What is Android and What is an Android Device?

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Most of the time my friends and relatives would ask me, “What are the best phones  today or is this model good or not?” and I always answer this “Any Android phone will do” then the response would be “Android what???”.

So what is Android?hat is Android?

Android is an operating system first developed by Android Inc. and later the company was acquired by Google Inc. in 2005.  In November 5, 2007, Google along with the foundation of Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of software companies, handset manufacturer, mobile operators, semiconductor companies and commercialization companies unveiled the Google Android Operating system.

Android is an open source project under the Apache license.  It uses a heavily modified Linux as its kernel. The Android operating system libraries are written in C, SQLite for its relational database management system, OpenCore media framework, OpenGL ES 2.0 for 3D Graphics API, Webkit layout engine, SGL graphics engine, SSL and Bionic libc.

Why Android is such a hit?

Android became a hit in 2008 with the release of T-Mobile G1 – the first Android Phone in the market, another reason it became so popular is because of its various  applications  available in the Android Market. This is almost the same if you are already familiar with Apple apps store where you can download free or paid application for your mobile phone.

Currently Android ranks first among all Smartphone OS sold in the US and third in the total market share with 43.6%.

With its open-source-license, the phone manufacturers don’t have to pay for their operating system which will be installed on their phones and they can modify their operating system for it to work better according to their handset’s capability. The best example of this is HTC’s SENSE UI- a proprietary user interface for HTC Android devices and Samsung Touch Wiz UI for Samsung Android devices.

The development kit is also available free of charge so that 3rd party application developer can create applications and they can share through the Android market. Even the phone manufacturer has there own application that will only work for there specific android powered devices.

What can an Android device do?

An Android device is fully customisable according to your needs and lifestyle. The Android market offers applications for browsing, e-mail, social networking, multimedia, office applications and games.

Currently the Android market offers more than 100, 000 free or paid applications and with over 1 billion downloads.

You can easily update your Facebook and Twitter profiles with various social networking applications. Android has a built in Gmail application that you can easily check email while on the go, also there are various third party email client. Through the calendar app you can easily manage your daily task, set reminders and set event dates.

Android Phones and Tablets support video playback of H.263 and H.264 in 3GP or MP4 container. Android also support for DivX/Xvid video playback.  This is good for a person who travel a lot and who wants to have some movie-watching while on the road. There are even high-end devices like HTC Desire HD and Samsung Galaxy S that support HD movie playback. These phones have HDMI so you can connect it to a larger HD display. You can also watch videos from your Android phone or Tablet in streaming website like YouTube.

Android is also a good music player.  It supports MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, ACC format. You can choose from numerous 3rd party music players if you don’t like the stock one.

Android phone is equipped with Cameras. You can take pictures and videos using the Android Phone or Tablet. It can read JPEG, BMP, PNG and GIF file format. The quality of the camera will vary per device, high-end device like the Sony Ericsson Xperia 10 can support up to 8 Megapixel.

You can customize the look and fill of your device by using wallpaper from pictures you took or you can download wallpapers from the web and even make your own wallpaper. You can easily create these wonderful wallpapers by using softwares like Photoshop and Illustrator and then upload it to your Phone or Tablet.

There are also some widgets that you can download to reconfigure your settings. You can easily create shortcut for your applications. This is the best practice to sort your application based on categories that suits you.

What an Android devices look like?

highend android phones

There are variety of devices that are powered by Android operating system, the most noticeable are the touch screen Smartphone, some have QWERTY keypads and even a combination of both touch and QWERTY.

Some of the high-end Android Phones such as HTC Desire, Motorola Milestone, and Google Nexus One have 3.7 inches diagonal display while Samsung Galaxy S and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 have 4.0 inches diagonal screen.

After the invasion in the Smartphone, Android now powers the one of the coolest gadgets to hit the town– the Tablet computers. Tablets are bigger than a Smartphone.  It ranges from 5 inches to 9 inches in screen size. Since the release of iPad many computer vendor answer it with their own Tablets powered by Android. Notable companies such as DELL, Acer, Samsung release their Tablets”powered by Android” and it hit market.

Android users in the Philippines

Since 2008 Android is invading the Philippine market. The Philippines is well known as the texting capital of the world with more than 80 million handsets. Samsung, LG, and HTC are the most noticeable vendors that deliver Android product to the Filipino users.

Android in the Philippines is still growing its share where most of the Filipino uses Symbian based mobile phones predominantly Nokia and Sony Ericssons, despite the fact that Samsung and LG are also in the playing field of mobile phone industry  in the Philippines.

Samsung, HTC and LG were the first to release Android devices in the Philippines.  Samsung released there i5700 also known as Galaxy Spica powered by Android 2.1 “Éclair”  last November 2009 followed by recent i5500. Another product that hit the market is the Galaxy Tab, an Android powered Tablet from Samsung. Recently LG released there LG P500 Optimus One powered by the latest Android 2.2 Froyo and LG P540.

Another vendor that released their own Android line product is the Cherry Mobile. Cherry Mobile recently released two Smartphone namely Nova and Magnum. Cherry Mobile was the first to release a Tablet Phone called Superion.

The Future of Android in the Philippines

Filipinos are getting connected to the world with the use of Mobile Internet and Wired connectivity. There are three mobile carriers in the Philippines namely Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular that provide mobile internet connectivity. Android powered devices will be the future platform to serve the mobile internet needs of the Filipinos.

An Android powered device such as Smartphones, Tablets and Netbooks has a bright future in the Philippine market essentially as Filipino users are no longer satisfied with just texting and voice call. They just want more, something that will maximize the capability of their mobile phone and enjoyable mobile computing experience. Young Filipinos are active in Social Networking, Instant Messaging and mobile internet and Android powered devices can deliver the said services to every Pinoy mobile users with the entire archipelago covered by cellular technology like 2G (GSM/GPRS), 3G – 3.5G (UMTS/HSDPA), and WiMax.

One limitation that I observe why the Philippines is still catching up in the Android world is because of  late release of products to the Philippine market, mainly because the United States is the biggest consumer of latest mobile products. It takes a couple of months before the handsets become available in the Philippines.

In the near future the world will call the Filipino Android users as………….. PinoyDROID.

PinoyDROID will deliver all the latest news in the Android world and hopefully this site will become the leading Pinoy Android Community website.

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