Android is a Linux based mobile device operating system developed by the
Open Handset Alliance led by Google. Android is mainly used in Smartphone
and tablet computers. Android is open source i.e. its features can be
extended to incorporate new technologies as they emerge.
Android, Inc. was founded by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sear and Chris
White in Palo Alto, California. On August 17, 2005 Google acquired
Android Inc. making it a subsidiary of Google Inc.
On November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance publicly announced their
first product, Android, a mobile device platform built on Linux kernel
Android provides a broad spectrum of applications and services to its
user. Users can fully customize their mobile phones to their interests.
The first Mobile phone that has used Android was the HTC Dream, release
on 22 October 2008.
Here are some features of Android Operating System.
Layout: The layout is mainly based on VGA, 2D graphics library and 3D
graphics library based on OpenGL ES 2.0.
Storage: For data storage SQLite is used.
Connectivity: Android supports GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS,
Bluetooth, WI-Fi, LTE, NFC and WiMAX connectivity technologies.
Multi Lingual Support: It supports multiple languages.
Messaging: Android supports SMS and MMS including threaded text messaging
and Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM).
Web Browser: It is mainly based on the open-source WebKit layout engine
Java Support: Most of the applications are written in Java but they run
on Dalvik, a specialized virtual machine designed specifically for
Media Support: Android supports WebM, H.263, H.264, MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR-
WB, AAC, HE-AAC, MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
and WebP media formats.
Hardware Support: It can support wide variety of hardwares including
video/still cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes,
barometers, magnetometers, dedicated gaming controls, proximity and
pressure sensors, thermometers, accelerated 2D bit blits and accelerated
Multitasking: Android supports multitasking.
Multi-touch: It supports multi touch natively, but previously it was
disabled at the kernel level. An update was released by Google which
enables multi-touch natively.
External Support: Now the majority of Android devices support microSD
slot and can read microSD card formatted with FAT32, Ext3fs or Ext4fs
There are millions of applications available for Android which can be
downloaded from Google Play, formerly Android Market. The latest version
that is available to phones is Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.