Sunday, July 7, 2013

Back to Basics: Android

Greetings Readers,

Firstly I would like to say thank you for all of your support. This really means a lot to me and my brother! I hope you all continue to support me and my brother in our technological endeavor.

As you all know, we have done a review, a comparison and an opinion article on this site. Many of you might be up-to-date in the latest trends of technology. However, there may be many of you, who might be exploring technology for the first time. This article is to enlighten both veterans and new users about Android.
I shall write it in a sort of question and answer method to make it more easy to read and understand.

What is Android? Android is a mobile Linux-based operating system(OS) made by Google for smartphones, tablets and even some portable media players(PMP). To say it in a simple manner, Android is like Windows for smartphones. Android was initially a separate company called Android Inc. which made a few software files and themes for mobiles. Google had plans for making it's own mobile phones to expand and distribute it's web services in. They saw a spark of potential in Android Inc. and hence, bought the company in 2005. Google worked closely with Android developers for 2 years to design an OS for almost every phone user. By the end of 2007, they introduced Android 1.0 to developers. By October of 2008, Google joined hands with HTC in launching the first ever Android smartphone - the HTC Dream also known as the T-Mobile G1(In USA).

Different Android versions? Android has been undergoing many changes since it's original release of version 1.0. The first major update was Android 1.5 which was codenamed Cupcake. Google decided to have code names based on desserts for each Android update. The different versions are Alpha(1.0), Beta(1.1), Cupcake(1.5), Donut(1.6), Eclair(2.0/2.1), Froyo(Frozen Yoghurt)(2.2), Gingerbread(2.3), Honeycomb(3.0/3.1/3.2), Ice Cream Sandwich(4.0) and Jelly Bean(4.1/4.2/4.3). If you noticed the trend here, then you would know Google names the desserts in alphabetical order. Going with this trend, Android 5.0 will be called Key Lime Pie.

Which companies make Android phones? The companies that make Android phones are called OEMs(Original Equipment Manufacturers). These OEMs include Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, Motorola, Lenovo, Huawei, Pantech, ZTE, Oppo and many others. They each bring their own designs and form factors to the already wide variety of Android devices. Each company has their own set of followers depending on their customer satisfaction.

Why aren't Android interfaces the same? Each company wants their phone to stand out. That is why they make their own user interfaces(UI). The original Android interface made by Google, though pretty good, isn't meant for the normal user. It is preferred by developers and Android enthusiasts. Each interface has it's own unique features or drawbacks, likewise, each of the interfaces have their own name. Samsung's interface is called Touchwiz Nature UX, HTC's interface is called Sense UI, Sony's interface is called Xperia UI, etc. On a side note, I would like to add that my favorite interface is the stock Android UI.

Which is the best Android phone for me? This is a question that I cannot answer, unfortunately. I can however, give you all opinions and some information regarding a product. In the end, it is up to you, the reader, to decide because you are the one who shall be using the device for the better part of 2 years or so. Do a lot of research before buying a phone, that's my only advice to everything who reads this. Search for information about that device online. Check if the price is within your budget. Ask for opinions from other people. Read reviews. Finally, check if the device will be popular enough for developer support(This will be explained in another article). If you follow these points, you will be satisfied with your device till it is time for upgrading.

I hope this article was both informative and interesting.
Hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

As always, leave your opinions or questions in the comments below.

Until next time!   

This article was contributed by AJ.


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Mohammed Kamarudeen said...

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