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So, what is Android?

We’ve launched the site and even have over 40 applications ready for review and rating but a lot of people may be wondering what Google Android is all about.

Android is a platform for software development. It runs as a software stack for mobile devices and includes an operating system, middleware and applications. The applications are written using the Java programming language and run on a custom virtual machine on top of a Linux kernel. There’s lots of techincal information on the Google Android developer site.

Android was developed by a group of more than 30 technology companies under the title: Open Handset Alliance?. One of the most exciting features of Android is the Open Source aspect of the development:

Android was built from the ground-up to enable developers to create compelling mobile applications that take full advantage of all a handset has to offer. It is built to be truly open. For example, an application could call upon any of the phone’s core functionality such as making calls, sending text messages, or using the camera, allowing developers to create richer and more cohesive experiences for users. Android is built on the open Linux Kernel. Furthermore, it utilizes a custom virtual machine that has been designed to optimize memory and hardware resources in a mobile environment. Android will be open source; it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. The platform will continue to evolve as the developer community works together to build innovative mobile applications.

All applications are created equal
Android does not differentiate between the phone’s core applications and third-party applications. They can all be built to have equal access to a phone’s capabilities providing users with a broad spectrum of applications and services. With devices built on the Android Platform, users will be able to fully tailor the phone to their interests. They can swap out the phone’s homescreen, the style of the dialer, or any of the applications. They can even instruct their phones to use their favorite photo viewing application to handle the viewing of all photos.

Breaking down application boundaries
Android breaks down the barriers to building new and innovative applications. For example, a developer can combine information from the web with data on an individual’s mobile phone — such as the user’s contacts, calendar, or geographic location — to provide a more relevant user experience. With Android, a developer could build an application that enables users to view the location of their friends and be alerted when they are in the vicinity giving them a chance to connect.

Fast & easy application development
Android provides access to a wide range of useful libraries and tools that can be used to build rich applications. For example, Android enables developers to obtain the location of the device, and allows devices to communicate with one another enabling rich peer-to-peer social applications. In addition, Android includes a full set of tools that have been built from the ground up alongside the platform providing developers with high productivity and deep insight into their applications.

You can find out lots more on the Open Handset Alliance and Android websites.

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3 Responses to “So, what is Android?”

  1. 101 Best Android Apps | Best Served Cold Says:

    […] you’re unsure what Android actually is, we wrote a post about it: So, what is Android?. Share and […]

  2. Software Says:

    Congratulations! You have just won a new blog reader 🙂 .. really awesome article, Mike.

  3. Randy Says:

    Funny, it never occurred to me that someone might not know what Android was. You get so used to a word being in your lexicon and it seems odd when someone needs it explained.

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