Friday, August 13, 2010

Tech Friday: Android OS

I've been busy lately and my site was overrun by outdated content. So here we are with a new gimmick that comes every week to satisfy your technophilia techo hunger. Welcome Techo Friday! It's Friday the 13th today and it's fitting to launch this new segment of my website on this wonderful day. Anyway, our first topic is one of the trending topics in twitter and geeks dig this operating system like hot pandesal. I'm talking about Android! So let's begin!

Android is none other than Google's flagship operating system for mobile devices (mobile phones, netbooks and such). It's based on Linux kernel and GNU software so expect it to be opensource.

A lot of developers jumped on the Android bandwagon since it's distribution last 2007 and doubled on its release last October 2008. Since then, lots of mobile companies like HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola took advantage of the flexibility of the OS to bring us mobile phones with rich content and customization. So how many versions of Android are there anyway? What the heck aere those cupcakes they were talking about? Well, just like Microsoft uses a codename/petname to their Windows, Google tend to satisfy their sweet tooth with these names:

note: Before they called it like sweet desserts, HTC Dream was the first mobile phone to use the Android OS (Android 1.0)

1.5 (Cupcake)
-Ability to record and watch videos through camcorder mode
-Uploading videos to YouTube and pictures to Picasa directly from the phone
-A new soft-keyboard with text-prediction
-Bluetooth A2DP and AVRCP support
-Ability to automatically connect to a Bluetooth headset within a certain distance
-New widgets and folders that can populate the Home screens
-Animated screen transitions

LG GW620, HTC Hero and Motorola MB300 were among the first early adopters of this version.

1.6 (Donut)
-An improved Android Market experience
-An integrated camera, camcorder, and gallery interface
-Gallery now enables users to select multiple photos for deletion
-Updated Voice Search, with faster response and deeper integration with native applications, including the ability to dial contacts-
-Updated search experience to allow searching bookmarks, history, contacts, and the web from the home screen
-Updated technology support for CDMA/EVDO, 802.1x, VPNs, and a text-to-speech engine
-Support for WVGA screen resolutions
-Speed improvements in searching and camera applications
-Gesture framework and GestureBuilder development tool

HTC Sapphire, Samsung Galaxy and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 were among the popular phones who used this version.

2.0/2.1 (Eclair)
-Optimized hardware speed
-Support for more screen sizes and resolutions
-Revamped UI
-New Browser UI and HTML5 support
-New contact lists
-Better white-black ratio for backgrounds
-Improved Google Maps 3.1.2
-Microsoft Exchange support
-Built in flash support for Camera
-Digital Zoom
-MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch events
-Improved virtual keyboard
-Bluetooth 2.1
-Live Wallpapers

Motorola Droid, HTC Legend, Samsung Galaxy S and Google Nexus One were the notable mention on this version.

2.2 (Froyo)
-General Android OS speed, memory, and performance optimizations
-Additional application speed improvements courtesy of JIT implementation
-Integration of Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine into the Browser application
-Increased Microsoft Exchange support (security policies, auto-discovery, GAL look-up, calendar synchronization, remote wipe)
-Improved application launcher with shortcuts to Phone and Browser applications
-USB tethering and WiFi hotspot functionality
-Added an option to disable data access over mobile network
-Updated Market application with batch and automatic update features
-Quick switching between multiple keyboard languages and their dictionaries
-Voice dialing and contact sharing over Bluetooth
-Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords
-Support for file upload fields in the Browser application
-Browser can now display animated GIFs (instead of just the first frame)
-Support for installing applications to the expandable memory
-Adobe Flash 10.1 support

Motorola Droid 2 and HTC Evo 4G are one of the few current phones that uses this latest stable version.

note: An upcoming version (3.0) on Q4 2010 is named Gingerbread and support for WebM video playback and improved copy–paste functionalities are the currently confirmed features. Rumor has it that the upcoming "PSP phone" of Sony will use this version.

There you have it guys. If you are planning to join the Android craze, better check the version first and the capabilities of that "flavor" in order to satisfy your cravings.

Till next time on Tech Friday!

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