Nowadays Android get more popularity in mobile phone and tablet PC segment. What is Android and what speciality make it more popular ? Here is ‘CEF’ guide to Android, we are going to explore Android-the world’s best selling smartphone operating system !
What is Android ?
Android is a mobile operating system ,which was initially developed by Android Inc., later acquired by Google (in 2005). The Android is based upon a modified Linux kernel.Android is developed under a code name based on a dessert item. Some of the latest Android versions are,Eclair (2.0/2.1), Froyo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3) and the upcoming one Honeycomb (3.0). The version Gingerbread (2.3) refined the user interface, improved the copy/paste features and keyboard.The latest version Honeycomb (3.0) is meant for large screen devices like Tablet PC. It comes with a revamped user interface, and support for multi-core processors and hardware acceleration for graphics.
Android Apps ?
Android has a large community of developers writing apps that extend the functionality of Android platform.Android market is an online store developed by Google for Android devices. The application programs (in short ‘apps’) can be downloaded from the store, which was developed by third-part developers and hosted on Android market(https://market.android.com/).
Android 2.2 comes with 20 new features, you can check all the features from Android site.
The major changes in the 2.3 include, change in user interface-refined for simplicity and speed; faster, more intuitive text input-keyboard is redesigned for faster input ; one touch word selection and copy-paste ; improved power management; internet calling; near-field communication; access multiple cameras on the device including a front-facing camera and better control over the applications.You can read the complete changes in the Gingerbread(2.3) from the Android site. A new version Android 2.3.3 platform is also available.
The main features of honeycomb are,
User Interface : Android 3.0 is specifically optimized for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. It has a new, virtual and “holographic” UI design, as well as an elegant, content-focused interaction model. Refined multitasking, rich notifications, Home screen customization, widgets, and more — and transforms them with a vibrant, 3D experience and deeper interactivity, making them familiar but even better than before.
System Bar- for global status and notifications : users have quick access to notifications, system status, and soft navigation buttons in a System Bar, available at the bottom of the screen. The System Bar is always present and is a key touch point for users, but in a new “lights out mode” can also be dimmed for full-screen viewing, such as for videos.
Action Bar, for application control : In every application, users have access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other types of content in an Action Bar, displayed at the top of the screen. The Action Bar is always present when an application is in use, although its content, theme, and other properties are managed by the application rather than the system.
Customizable Home screens : Five customizable Home screens give users instant access to all parts of the system from any context. Each screen offers a large grid that maintains spatial arrangement in all orientations. Users can select and manipulate Home screen widgets, app shortcuts, and wallpapers using a dedicated visual layout mode. Visual cues and drop shadows improve visibility when adjusting the layout of shortcuts and widgets.
Redesigned keyboard : The Android soft keyboard is redesigned to make entering text fast and accurate on larger screen sizes. The keys are reshaped and repositioned for improved targeting, and new keys have been added, such as a Tab key, to provide richer and more efficient text input. Users can touch-hold keys to access menus of special characters and switch text/voice input modes from a button in the System Bar.
Camera and Gallery : The Camera application has been redesigned to take advantage of a larger screen for quick access to exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, and more. To let users capture scenes in new ways, it adds built-in support for time-lapse video recording. The Gallery application lets users view albums and other collections in full-screen mode, with easy access to thumbnails for other photos in the collection.
High-performance 2D and 3D graphics : The new animation framework includes a flexible new animation framework that lets developers easily animate the properties of UI elements such as Views, Widgets, Fragments, Drawables, or any arbitrary object. Animations can create fades or movement between states, loop an animated image or an existing animation, change colours.
You can read the complete features of Honeycomb from Android site about Honeycomb.
Most Popular Android Apps
This apps will help you to track weather forecasts.
This Android application finds pricing and metadata for anything with a barcode.
This is a task manager for Android it helps you to easily kill applications with one click, that run in the background, stealing bandwidth or battery time.
A very powerful file manager for Android, this becomes handy when you want to managing files on your sdcard.
Phonebook displays your contacts with pictures and contextual information such as coming birthdays, missed calls and unread text messages. Phonebook has a nice user interface for viewing and managing your contacts.
If you are Facebook fan, and feared to live without it…this app is for you. Update your status, post pictures, check out your friends profiles, make comments all from the comfort of your device.
Opera Mini is a lightweight Android app that serves as an alternative to Android’s default web browser, which is much faster than the Android’s Browser.
Do you want a chat application in Android, this Live Chat application is for you. You can create your own chat groups and create a profile with photo.
Twidroid’s offers most every Twitter function you might need, from the basic viewing and sending tweets, following and unfollowing users, viewing profiles to the more advanced: saved searches, URL shortening, photo posting, and geo-location support and it comes in two flavours, as a free version and paid version.
It is a well known fact that dropbox is a best cloud service, which instantly synchronizes a bunch of files among numerous PCs. This application extended Dropbox in Android and even interacts with different apps to open any files.