Features of Android Operating System: Why Android is the Most Popular?

Features of Android Operating System

In the world of smartphones, Android handsets have the biggest presence. But how much do you know about Android? Why is it so popular among developers and users?

In this post, we’ll embark on a journey to know the features of Android operating system, Android operating system names and the benefits. Buckle your seatbelts because it’s going to be a wild ride.

What is Android?

Android is an operating system currently owned by Google. The majority of the world’s smartphones use Android for its open-source platform and easier maintenance. It’s the primary choice for smartphone enthusiasts as well. It’s based on the Linux Kernel, and the operating system is optimized for mobile chipsets!

History of Android Operating System

Android might be based on the Linux kernel, but it has gone through enough modifications over the years to establish its own identity. Android first emerged through the hands of a consortium of developers, known as Open Handset Alliance. It was commercially sponsored by Google during the launch. It all happened back in 2007.

The first smartphone with an Android operating system hit the market in 2008. But the journey started a few years back.

In 2003, two enthusiasts named Andy Rubin and Rich Miner invented Android. The initial pitch for Android was as an operating system for digital cameras. But the pitch failed due to the lack of exposure to the industry.

Google took over Android in 2005 for $50 million. From there, the journey for a mobile operating system started under the supervision of Rubin and Miner.

Started in 2008, the Android operating system has come a long way and currently holds the largest market share. ‘Android One’ was launched in 2014 to make high-end handsets available to consumers.

Android Operating System Names

The features of Android Operating system have evolved with every version. The correct number of Android operating system names is debatable. However, we are going to provide the Android operating system list so you can make the judgment.

  • Android 1.0-1.1: Yes, it didn’t have a codename like the modern versions. It’s the first-ever android version implanted on a mobile chipset. It was as basic as it gets and all the apps were integrated into the OS itself.
  • Android 1.5 Cupcake: 2009 saw the release of Android 1.5, codename Cupcake. It was the first framework to feature third-party apps widgets.
  • Android 1.5 Donut: The same year saw another version release, 1.6 Donut. It enabled the Android OS to operate on a multitude of resolutions.
  • Android 2.0-2.1 Éclair: Developers were on a roll and the Éclair version came out just 6 weeks after Donut with minor updates.
  • Android 2.2 Froyo: Froyo was introduced after four months of Éclair and it came with huge performance upgrades and more hardware compatibility.
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread: The Gingerbread variant of the android operating system made green accent a commonality across all Android features.
  • Android 3.0-3.2 Honeycomb: Android Honeycomb was only released for tablets. It remains the first and only tablet exclusive and closed-source version of the OS.
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: released in 2011, Ice Cream Sandwich was the first Android version resembling the modern design.
  • Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean: Jelly bean was huge across all three releases for its tuning features and convenience.
  • Android 4.4 KitKat: From KitKat, Android started to come out of the signatory black accent. It was also the version to support various features of Android operating system like ‘OK Google’.
  • Android 5.0-5.1 Lollipop: Android Lollipop release redefined the legacy of Android operating with all-new material design standards.
  • Android 6 Marshmallow: Marshmallow was the consecutive release after Lollipop, and it marked an era of Android versions coming out every year.
  • Android 7.0-7.1 Nougat: Nougat was the first Android version to feature split-screen.
  • Android 8.0-8.1 Oreo: Oreo came with minor upgrades across the board, Project Table being the most prominent one.
  • Android 9 Pie: The hybrid gesture feature saw the light of the day with Android 9.
  • Android 10: With Android 10, another era without the codename started. It revamped the gestures and other major features like quick patches.
  • Android 11: It continues the legacy of its predecessor with no codename.

Why Android is the Most Popular Operating System in the World?

Android first came up top way back in 2010, beating iOS as the most popular operating system in market share. And Android has managed to hold the title to date. But why? Let’s find out.

1. More Brand Options

As Android is an open-source operating system, any brand can get the rights to use it for their smartphones. As iOS is only exclusive for Apple products, the users get a larger variety in colours, features, etc. It allowed a lot of startup companies to use Android as their core and gain popularity in regions like China and India.

2. Larger Price Range

Let’s face it. iOS devices are not suitable for the mass audience across the world. While most people in the US use iPhones, the rest of the world couldn’t adapt to it due to its high price.

On the other hand, Android handsets range in all different price points. As a result, people with a low-income threshold almost always choose Android over iOS for its affordability. Also, high-end users who like to tweak things on their phones opt for Android thanks to its ability to handle power.

3. More Compatible Devices

When compared to iOS, Android offers a more diverse approach to the device ecosystem. Over the years, Android has made its way into wearables, peripherals, TVs, watches, home speakers, and a lot of other devices. And the sync between the devices is seamless, thanks to Google’s cloud capability.

Apple is slowly becoming a part of the trend but on a very smaller scale. It’s still far away from the flexibility Android users enjoy.

4. It’s Open-Source

Probably the main reason why Android is so widespread across the world. It has an open-source Linux kernel, meaning developers all over the world can make changes to the system and develop new features. It has even allowed a lot of manufacturers to customize the operating system according to their audience, depending on the geolocations.

Features of Android Operating Systems

While the features of Android operating system are very diverse, some unique features are worth mentioning.

1. Alternative Keyboards

With Android, you can go with any keyboard you like from the Play Store. It’s a feature unavailable in iOS.

2. Gestures

The contactless gesture is another area where Android excels. You can control calls, videos, or music by simply waving your hand.

3. Widgets

Allows widgets like weather, music, performance monitors, etc. to let you get a sneak peek of the information without getting inside the app.

4. Custom ROM

Read-Only Memory or ROMs hold the complete Android operating system, and due to its open-source nature, developers can come up with unique features all the time. Android also allows the users to swap the default ROM for a custom one.

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Last Updated on December 15th, 2023