Introduction To Android Platform Computer Science Essay

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Android is the world's first open source mobile application operating system and it is a platform which has a potential to make a significant inroads in mobile market. When we examine Android we need to consider many number of technical and market related dimensions, so that it will help us understand android much better and where it fits in the global cell phone developments. Android is the product of primarily Google, but more appropriately with Open Handset Alliance also, a body of 30 organisations which are committed to bringing a better and open mobile phone market. These organisations behind android will provide the world with a more efficient, attractive mobile operating system which has no boundaries in the development of the mobile market.

1.1.1 THE ANDROID PLATFORM

Android is a software environment built for mobile devices. It is not a hardware platform and includes a Linux kernel based OS with a rich UI (User Interface), end user applications code libraries, application frameworks, and multimedia support. Telephony functionality is also available, as the main components of the underlying OS are written in C and C++, but the application frameworks and the applications functionality are built by using XML and JAVA respectively. The main feature in Android application development is that there is no difference between the applications in-built and the applications created with SDK (Software development kit), so the powerful applications can be tapped into the resources available in the device. The most noticeable part of android is its open source platform so this means the missing elements which are developed later are provided to the user or the developer, because the platform is open. Shells for the Linux kernel can be written or installed on the device since the Linux kernel doesn't come with a sophisticated shell environment. Similarly the third party developments of multimedia codecs can be developed and can be tested where they need not rely on the Google or anyone else to provide the new functionality. This kind of power which is bought to the mobile market can change the market strategy of the mobile phone manufacturers because they want to differentiate themselves with the features, reliability and reliable price points, and software vendors want the access to deliver cutting edge applications to customers which are mostly possible with Android platform. Android challenges are to increase the accessibility for the total number of user to use Smart phones which can provide the consumer with better additional capabilities such as mobile web browsing and location based services (GPS). These services are very much not up to the mark for many customers who are using different lower end phones with different operating systems. Many of these phones have the capability of running the mobile wed browser but with relatively poor user experience these features are not employed heavily, but part of this problem is also the screen size of the phone and equally challenging is the browser technology itself which is often struggles to match with the rich web experiences. Android uses market leading webkit browsing to mobile phone applications which provides the user with desktop web browsing experience. If this approach scaled down to future phones then it would go long way top penetrating this end of the market. This webkit is an open source browsing engine project that powers the browser found in the iPhone Safari .It would not be a stretch to say that the browser experience in the iPhone made it popular so it is also included in Android which is a strong plus point for Android architecture.

1.2 Purpose of Application

The Aim of this project is to design an application to collect the information form an Android mobile device and store this in an online database where the user can access the information about their mobile phone any time. The information collected from all the devices from the users will be used for future work. The cell ID and Wi-Fi access point data which is collected from these devices will be used for creating a better and faster performing algorithm from which can map the cell ID and Wi-Fi access points. This project is designed as an initiation of better mapping structure algorithms. There are many future developments that are under consideration which make a real difference in the application development.

1.3 Outcome of Application

The application which we have developed is working perfectly based on the requirements of the supervisors. The information collected from the mobile phone is sent to online database as specified by supervisor. The following are the functionalities that are working in the application and in the online database.

Phone Information. This includes telephone number, IMEI number, cell ID information with respective RSSI values, LAC- Location Area code, MCC, MNC, service state, connection state, signal strength, signal level, data transmission, operator name, SIM country, SIM operator, operator name, subscriber ID, Network type, Phone Type.

Power Information. This comprises battery level, Technology, Plugged in state (what type of power to which the phone is connected), health, status, voltage, battery Temperature.

Geo Information. Compressing the latitude and longitude co-ordinates from Network provider and from the GPS. The Latitude and Longitude location can be collected at any time from network provider, however the GPS co-ordinates will be received only when the GPS is ON. It can be seen from the location in a GPS map depending on the co-ordinates that available from the network or from GPS.

Wi-Fi Information. This provides details of the Wi-Fi access point the phone is connected to and the information about Wi-Fi access points close to the mobile phone and its respective information. The Wi-Fi scan part collects information of all the access points and uploads them into the online database, however when Wi-Fi is ON then the scan process will update the information into this database as the geographical location co ordinates change, so this way we can get the location of Wi-Fi access points based on the geographical location points.

1.4 Outline of Thesis

This thesis examines Android application development, database structuring and website design, and how to use the application for future developments. The chapters in this thesis will describe each part of this project in detail.