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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Android for Development
3.
Features of Android
4.
Tools Required for Android
4.1.
Operating System
4.2.
System Hardware
4.3.
Tool Installation
5.
Advantages of Android
6.
Disadvantages of Android
7.
Android OS Architecture
8.
FAQs
9.
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Android Introduction

Author Akshit Pant
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Introduction

Android is a Linux-based open-source operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The Open Handset Alliance, led by Google, and other firms collaborated to create Android. Android has a software development kit (SDK) that allows you to write original code and assemble software modules to create apps for Android users.

The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) was first released as a beta version in 2007. The first commercial version of Android 1.0 (codenamed Alpha) was launched in September 2008. In 2012, Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a new version of the operating system. It's a minor upgrade that significantly improves the user interface, functionality, and efficiency. In 2014, Google released Version 5.0 Lollipop, the most recent version. Google significantly overhauled the UI in the Lollipop version by adopting Material Designs, which is beneficial for both the User Interface and the themes.

All of the Android source code is available for free on Github, Stack Overflow, and a variety of other websites like Coding Ninjas itself. The majority of the code is released under Apache License 2.0.

Android for Development

When we switch from outdated technology to a new one, one question that arises in our minds is why we utilize it. With over 2.5 billion active users in 190 countries, Android is the most popular operating system on the planet. Google Play has exploded in popularity over the last decade, with revenues expected to reach $38.6 billion by 2020. In 2020, there were over 2.9 million apps available on the store, with 108 billion downloads.

The application programming interface (API) for developing android applications is provided by Android. Using this API, we can create a full-featured app, which we can then publish on Google Play and can earn money from it. The open platform feature is provided by Android. Any operating system can be used to create an Android application.

Users of the Android program can share their location on social media sites like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.

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Features of Android

So far, we have covered Android and how it is a powerful open-source operating system. Now let us look at some essential features of Android.

  • It's open-source, which means we can tweak it to meet our needs.
  • Graphics in 2D and 3D are supported.
  • Hardware components such as the camera, GPS, and accelerometer can be accessed.
  • It includes an open-source WebKit layout-based web browser that supports HTML5, CSS3, and other web standards.
  • It contains a lot of functionality for multimedia device control, like camera and microphone playback and recording.
  • It has GSM, CDMA, WIFI, NFC, Bluetooth, and other connectivity options for voice and data transfer. We will be able to make and receive phone calls and SMS messages, as well as send and retrieve data using mobile networks.
  • Android includes a number of APIs that facilitate location-based services like GPS.
  • It allows us to multitask by enabling us to go from one task window to another and run many applications at the same time.
  • It will allow application components to be reused and native apps to be replaced.
  • It supports a variety of media formats such as AVI, MKV, FLV, MPEG4, and others to play or record a variety of audio/video, as well as image formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, MP3, and others.
  • Using the lightweight database SQLite, we can execute all data storage-related tasks.

Tools Required for Android

Tools requirement in Android consists of the following:

Operating System

 Android is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • For Windows Users: Windows XP or later is required.
  • For Mac Users: Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later is required.
  • For Linux Users: Ubuntu Linux is required.

Note: If you want to explore more about the android operating system, its history, and versions available, then here we are(Coding Ninjas Studio).

System Hardware

Before we begin installing the required software, First, we must examine the following hardware requirements:

  • A laptop with a 1.6GHz processor and 1GB of RAM(free ram at that moment) is required.
  • 2 GB of free storage space is required.
  • 4 GB Ram minimum (8 GB Ram recommended)
  • SSD (Not necessary but recommended for better productivity)

Tool Installation

For tool installation and configuration, make sure that these tools are installed:

  • Java JDK 1.5 version or later
  • Android SDK(Software Development Kit)
  • Eclipse IDE or Android Studio
  • Android ADT(Android Developer Tools)

 If anyone wants to set up their Kotlin environment for programming, then here is the help.

Advantages of Android

  • Since Android is open-source, anyone can obtain the code and can modify it to suit their needs.
  • Android provides vast community support for the codebase. We can quickly get solutions to most of our queries from google, stack overflow.
  • Google has provided design standards for the Android application, making it easier for developers to create more intuitive user applications.
  • Android applications benefit from fragmentation since it provides them additional power. This implies the program can execute two activities simultaneously on a single screen.
  • When compared to other platforms, releasing an Android application through the Google Play store(Google Play Console) is easier.
  • Android provides the unified approach for developing the android application. It means developers need to build only Android, and then the application can run on different devices powered by Android.
  • The Android platform offers a standardized way to develop Android apps. It means that developers must only create a single Android app, which may then operate on a variety of Android-powered devices.

Disadvantages of Android

  • Low specification mobiles run slow: Because Android is a huge operating system that requires a lot of storage and includes certain default apps, low-spec devices perform slowly. If you load these devices with a lot of programs, they will become unresponsive or overheat quickly.
  • Fragmentation provides a highly straightforward approach to user experience, but it has certain limitations, such as requiring time for the development team to adjust to the varied screen sizes of mobile telephones now available on the market and invoke the specific capabilities in the program.
  • Gradle build running and syncing sure do check your patience, It takes a lot of time, but you can boost up your Gradle build performance with increased Ram size and adding Android software to your SSD. So, depending on the application's complexity and features, the cost of the application may rise as development and testing take longer.
  • Fake applications: In the market, there are thousands of fraudulent applications that, once installed, may attempt to steal your data.

Android OS Architecture

The android architecture includes various components to meet the demands of any Android device, and there are five main types of OS Architecture in Android.
So, If you want to learn in detail about Android OS Architecture: Application, Application Framework, Application Runtime, Platform Libraries, Linux Kernel. And, Android Application Architecture: UI Layer, Data Layer, Domain Layer, then here is the help.

FAQs

  1. Shall I use java or Kotlin for my android journey?
    Java has vast open-source tools and libraries to aid developers, so you can definitely start with it. But, In terms of developing callbacks, data classes, and getters/setters, Kotlin is inherently clean and significantly less verbose.
    Kotlin is an improvised version of Java, So if you want to just know how development is done in Android, then you can use java. But, if you're going to pursue your career in android dev, then go for Kotlin.
     
  2. How does Android dev and IOS dev differ?
    Android development uses languages like Java and Kotlin to develop apps for Android devices, whereas IOS development uses languages like Swift for native IOS app creation.
     
  3. What are the available programming languages that can be used for Android?
    We have lots of available programming languages to start with for Android Application Development like Java, Kotlin, Python, C#, etc.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we learned about Android and its features. We also infer from this article about Android’s architecture, its advantages, and its disadvantages.
However, learning never stops, and there is more to learn. So head over to our Android Development Course on the Coding Ninjas Website to dive deep into Android Development and build future applications.
We hope this article has helped you enhance your knowledge as an Android beginner. If you want to learn more, check out our environment setup and Competitive Programming articles. Do upvote this article to help other ninjas grow.

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