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
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.
* Allows tethering ; which means you can use your smartphone as a
* Offers Multi-touch support
* Bluetooth support for sending contacts and voice dialing.
* Flash support
* Swift Web browser
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).
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.
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.