One of the world's widely used mobile operating system is Android. If a mobile gadget does not run on iOS, chances are that it is using Android as its operating system. This Google-backed system is said to be the biggest competitor of the iOS. It has come a long way since it was first launched in October of 2008 on the T-Mobile G1.
When it was first released, few handsets used it, let alone tablet PCs. Only recently has Android been constant in the development of its operating system. Compared to the pace that Apple is keeping, Android has been much slower when it comes to upgrading its current software. Also, rollouts of the updates are unlike those of the Apple system where all devices are updated at the same time. With Android, each device is updated independently.
The earlier versions of the system were initially developed for smartphones. The most notable feature of the very first Android version is the pull-down notification bar. This has been the constant feature that Android did not let go, and Apple meanwhile did not include in its feature after several later updates. This feature gave Android a bit of an edge, since a lot of users liked it. Another feature that has remained since Android first came out is Google Sync. This synchronizes all contacts and calendar information from the user’s Google account to their mobile phone.
Android versions are easily recognizable because of their “sweet” names: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and the latest, Jelly Bean. Google knew that it had to keep up with Apple’s software update pace if it wanted to continue to compete. Most Android updates were basically fine-tuning the software to meet the demands of its users including copy and paste functions for the browser, camera support, on-screen keyboards and support for higher screen resolutions. However, most of the original features remained constant throughout the updates.
Google brought out the best features of the operating system with the Éclair update. It improved the navigation, keyboard, auto-correct capability, as well as the built-in camera functions. USB tethering, mobile hotspot, and Adobe Flash support were introduced with the release of Froyo in 2010. The updates were applied to new phones in partnership with Google. This included Samsung when it released the Nexus S with Gingerbread 2.3.
Honeycomb was the Android version specifically developed for tablet PCs. Adjustments were made to accommodate the lack of buttons, larger screen and the multi-tabbed browser. Most of the feedbacks says that this version is highly recommended for those without any technical know-how. It is a flexible operating system to use; fluid, and fast.