Everyone gets excited about Google products; when they came out with the limited Beta testing of Gmail, there were forums set up to bag an invite from the chosen few. The new Google Wave is also experiencing the same Internet hysteria, so it should come as no surprise that Android has gotten a lot of fans.
Android is Google’s answer to mobile operating systems. Initially the operating system was plagued with problems, announced a while ago in 2007, and then no whisper of a release was heard. It was only a year later did a handset arrive, loaded with the operating system. Even then, Android faced a number of issues as lots of users reported bugs.
However that has all passed now. Android has just released 2.0, the next generation; it is all the designers hoped it would be.
Android was intended to be an open source operating system, based on a Linux kernel. It is probably inaccurate to call the idea pioneering, because Nokia has been saying that Symbian is due to go the open source way, however nothing has materialized as yet. Additionally, there is Maemo, also a Nokia venture, but it is not fully open source. Apple does not even come into the picture, otherwise the concept of jailbreaking would exist only in real prisons. So when Android announced that developers could manipulate the operating system code using Google Java libraries, it was definite cause for cheer.
However that is not all that runs in Android’s favour: it is a powerful operating system that has quite a few more goodies in its insides. We are going to quickly look at a few of them.
The Google integration is really a given, considering it is the parent company, but that doesn’t mean the seamless integration isn’t an efficient extra that users will probably find very handy. Apart from the open source part of the deal, Google integration was one of the major design goals of the Android operating system.
Along with being open source, Android phones are not tied to particular carriers. Long has this been a bone of contention with iPhone users; AT&T has cornered the market on the desirable device while they certainly are not the best carrier around. Android users will have no such issues.
Internet capabilities have become an indispensable part of the mobile experience, and phone browsers are becoming increasingly powerful. Android’s default browser can parse most websites without a problem, including one with Flash elements.
Google has created a Market for all Android apps, which presents a great forum for developers to showcase their products. The phones themselves will come with an app that connects up to the main Market for easy purchase and download. Since the backbone of Android in Java, most of the apps can be Java-based without any conflicts with the operating system.
Perhaps the most important feature of Android phones is its multithreading ability. A common complaint with the iPhone is its inability to run more than a single application at a time. In the case of a smartphone, that is a rather serious shortcoming, and one which Android supports with aplomb.
Android is the newest entrant in the field of mobile operating systems. Off to a rocky start, it has finally managed to find its own feet in the competitive industry. Currently things are looking good, with the chances of great improvement in the times to come.