Android is a software platform and operating system for mobile devices, based on the Linux kernel, developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries. Applications written in C and other languages can be compiled to ARM native code and run, but this development path isn't officially supported by Google.
The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 48 hardware, software, and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google has made most of the Android platform available under the Apache free-software and open source license.
The platform is adaptable to larger, VGA, 2D graphics library, 3D graphics library based on OpenGL ES 1.0 specifications, and traditional smartphone layouts.
The Database Software SQLite is used for data storage purposes
Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
SMS and MMS are available forms of messaging including threaded text messaging.
The web browser available in Android is based on the open-source WebKit application framework.
Dalvik virtual machine
Software written in Java can be compiled into Dalvik bytecodes and executed in the Dalvik virtual machine, which is a specialized VM implementation designed for mobile device use, although not technically a standard Java Virtual Machine.
Android will support audio/video/still media formats such as MPEG-4, H.264, MP3, AAC, OGG, AMR, JPEG, PNG, GIF.
Additional hardware support
Android can utilize video/still cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers, and accelerated 3D graphics.
Includes a device emulator, tools for debugging, memory and performance profiling, a plugin for the Eclipse IDE.
Similar to the App Store on the iPhone, The Android Market is a catalog of applications that can be downloaded and installed to target hardware over-the-air, without the use of a PC. Currently only freeware applications are supported, although Google has announced plans to allow developers to offer paid applications as well.
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