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.

Choosing the Android Platform To Build Mobile Apps For Your Business

Android apps are available for a wide range of categories and are very popular among users. There are more than a million applications available in the Google Play Store. One of the reasons for the popularity of Android apps is the enormous Android user-base. As per the research made by Strategy Analytics, Android leads the smartphone market with a whopping market share of 81%!

A Large number of businesses prefer to have Android apps, to connect to its huge market. Let us look at some key benefits that a business can avail by choosing the Android platform for creating mobile apps.

  • Developers prefer the Android platform due to its open source nature. The platform offers many easy to use tools and intuitive Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to carry on development. Many skilled and experienced Android app developers are available in the market due to easy development options.
  • Android is the most popular and the most used OS, helping businesses to reach a wider audience, increase sales and enhance revenues.
  • Android is a preferred platform to build custom mobile apps. Its development environment allows creating applications tailored to meet the exact requirements of a business.
  • Creating an Android app is cost-efficient as compared to an iOS app. You can reduce your development costs and offer affordable apps to a large number of Android users, thus leading to an improved ROI.
  • The short Android app development cycle helps businesses to quicken their time-to-market and ensures the realization of returns in a short time-frame.
  • Android is an excellent platform for start-ups and small businesses due its low cost of development and easy process, thus helping businesses to enter the mobile app market quickly.
  • A wide range of Android applications is available in Google Play Store free of cost. As customers prefer free mobile apps to paid ones, there are chances of more downloads. You can keep your app free on the Play Store to attract more users and include the in-app purchase option or choose in-app advertising model, to earn revenues.
  • Android OS has a variety of ingenious and handy features, which assist developers in building exquisite applications. For example, developers efficiently use features like accelerometer, SQLite, magnetometer and more, to create a highly functional app.
  • There is an intense competition in the Android app market. Your business might lose many potential customers if you fail to tap this lucrative market. You thus need to get an Android application built to get a competitive advantage.

The future of the Android OS looks optimistic owing to its immense popularity and user-friendly features. Businesses can avail the benefits of this platform by getting innovative Android apps developed, to reach its millions of users. Android applications thus serve as a competitive tool for your business for market penetration.

How Android App Development Seems Monstrous But Surmountable

Introduction

Android is an operating system (OS) from Google. Android is open source. Android has a huge market share. Smartphones running on Android sell more than other operating systems. Android is app friendly. The hosannas sung in favor of Android can fill an earth mover truck! Android is touted to be app dependent which is good news for smartphone users who can download apps by the cartload. However, the development of apps is not without any pitfalls, in fact some severe.

Disadvantages? Nay, Challenges!

The overwhelming Android presence has triggered a market for application development which is getting bigger by the day. Google Play Store, the online shop hawking app wares is awash with apps of all hues and sizes. Users are aplenty and challenges encountered in Android app development are of equivalent proportions. So what are these challenges?

Multiple vendors: Many smartphone manufacturers use Android as the operating system, albeit with many modifications. Libraries, features et al get modified or deleted leading to a pesky increase in fragmentation issues.

Lack of Usage policies: Android’s originator, Google, has been rather lenient allowing app developers to tweak and twist it to suit their purpose. This no rules approach has let every Tom, Dick and Harry developer run riot resulting in bumpkin apps sharing silo space in Google Play Store. How do we ensure that quality apps alone gain entry to Play?

Software and Hardware Diversity: Multiple versions of the software launched in quick time pose an issue in compatibility of the app for more than one version. As concerns hardware, the market is flooded with smartphones of all screen sizes, operating mechanisms and processing speeds increasing the headache of app developers to ensure satisfactory performance of their apps in these devices.

Commercialization blues: Once an app is ready for sale, the app developer has to pay Google a fee upfront to host his/her app. Google scrutinizes the app to detect and remove any malware, causing considerable delay on the commercialization aspect. The temptation to include advertisements in apps can incur users’ wrath. One also has to keep an eye on the patent aspect, lest anyone sues for plagiarism.

Workarounds

While all the challenges may not be doused with long lasting solutions, workarounds are available that should help one to get by.

Software and Hardware: It must be accepted that a single app may not satisfy all the mobile devices running different versions of Android. Diversity in hardware and software is a reality that must be accepted. Fortunately hardware nowadays show flexibility in running different Android versions based apps. App developers must do a research on the target devices and versions and decide the best fit to target their apps.

Commercialization: Again research plays an important part. Identify the target users and devices so you may derive revenue through app usage of this targeted group. This would also free you of the need to use advertisements in you app driving away your users. Or, make you app so user friendly that users will not mind encountering a couple of small advertisements on the side.

Conclusion

Challenges may be endemic or spread out but those involved in Android application development do find ways to surmount these issues. Diversity in Android can be a boon as well a bane depending on how we approach app development. To reiterate, a thorough research and passion for achieving the intended goal will enable one to sail through teething problems and launch their app successfully. Ready Steady Go!