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Friday, October 22, 2010

ANDROID (Mobile Operation System)

Android is a mobile operating system initially developed by Android Inc., a firm purchased by Google in 2005. Android is based upon a modified version of the Linux kernel. It is a participant in the Open Handset Alliance. Unit sales for Android OS smartphones ranked first among all smartphone OS handsets sold in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2010, at 33%.
Android has a large community of developers writing application programs ("apps") that extend the functionality of the devices. There are currently over 70,000 apps available for Android with some estimates saying 100,000 have been submitted, which makes it the second most popular mobile development environment. Developers write managed code 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 78 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 operating system 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 consists of 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++.


Acquisition by Google

In July 2005, Google acquired Android, Inc., a small startup company based in Palo Alto, California, USA. Android's co-founders who went to work at Google included Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire Communications, Inc.), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile), and Chris White (headed design and interface development at WebTV). At the time, little was known about the functions of Android, Inc. other than that they made software for mobile phones. This began rumors that Google was planning to enter the mobile phone market.
At Google, the team led by Rubin developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel which they marketed to handset makers and carriers on the premise of providing a flexible, upgradable system. It was reported that Google had already lined up a series of hardware component and software partners and signaled to carriers that it was open to various degrees of cooperation on their part. More speculation that Google would be entering the mobile-phone market came in December 2006. Reports from the BBC and The Wall Street Journal noted that Google wanted its search and applications on mobile phones and it was working hard to deliver that. Print and online media outlets soon reported rumors that Google was developing a Google-branded handset. More speculation followed reporting that as Google was defining technical specifications, it was showing prototypes to cell phone manufacturers and network operators.
In September 2007, InformationWeek covered an Evalueserve study reporting that Google had filed several patent applications in the area of mobile telephony.

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