First Things First – What Is Android? In October 2003, four smart-guys founded Android, Inc. In that same year one of the four founders, Andy Rubin, told BusinessWeek that there was tremendous potential in developing smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s location and preferences. He is quoted as saying, “If people are smart, that information starts getting aggregated into consumer products.” The four co-founders of Android, Inc.
, Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White all had experienced great success in their careers prior to 2003, but despite the potential for a high-profile new start-up, Android, Inc. initially worked in great secrecy, saying nothing to the public save that they were working on software for mobile phones. Almost two years later, Google acquired Android, Inc. Of the four original founders, Rubin, Miner and White were retained, as well as other key employees.
Android is a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel (a free and open-source kernel continuously developed by contributors worldwide). The open-source concept sets it quite apart from Apple’s iOS, (an abbreviation of iPhone OS) whose closed and proprietary nature has been both criticized and applauded by many over the years. The “Open Handset Alliance,” unveiled in late 2007 and comprised of a good number of tech-companies, (including Google, HTC, Motorola and Samsung), exists for the purpose of developing open standards for mobile devices.
The Android platform was released on the same day as the OHA announced itself on November 5th of that year.In ways far too technical for me to understand, (and therefore beyond my ability to relate intelligently), Android attempts to support as many different features and functions as possible – a feat clearly facilitated by the open-source model. With new Android source-code constantly being published, (under appropriate licenses, of course), as well as the list of reviewed-issues, its progressive development is consistently growing by leaps and bounds.
It’s not difficult to draw the connection between Android’s open-source policy and its growing threat to Apple’s private iOS… Before I’d even upgraded my iPod video to an iPod Touch I’d been hearing about the superiority of Android-running mobile devices – and the buzz in my ears hasn’t changed its tune even yet!Android Apps Like other mobile-device operating-systems, Android supports a huge number of applications (or Apps).
Naturally, there are plenitudes of free Android-apps as well as paid apps. At the time of writing this, the “Top Free” Android apps found on the Android Market are: Facebook Messenger; Gmail; Facebook for Android; Google Maps; and Layar. It also happens that there are a greater percentage of free apps available on the Android Market than are available on iOS, but that Apple offers a greater number of apps overall. There is a fairly well-defined line separating iOS users and Android users – typically, the standardized and closed-source iOS platform seems to result in greater consistency with regard to the user-friendliness of their apps, (supported by the fact that their popularity attracts a great number of aesthetically-minded app-developers), but the fact that the iOS platform is only available on Apple products, compared with Android’s platform being available on a wide variety of devices means that an equally significant number of developers are siding in Android’s camp.
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