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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Extensive Android Overview & History

Android OS is the world's most popluar mobile platform, powering millions of phones and tablets, amongst other devices. It is a Linux-based operating system developed by the Open Handset Alliance. Android was unvield in 2007, and has always been released by Google as open souce, meaning anyone can develop applications for the platform. Most developers write on a customised version of Java. There are more than 400,000 apps available for download at this time. Around a staggering 10 billion android apps have been downloaded. Since it's first platform release of Android 1.5, codenamed 'Cupcake', it has released six more versions to date.
  • Android 1.5 - Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 - Donut
  • Android 2.1 - Eclair
  • Android 2.2 - Froyo
  • Android 2.3 - Gingerbread
    • Android 2.3.2
    • Android 2.3.3
    • Android 2.3.7
  • Android 3.0 - Honeycomb
    • Android 3.1
    • Android 3.2
  • Android 4.0 - Ice Cream Sandwich
    • Android 4.0.2
    • Android 4.0.3
Lets take a look at the primary features of Android.


The Android browser is very fast and is packed with handy features. It enables you to view multiple pages at once, and on many handsets boasts a pinch to zoom feature. You also have the option of syncing your bookmarks via Google, and save pages as shortcuts on your home screen.


Gmail makes email on your handset as easy and attractive as I have ever seen. The ability to sync your Google contacts easily is a massive plus and add this to the fact that your are able to add labels to your emails, like you can on your computer, it has to be one of the easiest email apps to use.


Android is very customisable platform, and widgets is a sizeable part of this. Android lets you add widgets to your homescreen, which allows you to interact with your favourite apps easily. Widgets can be fun, usefull, convienient, attractive, or maybe all these things. There are many widgets packs available for download on the android market, such as Beautiful widgets and Fancy Widgets.

Android Market

Google's own Android market has over 400,000 apps, with over 10 billion downloads. The market is open to any developer which negatively can mean a clutter of useless, unreliable apps in the market, although most of these apps are taken down by Google. The open market can also be a good thing, meaning that apps don't have to pass a certain requirement, like the Apple store.

Google Maps

Google maps comes with most devices as standard, and can also be downloaded from the market. The maps package come with Latitude, Places and an impressive Naviagtion service. Not to mention the brilliant street view that can be added. Most amazingly, Google Earth can also be downloaded from the market, and I found, despite my origional fears, that the app was very smooth and easily used. Google Maps 5.0 has just been released, and can be updated using the Android Market.

Voice Control

Your android device can also listen to you. Using your voice, you can command your Android to do numerous different things, including dialing and writing text messages. This feature supports more than 20 languages too.

Face Unlock

Face Unlock
This feature has only just been released as part of Android 4.0 software. Only some phones have this feature, but the number is sure to rise in the future. It uses state of the art facially recognition to unlock your phone easily and fast. It is a fantastic and fun feature, but I, amongst other android users discovered it's downside. I managed to unlock my phone solely with an recent picture of me.

Thats it for now on Android's main features, I will gladly respond to any questions anyone may have. Look out for my next article regarding a detailed review on Google's newest release, Ice Cream Sandwich.



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