Introduction to Android Development

Android is an open source operating system, based on Linux kernel and used in mobile devices like smartphones, tablets etc. Further, it was developed for smart watches and Android TV. Each of them has a specialized interface.

Android was developed by the company Open Handset Alliance (OHA), led by Google. The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is consortium of multiple companies like Samsung, Sony, Intel and many more to provide a services and deploy handsets using android platform.

Because it is Android Open Source Project(AOSP) licensed under the Apache license, many developers has been contributed in android development. The primary goal of the android project is to create product that can be implemented in user’s life.

Initially, Android development was started by Android Inc., later bought by Google in year 2005. It’s first commercial version was released in September 2008. Since then, different number of versions have been released with extraordinary features.

Android first beta version of the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) released in 2007 and the first commercial version of Android 1.0 (Alpha), was released in September 2008.

In 2018, Google announced another Latest Version, 9.0 Pie. In this version Google completely revamped the official support for screen cutouts (“notches”), including APIs and system behaviors depending on their size and position.

The source code for Android is available free on different sites like Git-Hub, Stack overflow etc. Google publishes most of the code under the Apache License version 2.0.

Features of Android

Android is a powerful open source operating system which provides immense features and some of these are listed below.

  • Android Open Source Project so we can customize the OS based on our requirements.
  • Android supports different types of connectivity for GSM, CDMA, Wifi, Bluetooth etc. for telephonic conversation or data transfer.
  • Using wifi technology we can pair with other devices while playing games or using other application.
  • It contains multiple APIs to support a location-tracking services such as GPS.
  • We can manage all data storage related activities by using file manager.
  • It contains a wide range of media supports like AVI, MKV, FLV, MPEG4 etc. to play or record variety of audio / video.
  • It also support different image formats like JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, MP3, etc.
  • It supports multimedia hardware control to perform playback or recording using camera and microphone.
  • Android has an integrated open source webkit layout based web browser to support User Interface like HTML5, CSS3.
  • Android supports a multi-tasking means we can run multiple application at a time and can switch in between them.
  • It provide support for virtual reality or 2D/3D Graphics

Android Versions

Google launched the first version of Android platform on Nov 5, 2007. Since then, Google released a lot of android versions such as Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Jellybeans, Kitkat, Lollipop, marshmallow, Naughat, Oreo etc. with extra functionalities and new features.

Following table shows the version details of android which is released by Google from 2007 to till date.

Code Name Version API level Release date
Apple Pie Android 1.0 1 September 23, 2008
Banana Bread Android 1.1 2 February 9, 2009
Cupcake Android 1.5 3 April 30, 2009
Donut Android 1.6 4 September 15, 2009
Eclair Android 2.0 – 2.1 5-7 October 26, 2009
Froyo Android 2.2 – 2.2.3 8 May 20, 2010
Gingerbread Android 2.3 – 2.3.4 9-10 December 6, 2010
Honeycomb Android 3.0.x – 3.2.x 11 – 13 February 22, 2011
Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 – 4.0.4 14 – 15 October 18, 2011
Jelly Bean Android 4.1 – 4.1.2 16 – 18 July 9, 2012
Kitkat Android 4.4 – 4.4.4 19 July 9, 2012
Lollipop Android 5.0 – 5.1 21 – 22 October 17, 2014
Marshmallow Android 6.0 – 6.0.1 23 October 5, 2015
Nougat Android 7.0 – 7.1 24 – 25 August 22, 2016
Oreo Android 8.0 26 August 21, 2017
Pie Android 9.0 27 August 6, 2018
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