Behind Every Successful Man, There Is a Woman, But, Behind Every Successful Operating System, There Is Features & up-gradation. Android is the most successful mobile operating system in the market today. Let us try and find out whether this success is a product of technical quality or just Google magic. Android may seem like a recent phenomenon. This is because we have seen Symbian phones around for over a decade since 2000, and Android became a subject of popular interest only after 2010. However, Android is eight years old now (yes, the same as iOS). It is much older if we consider the full history. If you are now thinking that Android is successful just because it is owned by Google then I must want to tell you there was something known as Orkut, Dodge ball, Jaiku also. All owned by Google but you must be hearing these names for first time in life because most are big failures. It is only because of features and accessibility because of which android is so successful Otherwise, Android would have been just another Google product.
Here are top advance one of a kind features of Android‘s operating systems:
- Near Field Communication
- Alternate Keyboard
- Infrared Transmission
- No Touch Control
- Automation Process
- Easy Wireless Apps Download
- Storage And Battery Swap
- Customized Home Screens
- Custom’s ROMs
- Background Wi-Fi location still runs even when Wi-Fi is turned off
- Developer logging and analyzing enhancements
- Optimized for mobile devices.
- Enables reuse and replacement of components.
Android Inc. was founded in California in October 2003 which was later acquired by Google in July 2005. At Google, The Open Handset Alliance was formed in 2007, and the first smartphone running Android (HTC Dream) was released on October 22, 2008. However, the fact that both Android and iOS were first released in 2007 gives us one good basis for comparison: how popular is Android compared to another OS of the same age? Well, it turns out that the market share of Android is 82.8 per cent while that of iOS is just 13.9 per cent (Source: International Data Corporation). Windows Phone, a mobile OS from the creator of the most popular desktop OS, has only a 2.6 percent market share. We won’t analyze other OSs as their shares are below 1 per cent. It is a fact that the latest ones like Firefox OS and Ubuntu still have time to impress us. But they don’t seem to have the potential for a quick boost in the near future. Let look at various reasons for this unpredicted success
Android is free
Android, since the day it was launched, has been available free of cost and Google made it clear that it will be free in future as well. The OS caught the attention of manufacturers across the world and many initially adopted it for low-cost smartphones.
Open source Android
Unlike other operating systems that are protected by lots of copyrights, Google chose to keep Android open for all. By doing this, the company got many programmers from around the globe to develop applications, while keeping its liabilities to a minimum. With many brains working on the system, newer and newer ideas were incorporated, which in turn helped in making Android a preferred choice.
Open for customization
Unlike Windows or any other mobile operating system, device manufacturers are free to modify Android as per their needs. Users enjoy much-needed flexibility and ease of use because manufacturers are now able to modify anything and everything they need to make the experience a pleasant one.
Large number of applications
Android Market created an opportunity for millions of application developers around the globe to show their skills and come up with newer applications for Android phones. Its users, therefore, have a wide variety of applications to choose from and can customize their phones for a personal experience.
Android opened numerous possibilities for both device manufacturers and application developers while helping to reduce the cost of smartphones, thus making them accessible to the common man. Today, Android smartphones such as Micromax are available at only Rs 2,500; and even high-end phones, including Dell’s Venue, are available at about Rs 30,000. Android has taken user experience to the next level while keeping the prices of smartphones well within the reach of the common man, and that is why Android has become the number one choice among smartphone users.
It is really disappointing that no OS developer seems to be introducing something original and innovative in the case of interface design. Lock screens, main menus, notification bars… Every manufacturer seems to be imitating others. In the case of desktop OSs, you can see differences between each version, distro and desktop interface. But in the case of mobile OSs, one might ask what the differences are. Maybe this is a result of small screen sizes and the limited number of keys available. However, Android has contributed a lot in making the mobile interface interactive. Newer OSs can’t beat it if they don’t introduce something revolutionary.
Smartphones are not for business executives alone. Even people who are unfamiliar with English use smartphones. Although many of them tend to stick with the English interface, it is still an advantage that system ships non-English interfaces. Android supports its interface in 70 languages, which means a vast group of people can experience the OS in their mother tongues.
The functions of an operating system include executing apps and arranging system resources for them. But in a practical sense, without apps, what is an operating system for?
It is estimated that more than a million apps have been developed for Android. iOS pioneered the app store idea, but now Android has gone much further. Lack of a good app store is the key disadvantage of Windows Phone. When Android users are in need of some tool, they simply go to Play Store and find it there. But that is not the case with many other OSs.
Firefox Marketplace is where you find Firefox apps. It is growing but is still very small. It’s the same situation with Ubuntu Touch Apps.
Android apps run in a sandbox, an isolated area. But explicit permissions can be granted during installation. This doesn’t happen without the permission from the user. But there is no built-in encryption facility for data storage. iOS seems to have some limited security features, but all major OSs require third party support here.
Android supports a large number of platforms including 32- and 64-bit: ARM architectures, x86, x86-64, MIPS and MIPS64. This enables Android to be used in devices other than limited mobile phones. From 2012 onwards, Android tablets using Intel processors have been available. Android-x86 can run on desktop PCs. Android’s RAM requirements start from 512MB (normal cases), which is low compared to Ubuntu Touch (1GB).
The Developer’s viewpoint
Although many development environments exist for Android, the default way is to use Android SDK or Android Studio. For this, you have to:
- Learn Java
- Install Android Studio/SDK
- Get familiar with the Android API
- Compile each time to test even minor changes
AAM AADMI too can create his/her own app
Not that AAM AADMI (of AAP) but If common people like you (or me) are addicted to your Android smartphone or tablet and want to create your own application. You can even develop an android application without high coding skills. Google provides you a set of tools that you can use it for free and create your own android application.
Google distributes all the applications for the Android powered phones through its Google Play (previously Android Market). It lets the users test, use and share a variety of applications and recommend them to the other users. There are nearly 450,000 applications available in the store. Some of these applications are available for free and some for the cost.
Targeting Common Man
Android OS targets the common man who wishes to get maximum features at a low price. Even now many people think iPhone is for rich. These common men who wish to have their own smartphones can own Android powered smartphone which comes under their budget. Further, an iPhone without jailbreaking does not accept many SIM, whereas Android will support any SIM. It is the biggest plus for Android. It has chosen its area of the market to be targeted very well.
Market Share of Android
According to Gartner’s Report prepared on Q3, 2011 Android holds more than 50% of the smartphone market. The other manufacturers like BlackBerry, Apple, Symbian, and Windows are far behind Android.
Provide multiple entry points
Android apps are built as a combination of distinct components that can be invoked individually. For instance, an individual activity provides a single screen for a user interface, and a service independently performs work in the background.
Adaptable to different devices
Android provides an adaptive app framework that allows you to provide unique resources for different device configurations. For example, you can create different XML layout files for different screen sizes and the system determines which layout to apply based on the current device’s screen size. You can query the availability of device features at runtime if any app features require specific hardware such as a camera. If necessary, you can also declare features your app requires so app markets such as Google Play Store do not allow installation on devices that do not support that feature.
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 are able to fully tailor the phone to their interests. They can swap out the phone’s home screen, 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. 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. That’s why No competitors even dare to stand before android today.