Remembering Past Versions
Android is an incredible platform. Very few of us these days are not impacted by its great technology. Of course, there are those loyal Apple iPhone followers that are totally committed to the iBrand. However, it is clear that Android is number one at the moment.
The iPhone Revolution
In the context of the history of Android is important to mention Apple and iPhone. The emergence of the first iPhone onto the market in 2007 was a revolutionary event. Its single build a watershed between previous feature phones and a new wave of powerful smart phones. Without the iPhone it is hard to see how we would have moved forward as quickly as we have.
A Note on Broadband
Equally, the evolution of broadband has been vital to the smart phone and tablet revolution. The whole point of mobile devices is that they are mobile. Without decent 3G and 4G mobile broadband they would be far less powerful.
We now have 4G connectivity available to around 60% of UK, but will hit 99% in the next few years. Average connection speeds are somewhere between 10 and 20 Mb per second. This broadband is therefore now comparable to fixed broadband solutions.
In the future mobile broadband could get very fast. Ofcom is already looking at the possibility of a 5G spectrum. With 4G offering potential top speeds upwards of 100 Mb per second on download and 50 Mb per second on upload, 5G will have to be really impressive to signal it being the next generation.
The First Android Device
The first Android device was released on 23 September 2008. It was named the HTC Dream.
This device integrated the different Google services. It provided the capability to pan and zoom around pages for affective viewing on the small screen. It also enabled users to open multiple pages in different windows.
It also brought a number of new features, including the Android app market, for downloads and updates. The Android platform featured instant messaging, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and enabled users to multitask seamlessly.
From Android 1.0 we move to Android 1.5 Cupcake. This was released on 30 April 2009.
The new version and enabled people to open up their camera more quickly in order to take pictures in a rush. It also improve the speed of GPS location for the Google maps and other third-party services. It started to take note of social sharing, by incorporating the ability to quickly and directly upload content to Picassa and YouTube.
Android 1.6 Donut was released on 15 September 2009. It provided quick search bar and also the capacity for voice search. Video camera, gallery features and the standard camera were integrated with a better application. This version also brought in a battery use indicator, CDMA support and text-to-speech functionality with multilingual capacity.
Android 2.0 Eclair was released on 26 October 2009. It provided new calendar features, support for Bluetooth 2.1, and synchronisation of email with Microsoft exchange support, contact synchronisation and multiple email accounts, and an improved UI with support for HTML 5.
Android 2.2 Froyo was released on 20 May 2010. It provided a widget for tips on the home screen. It also improved support for exchange. This update included Android Flash 10.1 capability as well as hotspot support. The other main feature was the inclusion of more keyboard languages.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released on 6 December 2010. It provided
User interface improvements meant more speed and more simplicity. The keyboard was also improved to make things faster. With one touch selection and interconnect calling was incorporated. This release also incorporated compatibility for near Field communication.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb was released on 10 May 2011. This release was targeted especially to tablets and smart phones with bigger screens. It changed the way that multitasking was completed. It also enabled more notifications and home screen customisation. Widgets arrived in a big way.
Honeycomb enabled Bluetooth tethering and Media/Picture Transfer Protocol.
Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich provided a smoother and more responsive experience of Android. The user interface was refreshed and refined and made faster. This update also enabled users to display their content on external screens and also providing developers with more options.
Android 4.3 Jellybean was released on 18 July 2011. This was a really good upgrade for Android and provided a really smart, intelligent and visually appealing operating system. It incorporated enhanced technology for graphics. It also improved Bluetooth connectivity. It improved the way in which media was used. It optimised sensor capabilities and location.
Jellybean was a cracking update that really did propel Android forward.
Android 4.4 KitKat provided a number of enhancements. It provided a new framework for printing. It enabled NFC Host Card Emulation. There was a new framework for user interface transitions. The way in which users could access external documents was improved. The infrared blaster API was enhanced.
The Android World
It is clear that Android has changed the world, almost to the same degree that iOS has. It is no coincidence that Samsung have taken over as the number one mobile sales company in the world, and they base their devices largely on Android. It is a platform that has continued to improve and stay ahead of the game. We live in a largely Android world these days.
A Note On iPads and iPhones
Apple does an incredibly good job of creating technology. They have suffered little in terms of reputation over recent years. The iPhone series is still very popular, but critics have assessed that they have fallen behind Samsung and HTC. For many, the draw of Apple branded products is still greater than that for manufacturers sporting the Android platform.
Programming for Android Geeks
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