What is Android? 

Android brings Internet-style innovation and openness to mobile phones. 

Android™ delivers a complete set of software for mobile devices: an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications. The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is now available.

Android was built from the ground-up to enable developers to create compelling mobile applications that take full advantage of all a handset has to offer. It was built to be truly open. For example, an application can call upon any of the phone’s core functionality such as making calls, sending text messages, or using the camera, allowing developers to create richer and more cohesive experiences for users. Android is built on the open Linux Kernel. Furthermore, it utilizes a custom virtual machine that was designed to optimize memory and hardware resources in a mobile environment. Android is open source; it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. The platform will continue to evolve as the developer community works together to build innovative mobile applications.

All applications are created equal

Android does not differentiate between the phone’s core applications and third-party applications. They can all be built to have equal access to a phone’s capabilities providing users with a broad spectrum of applications and services. With devices built on the Android Platform, users are able to fully tailor the phone to their interests. They can swap out the phone’s homescreen, the style of the dialer, or any of the applications. They can even instruct their phones to use their favorite photo viewing application to handle the viewing of all photos.
Breaking down application boundaries

Android breaks down the barriers to building new and innovative applications. For example, a developer can combine information from the web with data on an individual’s mobile phone — such as the user’s contacts, calendar, or geographic location — to provide a more relevant user experience. With Android, a developer can build an application that enables users to view the location of their friends and be alerted when they are in the vicinity giving them a chance to connect.

Fast & easy application development

Android provides access to a wide range of useful libraries and tools that can be used to build rich applications. For example, Android enables developers to obtain the location of the device, and allows devices to communicate with one another enabling rich peer-to-peer social applications. In addition, Android includes a full set of tools that have been built from the ground up alongside the platform providing developers with high productivity and deep insight into their applications.
Google has invited the media to attend “an Android press gathering,” at its Mountain View, California campus on 5 January 2010, according to AFP. The invitation comes amidst reports that the Internet search giant would release a Google-branded smartphone known as Nexus One on 5 January 2010. “With the launch of the first Android-powered device just over a year ago, we’ve seen how a powerful, open platform can spur mobile product innovation,” the invitation said. “And this is just the beginning of what’s possible.” The event will take place the same week as the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Android is an application framework on top of Linux. It is supplied as open source code, but does not bind the user with the constraints of the GPL ” there is no requirement for developers to make public any code developed using Android.

Android Architecture

An Android system consists essentially of five software layers:
1) Linux
2) Libraries
3) Runtime
4) Application Framework
5) Applications

The Android Framework
Internet-based services are expected soon to be accessed more often through mobile devices, such as smart phones, than through more traditional devices, such as desktop and laptop PCs. The popularity of the iPhone and the Windows Mobile devices already provide sufficient support for this point of view. Further support is provided by statistics around desktop, laptop and mobile computing users. These statistics report that worldwide, by 2007, there were on the order of 1.5 Billion PC-based internet users, compared to around 3.25 Billion mobile phone users.

Google spent the last few years paving the way for its own entry in this segment. Interestingly, they did it through an alliance of software developers, handset manufacturers and telecommunication service providers. This is the Open Handset Alliance, which lists as its members companies like Texas Instruments, Intel, T-Mobile, and Sprint Nextel.

Furthermore, for the software stack of this initiative, the Android framework, they chose the open source route. Specifically, the kernel of the operating system, at the base of Android, is a variant of Linux, its application development language is Java, and its eminent adopted development environment is Eclipse.

For corporate IT leaders and planners, this all boils down to a new platform where existing and new corporate applications may need to have touch points. This seminar is meant to brief these leaders and planners on what the Android framework is, its components, and its main features. It also gives them a glimpse into what these new application touch points would look like, and what is involved in developing them.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand what Android is, beyond the hype
  • Identify Android’s main components
  • Understand Android’s features
  • Have a high level grasp of the anatomy of an Android application
  • Have a high level grasp of Android applications’ development environment and processes
  • Understand Android’s timeline and status
Course Outline
What is Android

  • Application framework for mobile devices
  • Integrated browser
  • Optimized graphics
  • GSM Telephony
  • Bluetooth, EDGE, 3G, and WiFi
  • Camera, GPS, compass, etc.
  • Rich development environment

The Android Software Stack Layers

  • Linux Kernel
  • Libraries
  • Android Runtime
  • Application Framework
  • Applications

Android Application Building Blocks

  • Activity
  • IntentReceiver
  • Service
  • ContentProvider

Resources Manipulated

  • Storage
  • Libraries
  • Network
  • Multimedia
  • GPS
  • Phone Services
Android SDK

  • API
  • Emulator
  • Android Development Tools Eclipse Plugin

Android Developer Challenge

  • Motivate developers to produce engaging applications
  • Developer Challenge I and II each have a $5MM USD purse
  • Developer Challenge II will begin after devices go on sale

Time Line and Status

  • 5 Nov 2007: Android announced
  • 12 Nov 2007: “Early Look” SDK released
  • 3 Jan 2008 – Android Developer Challenge I Starts
  • 12 May 2008: Top 50 Application in Challenge I announced
  • 28 Aug 2008: Android Market introduced
  • 23 Sep 2008: G1 Announced by T-Mobile, HTC and Google
  • 23 Sep 2008: Android 1.0 SDK Release 1 available
  • 22 Oct 2008: Android 1.0 devices available at retail
  • Q4 2008: Source code released
  • Q4 2008: Key Announcement on Android Developer Challenge II


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