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Google Android

Introduction:

“Android”, the recent release of Google. It is the latest and most recent technology which occupies the number one position now, when we talk about the latest  technology updates.

The actual concept:

 Google Android is a new mobile handset platform based on Linux, it enables developers to easily create great mobile applications. Initially, the deployment target for Android was the mobile-phone arena, including smart phones and lower-cost flip-phone devices. However, Android's full ranges of computing services and rich functional support have the potential to extend beyond the mobile-phone market. Android can be useful for other platforms and applications. Access to the entire platform source and enables developers to contribute.

Android overcomes the drawbacks in Blackberry and iphones:

The BlackBerry and iPhone, which have appealing and high-volume mobile platforms, are addressing opposite ends of a spectrum. The BlackBerry is rock-solid for the enterprise business user. For a consumer device, it's hard to compete with the iPhone for ease of use and the "cool factor." Android, a young and yet-unproven platform, has the potential to play at both ends of the mobile-phone spectrum and perhaps even bridge the gulf between work and play.

Overview of the Android Application Stack:

The Blue Layer (Application Frameworks)

 

In this layer, the application developer has access to what Android refers to as “service”

processes. These services are invisible to the user of the handset. Application developers can

communicate with these services via a message bus. For example, a contact application

might instigate a phone call at the behest of a user request by calling on the services of the

telephony manager.

 

Figure 1

The Red Layer

The red layer from the above figure represents the services offered by the Linux kernel and associated GNU utility packages ported to the ARM4 architecture. These components are licensed under the GNU General Public License, the GPL, or the GNU Lesser General Public License, the LGPL.Being subject to the GNU GPL and LGPL licenses, these components are licensed with all source code included.

 

The Green Layer

The green layer consists entirely of open source libraries available under various licenses.

Some of the libraries come from the GNU project8 itself. The licenses here vary from the LGPL,

BSD, MIT and are completely in the public domain,  in the case of the SQLite12 database.

However, even if the licenses of some of the components found in this layer are more

permissive and could allow a hardware vendor for customizations not found in other Android

Handsets, Google has created the Open Handset Alliance13 that owns the Android trademark.

 

 

Advantages of Google Android over Apple’s SDK:

Android is a recently-announced, open source mobile-phone operating system and development platform from Google. Apple recently announced an SDK to allow developers to produce native applications for iPhone, though Google's announcement is quite different from Apple's where the hardware and software stack are fixed. The Android software stack, by comparison, could be installed on any number of handsets, with service from various mobile carriers around the world. While Apple has a lead hardware-wise with millions of iPhones around the world, Google aims to offer a more flexible and feature-rich development platform, to first attract more 3rd party developers that may have otherwise developed for iPhone, then use those applications to convince consumers to purchase Android handsets Google has several advantages with Android that contribute to its buzz: they've beat Apple to market with an SDK, they've provided an API and free tools that millions of Java developers can learn quickly, and they are even allocating 10 million US dollars to pay developers for their applications as part of the Android Developer Challenge

Critics Idea over it:

  One criticism (or challenge) leveled at Google is that Android will detract from the official Sun Java ME mobile Java development platform.

The best thing:

  Android is a open source code and Google has provided a free download link too. We  get download it here.

The Android SDK is available at http://code.google.com/android/download.html

Required Tools:

  The easiest way to start developing Android applications is to download the Android SDK and the Eclipse IDE .Android development can take place on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.

  It's possible to develop Android applications without Eclipse and the Android Developer Tools plug-in, but you would need to know your way around the Android SDK.

  The Android SDK is distributed as a ZIP file that unpacks to a directory on your hard drive. Since there have been several SDK updates, it is recommended that you keep your development environment well organized so you can easily switch between SDK installations.

 

 

Contents of the package:

The SDK includes:

android.jar

Java archive file containing all of the Android SDK classes necessary to build your application.

documention.html and docs directory

The SDK documentation is provided locally and on the Web. It's largely in the form of JavaDocs, making it easy to navigate the many packages in the SDK. The documentation also includes a high-level Development Guide and links to the broader Android community.

Samples directory

The samples subdirectory contains full source code for a variety of applications, including ApiDemo, which exercises many APIs. The sample application is a great place to explore when starting Android application development.

Tools directory

Contains all of the command-line tools to build Android applications. The most commonly employed and useful tool is the adb utility (Android Debug Bridge).

usb_driver

Directory containing the necessary drivers to connect the development environment to an Android-enabled device, such as the G1 or the Android Dev 1 unlocked development phone. These files are only required for developers using the Windows platform.

Android Debug Bridge

The adb utility supports several optional command-line arguments that provide powerful features, such as copying files to and from the device. The shell command-line argument lets you connect to the phone itself and issue rudimentary shell commands.

Summary

  In this article, we learned about Android at a very high level. Hopefully, this helps us to explore more of the Android platform. Android promises to be a market-moving open source platform that will be useful well beyond cell phones.