Google released the Android code as open source, under the Apache License. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is lead by Google, is responsible for maintenance and further development of Android. Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of devices, which is primarily written in a customized version of Java. September 2012, there were more than 675,000 apps available with Android.
Android is a Linux-based operating system (OS) designed primarily for the touch screen mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers, developed by Google with the Open Handset Alliance. Android was initially developed by Android Inc, which is financially backed by Google and later purchased in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 86 hardware, telecommunication, software and companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.
The first Android-powered phone was sold in October 2008, and by the end of 2010 it become the world's leading smart phone platform. It had a worldwide smart phone market share of 68% at the second quarter, Q2 of 2012, and as of Q3 2012, there were 500 million devices activated and 1.3 million activations per day for Android.
HOW ANDROID GREW:
The onset of Android versions started since November 2007 entering the market with the name the name of Beta version. Since April 2009, Android versions have been developed under a particular codename and released in an alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice cream sandwich, and Jelly Bean. The most recent update was Jelly Bean v4.1, which is announced in June 2012, and released after a month with Android open Source Project (AOSP).
The Android Beta was released on November 5, 2007.
Android 1.0. Android 1.0 was the first commercial version of the android software which was released on September 23, 2008 in HTC DREAM.
The first Android device incorporated the following Android 1.0 features and benefits:
Android app enables upgrades and downloads of different apps.
Folders allowing the grouping of a number of application icons into a single icon on the Home screen.
Access to web email server, Gmail app, people app, calendar app.
Google map with the street view, Google sync, Google talk, Google search.
Instant messaging, text messaging, and the MMS.
Media player which enables management, importing, and the playback of media files - however, this version was bad at video and stereo and Bluetooth support.
Notifications appear in the Status bar, with options to set the ringtone, LED and vibration alerts.
Voice Dialer which allows dialing and placing of the phone calls without typing a name or the number in the phone.
Wallpaper which allows the user to set the background image or on home screen instantly.
Enable you-tube video player and other apps such as Alarm Clock, Calculator, and Dialer, Home screen, Pictures, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
On February 9, 2009, the update of the Android 1.1 was released, initially for the HTC DREAM only. Android 1.1 was also known as "Petit Four", though this name was not officially used. The update resolved the bugs changed the API and add number of features and benefits to it:
Version 1.1, which released on 9th February, 2009.
The details and reviews were available when a user searches for businesses on Maps.
Longer in-call screen timeout default while using the speakerphone, plus the ability to show or hide dial pad.
Enable the ability to save attachments in messages.
It also support added for marquee in system layouts.
ANDRIOD 1.5 CUPCAKE
On April 30, 2009, the Android 1.5 update was released, which is based on Linux Kernel 2.6.27. This was the first releases which officially use a name which is based on a dessert name ("Cupcake"), a theme which would be used for all releases further. The update included several new features and UI amendments. The benefits of this version are as follows:
Its update version is 1.5 which releases on April 30th, 2009.
Support for the virtual keyboards with user directory and text prediction for the custom words.
Support for widgets- miniature application that can be embedded in other applications and receive the periodic updates of different apps.
Ability to upload videos to You-tube and Picasa.
Added auto-rotation option and the current stock boot animation.
Animated screen transitions, copy and paste feature which are added in the web browser.
Specific date/time stamp shown for events between the call log and one-touch access to contact card from the call log event.
Auto-pairing and stereo support for Bluetooth were added, video recording in 3GP formats.
User pictures shown for Favourites in Contacts.
ANDRIOD 1.6 DONUT
The Android 1.6 SDK was released on September 15, 2009 - dubbed Donut - was released, which is based on Linux kernel 2.6.29. Included in the update were many add on features and benefits which are as follows:
This updated version was released on 15th September, 2009.
It expands gestures.
Improve the speed in searching and camera applications.
Text and voice entry which include bookmark history, web and the contact.
Ability for developers to include the contents in the search results.
It gives support to WVGA screen resolution, ability for the users to select many pics for deletion.
Multi-lingual speech engine which allow the Android application to "speak" same as the text.
Easy in searching and ability to view application screenshots in the Android Market.
Gallery, camera and camcorder are more fully integrated now, with faster camera.
ANDROID 2.0/2.1 ÉCLAIR
The Android 2.0 SDK was introduced on October 26, 2009- codenamed Eclair - was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.29. It was used in Motorola Droid. It contain the following features and benefits:
There were three versions in this android version:
FEATURES OF VERSION 2.0 :
Expanded Account sync, allowing users to add multiple accounts to a device for emailing and contact-synchronization.
Addition use of live wallpapers, allow the animation of home-screen & background images.
email support, with combined inbox to browse email from many accounts in 1 page
Bluetooth 2.1 support Ability to tap a Contacts photo and select the call, SMS, or email the person.
New camera features, include flash support, digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, colour effect and much more.
Improve typing speed on virtual keyboard, with smart dictionary that learns from word usage.
Ability to search all the saved SMS and MMS messages, with delete older one.
Optimized hardware speed and reunion UI in a conversation.
Support of more screen sizes and improved resolution Google Maps 3.1.2
Motion Event class enhanced to track the multi-touch tasks.
FEATURES OF VERSION 2.0.1:
Minor API changes, fixes bug and framework behavioral changes.
FEATURES OF VERSION 2.0.1:
Minor amendments to the bug fix and API
ANDROID 2.2.X FROYO
The first smart phone to introduce this version of Android is Google's Nexus One. On 20th may, 2010, this Android 2.2 (Froyo, which is short for Frozen Yogurt) SDK was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.32. there are about 4 further sub versions of Android 2.2.x Froyo which are:
Speed, memory, and performance and optimizations, support adobe flash player.
Gallery allows users to view picture with zoom feature, support of high screen.
Additional app increases the speed through JIT app, integration of chrome's java script engine into browser.
Improve MS exchange support, security policies, GAL look up.
Support Android cloud to device messaging.
USB tethering and Wi-Fi support, voice dialing and Bluetooth transferring.
Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords
â€¢ Bug fixes, security updates and performance improvements
â€¢ Minor bug fixes, including SMS routing issues that affected the Nexus One.
â€¢ Two security patches
ANDROID 2.3.Z GINGER BREAD
On 6th December, 2010, the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) SDK was released, based on the Linux kernel 2.6.35. this version was introduced with Google's Nexus S phone. Thewre wrer about ^ sub versions which are as:
Version 2.3, released on December 6, 2010.
Version 2.3.3, released on February 11, 2011
Version 2.3.4, released on April 28, 2011.
Version 2.3.5, released on July 25, 2011.
Version 2.3.6, released on September 2, 2011
Version 2.3.7, released on September 21, 2011.
The features and benefits of Android version 2.3 are as follows:
Updated user interface design with the increased speed, and support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions.
It is faster and more intuitive text input in the virtual keyboard, with more improved accuracy, better suggested text and voice input modes.
It allow the user to read NFC tag embedded in a poster, sticker, and advertisement, New audio effects such as reverb, equalization were introduced.
New download manager, giving users the easy access to any file downloaded from the web browser. It Support for many cameras on the device, including a front-face camera, Enhanced support for the native code development.
Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for the game developers. Several improvements and API were fixed. It also support for voice or video chat using Google Talk. It fixed Bluetooth bug on Samsung Galaxy S. also Improved Gmail application and Shadow animations for list scrolling
ANDROID 3.X HONEY COMB
the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK was released On February 22, 2011- the first tablet only Android update - was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.36. The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, was released on February 24, 2011. Some of the sub versions of Honeycomb are as follows:
Version 3.x, released on February 22, 2011
Version 3.1, released on May 10, 2011
Version 3.2, released on July 15, 2011
Version 3.2.1, released on September 20, 2011
Version 3.2.2, released on August 30, 2011
Version 3.2.4, released on December 2011
Version 3.2.6, released on February 2011.
Some of the features of the Honey comb are as follows:
Give access to optimized tablet support with a new virtual and "holographic" user interface, it support for joysticks & game pad, also support for external keyboards and other pointing devices.
Resizable Home screen widgets expanded Recent Apps, UI refinements, connectivity for the USB accessories.
Ability to encrypt all the user data, HTTPS stack were improved, it also support for video chat using Google Talk.
It redesigned the keyboard, make the typing fast, more simplified, more intuitive copy/paste interface, Multiple browser tabs replacing browser windows, and form auto-fill.
Quick access to all camera exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and many other camera features, provides ability to view albums and other collections in full-screen mode.
Provide high-performance Wi-Fi lock, improved hardware support, and increased ability of apps to access files on the SD card,
Pay as You Go" support for 3Gs and 4Gs tablets,solve fixed data connectivity issues when coming out of airplane mode on the US 4G Motorola Xoom,
Update Google Books, Adobe flash etc.
ANDROID 4.0.X ICE CREAM SANDWICH
The SDK for Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), based on Linux kernel 3.0.1. it 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. The source code was available from 14th November 2011. Ice cream sandwich was introduced in Samsung galaxy Nexus. There were about 4 sub versions which are as follows:
Version 4.0.1, released on October 19, 2011
Version 4.0.2, released on November 28, 2011
Version 4.0.3, released on December 16, 2011
Version 4.0.4, released on March 29, 2011
Some of the additional benefits of this updated version are:
Soft buttons from Android 3.x are now available, separates the widgets in a new tab, also fixed minor bugs on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, provide hardware acceleration of the UI, refreshed "People" app with social network integration, status updates.
New gallery layout, and organized by location and person, allow built-in photo editor.
Improved camera app with zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode, and the ability to zoom.
Provides better voice integration and real-time speech to text dictation, improved copy and paste functions, pinch-to-zoom functions in the calendar are also there,
Improve the visual voicemail with the ability to speed up or slow down the voicemail messages.
Many bug fixes and, improvements of graphics, databases, spell-checking and Bluetooth functions.
Provide calendar enhancements, new camera apps enhances video stabilization, stability improvements were also there.
Better camera performance, smoother screen rotation are introduced.
ANDROID 4.1.X JELLY BEAN
Google announced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). Based on Linux kernel 3.0.31, it was introduced on June 27, 2012; Jelly Bean was an incremental update with the primary aim of improving the functionality and performance of the user interface. . The performance improvement involved "Project Butter", which uses touch anticipation; jelly bean was released with Asus Nexus 7 on July 13, 2012. Some of the feature and benefits of these versions are:
Provides Two-directional text and other language support, provides user-installable keyboard maps, expandable notifications.
Provides ability to turn off the notifications on an app on specific basis, Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam, offline voice dictation.
New interface layout for tablets with smaller screens resolutions, improved voice search.
Improved camera app, Google Wallet.
The ability to allow other launchers to add widgets from the app drawer without requiring root access.