Edwin Dela Sala from Manila DM'd us this request via Twitter this morning:
"Dear TP, please tell us more about Google Android. I really want to know more about it. Thanks!"
Thanks for the request, Edwin. Let's get down to it:
What is Google Android?
Android is a mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel. It was initially developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries.
The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 48 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.
Simply put, Android is Google's Free Operating System. An Operating System, just like Windows XP or Vista or Apple OSX or Symbian (Nokia), is simply the software that allows you (the user) to use a computer or any gadget, for that matter. It is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of the gadget.
What are some of its features?
Handset layouts - The platform is adaptable to larger, VGA, 2D graphics library, 3D graphics library based on OpenGL ES 1.0 specifications, and traditional smartphone layouts.
Storage - The Database Software SQLite is used for data storage purposes
Connectivity - Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
Messaging - SMS and MMS are available forms of messaging including threaded text messaging.
Web browser - Main article: WebKit
The web browser available in Android is based on the open-source WebKit application framework.
Dalvik virtual machine - Software written in Java can be compiled to be executed in the Dalvik virtual machine, which is a specialized VM implementation designed for mobile device use, although not technically a standard Java Virtual Machine.
Media support - Android supports the following audio/video/still media formats: MPEG-4, H.264, MP3, AAC, MIDI, OGG, AMR, JPEG, PNG, GIF.
Additional hardware support - Android can utilize video/still cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers, magnetometers, accelerated 2D bitblits (with hardware orientation,scaling,pixel format conversion) and accelerated 3D graphics.
Development environment - Includes a device emulator, tools for debugging, memory and performance profiling, a plugin for the Eclipse IDE.
Market - Main article: Android Market
Similar to the App Store on the iPhone OS, The Android Market is a catalog of applications that can be downloaded and installed to target hardware over-the-air, without the use of a PC. Originally only freeware applications were supported. Paid-for apps have been available on the Android Market in the United States since 19 February 2009.
Multi-touch - Android has native support for multi-touch but the feature is disabled at the kernel level (possibly to avoid infringing Apple patents on touch-screen technology). An unofficial mod has been developed that enables multi-touch, but requires superuser access to the device to flash an unsigned kernel.
Here's the Official Demo Video of Google Android:
Did you know that HTC Dream is the first smartphone to use Google Android as its Operating System?