnetic rotation vector, step vector and step counter. All these are advance areas of GPS devices, which will detect your foot movements, step movements inside shopping malls easy, where Internet connectivity as well as Wi Fi signal capacity is abysmally low. It will also sense when you are sleeping inside home. All these innovations are part of Google Map apps by Android OS, where the exact location when you are at home always not detected correctly owing to external factors. With these additions, Google Map apps will be empowered to give more precise information.
Bluetooth access profile:
With Android 4.4, Google will probably introduce “Bluetooth access profile” which is available with Windows 8 and is not there with current Android OS. With this feature, one can play media player on some other device from another device while Bluetooth is on. It is one such part of wireless computing where one can stream songs to various other devices without internet connection. In this way, a song from a smart phone can be played easily in your tablet.
Android does not favor and differentiate between core and third party apps. It treats all apps in its “home” equally. It is mobile OS which is accommodative for all section and segment of hardware manufacturers.
Android has changed the basic tenets of mobile apps. Earlier most of mobile apps are being constructed on the basis of single mobile OS. Suppose one app is created for Nokia Asha mobile OS, the same app cannot work with Samsung Bada mobile OS. With the introduction of Google Play services, which is a depository of all forms of apps, and which can run with any original equipment manufacturer (hence OEM) devices. Now, with android, apps can interact with calendars, schedule, stock exchange updates as well as geo-location services. Multi tasking of apps is there and it can give a perfect dashboard where third party apps is having equal rights, inside Android home. Contemporary barriers are being broken for of apps ecosystems through innovations.
Why Android is the favorite child of malware developers:
In the recent study, malware developers are now trying hard to attack Android mobile OS all over the world. It is cool because it is not being limited to a single hardware manufacturer as well as it does not have built-in anti-malware solution to counter malware attack. Research shows that people are using smart phones and tablets than desktop and laptops. In order to show cause advertisements, adware and malware related companies are trying hard to enter into the domains of smart phone and tablets segments. Their favorite attack place is now with Android devices through apps install. It is always advisable to install one free-anti-malware from Google Play services and time to time scan your devices while connecting with internet. So that both cloud and definition updates will be simultaneously performed.
Most smart phone device users especially, Android users feel that there is no necessity to install any third party ant-imalware as their device will not face any such malware attacks. As per layman, android was first introduced to buyers all over the world in December 22, 2008. It is now five years since its inception and through these years it has seen a sea change and becomes the number one in smart phone and tablets operating system. Android is controlling nearly 80 percentages of market shares and its competitor Apple is controlling measly 13 percentages of market shares. This is the authority with which the android is making waves in all over the world. It is due to open software platform and giving of equal rights to all third party apps.
During those times, when Google acquired Android, which was 22 months old then as mobile OS, at that time the competitors were blackberry, Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. Nokia’s Symbian mobile OS was market-leader. Surprisingly, Nokia never optimize Symbian OS for full touch screen functionality which is the main reason for lagging out from emerging Google’s Android mobile OS. Till that time, Microsoft never considered mobile OS as a serious contender for its desktop OS. With due course of time, it realized when Google was eating the market shares of most mobile OS. At that time Google spokes person said: “We acquired Android because of the talented engineers and great technology. ” Google sees the void of mobile OS, which has been left by big desktop OS companies such as Microsoft, Apple.
Software development kit:
Within two years of this acquisition Google introduces the open handset alliance and open source Android mobile OS. Within two years after this introduction, Google slowly reached to the top echelon of mobile OS. But erstwhile Android marketplace now Google Play Store is not free and also not open source. It is an interesting observation as Google deliberately making these apps ecosystems which are being built by third party companies and individuals to obey certain hardware standards so that they can comply with every friendly handset alliance parameters. No one complained about it as ultimately it is the consumer is going to be the winner from among all these measures. Google is able to restrict malwares and other such wasted apps from entering into Google Play services. Google is helping developers with plenty of tools for SDK as well as it is helping them to open their own private shops from where they can sell their developed apps. Google’s motto for Android is “in the hands of everybody”.
At some point of time, you must be wanting for “factory reset” of Android device. The reason can be of warranty point of view to sell your phone to a third person. You want your data to be preserved from prying eyes of others. First you need to back up contracts, images, notes, apps so that when you buy a new phone, and log in with the same Google user names all apps could be updated and activated easily from there. You can back up data on your SD card, or if you want to format the SD card, then it is better to keep data on your personal computer. From the settings menu, one can find “back up” and “reset”.
Google has only the right of Android Mobile OS; it does not have any such rights with devices and its hardware components.
Google is working with business to business (B2B) in organizations with hardware manufacturers from open hardware alliances. Some ethical enthusiasts say that while using Android devices one has to use an expensive data plan as well as purchase an expensive phone, then why someone would like to spend higher, while purchasing this device. If you do not have such data plan, then it is difficult to activate this device. Android is uploading abundant factors of data to cloud as well as, slowly Google is giving away 25 GB of free storage place to the user through its Google drive. Nonetheless, there is one condition that each image to be set in public before it will be uploaded to drive.
Is Android expensive?
Some theoretical analysts say that although this software is free and open source but it cannot be activated without a data plan. This means the user has to spend money in order to activate it, which is not right though. Satisfied users stress on the point that one can utilize android while not connecting to internet as normal mobile device, and also one can use it as a tablet like playing popular games such as Temple Run2 or fruit Ninza 2. In order to play these game one should not have to connect this device to the Internet. Android phone has “Android device manager”, which is protecting your phone from a distance and if ever it gets stolen or lost, it will block OS and locate the exact location from there and will be sending the details about the device to your registered email.
Physical security of Android:
Android is better in terms of physical security of your phone as well as it is secure from external malware attacks. Every apps residing within “Google Play store” is seriously scrutinized by Google, and bad developers are black listed for life time. Many would agree that Android does not need any antivirus software. But still one can use it and install it from the application store. Google has been actively engaging its engineers to secure its operating system. Of late Google has completely overall the coding system of “Google Play-Store” with “Bouncer” coding.
Few months back Google publishes “Android Device Manager” to all Android users. Earlier, users are installing third party apps for this purpose. There are few antivirus apps which are also offering this service. Now, with the advent of this app, Google is continuously tracking the location of your phone through inbuilt GPS, search location services and Wi-Fi. With the introduction of “Bouncer” programming, through checking of each app is continuously done. It is a premium form of offering security to Android users where Google will be personally overseeing the security of the Android platforms.
There are chances that you might lose your phone amidst busy scheduling while at marriage functions or by local trains. “Android Device Manager” will give you an exact map of your phone where the device is currently lost. It will help you to find out about the exact location of the device. You can remotely “screen lock” It. In the long run, if your phone cannot be recovered, then you can remotely erase all data.
Prevention, control and defend:
You can browse “Android Device Manager” with desktop by pointing a web browser to it. Log in to it with the same Google Mail (Gmail) which you have registered for Android device. From there you will get three options: Ring, Lock and Erase. Android comes with multi layered security. It is basically consists of three layers such as: Prevent, Control and Defend. “Google Play Store” scans installed apps as well as other apps to prevent viruses. Sandboxing helps to prevent apps from entering into the system-setting. Google is always screening apps from remote and once it is identified dangerous apps can be removed remotely.
Android is a dependable system. “Verify application” function will only work with apps installed from “Google-Play Stores”. With the massive attack on “Google Play”, the premiere Android market place, two years back, it has constituted “bouncer”, the invisible anti-malware from Google. “Bouncer” is a series of steps which Google is taking to protect "Google-Play Store". It is a codename given by Google researchers.
It gives adequate protection to Android eco-system as Android market place (now Google Play store) is directly connected with an android. If it is affected then malware can directly enter into android device. Google is not employing traditional antivirus modules. Instead it is checking all apps by transferring them into sand-boxing environment (a form of cloud computing) and then it is checking apps from there. The uploaded application is scanned by “bouncer” service for known malware, viruses and trojans. It will examine the behavioral module of application. Then, the app is uploaded to cloud and it has to pass through various simulation of Android device. Multi layered security system is implemented within Google market place. According to Google, “While it's not possible to prevent bad people from building malware, the most important measurement is whether those bad applications are being installed from Android Market”.
Google’s aim is to examine the behavioral patterns of apps inside Android market environment. It does not care whether there is stiff increase of android malware everywhere. By default Android is said to be configured to install apps from “Google Play Store”. Even Samsung phones are not allowed to install apps from its native market store known as “Samsung apps”. If we observe the trend carefully, within two years, since the worst malware attack on Android market place, Google has been secretly implementing strict security measures to make android a safer OS. But Google is focused internally in its own android market place.
Nokia Asha vs. Android Kit Kat:
Google is seeing market scope in low end devices. It has seen competition from Nokia through its “Asha” mobile OS. Nokia’s low end mobile operating system (Nokia Asha) is giving a tough time to the low end Android devices. It has opened the flood gate for device manufacturers and Internet service providers to update old low end device and to configure with the latest Android features. Many hardware manufacturers are happy to see this as they want to ship their low end devices with latest Android OS. This is an area which Google is trying to enter which has been filled up through Nokia Asha Mobile OS and Samsung Guru Mobile OS.
In the past, there were instances when Google has been criticized for ignoring low end devices. Low-end devices consist of low cost smart phones as well as tablets and smart phone enabled devices. The percentages of selling of smart phones are highest in this segment. Developing countries like India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa have been the major source of the smart phone market. Here, the emerging middle income groups have the power to purchase. They are trying to purchase multiple smart phones, but they are unable to reach high-end Android devices. Those Android devices which are in the market are of older OS with abysmal graphical user experience (GUI) to say the least. After seeing the void in this segment, Nokia produced low end smart phone operating system (Nokia Asha) and released its product which becomes instant heat in these countries. The core problem of Android OS is its size and efficient memory management.
Sometimes, smart phones with 1 GB of RAM (Random Access Memory) are unable to withstand multi tasking. In the next versions of Android (Android Kitkat known as Android 4.4) we can find single cache management, efficient management of services while connecting internet and proper CPU (Central Processing Unit) core distribution to access the speed and proper memory distribution among different units of operating system. Android also releases a new SDK (Software Development Kit) for developers in which it is easy to preview and debug application in real time and if the preview shows red sign, then the concerned application will be a resource boggy to android. Similarly, if debugging of application shows green sign then it is a lightweight application. In the future, Google will also show memory utilization on its android marketplace (Now Google Play Store) so that users will be warned before installing these resources demanding applications on the device.
Google is now controlling application from third party market places. If some of these applications are showing red while debugging in the cloud, it will automatically shut those applications and gadgets from running on the device. It is another form of implementation of security. If any applications have malware, then naturally it will be resource demanding owing to attack on CPU (Central Processing Unit). Then, it will show red and will be automatically shut down and unintended from the device. This security part is known as “Project svelte” as it will automatically shut down tasking applications from running on the device. It is very safe for a low end device, which is running with one CPU and lesser RAM. The tasking application will be shut down automatically by the OS, in order to prevent DOS attack (Denial of Service attack) and BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).
Mistakes from Apple:
Numerous devices are failing to respond to incompatible update of Apple and some are automatically restarting after definite intervals. This update contains a huge amount of resource usages which legacy OS is unable to cope with it. Apple should have been thinking on the same line as that of Google. Google is stopping updates of its Gingerboard (Android 2.2) to sad end devices as the next version is meant for high end devices. After Android Jelly Bean (Android 4.2) update, Google again rethink about its strategies on the low-end smart phones. So, it is going to release Kitkat (Android 4.4) for the low end as well as high end smart phones and tablets. In this version of Android, there are numerous measures to control and maintain efficient memory utilization. Apple should have thought about it before releasing iOS7 updates to legacy devices.
The limitation with which the OS has to work is the hardware capacity. Every developer from OS to apps should carefully consider this aspect before writing of codes. Slowly, Apple has learnt something from Google and is now introducing the stripped down versions of iOS to its legacy devices. What is worse is that in such situations the owners could not do anything about it at all the problem lies with hardware and the fault is with the company.
Nokia’s mistake of C6 smart phone:
Here, is one such living example of how a decent smart phone becomes out of order owing to the fault of the company. This incident happened two years back, when for the first time I bought Nokia C6, which is running on an older Symbian mobile OS. I was a supporter of Nokia phones and for this I prefer to purchase it instead of android based Samsung devices. I connect to internet with Nokia Suit from my desktop replacement. Sometimes back, Nokia Suit sends the notification of software update. It is almost 200MB, so I had decided to do it during weekends. At that time, the Internet connection is not as fast as it is used to be. Owed to post a remote place. I had to contain with indifferent speed of internet. Nevertheless, entire update was downloaded within eight hours and wasting entire Sunday of me and devoid me from browsing the Internet.
Then, the phone is flashed automatically and restarted and then the installation begins. It took almost ten minutes to complete the installation.
With this updates, there are some new themes and the phone is now more responsive to touch screen. From the application menu, I could find numerous additional applications which were giving me immense pleasure to use this phone. I was completely happy when I see the You Tube apps which is necessary for me to upload videos to my You Tube channel. I thanked Nokia for this update. After few days, problem begins, and the response time of the touch screen and the lagging time of launching of apps, gives me some weird feelings.
At last one day, the phone struck as it is and the home screen becomes still like a dead man. I reached to “Nokia Priority” and after a month time they repaired the phone and returned to me in good shape. They have told that Nokia has mistakenly sent the updates of Symbian OS to devices without examining about hardware efficiency and that update broke the touch screen functionalities of the phone and thus creates all these problems.
Of late application developers have complained about Google that applications are not included inside the Google search engine. Google is the biggest driver of audiences on the web and if it does not include such applications to web search results, then the popularity of such applications could only depend upon offline advertisements. Recently, one app known as “What's app”, a chat on an application from a third party vendor becomes more popular compared to inbuilt Samsung Chaton and Google+ Hangouts. This app runs television commercials on many channels. Due to this more and more users download this application. It becomes the number one in the free application section of “Google Play Services”.
Google is fixing this. With new version of Android (Android 4.4-Kitkat), it is introducing a new feature known as “App indexing” which automatically creates a back link to the Google search. Popular applications are already showing deep linking to Google search. Now every application will have the same facility. This will increase search engine optimization of applications.
The future of mobile computing:
Which mobile operating system is better? So far, Android seems to rule the world. Apple OS could have done better, if it would have been into the low end mobile devices as well as mid level smart phone and tablet market segment. In these segments, the penetration of the Apple OS is meager. It is available in cross platform hardware environments. Android is all about customization, but it is not on an individual basis. But on the basis of different hardware manufacturers. It is always taken time for Android to update as it solely depends upon which of the hardware manufacturer. The backward compatibility also depends upon the manufacturer. Few months back, Android released its updated version. Nevertheless, all hardware manufacturers are not updating their devices in the same month. Samsung took almost two months to release the update.
The future of mobile computing cannot be predicted. It is a fast changing world. In the years to come we can see creation of agile database, cloud server, wireless data management at its peak. Most modern mobile operating system has been using the cloud as the premium source of storage. Android is going in the same way. Its image, video applications are in cloud. One thing is clear; there would not be any such monopoly in the sphere of mobile computing. Android would try to evolve in each passing moment, so as Apple. Smart phones and tablets are going to be vital part of human life. The openness with which Android system is working, enables everyone to download SDK (Software Development Kit) of android and writes an application with it. Google is famous for its simplicity and user friendliness.
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