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Operating Systems have developed a lot in last 15 years, starting from black and white phones to recent smart phones or mini computers, mobile Operating System has come far away. Mobile Operating System has greatly evolved especially for smart phones, from Palm OS in 1996 to Windows pocket PC in 2000 then to Blackberry OS and Android.
ANDROID is one of the most widely used mobile Operating System these days. Android is a software bunch comprising not only operating system but also middleware and various key applications. Android Inc. was founded by Andy Rubin, Rich miner, Nick sears and Chris White in Palo Alto of California, U.S. in 2003. Later it was acquired by Google in 2005 and after original release there have been number of updates in the original version of Android.
VARIOUS ANDROID VERSIONS DEVELOPED UNDER A CODENAME BASED ON A DESSERT OR A SWEET TREAT ARE:
Android Versions and Updates
ANDROID 1.5 CUPCAKE
Android 1.5 update was released on April 30, 2009, based on Linux kernel 2.6.27. This was first release to officially use name which is based on a dessert ("Cupcake"), a theme which would be used for the all releases henceforth. The update included several new features and User Interface amendments.
The Android 1.5 platform introduces many new features which are:
User Interface Refinements
Refinement of all core User Interface elements.
Animated window transitions
Accelerometer-based application rotations.
User Interface polish for In-call experience, Contacts, Call log, SMS & MMS ,Gmail, Calendar, Email, Camera & Gallery, Application management
There is faster Camera start-up and better image capture
Much faster attainment of GPS location
Smoother page scrolling in Browser
Speedier Gmail conversation list scrolling
New APIs and Manifest Elements
Provides framework for easier background/User Interface thread interaction
New Sliding Drawer widget
New Horizontal Scroll view widget
APIs for creating secure home screen App Widgets.
APIs for populating Live Folders with custom content.
Raw audio recording and playback APIs
Interactive MIDI playback engine
Video Recording APIs for developers .
Video and photo sharing Intents and Media search Intent
Standards Compliant Web Browser
Drastic speed improvement was received by web browser due to a new rendering engine and Squirrel Fish, an optimized Java Script interpreter. There are noticeable performance improvements in complex web apps that involve a great deal of Java Script code. Apart from speed gains, Android 1.5's browser includes ability to search for text within a web page, copy and paste within web pages, an integrated Search and Go box, and user-selectable text-encodings.
Home Screen Widgets
Android now offers capability for users to customize their Home screen with widgets, a small web application that displays live data retrieved from Internet. Android 1.5 comes with five Home screen widgets: search, calendar, analog clock, music player, and picture frame. Support for third-party widgets is also included in it.
Smart Virtual Keyboard
Android 1.5 supports both virtual and physical keyboards which made access to best of both worlds now by android users. Landscape and portrait orientation modes are both supported by virtual keyboards and works in all applications, including but not limited to SMS, the web browser, Gmail, and third-party programs. It includes auto-correct capability, a suggestion algorithm and a dictionary of suggestions. It also contains support for the installation of third-party virtual keyboards.
Recording and Sharing Video
Android includes more advanced support and improved playback for MPEG-4 and 3GP video formats. Recorded video can now be shared via email and MMS, or can directly be uploaded to YouTube, including privacy controls. The uploads occur in the background so that they do not hinder with further use of the phone, including continuing to record videos and uploading more videos.
It has enhanced overall application performance.
Voice search can also be done through Google's mobile search.
It provides with smoother scrolling Gmail conversation list.
Gmail now has features for delete, bulk archive, and label operations on multiple messages.
Google Talk friends status visible in Gmail, Email apps, Contacts, SMS, and MMS.
Simple photo sharing can be done using Picasa, Google's online image service.
Faster start-up and operating performance using the camera is also available.
Stereo Bluetooth support.
Acquisition of GPS location is much faster.
ANDROID 1.6 DONUT
The Android 1.6 SDK - dubbed Donut - was released on September 15, 2009 was based on Linux kernel 2.6.29.
UNIQUE FEATURES AND BENEFITS:
Voice and text entry search was improved.
Multi-lingual speech synthesis engine allowed any Android application to speak a string of text
Searching was made easier and ability to view app screenshots in Android Market
Gallery, camera and camcorder were more fully integrated, with faster access to camera.
Multiple photos for deletion can be selected.
Updated technology support for CDMA/EVDO, 802.1x, VPNs, and a text-to-speech engine
It is support for WVGA screen resolutions
There were speed improvements in searching and camera applications
Expanded Gesture framework and new Gesture Builder development tool
ANDROID 2.0/2.1 ECLAIR
The Android 2.0 SDK - codenamed Eclair - was released on October 26, 2009, based on Linux kernel 2.6.29. Changes included were:
VERSION: 2.0, RELEASE DATE : October 26, 2009
Benefits and unique features :
Expanded Account synchronization which allow users to add multiple accounts to a device for email- and contact-synchronization.
Exchange email support, with combined inbox to browse emails from multiple accounts in one page
It supports Bluetooth 2.1
It provides ability to tap a Contacts photo and select to call, SMS, or email person.
It also provides ability to search all saved SMS and MMS messages, with delete oldest messages in a conversation automatically deleted when a defined limit is reached
new camera features were introduced including flash support, digital zoom, colour effect and macro focus
Improved typing speed on virtual keyboard, with smarter dictionary
More screen sizes and resolutions with better contrast ratio were also supported.
Improved Google Maps 3.1.2
Motion Event class enhanced to track multi-touch events.
Addition of live wallpapers was made and animation of home-screen background images was allowed to show movement.
VERSION 2.0.1, RELEASE DATE: December 3, 2009
Features: Minor API changes, bug fixes and framework behavioural changes.
VERSION 2.1, RELEASE DATE : January 12, 2 : Unique features: Minor amendments to API and bug fixes
ANDROID 2.2X FROYO
The Android 2.2 (Froyo, short for Frozen Yogurt) SDK was released On May 20, 2010, based on Linux kernel 2.6.32.
VERSION 2.2, RELEASE DATE: MAY 20,2010
Features and benefits:
More speed, memory, and performance optimizations were introduced.
Additional application speed improvements were implemented through JIT compilation.
It provides support for the Android Cloud to Device Messaging service, enabling push notification.
Microsoft Exchange support was improved
USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
It added an option to disable data access over mobile network
Updated Market application with batch and automatic update features
fast switching between multiple keyboard languages and their dictionaries
Voice dialling and contact sharing over Bluetooth
It supports Bluetooth-enabled car and desk docks
Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords, file upload fields in the Browser application, installing applications to the expandable memory
It supports Adobe Flash
Gallery allowed users to view picture stacks using a zoom gesture.
ANDROID 2.3.X GINGERBREAD
Google's Nexus S introduced Android 2.3 Gingerbread on December 6, 2010. The Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) SDK was based on Linux kernel 2.6.35. The Android 2.3 platform introduces many new features:
NEW FEATURES AND BENEFITS
User Interface refinements for simplicity and speed
The user interface is advanced in many ways making it easier to learn, faster to use and power-efficient. A simplified visual theme of colours against black brings brightness and contrast to the notification bar, menus, and other parts of the User Interface.
Faster, more intuitive text input
The Android soft keyboard is redesigned and optimized for faster text input and editing. For improved targeting, making them easier to see and press accurately, even at high speeds the keys themselves is reshaped and repositioned. The current character and dictionary suggestions in a larger are displayed and in more bright style that is easier to read.
One-touch word selection and copy/paste
When entering text or viewing a web page, user can quickly select a word by press-hold, then copy to clipboard and paste. Pressing on a word enters a free-selection mode - the user can adjust the selection area as needed by dragging a set of bounding arrows to new positions, then copy the bounded area by pressing anywhere in the selection area. With both the selection and cursor modes, the trackball is not needed.
All previous codec/container support for encoding and decoding are maintained .
It provides with integrated support for the VP8 open video compression format and the Web M open container format
Adds AAC encoding and AMR wideband encoding
New ways of communicating, organizing
The user can make voice calls over internet to other users who have SIP accounts though a new feature called internet calling.
An NFC Reader application lets user read and interact with near-field communication (NFC) tags. For example, the user can "touch" or "swipe" an NFC tag that might be embedded in a poster, sticker, or advertisement, then act on the data read from the tag.
Camera: The application now lets the user to use multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if it is available.
It has Open API for native audio and rich multimedia
Improved power management
More control over applications
Native graphics management
Native access to Activity lifecycle, window management, assets
Robust native development environment
Provides new forms of communication such as Internet telephony, new field communication
ANDROID 3.X HONEYCOMB
The Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK - the first tablet-only Android update - was released On February 22, 2011, based on Linux kernel 2.6.36. The Android 3.0 platform introduces many new and exciting features for users and developers which are:
VERSION 3.0, RELEASE DATE: February 22, 2011
It provides with optimized tablet support with a new virtual and holographic user interface
It added System Bar featuring quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons, available at the bottom of the screen
It added Action Bar giving access to contextual options, navigation, widgets or other types of content at the top of the screen
Multitasking has been made easy for example: tapping Recent Apps in the System Bar allows users to see snapshots of the tasks underway and quickly jump from one application to another
Keyboard has been redesigned which makes typing fast, efficient and precise on larger screen sizes
Simplified and more intuitive copy/paste interface
Multiple browser tabs replacing browser windows, plus form auto-fill and a new incognito mode allowing anonymous browsing
speedy access to camera exposure, focus, flash, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and other camera features
it provides ability to view albums and other collections in full-screen mode in Gallery and with easy access to thumbnails for other photos
New two-pane Contacts UI and Fast Scroll which let users easily organize and locate contacts
New two-pane Email UI to make viewing and organizing messages more efficient, allowing users to select one or more messages
It supports video chat using Google Talk
It also support for multi-core processors
It has ability to encrypt all user data
HTTPS stack improved with Server Name Indication
VERSION 3.1, RELEASE DATE: May 10, 2011
User Interface refinements
Connectivity for USB accessories
Expanded Recent Apps list
Home screen widgets were made resizable
It provided support for external keyboards and pointing devices
It also provide support for joysticks and gamepads
High-performance Wi-Fi lock, maintaining high-performance Wi-Fi connections when device screen is off
Support for HTTP proxy for each connected Wi-Fi access point
VERSION 3.2, RELEASE DATE: July 15,2012
Hardware support was improved
Increased ability of apps to access files on the SD card, e.g. for synchronization
Compatibility display mode for apps that have not been optimized for tablet screen resolutions
New display support functions,
VERSION 3.2.1, RELEASE DATE: Sep 20,2011
Bug fixes and minor security, stability and Wi-Fi improvements
Update to Android Market with automatic updates and easier-to-read Terms and Condition
Update to Google Books
Improved Adobe Flash support in browser
Improved Chinese handwriting prediction
VERSION 3.2.2, RELEASE DATE: Aug 30,2011
Bug fixes and other minor improvements for Motorola Xoom 4G
VERSION 3.2.4, RELEASE DATE: Dec 2011
"Pay as You Go" support was provided for 3G and 4G tablets
VERSION 3.2.6, RELEASE DATE: Feb 2011
Fixed data connectivity issues when coming out of the airplane mode on the US 4G Motorola Xoom
ANDROID 4.0.X ICE CREAM SANDWICH
The SDK for Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), based on Linux kernel 3.0.1, was publicly released on October 19, 2011. Google's Gabe Cohen stated that Android 4.0 was "theoretically compatible" with any Android 2.3.x device in production at that time. On November 14, 2011 the source code for Android 4.0 became available.
Simple, beautiful, beyond smart
Easy multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets, and deep interactivity and adds new ways of communicating and sharing were the new features that made people love most about android 4.0
Refined, evolved User Interface
Android 4.0 makes common actions more visible and lets users navigate with simple, intuitive gestures. Refined animations and feedback throughout the system make interactions more interesting and engaging. An entirely new typeface optimized for high-resolution screens improves readability and brings a polished, modern feel to the user interface.
Communication and sharing
Contacts and profiles are integrated across apps and social networks, for a consistent, personal experience everywhere from incoming calls to emails. Android 4.0 integrates rich social communication and sharing touch points across the system, making it easy to talk, text, and share.
Developers can use a framework API to discover and connect directly to nearby devices over a high-performance, secure Wi-Fi Direct connection and thereby, No internet connection or hotspot is required.
Secure management of credentials
Authentication and secure sessions was made much easier. A new keychain API and underlying encrypted storage let applications to store and retrieve private keys and their corresponding certificate chains. Any application can use the keychain API to install and store user certificates and CAs securely.
Efficient network usage
Users can see how much network data their running apps are using in Android 4.0. They can also set limits on data usage by network type and can disable background data usage for specific applications.
Unified User Interface framework for phones, tablets, and more
Unified User Interface framework lets developers create elegant, innovative apps for phones and tablets which was there in android 4.0. It includes all of the familiar Android 3.x interface elements and APIs - fragments, content loaders, Action Bar, rich notifications, resizable home screen widgets, and more- as well as new elements and APIs.
OTHER FEATURES AND BENEFITS:
Unified calendar and visual voicemail
It allows you to captures the picture you want, share, and edit instantly.
Redesigned Gallery application was there with photo editor
Live Effects help to change backgrounds and use Silly Faces during the video.
Snapping a screenshot and sharing with screenshots
Face recognition lets you unlock your phone with your face.
ANDROID 4.1.X JELLY BEAN
On June 27, 2012, at the Google I/O conference, Google announced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) which is based on Linux kernel 3.0.31. Jelly Bean was an incremental update with the primary aim of improving functionality and performance of the user interface. The performance improvement involved "Project Butter", which uses touch anticipation, triple buffering and a fixed frame rate of 60 fps to create a fluid and "buttery"-smooth User Interface.
VERSION 4.1.1 , RELEASE DATE: July 9,2012
Smoother user interface
Bi-directional text and make available other language support
User-installable keyboard maps
Notifications were expandable
capability to turn off notifications on an app specific basis
Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized in order to allow new items to fit on home screens
Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam
enhanced voice search and camera app
Google Wallet for the Nexus 7
Google Now search application
USB audio for external sound DACs
Audio chaining which is also known as gapless playback