Googles operating system has just turned three and it has given us plenty of good things. Three years have been torturous at the beginning but in the end it becomes much sweeter. When the Nexus One was once released and Android didnt support multi-touch, many people accused it as a Google-hacked iPhone anyone could make.
Smartphones have gained much more place in our daily lives then ever before. By their very nature they offer some amazing benefits which ease out our busy lives. In the past many Operating systems have been used in smartphones like the Symbian OS, Windows Pocket PC OS, Palm OS Treo and BlackBerry OS. Since 2007 there has been a revolution in the smartphone market. By the introduction of iPhone by Apple smartphones reached next level of excellence as it was the first phone which was completely touch controlled among other features. Though when released in 2007, it lacked support for 3rd party applications. Unless , you did the process of jailbreak you couldn't run 3rd party applications which was a major downside of Apple iPhone. The emergence of Android In 2008, Android emerged as an open source platform backed by Google. It gained quick popularity and HTC Dream emerged as the first smartphone to have Android OS. Some of the benefits on Android are: * Can be used with third party applications * Offers Android Market: Applications can be downloaded without having to use a PC. Contains over 200,000 applications. * Multitasking * Allows tethering ; which means you can use your smartphone as a wireless hot-spot. * Offers Multi-touch support * Bluetooth support for sending contacts and voice dialing. * Flash support * Swift Web browser Android Versions: Since it is still a new platform it has seen rapid development and updates. Starting from Android 1.5 (Cupcake) it has several updates which are 1.6 (Donut) , 2.0/2.1 (Eclair), 2.2 (FroYo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread). Market Share: In 2009, Android had 2.9% share of total smartphone market. However there has been a tremendous increase in demand of Android Smartphones and in 2010 Android commanded a market share of 21.5% in US alone. The biggest share loss of the smartphone market has been borne by RIM the company behind BlackBerry.Google says there are 300,000 android smartphones being added daily around the world. Many manufacturers have actively shifted or started parallel use of android with their own OS in their smartphones like Samsung which has delivered smartphones in both platforms, Android and its own Bada OS. HTC has also been rolling out android smartphones , while LG, Motorola , Sharp and Sony Ericsson. It's worth mentioning here that Nokia has announced a new OS called Meego and Nokia N9 will be the first smartphone to offer Meego OS. The Future: Android is still in its early years of life but seems to be gaining immense popularity for its flexibility and tremendous features that it provides to the User. A new version named as 3.0 honeycomb is expected to be released sometime this year. Although it will mainly be enhanced and improved for tablets. Android promises excellent opportunities for both developers and users alike . It will be interesting to see how other manufacturers take this challenge which have been struck hard by Android's growth in recent time, Specially RIM and Nokia who are relying on their own Operating Systems for future growth and market share.
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