Introduction to Android

Introduction

Table of Contents

What is Andoid ?

  • Android is an operating system and programming platform developed by Google for mobile phones and other mobile devices, such as tablets.
  • It can run on many different devices from many different manufacturers.
  • Android includes a software development kit (SDK) that helps you write original code and assemble software modules to create apps for Android users.
  • Android also provides a marketplace to distribute apps. All together, Android represents an ecosystem for mobile apps.
  • Android provides a middleware layer including libraries that provide services such as data storage, screen display, multimedia, and web browsing.
  • Java language is mainly used to write the android code even though other languages can be used.
  • The goal of android project is to create a successful real-world product that improves the mobile experience for end users.
  • There are many code names of android such as Lollipop, Kitkat, Jelly Bean, Ice cream Sandwich, Froyo, Ecliar, Donut etc .
  • The first version 1.0 of android development kit was released in 2008.

Why develop apps for Android?

The real question is, “Why not develop Apps for Android ?”
  • If you want your app to be available to millions of users worldwide or if you want to publish apps as soon as you finish writing and testing them or if you like developing on an open platform.
  • The Android operating system is an open platform: Any hardware manufacturer or provider can make or sell Android devices. As you can imagine, the openness of Android has allowed it to gain market share quickly. Feel free to dig into the Android source code to see how it works. By using open source code, manufacturers can create custom user interfaces (UIs) and even add new features to certain devices.
  • As a developer, you have an opportunity to develop apps for a booming market. The number of Android devices in use is greater than the number of devices on all other mobile operating systems combined.
  • The Google Play Store puts your app directly and easily into a user’s hands.
  • Users don’t have to search the Internet to find an app to install — They can simply go to the preinstalled Google Play Store on their devices and have access to all your apps.
  • The application programming interfaces (APIs) packed into Android, you can easily develop full-featured applications in a relatively short time frame.
  • Android can run on devices of many different screen sizes and resolutions, including watches, phones, tablets, televisions, and more.
  • Android comes supplied with tools to help you develop applications that support multiple types of devices.

History of Android

The history and versions of android are -

  • The history of Android begins in October 2003 — well before the term smartphone was widely used and several years before Apple announced its first iPhone and iOS.
  • Android Inc was founded in Palo Alto, California. Its four founders were Rich Miner, Nick Sears, Chris White, and Andy Rubin.
  • At the time, Rubin was quoted as saying that Android Inc was going to develop “smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s location and preferences."
  • The early intentions of the company were to develop an advanced operating system for digital cameras, and this was the basis of its pitch to investors in April 2004 .
  • The code names of android ranges from A to J currently, such as Aestro, Blender, Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwitch, Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop.
  • 1)Initially, Andy Rubin founded Android Incorporation in California,in October, 2003.
    2) In 2007 , Google announces the development of android OS.
    3) In 2008 , HTC launched the first android mobile.
    4) The first version 1.0 of android development kit was released in 2008.
    5) Android 10 was released on September 3, 2019 to Google Pixel phones first.
    6) It is the 18th version of Android mobile OS, which was released on 8 September 2020.
    7) The alphabetic naming system of Android, based on deserts, was stopped since Android 10. So therefore,
    Current operating system has branded with "Android 11".
Features included in Android 11
  • Device controls: Android 11 allows us to control all our connected devices (IOT) from a single point.
  • Media: We can play music from other devices connected to our phones.
  • Accessibility: A Perceptive apps help us to control and navigate our phone using voice command
  • Conversations: Get all your message in one place.
  • Content capture: Android 11 comes with a screen recording feature that captures our phone's current screen activity.
  • Predictive tools: By predicting our habits and patterns of working, it suggests accordingly.
  • Privacy & security: Android 11 gives more security and privacy fixes to our smartphone straight from Google Play.

Android version

Name

Version

Initial stable
release date

API level

No official codename

1.0

1.1

September 23, 2008

February 9, 2009

1

2

Cupcake

1.5

April 27, 2009

3

Donut

1.6

September 15, 2009

4

Eclair

2.0 – 2.1

October 26, 2009

5 – 7

Froyo

2.2 – 2.2.3

May 20, 2010

8

Gingerbread

2.3 – 2.3.7

December 6, 2010

9 – 10

Honeycomb

3.0 – 3.2.6

February 22, 2011

11 – 13

Ice Cream Sandwich

4.0 – 4.0.4

October 18, 2011

14 – 15

Jelly Bean

4.1 – 4.3.1

July 9, 2012

16 – 18

KitKat

4.4 – 4.4.4

October 31, 2013

19 – 20

Lollipop

5.0 – 5.1.1

November 12, 2014

21 – 22

Marshmallow

6.0 – 6.0.1

October 5, 2015

23

Nougat

7.0 – 7.1.2

August 22, 2016

24 – 25

Oreo

8.0

8.1

August 21, 2017

December 5, 2017

26

27

Pie

9

August 6, 2018

28

Android 10

10

September 3, 2019

29

Android 11

11

September 8, 2020

30

Previous
Next

Features of Android

  • It is open-source.
  • Anyone can customize the Android Platform.
  • By using WIFI technology we can pair with other devices using apps
  • It provides many interesting features like weather details, opening screen, live RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds etc.
  • provides support for messaging services(SMS and MMS), web browser, storage (SQLite), connectivity (GSM, CDMA, Blue Tooth, Wi-Fi etc.), media, handset layout etc.
  • We can perform all data storage related activities by using light weight database SQLite.
  • It has an extensive support for multimedia hardware control to perform playback or recording using camera and microphone.
  • It supports a multi-tasking, we can move from one task window to another and multiple applications can run simultaneously.

challenges of android app development

    Security Problems -
      The Internet is flooded with malware, which sometimes affects Google Play because of Android’s lack of strict guidelines for app development as opposed to Apple. Moreover, it is extremely hard to deal with malware because of mobile device fragmentation, as every problem should be fixed on hundreds of various devices with different OS versions. Resulting in Android apps and devices being exposed to many security risks.
    Software Fragmentation -
      There are many Android devices running different versions of the Android operating system, which makes it incredibly hard for developers to keep up with all the different options. Many app developers choose to focus only on the latest Android versions, although this approach is highly impractical because it encompasses only a small part of the Android users who installed the most recent upgrade of the operating system. As a result, the client who ordered the app misses out on the major part of potential customers. Another problem in regard to the software is that Android allows the leading smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Sony to customise the OS, which again leads to varying standards for each device.
    Managing the resources -
      You might have a nice and innovative app idea, but it will go in vain if you are not trying to convert into a marketable capital. The cost of development for an app always depends upon the nature of the app. To monetize the app and manage the resources and finances will be a challenging problem for some entrepreneurs or developers. If you don’t figure out a proper channel for investing in your app idea, you will again include taking a loan or joint venture your product with someone to raise funds. Managing the funds effectively can be a challenging task to produce a profitable return on investment.
    Patent Issues -
      Recently there has been a lot of legal incidents regarding the violation of patent issues on the part of Android software developers and hardware manufacturers. This can become one of the major challenges for an Android developer, because it can be really tempting to incorporate innovative features that you have seen in some other app into your own application, without knowing that they have been patented.
    Validating and Evaluating user needs -
      Assessing user needs is one of the biggest challenges in deciding the direction and figuring out what to develop. There is a vast competition in the mobile app industry in the market and it is a tough task to get the stand and noticed by users. The app developers always working to create innovative apps that users want. Determining the quality of an app depends upon a few factors and you might have few questions before evaluating a process.
      • What is the purpose of the application?
      • Does the app get into the market according to the users need?
      • What are the functionalities need to be addressed while developing the app?
      • Does the app easy for the users to use?
      • What are the functionalities need to be addressed while developing the app?
    Compatibility with different OS versions -
      these days, the developers need to plan accordingly to make their apps in such a way that the application runs on various devices and compatible with all versions of operating systems.
      The app developers face another challenge while dealing with different screen sizes and devices that the app should fit into it. It is not a good option to develop an app for selected, few devices, and particular screen sizes. To develop an app to run smoothly across many devices and many screen sizes is a principal challenge for developers. The developers need to look across the platforms while encouraging it for higher adoption and ensure the main logic remains unchanged across different platforms.
      The developers need to consider a different OS as well. Each operating system has its own respective UI objects and patterns. The developers require to conduct bug-fixing across all the popular operating systems- iOS, Android, and Windows.
      When the application is easy and simple to use and gives a good experience to users, then only it will have many implications in the market. To build a better app, a good UI/UX design is necessary which makes the app more interesting, simple, and gives more clarity.

Categories of Android applications

There are many android applications in the market. The top categories are:
While Apple’s App store categorizes apps under 24 categories and Google Play categorizes mobile apps in 33 types, only 7 types of mobile applications have managed to successfully reach the users. So, know about these 7 categories of apps that have been able to make it to the market!
    1. Entertainment application -
      Watching videos online, searching nearest event, chatting, posting photos on social sites, and more, all those apps that are built to agitate the user’s mind are categorized as entertainment apps. Such apps are highly engaging and with fun and interactive elements featured in these apps, the overall experience is too refreshing for the users.
    2. Social Networking
      Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, TicToc, Snapchat… The list of apps we use to connect with one another goes on and on. Social networks have become one of the biggest parts of our lives, and it is obvious just from how popular these applications are. On both platforms, they occupy the top of the list of the most downloaded apps.
      The feature has become so popular that more and more apps from other categories are integrating social networking features in one form or another. The most obvious example is the recent rise in popularity of Venmo – a mix of financial and social networking app, and FitBit – a social network for fitness enthusiasts.
    3. Bussiness application -
      These apps are called as productivity apps and are second most demanded app among users. From buying, selling, billing, tracking work progress to sending emails, there are varieties of business apps available.
      The main aim of these apps is to increase the productivity and reduce expenses for a business. At the same time, it intends to offer maximum convenience and widen audience pool in the market.
    4. Educational application -
      The modern society is more cautious about self-education, which brings in the role of educational apps. Such apps are designed to help kids enjoy while learning new concepts and methodologies. Even some educational apps are useful for teachers and support their teaching process.
    5. lifestyle application -
      From fitness, shopping, workout, to weight loss, virtual trial room, and more, applications falling under this category are meant to enhance the personal lifestyle experience for users. These apps are related to offer users ideal solutions related to their working tasks, fun, or other lifestyle problems.
    6. Gaming application -
      This is the most popular category of apps housing more than 24% apps in the App store. It is not surprising as most of the population spent their leisure time playing games.
      Gaming apps are exhilarating to the users while prompt app developers to invest more resources and time to create new games and mobile versions of famous stationary games. For users, gaming apps are highly engaging and offer them sense of accomplishment. Hence, developers find it the most lucrative category to invest in.
    7. Utility application -
      These apps are mostly used by us on a daily basis. From booking a cab, to hiring a home repair service, to undertaking healthcare, utility apps are ideal to display the shortest user sessions times. Users love these apps as it helps them to get things done early and easily.
    8. Travel application
      With clear and concise information, these apps are designed to make traveling more comfortable, easier, informative, and fun-filled to the users. While some apps help locating a route other guides users through unknown locations using maps. There are even travel apps that offer translation assistance to the users.
    9. The productivity of the application -
      You might have noticed, often mobile apps quickly discharge the battery of your phone. This causes an unwillingness for the customers to use them. Thus, it is necessary to approach seriously to the solution of this complex issue and need to be solved.
      The battery life of the device has to be considered with sincerity by the app developers because the users never want to experience the overheating of the device and much consumption of power while using the app. Thus the developers need to test the battery performance for their app and check whether the app drains the device battery quickly. To design a bug-free, high-performance app that doesn’t consume excessive power is a challenging task for app developers.

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