Android Operating System

The Android system is driven by open source software, based on Linux, and allows for creativity and custom screens to be created en mass. Icon driven screens allow you to place your favorite icons anywhere you want them. Android was created to be the customizable, open source, iPhone killer. The system is quite similar in appearance to the iPhone but the internal operations are quite different.

Requirements for the Android system hardware are virtually nonexistent due to its open source base. There are Android phones ranging in price from $100 to $800+ based on the hardware they are made from. This is due to the system being extremely adaptable from beginning conception to fit all shapes and sizes. If you want a better phone you have to pay for it. If cost is a larger factor you may have a smartphone for in many cases no cost. The ease of availability has pushed Android to the forefront and has allowed it to directly challenge the iPhone for smartphone supremacy throughout the world.

The system is capable of multi core processing, 32 gigabyte removable storage, 1080 screen resolution, full multi tasking, mobile Flash, Chrome browser, multi touch screens, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers, thermometers, and you get the point. If it can be done on a phone it will be done on Android. The Android system is highly prized by techs due its extreme functionality. Android has many branding contracts. As an example most will refer to all Androids as Droids however the Droid is actually a brand of Motorola Android phone. Android has a very fast growing app store with over 500,000 apps and growing rapidly.

On the down side open source and a fast growing app store can lead to malware and security problems as well as system fragmentation issues. During 2011 there was an “unprecedented growth” of mobile malware attacks, with Android up a “stratospheric 3,325 percent”, according to a report by the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center. For the full article: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/report-android-malware-up-3325-in-2011/18449. One may reasonably protect themselves by installing malware protection on your phone and taking care not to download new apps unless you know the app publisher’s name such as Rovio (Angry Birds), Pop Cap (Plants Vs Zombies), and Google (Android) and wait until there are a few legitimate positive reviews about the app. Android should be protected with the same care as you would your PC. The system fragmentation issue is caused by so many hardware configurations being capable of running Android but so many apps being created for low to high end specifications. As a general rule Android developers try for a rough 80% compatibility rate. http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/02/android-qa-testing-quality-assurance/

The Android system has the backing of the Open Handset Alliance and predominantly Google. A large part in the pricing of Android Systems and apps is based on advertisement subsidies. No one advertises better than Google and it shows in the lowering of prices. Android is the only mobile phone operating system that includes Adobe Flash in the browser enabling more internet than any other cell phone. Adobe has however stopped its mobile Flash program due to complications to concentrate on HTML5.

There are 7 versions of the Android system. Currently Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich are the most popular versions. Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest version and Jellybean will be the next. These all differ in functionality and security. Always check to make sure which version you have and if you can update as the next generation may solve any user problems you may have with your current version.

As with any system there are checks and balances. With the open source programming there can be security holes however there is an app for what you want to do and customization to let you do it easily or create the app yourself. Android is very versatile and a great choice if not the best choice for those who don’t mind putting a little thought into the use and functionality of their phone.