Abdul Aziz Shaikh

Abstract – The theme of this technical paper is to present the upcoming and popular technology, i.e. Android, an operating system for mobile from one of the biggest IT giants Google. Through this paper I have tried to put lights on the Android technology, its features, history of versions that had been released so far now and the version which is under development, etc in a simple language by keeping non-geeks/non-technical’s in mind.

  1. Introduction

Android was usually referred as a robot which was designed to resemble a human and as per me that’s one of the reasons for android’s logo. But today it’s more commonly known as an operating system for mobile devices produced by Google.

It was basically invented by an anonymous company but later on Google has took its copyrights reserved and is now doing further development in this technology. However it is also a fact that Google is offering an open choice for the users to modify and add any new application without even bring on the notice of Google. Anyone can upload a new application on the Android platform as App Store to either free or payable. These application uploads by the users can be easily download by the users and enjoy more features like additional games, interactive media and business plan. The only requirement is software development kit availability to bring any change in it.

If we look at its development side, then it is basically built on the open Linux Kernel and hence it is an open source.

II.      Inside Android

Android is built on the open Linux Kernel. Furthermore, it utilizes a custom virtual machine that was designed to optimize memory and hardware resources in a mobile environment. Its an open source and 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.

Android is not a single piece of hardware; it’s a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Everything is there, from the bootloader all the way up to the applications. And with an Android device already on the market, it has proven that it has what it takes to truly compete in the mobile arena.  Android has seen a number of updates since its original release, each fixing bugs and adding new features.

III.       Versions

Each version is named, in alphabetical order, after a dessert.

2.3 Gingerbread refined the user interface, improved the soft keyboard and copy/paste features, improved gaming performance, added SIP support (VoIP calls), and added support for Near Field Communication.

3.0 Honeycomb was a tablet-oriented release which supports larger screen devices and introduces many new user interface features, and supports multi-core processors and hardware acceleration for graphics. The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, went on sale in February 2011.

3.1 Honeycomb, released in May 2011, added support for extra input devices, USB host mode for transferring information directly from cameras and other devices, and the Google Movies and Books apps.

3.2 Honeycomb, released in July 2011, added optimization for a broader range of screen sizes, new “zoom-to-fill” screen compatibility mode, loading media files directly from SD card, and an extended screen support API. Huawei MediaPad is the first 7 inch tablet to use this version

4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, announced on October 19, 2011, brought Honeycomb features to smartphones and added new features including facial recognition unlock, network data usage monitoring and control, unified social networking contacts, photography enhancements, offline email searching, and information sharing using NFC. Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest Android version that is available to phones. The source code of Android 4.0.1 was released on November 14, 2011

If you are like me, you may be confused with all of the Android release code names.  Something I learned today is that the code names are in alphabetical order.  So if 5.0 is Jelly Bean, my wild guess is 6.0 will be Kiwi

5.0 Jelly Bean (Under Development)
4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
3.x.x Honeycomb
2.3.x Gingerbread
2.2 Froyo
2.1 Eclair
1.6 Donut
1.5 Cupcake

IV.       Conclusion

There has been a tremendous growth in the field of Android Technology. And looking at the future where almost every users will have a cell phone which would serve as a personal computer, So in my opinion, It’s the right time to adopt and get along with this technology  rather than waiting for it to boost in and then thinking of knowing about it.


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