The Android platform is similar to the Windows OS you use on your personal computer. But bear in mind, it is specifically designed to handle small, low power units like smartphones and tablets. It is created to operate as efficiently as possible while using as little power as is practical. Android Incorporated got worldwide recognition when in Aug 2005 Google acquired the business and then immediately announced that they'll be making the operating system Open Source so that anyone can use it without paying for it or pay any royalties.
The Android operating system is really founded on a customized adaptation of a Linux Kernel, Linux obviously already being an established open sorce alternative to Windows and Apple OS X. At the most rudimentry level, an operating-system supplies the layer between the hardware and software developed to operate upon it. When it comes to Android it needs to be able to pass commands to the processor, microphone, camera, GPS, antenna, touchscreen display and keypad and so forth. Different apps can then be designed to run on Android Operating System to make the device operational.
The Android operating system is a sophisticated piece of software and delivers a big punch in a tiny package. It relies on a compact relational database known as SQLite to save and retrieve data for the variety of applications that you install. It also provides built-in play back capability for numerous various media types including PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP, WebM, H.263, H.264, MPEG, MP3, MIDI and WAV. In terms of connectivity it will work with all of the latest technologies out of the box including GSM, IDEN, CDMA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WiMax, SMS and MMS types of messaging which makes it the ideal platform for software programmers to build innovative new software.
Currently, Android has overtaken just about every other smartphone os around, including Apple's iOS that powers the iPhones and Blackberry's proprietary operating system. By the end of 2010, 33 million smartphones had been bought which ran version of the Android operating system and research analyst NPD Group now estimates that 50 % of all smartphone purchases are for an Android smartphone.
The driving factor supporting this rapid take up is the open source aspect of the OS. As a result any phone, tablet or portable device designer in the world can download the source code, alter and customize it for their unique requirements then distribute it on devices created by them. The royalty free nature of Android has persuaded some of the biggest names in the smartphone industry like HTC, Samsung, LG and Motorola to build incredibly attractive devices using the Android operating system.
One other reason for the big demand of Android gadgets is that by the end of 2010 there were more than 200,000 applications available for download including everything from games to tools, image editing to location based services. Unlike Apple's app store, the vast majority of Android programs cost nothing or have free versions, which encourages users to use Android gadgets.