Posts Tagged ‘Android smartphones’

SmartphonesAndroid is a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. Google Inc. purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005. Android's mobile operating system is based on the Linux kernel. Google and other members of the Open Handset Alliance collaborated on Android's development and release. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android. The Android operating system is the world's best-selling Smartphone platform. In 2007, Apple Inc. introduced its first iPhone. It was initially costly, priced at $500 for the cheaper of two models on top of a two year contract. Initially lacking the capability to execute and multitask native applications, many reviewers considered the originally-released device to be more akin to a featurephone than a smartphone. It was one of the first mobile phones to be mainly controlled through a touchscreen, the others being the LG Prada and the HTC Touch (also released in 2007). It was the first mobile phone to use a multi-touch interface, and it featured a web browser that Ars Technica then described as "far superior" to anything offered by that of its competitors.[30] A process called jailbreaking emerged quickly to provide unofficial third-party applications. Steve Jobs publicly stated that the iPhone lacked 3G support due to the immaturity, power use, and physical size requirements of 3G chipsets at the time.
In July 2008, Apple introduced its second generation iPhone with a lower list price and 3G support. Released with it, Apple also created the App Store with both free and paid applications. The App Store can deliver applications developed by third parties directly to the iPhone or iPod Touch over Wi-Fi or cellular network without using a PC to download. With the introduction of the App Store, the iPhone gained one of the two key smartphone features that it lacked: the capability to install and execute native applications. The App Store has been a huge success for Apple and by April 2010 hosted more than 185,000 applications. The App Store hit three billion application downloads in early January 2010, and 10 billion by January 2011. In June of 2010, Apple introduced multitasking capability to iOS.
The Android operating system for smartphones was released in 2008.


Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of the devices. There are currently over 200,000 apps available for Android. Android Market is the online app store run by Google, though apps can also be downloaded from third-party sites. Developers write primarily in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries.
The unveiling of the Android distribution on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 80 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.
The Android open-source software stack consists of Java applications running on a Java-based, object-oriented application framework on top of Java core libraries running on a Dalvik virtual machine featuring JIT compilation. Libraries written in C include the surface manager, OpenCore media framework, SQLite relational database management system, OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics API, WebKit layout engine, SGL graphics engine, SSL, and Bionic libc. The Android operating system, including the Linux kernel, consists of roughly 12 million lines of code including 3 million lines of XML, 2.8 million lines of C, 2.1 million lines of Java, and 1.75 million lines of C++.

Android's kernel is derived from the Linux kernel but has included architecture changes by Google outside the typical Linux kernel development cycle.[105] Android does not have a native X Window System nor does it support the full set of standard GNU libraries, and this makes it difficult to port existing GNU/Linux applications or libraries to Android. However, support for the X Window System is possible. Google no longer maintains the code they previously contributed to the Linux kernel as part of their Android effort, creating a separate version or fork of it. This was due to a disagreement about new features Google felt were necessary (some related to security of mobile applications). The code which is no longer maintained was deleted in January 2010 from the Linux kernel codebase.


Google announced in April 2010 that they will hire two employees to work with the Linux kernel community.
However, as of May 2011, points of contention still exist between Google and the Linux kernel team: Google tried to push upstream some Android-specific power management code in 2009, which is still rejected today.
Furthermore, Greg Kroah-Hartman, the current Linux kernel maintainer for the -stable branch, said in December 2010 that he was concerned that Google was no longer trying to get their code changes included in mainstream Linux. Some Google Android developers hinted that "the Android team was getting fed up with the process," because they were a small team and had more urgent work to do on Android.
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