Android is one of, if not, the popular smartphone you could see in the market. It enabled everyone to use smart features. It is being used by kids and parents alike. Do you want to know why many are using your daily driver android? Do you want to know what makes android special?
History of Android
In October 2003, Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White started a company named Android in Palo Alto, California. Initially, Android was developed to make smart cameras. Back then, the camera market is not big enough to meet the goal of the company. Hence, they shifted the focus towards phones. They plan to compete against the likes of Symbian and Windows mobile platforms. There isn’t much momentum on androids until 2005. 2005 is an excellent year for androids. Google acquired it for $50 million. Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White were still part of the company.
They built an operating system and a kernel-based on Linux. It was working fine, but the issue they didn’t know is that they made the prototypes with keyboards in mind. It was aimed at Nokia and Blackberry devices. However, Apple launched its iPhone in the market with a touch screen in June 2007.
Android has to rebuild the whole OS with a touch screen in mind. It went back to square one. Simultaneously, Nokia and blackberry were also coming with their version of touch screen devices to compete against Apple. Android partnered with companies like HTC, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, etc. for the hardware. Google also made sure their operating system is open source.
In 2008, the first commercial phone of Android, HTC Dream, came into the market. I could still remember visiting the HTC website full of windows mobiles and only one phone in the android section. In 2010 google launched the Nexus line of devices. From there, there was no turning back.
Related post: Is it worth buying an iPhone 8 in 2020?
Versions of Android
Every year, Google brings a new OS to the table. They are codenamed with a sweet or dessert. An official statement from google once said, “Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert.” There wasn’t any codename until Android 1.5, which is known as Android cupcake. Below is the list of android versions and their code names.
|Android version||Code name|
|Android 2.0, 2.1||Eclair|
|Android 2.2 – 2.2.3||Froyo|
|Android 2.3 – 2.3.7||Gingerbread|
|Android 3.0 – 3.2.6||Honeycomb|
|Android 4.0 – 4.0.4||Ice cream sandwich|
|Android 4.1 – 4.3.1||Jelly Bean|
|Android 4.4 – 4.4.4||Kit kat|
|Android 5.0 – 5.1.1||Lollipop|
|Android 6.0 – 6.0.1||Marshmallow|
|Android 7.0 – 7.1.2||Nougat|
|Android 8.0, 8.1||Oreo|
|Android 10||Android Q|
Notifications are the main feature of the Android OS. I have used almost all OSes and currently using both iOS and Android. Whenever I use phones, if it is an android, I always swipe down for notifications. On the other hand, I don’t really open the notifications in iOS. The notifications make android special. It shows notifications grouped from all the apps on the phone. You get to reply, dismiss, or open the corresponding app right from the notification window. Some apps support the progress bar in the notification tray.
The most significant advantage of notifications is that you don’t really have to open the app to see the updates, and in some cases, you can take action right from the notification drawer. Notifications in the Notification tray makes life much easier for android users. Notifications change the way we use our android phone in a big way compared to how phones were used in Symbian and Windows mobile days.
Since Android is open-sourced, you get to use the software in any way you want. This open-source leads us to have a different variety of functions on a smartphone. First of all, we get phones from LG, Samsung, to Sony. We get 1080P displays to 4k display. We get a 5-megapixel camera to 100 megapixels. We get the fingerprint to unlock to face unlock. We get an infrared sensor to heartbeat sensor. All this was possible because of the OS accepting different hardware.
In comparison, iOS is closed and will only work on Apple devices. Android offers manufacturers the flexibility of making their android system with a custom skin. Any new hardware can be used with Android if the driver supports it. It makes android special, like windows OS for a PC.f
When it comes to Android, the main feature is customization. Starting from the wallpaper, you can change a lot of things. Many varieties of launchers are available, and therefore you can change the look of your phone. Some launchers look like windows phones and iPhones. You can show or hide quick navigation icons in Android. You can install a new icon pack, and it displays custom icons.
If the phone is rooted and unlocked, you can do pretty much any customization you need. You can change the kernel; you can change the animation of the phone; you can change the CPU clock speed, overclock it, or underclock it for battery life. You can install a new Android OS better than what the manufacturer shipped it with the phone. These are the tip of the iceberg customization options androids give for their customers.
Features of Android
There are plenty of features embedded in Android. Let me list a few
- Notification drawer
- Acceptance of dual sim cards
- Acceptance of micro sd card
- Can be modified for any hardware
- Ability to root
- Beautiful interface
- Quick menu
- New 120 Hz display
- The higher capacity of Ram
- Android beam
- Gesture control
- Media controls
These are the main features of an android. With every update, the company is bringing new features to the table. It gives tough competition for IOS devices.
Advantages of Android
The first advantage is the availability of apps through the app store and third-party stores. Although it is risky, you can install apps from any developer who need not be in any play store. There are many free apps on the Android platform than on the app store for iPhones.
The second advantage is its customization capabilities. As you have seen, you can customize anything in Android. Eye candy or functional, androids have it all.
The other advantages
The price is far lower than the IOS counterparts. In turn, you will get a very high spec phone for the little money you pay compared to an iPhone.
You’re not locked in an ecosystem as Apple does. You can use android fine with a windows machine or Mac OS. iOS tends to connect to a Mac better than a PC.
You are not stuck with only one manufacturer. You will get any number of phones from an array of manufacturers.
Android can accept an sd card provided there is a port to put in the same.
Rooted and unlocked androids with xda support
One of the key benefits of Android is the unofficial rooting and unlocking the boot loader of Android. The advantage is that you can install a third-party OS for Android. It gives a far extra grip on the OS and its usage. There are several forums online that are helping android users. One such is the XDA developers forum. People post compatible ROM on the forum, and you can install it on your phone (the risk being yours, though). This way, you get added benefits like root access, are customization, changing clock speed, etc.
Other platforms like TV, android wear, android auto
Android is functioning not only on smartphones but on many devices as well.
Android can connect to the android auto function of a car and help the driver with maps, music, and other things that don’t distract the driving.
Android TV is the software developed for TV. You can access many apps that are on the phone. You can watch the shows on Netflix or prime with the app provided on the TV. It makes the TV smarter.
Android wear is the OS for android watches. It acts as an extension of your android phone. You can stream a song onto your earbuds; you can reply to a text message, view calendar, and act as a fitness tracker, including heartbeat. All these make android special.
Android is one hell of an OS. Despite steaming competition with iOS, it is fairing ahead when a new iteration of OS is released. Android is undoubtedly a great operating system for a phone. There is a rumor that it is migrating towards computers. Even without it, the OS alone is so functional on the phone. With all the customizing options and superb functionalities, it fares as a modern OS for smartphones. These make android special. Thanks for reading.
Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to audio gears. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.