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All About Google Android !

Google’s mobile operating system Android has had a hugely successful run so far, and is now easily the leading player in the smartphone race, along with Apple’s iOS.

Coolest Things About Android !

  1. huge app store [over 250,000 apps, second only to Apple’s App store], with tons of free apps across categories – Productivity, Reference, Social, Games, Business, Communication, Education, Finance, Health, Lifestyle, Music, Shopping, Sports, Travel, Weather etc.
  2. Complete integration, and syncing with your Gmail, Gmail contacts, and Google Calendar. For instance, Gmail contacts sync with your phone contacts so that you have all your contacts on both the Gmail server, as well as your phone. So if your phone gets lost, there is always a backup on Gmail.
  3. Other pre-loaded Google software such as Google Maps [arguably the best map software on the planet], and YouTube
  4. Brilliant, fast, minimalistic web browser
  5. Lots of desktop customization options with widgets. Customizable home screens with active widgets.
  6. Great notification system that can be used by all apps.

Android Versions

Needless to say that everything else being equal, the latest version is usually the coolest, but here is a little lowdown on the major feature updates across all Android versions.

Android 1.1

Released on 9th February 2009. Key Features added /Updates:

  • API changes
  • Options for “Show” & “Hide” Dialpad included in call menu
  • Support for saving attachments from MMS

Android 1.5 (Cupcake)

Released on 30th April 2009. Key Features added /Updates:

  • Record/ Watch videos through Camcorder mode
  • You-tube Video and Picasa Image upload
  • Animated screen transitions
  • New Soft keyboard with text prediction
  • Bluetooth A2DP and AVRCP support
  • Automatic connection to Bluetooth headset within a certain distance
  • New widgets and folders to populate the Home screens

Android 1.6 (Donut)

Released on 15th September 2009. Key Features added /Updates:

  • Gesture framework and GestureBuilder development tool
  • Integrated camera, camcorder and gallery interface
  • Improved search experience while searching  for bookmarks ,history contacts and the web from home-screen
  • Updated voice search with faster response, and deeper integration with apps
  • Updated technology support for CDMA/EVDO, 802.1x, VPNs, and a text-to-speech engine
  • Support for WVGA screen resolutions

Android 2.0/2.1 (Eclair)

Released on 26th October 2009. Key Features Added /Updates:

  • Support for more screen sizes and resolutions
  • Optimized hardware speed
  • Revamped UI
  • New contacts lists
  • Microsoft Exchange support
  • Built in flash and digital zoom support for Camera
  • MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch events
  • Bluetooth 2.1 support
  • Improved virtual keyboard
  • HTML 5 support
  • Live Wallpapers

Android 2.2 (Froyo)

Released on 20th May 2010. Key Features added / Updates:

  • General speed, memory, and performance optimizations
  • Additional application speed improvements ( JIT implementation )
  • Increased Microsoft Exchange support (security policies, calendar synchronization,auto-discovery, GAL look-up )
  • USB tethering and WiFi hotspot functionality
  • Crome’s V8 Javascript engine integrated into Browser application
  • Quick switching between multiple keyboard languages/dictionaries
  • Voice dialling and contact sharing over Bluetooth
  • Full voice actions support – voice search, voice dialing, voice texting, as well as voice triggered actions for music, maps, browser, memo, alarm clock and other applications
  • Support for installing applications to the expandable memory
  • Adoble Flash 10.1 support

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Released on 6th Dec 2010. Key Features added/Updates:

  • Faster performance
  • Updated UI
  • Support for WebM video playback, and AAC audio encoding
  • New audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost
  • Improved copy/paste functionalities
  • Improved software keyboard
  • Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for game developers
  • Video call support
  • Native support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers)
  • Near Field Communication support
  • Native VoIP/SIP support
  • Improved power management
  • Improved download management

Android 3 (Honeycomb)

Tablet customized version of Android.

  • Multi core support
  • Updated 3D UI optimized for tablet screens
  • Refined multi-tasking
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Google Talk video chat
  • Google eBooks
  • Browser enhancements including tabbed web pages, form auto-fill, bookmark syncing with Google Chrome, and private browsing

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

First version with a unified UI for phones and tablets.

  • REFINED, EVOLVED UI AND FUNCTIONALITY
  • More visible common actions
  • Refined animations/feedback
  • New,  modern typeface
  • Visual multitasking
  • Customizable favorites tray on home screens.
  • Resizable widgets
  • Lock Screen Actions
  • Custom SMS Response to Incoming Calls
  • Swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks, and browser tabs
  • Faster, more accurate text input with better heuristics
  • Spell-checker to  locate and underline errors (with support for third party  dictionaries)
  •  Powerful new voice input engine with continuous “open microphone” experience and streaming voice recognition
  • New controls for managing network data usage
  • Improved accessibility for visually impaired users including an explore-by-touch mode
  • BETTER COMMUNICATION AND SHARING
  • New People app that offers richer profile information, including a large profile picture, phone numbers, addresses and accounts, status updates, events, and a new button for connecting on integrated social networks.
  • Updated Calendar app brings together personal, work, school, and social agendas. With user permission, other applications can contribute events to the calendar and manage reminders, for an integrated view across multiple calendar providers.
  • Visual voicemail
  • New camera features – continuous focus, zero shutter lag exposure,  snapshots at full video resolution, face detection, tap to focus,  single-motion panorama mode
  • New Gallery app with Photo Editor
  • Live Effects video filters
  • Screenshot share
  • IMPROVED WEB EXPERIENCE
  • Instantly sync and manage Google Chrome bookmarks
  • Save content for reading later (in offline mode)
  • Improved page rendering performance
  • New email features – improved auto-completion of recipients, quick saved responses
  • OTHER STUFF !
  • NFC-based sharing (Android Beam)
  • Face Unlock
  • ‘WiFi Direct’ Support

About Author

SAGAR (Shiva) is a RedHat 7 Certified Systems Engineer with 5 years of experience in Linux operating systems who loves to share all his knowledge and care others by all means. Lets chat all our experiences.

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