Android is a very popular open-source mobile operating system, based on a modified version of the Linux operating system and other Open Source software, designed mainly for touch screen mobile phones such as tablets and smartphones. Android was developed by Google, as a way to replace the Mobile Linux OS project, using the same code base but with a user-friendly interface. Android can be used on any type of mobile device including digital cameras, tablets, smart phones and even Windows mobile phones. Android has gained popularity worldwide for its amazing features and user friendly interface. The Android operating system comes pre-loaded with most new Android phones manufactured today. The Android system can also be installed on top of other operating systems such as Linux, Sailfish, PDA platforms and others, providing a more robust and versatile user experience.
Android supports several different file formats, allowing it to be installed easily on various mobile handsets including Smartphones, tablet computers and digital cameras. Although Android has its own file format, most of the files are read directly from the device’s memory. Android runs on the Linux kernel, using the kernel modules and drivers to communicate with hardware such as the camera, Bluetooth devices, motion detectors and other sensors. Most of the communication goes through the Bluetooth stack in order to allow the user to communicate with their smartphone.
The Android operating system has revolutionized the mobile phone industry with it’s user friendly user interface and powerful features. Unlike Apple’s iPhone and BlackBerry which have limited storage space and feature-rich applications, Android phones are equipped with high quality processors and large memory space to run the largest application library of any mobile operating system. Android uses the same code base as the Linux operating system, hence consistency across the platform. Users can download and install any application from the Android market, while others have to rely on the vendor’s application store. Unlike iPhones and BlackBerry’s App Stores, which are controlled by the companies that sell the phones, the Android Market is open to the public.
However, Android has some advantages over the other systems. One major advantage is that it is open source. This enables developers to contribute code to make the operating system better and more secure. Since Android is open source, any new features or modifications are easily implemented by users. This also means that any vulnerability that can be exploited in an Apple device can also be fixed in Android.
However, security is not the only reason why Android is preferable compared to other mobile devices. Google and Samsung are both renowned for their security measures and this has made Android phones highly secure and reliable. Android offers a number of options to customize your phone such as changing the wallpaper and theme to suit your mood, selecting the language to be used on your phone and much more. These user settings are available for free from the android market, while there are a number of paid apps that provide similar services. A number of third party developers have developed specialized android apps that cater to a particular need.
There are some drawbacks of using the android operating system compared to iPhones and Windows Mobile. First of all, android phones are substantially slower than iPhones and they are also less resilient to viruses and attacks. However, in the case of accidents, the user will be liable to pay the damages rather than the manufacturer of the phone.