Android is an operating system (OS) from Google that is making waves in the mobile market. Almost all mobile set manufacturers, barring Nokia and Apple, have embraced and endorse this open source operating system based on the Linux kernels. And, why not? It’s an operating system primarily developed for the mobile devices that work on touch commands, i.e. touch screen smart phones.
The overwhelming presence of Android has spawned an equally big market for application development using this operating system.
We shall see how Android and android based app development is a huge success in the following sections of this article.
Origin of Android
Android was originally developed by a company of the same name. In 2007, Google which had the backed the Android development eventually bought the company and the operating system. Android started showing up in mobile handsets in 2008. Thanks to it being an open source software and open to customization the software started making news in the tech world. Google’s alliance with a set of companies in the mobile handset arena (like Qualcomm, Samsung, HTC, T-Mobile and so on) fortified Android from any premature oblivion. The result is that Android mops up 75% of the smartphone market. Android has metamorphosed into various avatars and the latest version Jellybean boasting of features like Photosphere, Day dream, gesture typing, multiple accounts logins, faster loading gallery apps and so on.
Spread of Android
The initial motive behind Android development was to empower the mobile handset user with more than just the basic functions. The developers of Android also wanted this OS to be freely available to ensure its rapid spread to many second level developers i.e. developers who create applications atop this OS. That objective seems to have been achieved. Google for its part entered into an alliance with manufacturers of mobile handsets like Samsung and HTC, the makers of processor chips like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, and mobile service providers like Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile. This consortium called Open Handset Alliance ensured the continuance of Android with virtually every cog of mobile communication contributing.
Another factor is that the OS could be tinkered with and customized, and this was music to the open source developer community. The availability of easy to build tools and tutorials pertaining to Android app development meant that novices too could build and upload apps onto Google Play, an app store for Android related apps. Buoyed by the enthusiastic response from customers and the chance to monetize their creativity prompted many apps to be developed.
Android today boasts of more than 70,000 apps catering to every whim and fancy of a consumer’s taste.
Will Android sustain its popularity?
Today every second smart phone sold in the market runs on Android. The huge popularity and wide reach of this OS has ensured an every growing opportunity to grow allied businesses like app development, infrastructure and so on. Application development will only head north in the coming decades.