Android is an open-source mobile operating system that is primarily made for touchscreen mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It is built on a modified version of the Linux kernel. The Open Handset Alliance, a group of developers, creates Android, which Google financially supports. The HTC Dream, the first commercial Android smartphone, was released in September 2008 after its disclosure in November 2007.
As a result, the market assesses the demand for clever developers to create Android-supported gadgets. As a result, the Android operating system evolved into a whole suite of operating systems for a variety of devices, including wearables, mobile phones, laptops, smart TVs, tablets, set-top boxes, etc.
What is an Android Operating System?
Android is an operating system built on the Linux platform that is primarily intended for touch-screen mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs. Since the introduction of black and white phones 15 years ago, to modern smartphones or minicomputers, the operating system has seen significant development. Android is currently one of the most popular mobile operating systems. Software called Android was created in 2003 in Palo Alto, California.
Smartphones that use the sophisticated Android operating system can run a wide variety of apps. For users, these programmes are more comfier and sophisticated. The ARM architecture platform serves as the foundation for the hardware that enables Android software. Since Android is an open-source operating system, anyone may use it for nothing. Android is highly well-liked since it provides a huge selection of apps that may help you manage your life in a variety of ways and is inexpensively priced.
The complete Java programming language is supported by Android development. Even other API and JSE-compatible packages cannot be used.
A crucial element offered by the android runtime is the Dalvik Virtual Machine, a kind of Java Virtual Machine. It is optimised and specifically made for Android. The process virtual machine of the Android operating system is called the Dalvik VM. It is the software that allows Android devices to execute applications.
The Dalvik Virtual Machine uses Java-based multithreading and memory management, which are Linux fundamentals. Every Android application may run its own process thanks to the Dalvik Virtual Machine. The files in the.dex format are executed by the Dalvik VM.
Android operating system features
The Android operating system has the following distinctive features and traits, which are listed below:
- Near Field Communication (NFC)
The majority of Android smartphones enable NFC, making it simple for electrical devices to communicate at close ranges. While the industry hasn’t taken off as quickly as many analysts had anticipated, there may be a substitute in the works in the shape of Bluetooth Low Energy. The basic objective here is to provide a payment option that is easier to use than carrying cash or credit cards (BLE).
- Transmission of Infrared
You may use your phone or tablet as a remote control thanks to the Android operating system’s support for a built-in infrared transmitter.
The Tasker app automates app permissions while also allowing users to manage them.
- Wireless App Downloads
Using the Android Market or third-party solutions like AppBrain, you may get apps for your PC. Then, without the need for plugging, it syncs them to your Droid automatically.
- Battery swapping and storage
Hardware capabilities in Android phones are also distinctive. With the help of Google’s OS, you may update, swap out, and get rid of your dead battery. Additionally, Android smartphones include SD card slots for additional storage.
- Custom Home Screens
Android already has the ability to modify the home screen, whereas it is feasible to hack some phones to do so. You may add gestures, additional shortcuts, or even speed improvements for older-model devices by downloading a third-party launcher such as Apex or Nova.
Although apps are useful, there are instances when you just want information at a glance rather than opening the app and waiting for it to load. A wide variety of features, such as weather applications, music widgets, or productivity tools that kindly remind you of forthcoming meetings or deadlines, are displayable on the home screen of an Android device thanks to widgets.
Android OS’s architecture
To satisfy the requirements of every android device, the android architecture consists of a varying number of components. An open-source Linux Kernel with several C/C++ libraries exposed through application framework services is part of the Android software.
Linux Kernel, one of the components, provide smartphones’ primary operating system features, while Dalvik Virtual Machine (DVM) offers a basis for executing Android applications. According to the architectural diagram below, an android operating system is made up of a stack of software components that are broadly separated into five divisions and four primary layers.
- Application Framework
- Android Runtime
- Platform Libraries
- Linux Kernel
The top layer of the Android architecture is an application. On this layer, third-party apps downloaded from the Play Store, such as games and chat programmes, as well as pre-installed programmes like camera, gallery, home, contacts, etc., will be installed.
It utilises the classes and services made available by the application framework to function within the Android run time.
Several crucial classes are provided by the Application Framework and are used to build Android applications. It helps manage the user interface with application resources and offers a general abstraction for hardware access. In general, it offers the services needed to construct a certain class and make that class useful for developing applications.
The Dalvik virtual machine and essential libraries are included in the Android Runtime Environment (DVM). It serves as the framework’s foundation and, with the aid of the essential libraries, drives our application.
A number of libraries, including open-source web browsers like WebKit and library libc, are built on top of the Linux kernel. Audio and video may be played and recorded using these libraries. An effective database for distributing and storing application data is SQLite. The SSL libraries are in charge of internet security and other things.
The robust Linux kernel that the android runs on supports a broad variety of device drivers. The operating system’s kernel, which controls input and output requests from the applications, is its brain. This offers fundamental system functions including managing processes, memory, and devices like the camera, keyboard, display, etc. The kernel takes care of everything.
Android OS versions
With each release, Google modifies the OS slightly. Performance enhancements and security fixes are frequently included in this.
- Sept. 23, 2008 saw the release of Android 1.0. included a collection of Google applications, such as YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and Calendar.
- 1.4 Android (Cupcake). published on April 27, 2009. introduced the architecture for third-party app widgets as well as an on-screen virtual keyboard.
- Sept. 15, 2009 saw the release of Android 1.6 (Donut). introduced support for CDMA networks as well as the ability for the OS to function on screens of varying sizes and resolutions.
- 2.0 of Android (Eclair). Printed on October 26, 2009. included real-time traffic updates, pinch-to-zoom functionality, and turn-by-turn voice navigation.
- 2.2 Android (Froyo). published on May 20, 2010. speech actions, which let users to press an icon and speak a command, and a dock that was added to the bottom of the home screen. added Flash functionality to the web browser as well.
- 2.3 Android (Gingerbread). Published on December 6, 2010. added black and green to the user interface.
- from 3.0 to 3.2 Android (Honeycomb). on February 22, 2011. This edition, which was exclusive to tablets, had a blue, holographic design with a space motif.
- 4.0 Android (Ice Cream Sandwich). Published on October 18, 2011. introduced a single user interface (UI) for tablets and smartphones and placed an emphasis on swiping as a navigational technique.
- Android 4.1 through 4.3 (Jelly Bean). Released, respectively, on July 9, 2012, November 13, 2012, and July 24, 2013. introduced the day planner service Google Now. Interactive alerts were added, and the voice search mechanism was enhanced.
- 4.4 Android (KitKat). Publish on October 31, 2013. brighter colours, a transparent status bar, and white icons were added to the UI.
- 5.0 Android (Lollipop). published on November 12, 2014. designed with components like the Recent Apps list and alerts having a card-based layout. introduced voice control with hands-free functionality by saying “OK, Google.”
- 6.0 Android (Marshmallow). Printed on October 5, 2015. Google adopted a yearly release cycle with this release. introduced support for USB-C and fingerprint readers as well as more precise app permissions.
- Release dates for Android 7.0 and 7.1 (Nougat) are respectively August 22 and October 4. a native split-screen mode and the option to group alerts by apps were introduced.
- Both Android 8.0 and 8.1 (Oreo). released on August 21, 2017, and on December 5, 2017. A native picture-in-picture (PIP) mode and the option to snooze alerts were also included in these versions. Project Treble, an initiative by OEMs to deliver more uniform software upgrades, was initially included in Oreo.
- Apple 9.0 (Pie). Printed on August 6, 2018. This version included a smaller Back button and a multipurpose Home button in place of the previous Back, Home, and Overview buttons. included productivity elements including message reply suggestions and brightness control options.
- Android 10 (Android Q). on September 3, 2019. dispensed with the Back button in favour of a swipe-based navigation system. introduced a dark look and a distraction-reduction feature called Focus Mode for some apps.