Android, one of the most popular operating systems in the world now, was developed by Andy Rubin and Rich Miner. It was launched in California, United States, in 2003 by the Android Inc. Later it was acquired by Google in 2005 which announced it as a software platform for mobile device in 2007.
Since then Android has witnessed a phenomenal journey. The Android based smartphones has a huge following all over the world.
What makes it so popular?
According to some, it is the most popular operating systems in the world today. Few attributed this to the ‘open source’ nature of the Android. This means any third party can develop applications for this OS.
Android has huge community of developers, writing application programs, which broadens the device functionality. Currently, there are more than 15,000 apps available for Android with various versions.
Also Read our previous story Why is Android so popular?
Versions of Android
Android has a number of versions such as the Android 1.1, 1.5 or the Cupcake, 1.6 or the Donut.
In November 2009, the Android 2.0 version was released which is also known as Éclair. It offers attractive built-in applications features for users and developers such as alarm clock, browser, email, music, camera, and dialler.
There are various popular mobile phones, which have Éclair operating system, such as Samsung i5503 Galaxy 5, Samsung i5801 Galaxy 3, and HTC wildfire.
Another version of the popular operating system is the Android 2.2 or the Froyo. Its ‘Automatic Apps Update’ downloads applications automatically absolving the users to do so manually.
The Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) was released in the fag end of 2010. It added a new on screen keyboard for faster input and more intuitive typing. The cut-and-paste feature was also given a face-lift.
Gingerbread has also a streamlined user interface with many new colour schemes. The download management is better in this versions, where all downloads from browser, email other apps can be seen and operated from one place. Sony Ericsson ZEUS is based on this version of Android.
Google brought the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) version in February this year. Though it was designed for tablet PCs but is also used on smartphones.
It has attractive features like System clipboard, where a user can copy and paste any data to and from the system wide clipboard. The option of drag and drop is also useful for users, where a user can drag any data and drop anywhere within the system.
Also Read our previous story Android Honeycomb features revealed.
Samsung Galaxy S2 is based on this operating system.
A new version of the Android, the Ice-cream sandwich, which is blend of Gingerbread and Honeycomb, is expected to be released later this year.