Around 10 years back,operating system in mobile phone was not noticed. Everyone was happy just with the mobile phone.Today the first consideration when getting the mobile phone is probably the operating system.This change in peoples mindset can be attributed to Android an its huge app base.
The early story
Andy Rubin,Rich Miner,Nick Sears and Chris White founded the company Android Inc in October 2003.
Initially they planned to develop an advanced operating system for digital cameras but later focused on mobile devices.
Google acquired Android Inc in August 2005.This made clear Google’s intentions of entering mobile operating system market.Still it took threee years,till 2008 ,for the first android device to be sold.
During that time,there were interesting developments taking place.In 2007,the open handset alliance (OHA) was formed.It included,technology companies like Google;device manufacturing companies like Sony,HTC,Samsung and mobile network operators like Sprint and T-mobile.
The goal was to develop open standards for mobile phones.This is why Android OS was released as open source software.
Android is based on linux kernal and the OS code is available under the Apache licence(free to use and modify) for anyone to downloaad.This gave Android a unique advantage at the time of its release.
Since it was the first such mobile operating system,developers and open source enthusiasts all over the world adapted it at an early stage and contributed to it.
Another innovation that Android brought in is the app-OS model for end users.It is not that this is completely new.
Older phones with the symbian OS also allowed applications to be installed,but neither was there uniformity in the app development process,nor was it easy for the end user to find and install the apps.
Android made it very easy for both the app developer community as well as users.
Android App development:
There are many things Google made it easy for the developers to adopt the Android app development process.
Here are the few things,
- The first thing is the IDE(Integrated development environment) or the tool to be used for app development.For Android it is made available by Google.All that needs to be done is just download the Eclipse IDE and install Android devloper tools plugin.
- The next problem developer face is the documentation.Since the app has to be installed on top of the Android OS,the app developerr should know what APIs can be used in the code.For example,if the devloper wants the app to use the camera,then he can find the function name in documentation and it can be called in app.This made developer job more easy.
- Since the code is open source and readily available for people to download and change,more and more variants of OS and it was adapted to different hardware platforms very easily.
Here are the slides of Android talk I gave some time back
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