CHAPTER 1: Android Primer
Android became an open source initiative that is led by Google under Open
Handset Alliance’s umbrella. The goal of the Android open source project is to
provide an open platform to improve the mobile experience of users.
Android is the first complete, open, and free mobile platform.
The Android platform is a robust, secure, easily
upgradable, mobile platform with a comprehensive framework
and well-defined interfaces. It allows application developers to
develop and fully blend their applications into the platform. It
also provides compatibility and certification programs, so
device manufacturers can design highly compliant devices.
The entire Android platform has been developed and
provided under open source Apache licensing terms. Android
does not distinguish between preloaded applications and
third-party applications. Developers have full access to device
features and services while developing applications.
The Android platform does not charge any licensing,
royalty, membership, or certification fees to develop
applications on the platform. Android platform source code
and software development kits are provided free of charge to
application developers. The software development platform is
widely available on many desktop operating systems, allowing
application developers to develop applications using the
operating system of their choice.
Today, Android is one of the major players in mobile phone market. Based on
the recent market analysis, on average, 700 thousand Android devices are
activated daily, and more than 200 million devices are already activated. Android
currently has 48% of the mobile phone market share, and it’s growing rapidly.
The first beta of the Android platform was released on November 5, 2007. Since
then, it has been through a number of updates and bug fixes. Although bug fixes
are usually transparent from the application developer’s perspective, updates
usually mean changes and additions to the framework API. For that reason,
besides the Android platform version numbers, a second version number, called
, is used to identify the framework API that is supported.
Since April 2009, each Android version has been released under a codename
based on desserts, such as Éclair, Froyo, and Gingerbread. This introduced a
third versioning scheme to the Android platform, making things even more