Thursday, June 16, 2011

What Is An Android Mobile Phone?

Straight from Android themselves .....

Android is an open-source software stack for mobile devices, and a corresponding open-source project led by Google. We created Android in response to our own experiences launching mobile apps. We wanted to make sure that there was no central point of failure, so that no industry player can restrict or control the innovations of any other. That's why we created Android, and made its source code open.

Android has a large community of developers writing application programs ("apps") that extend the functionality of the devices. There are currently over 200,000 apps available for Android. Android Market is the online app store run by Google, though apps can be downloaded from third-party sites (AT&T permits third-party apps only on their Aria phone ). Developers write primarily in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries. Python, Ruby and other languages are also available for Android development via the Android Scripting Environment.

The unveiling of the Android distribution on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 79 hardware, software, and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache License, a free software and open source license.

The Android operating system software stack consists of Java applications running on a Java-based, object-oriented application framework on top of Java core libraries running on a Dalvik virtual machine featuring JIT compilation. Libraries written in C include the surface manager, Open Core media framework, SQLite relational database management system , OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics API, WebKit layout engine, SGL graphics engine, SSL, and Bionic libc. The Android operating system consists of 12 million lines of code including 3 million lines of XML, 2.8 million lines of C, 2.1 million lines of Java, and 1.75 million lines of C++.
Android's purpose is to establish an open platform for developers to build innovative mobile apps. Three key components work together to realize this platform.

The Android Compatibility Program defines the technical details of Android platform and provides tools used by OEMs to ensure that developers’ apps run on a variety of devices. The Android SDK provides built-in tools that Developers use to clearly state the device features their apps require. And Android Market shows apps only to those devices that can properly run them.

These pages describe the Android Compatibility Program and how to get access to compatibility information and tools. The latest version of the Android source code and compatibility program is 2.3, which corresponded to the Gingerbread branch.
Users want a customizable device.

A mobile phone is a highly personal, always-on, always-present gateway to the Internet. We haven't met a user yet who didn't want to customize it by extending its functionality. That's why Android was designed as a robust platform for running after-market applications.

Developers outnumber us all.

No device manufacturer can hope to write all the software that a person could conceivably need. We need third-party developers to write the apps users want, so the Android Open Source Project aims to make it as easy and open as possible for developers to build apps.

Everyone needs a common ecosystem.

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