ANDROID-A popular word among local smart phones and tabs enthusiasts


17-February-2012

Android is a Google-owned Linux-based operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc. in 2005 and has since developed it to make it the best-selling smartphone platform worldwide with over 200 million Android devices in use by November 2011.

It is believed that by the end of 2011 over 700,000 Android devices were activated every day. Most of the popular mobile phone companies have decided to use Android as their operating software. This includes LG, Samsung and Motorola to mention a few. Samsung’s latest tab, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which is powered by Android, is a perfect example of how much faith the mobile device manufactures have in the OS.

Android has a large community of developers’ writing applications or ‘apps’ (as they are commonly known) that extend the functionality of the devices. ‘Apps’ can be downloaded from third-party sites or through online stores such as Android Market, the app store run by Google. As of October 2011 there were more than 400,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from the Android Market as of December 2011 exceeded 10 billion.

Android has a large number of interesting features which is the reason for its popularity.
Some of the features are: Connectivity: Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, NFC and WiMAX.

Messaging: SMS and MMS are available forms of messaging, including threaded text messaging and now Android Cloud To Device Messaging (C2DM) is also a part of Android Push Messaging service.

Multiple language support: Android supports multiple languages.
Media support: Android supports the following audio/video/still media formats: WebM, H.263, H.264 (in 3GP or MP4 container), MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR-WB (in 3GP container), AAC, HE-AAC (in MP4 or 3GP container), MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP

Additional hardware support: Android can use video/still cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers, dedicated gaming controls, proximity and pressure sensors, thermometers, accelerated 2D bit blits (with hardware orientation, scaling, pixel format conversion) and accelerated 3D graphics.

Multi-touch: Android has native support for multi-touch which was initially made available in handsets such as the HTC Hero. Google has since released an update for the Nexus One and the Motorola Droid which enables multi-touch natively.

Bluetooth: Supports A2DP, AVRCP, sending files (OPP), accessing the phone book (PBAP), voice dialing and sending contacts between phones. Keyboard, mouse and joystick (HID) support is available also available.
Multitasking: Multitasking of applications is available.

Tethering: Android supports tethering, which allows a phone to be used as a wireless/wired Wi-Fi hotspot.
External storage: Most Android devices include microSD slot and can read microSD cards.To allow use of high-capacity storage media such as USB flash drives and USB HDDs.

While Android is designed primarily for smartphones and tablets, the open and customisable nature of the operating system allows it to be used on other electronics, including laptops and netbooks, smartbooks and ebook readers.

Further, Google intends to bring Android to televisions with Google TV, and the OS has seen niche applications on wristwatches, headphones, car CD and DVD players, digital cameras, portable media players and landlines.

The large number of ‘apps’ available in the Apps Stores means it is a necessity for Android users to get internet access on their portable devices and its WiFi feature ease that process. In Seychelles most Android users make use of Kokonet’s hotspot service KOKOZONE to download and update the ‘apps’, while some of the others subscribe to the company’s unlimited broadband service to allow them to enjoy the Android device.

Sponsored by Kokonet

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