As compared to other smartphone platforms, Android has the largest installed base worldwide. In excess of 190 countries, Android is the driving force behind hundreds of millions of mobile devices. By 2021’s end, it has captured almost 71% of the worldwide market, and its dominance is just expanding. Android, which is built on a customised Linux kernel and other open-source software, was created for the first time by a corporation going by the name Open Handset Alliance. At first funded by Google, the company was eventually acquired by Google in 2005. The first commercially available Android-powered device was introduced to the public in September 2008. Android has become the go-to mobile operating system due of its extensive feature set. Numerous manufacturers provide Android-compatible smartphones because of their popularity, ease of use, widespread community support, and extensive customization options.
Therefore, there has been a dramatic uptick in the demand for Android mobile app development, and businesses are on the lookout for talented programmers with the appropriate combination of skills. Android was originally conceived as a mobile operating system. Android, however, has become an absolute set of software for all devices such as tablets, wearables, set-top boxes, smart TVs, notebooks, etc., thanks to the development of code libraries and its appeal among developers from a wide variety of domains.
Features of Android
The open-source nature of the Android operating system enables it to provide an enormous number of features, some of which are detailed in the following paragraphs.
- Android Open Source Project so we can customize the OS based on our requirements.
- Android supports different types of connectivity for GSM, CDMA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. for telephonic conversation or data transfer.
- Using wifi technology we can pair with other devices while playing games or using other applications.
- It contains multiple APIs to support location-tracking services such as GPS.
- We can manage all data storage-related activities by using the file manager.
- It contains a wide range of media supports like AVI, MKV, FLV, MPEG4, etc. to play or record a variety of audio/video.
- It also supports different image formats like JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, MP3, etc.
- It supports multimedia hardware control to perform playback or recording using a camera and microphone.
- Android has an integrated open-source WebKit layout-based web browser to support User Interfaces like HTML5, and CSS3.
- Android supports multi-tasking means we can run multiple applications at a time and can switch between them.
- It provides support for virtual reality or 2D/3D Graphics.
Although Google made its initial public announcement of Android in November 2007, the operating system did not become available to the public until September 23, 2008. The HTC Dream, which ran Android version 1.0, was the first handset to offer Google’s mobile operating system to consumers. Since then, Google has launched a large number of new versions of Android, including Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Jellybeans, Kitkat, Lollipop, marshmallow, Nougat, and Oreo, all of which have additional functionalities and brand new features.
The following table shows the version details of android which is released by Google from 2007 to date.
|Code Name||Version||API level||Release date|
|–||Android 1.0||1||September 23, 2008|
|–||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|
|Android Q||Android 10.0||29||September 3, 2019|
|Android 11||Android 11.0||30||September 8, 2020|
|Snow Cone||Android 12.0 – 12.1||31-32||October 4, 2021|
Programming Languages used in Developing Android Applications
Since Kotlin has been designated as an official language for Android Development and JetBrains is in charge of its development and maintenance, Google recommends that developers create Android applications using Kotlin. Before Java became the de facto standard language for Android development, C++ was the language of choice. At Google I/O 2017, Kotlin was announced as the official development language for Android.
Advantages of Android Development
- Because Android is based on an open-source operating system, it has a sizable community of users that can provide assistance.
- Because the design of the Android Application follows the principles provided by Google, it is now much simpler for developers to create user applications that are more straightforward.
- Android applications benefit from increased power thanks to fragmentation. This indicates that the application is capable of simultaneously running two different activities on a single screen.
- When compared with other platforms, releasing an Android application on the Google Play store is a simpler process with Android.
Disadvantages of Android Development
- While fragmentation’s intuitive approach to UX has its advantages, the development team still needs time to adapt to the varying screen sizes of mobile handsets on the market today and activate the appropriate features.
- There could be a wide range of Android smartphones. That makes it harder to test the application.
- Depending on the complexity and features of the programme, the price may rise as development and testing take longer.