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Dominancy of Android over Past Decade

Living in the era of technology where everyone is surrounded by various smart gadgets, no one has ever thought of that one day technology would become an important part of our life, which highly affect our lifestyle so much. Smartphone has its own attraction that keeps its audience towards itself, by its own outstanding features, design and the most important feature in smartphone is the Operating system known as OS as well.  You cannot even think of using smartphone without OS, because phone’s physical features are on one side but its software features are on the other side which makes smartphone more convenient and accessible in manner of usage. Let’s clear one thing its all about Android OS which got more users than iOS.  OS Software developers have indulged themselves so much in building a great reputation in creating operating system and mobile phone much faster, smarter and easier to use so that users can take full advantages of it.  Not like any other OS, when it comes in updating software it won’t even hang your smartphone no matter how much old smartphone consumer is having. There’s been history behind the whole “OS ERA”, from OS 1 till 9. In every addition of it Google added up new valuable feature. Some of the best OS that have changed the whole texture, color, preference of it, allowed users to customize their own style from of it.

OS is officially mobile operating system developed by Google, it is modified under Linux Kernal and with some other sources specifically designed for touch screen smartphones and tablets. It was initially bought with Google in 2005 but released in smartphones in 2008. Since then operating system has released every year with some major changes, recently Google launched their 9th version of OS known as “Pie” in August 2018. Getting back to the where it all begun, Android Inc was officially launched in Palo Alto, California in October 2003 by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White. Then in 2005 Google bought android inc for around $50 million but their key employees such as Rich Miner and white joined the Google in acquisition.  After involving itself in mobile communication google launched their new flagship in the market known as “Nexus” by collaborating with different mobile manufactures. It was the Google’s first smartphone which allowed user to experience Android OS and the most interesting about nexus that, it gets every app update first rather than other devices, its like other devices may not get enough update of new version of OS but Nexus does get it.

Like smartphones every year android os introduce their new software versions. The very first commercial version of Android 1.0 was released in September 23, 2008. Those were “okay” versions of android, major change in OS came with Android Ice cream sandwich 4.0. Ice cream sandwich was created under Linux Kernal 3.0.1 and was publically released in   October 19, 2011. Android 4.0 came with amazing features that changed the entire experience of it. Major features mentioned below:

  • Major refinements to the “Holo” interface with new Roboto font family.
  • Soft buttons from Android 3.x are now available for use on phones.
  • Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to applications.
  • Easier-to-create folders, with a drag-and-drop style.
  • Improved visual voicemail with the ability to speed up or slow down voicemail messages.
  • Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar.
  • Integrated screenshot capture (accomplished by holding down the Power and Volume-Down buttons)
  • Improved error correction on the keyboard.
  • Ability to shut down applications from the recent apps list with a swipe.

Meanwhile in some devices such as nexus faced some of the various bugs that has been fixed in the later version 4.0.3 Latest version include graphic improvement, Stability improvements, better camera performance, smoother screen rotation, Improved phone number recognition. In 2012 Google came up with their latest version of OS named “Jelly Bean”. Jelly Bean was an incremental update with the primary aim of improving the functionality and performance of the user interface. The performance improvement involved “Project Butter”, which uses touch anticipation, triple buffering, and extended vsync timing and a fixed frame rate of 60 fps to create a fluid and “buttery-smooth” UI.  Features of Jelly Bean are mentioned below:

  • Smoother user interface:
  • Vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework, including application rendering, touch events, screen composition and display refresh
  • Triple buffering in the graphics pipeline
  • CPU input boost
  • Synchronizing touch to vsync timing
  • Enhanced accessibility
  • Bi-directional text and other language support
  • User-installable keyboard maps
  • Expandable notifications
  • Ability to turn off notifications on an application-specific basis
  • Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized to allow new items to fit on home screens
  • Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam
  • Tablets with smaller screens now use an expanded version of the interface layout and home screen used by phones.
  • Improved camera application
  • Multichannel audio[110]
  • The Fraunhofer FDK AAC codec becomes standard in Android, adding AAC 5.1 channel encoding/decoding
  • USB audio (for external sound DACs)
  • Audio chaining (also known as gapless playback)
  • Ability for other launchers to add widgets from the application drawer without requiring root access
  • One-finger gestures to expand/collapse notifications
  • Bugfixes and performance enhancements

Jelly bean’s upgrader version improved above features more, provided best experience of android usage. Jelly bean and Kitkat was the most used android OS in smartphones.  Then came lollipop in the market which brought revolution in the experience of Android OS. Its demo version launched in June 24 2014, but in November lollipop publically launched. Lollipop features a redesigned user interface built around a responsive design language referred to as “material design”. Other changes include improvements to the notifications, which can be accessed from the lockscreen and displayed within applications as top-of-the-screen banners.

  • Android Runtime (ART) with ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation and improved garbage collection (GC), replacing Dalvik that combines bytecode interpretation with trace-based just-in-time (JIT) compilation
  • Support for 64-bit CPUs
  • OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android Extension Pack (AEP) on supported GPU configurations
  • Recent activities screen with tasks instead of applications, up to a configured maximum of tasks per application
  • Vector drawables, which scale without losing definition
  • Support for print previews
  • Material design, bringing a restyled user interface
  • Refreshed lock screen, no longer supporting widgets
  • Refreshed notification tray and quick settings pull-down
  • Project Volta, for battery life improvements
  • Searches can be performed within the system settings for quicker access to particular settings
  • Lock screen provides shortcuts to application and notification settings
  • Guest logins and multiple user accounts are available on more devices, such as phones.
  • Audio input and output through USB devices
  • Third-party applications regain the ability to read and modify data located anywhere on external storage, such as on SD cards.

Some of the major features of lollipop mentioned above, every update of the previous updates under same platform only enhance previous features in more elegant manner and fixes bugs if there was. After lollipop, Android 6.0 Marshmallow was introduced on May 28 2015 in nexus 5 and nexus 6 phones.  Marshmallow’s interface was entirely different from the previous versions, it was smooth, much easier to use plus even customize as well. It got much more major features that allowed users to play with it.

  • Contextual search from keywords within apps.
  • Introduction of Doze mode, which reduces CPU speed while the screen is off in order to save battery life
  • App Standby feature
  • Alphabetically accessible vertical application drawer
  • Application search bar and favorites
  • Native fingerprint reader support
  • Direct Share feature for target-specific sharing between apps
  • Renamed “Priority” mode to “Do Not Disturb” mode
  • App Linking for faster instinctive opening of links with corresponding applications
  • Larger Application folders with multiple pages
  • Post-install/run-time permission requests
  • USB-C support
  • Demo Mode feature for screenshot-capture usage
  • Automatic full data backup and restore for apps
  • 4K display mode for apps
  • Adoptable External storage to behave like Internal Storage (However, this causes more actual problems than the hypothetical ones it was probably designed to solve).
  • MIDI support for musical instruments
  • Experimental multi-window feature
  • Support for actions by third-party apps in the text selection menu
  • App permissions now granted individually at run-time, not all-or-nothing at install time.
  • Miracast support dropped

Then next year google came up with much better version of OS, the fun side of the all OS updates that it doesn’t hang system or anything else. Newer version or say seventh edition of the OS Nougat 7.0, which was released in 2016. Nougat got some minor features which really enhance the performance of the OS such as added clear all button, improvements to file browser, keyboard improvement, VR interface. Even in latest version of the Nougat 7.1 just made better their previous versions.

The whole thing started changing in the 8th edition, known as Oreo. It was the major release, first its beta version has been introduced and then the final developer preview was released on July 24, 2017, with the stable version released in August 2017. The actual features has been added in this version, which changed the whole look of it.

  • Project Treble, the biggest change to the foundations of Android to date: a modular architecture that makes it easier and faster for hardware makers to deliver Android updates
  • Picture-in-picture support
  • Support for Unicode 10.0 emoji (5.0) and replacement of all blob-shaped emojis by round ones with gradient and outline
  • Redesigned Quick Settings and Settings with white background and respectively black and Accent font color
  • Restructured Settings by regrouping in sections similar entries
  • Adaptive icons
  • Notification improvements
  • Notification channels
  • Notification dots (badges)
  • Notification snoozing
  • Notification shade multi-colors (for music album art, messengers etc)
  • System-wide Autofill framework
  • Sony LDAC codec support
  • App-specific unknown sources
  • Multi-display support
  • 2 times faster boot time
  • Apps background execution and location limits
  • Google Play Protect
  • Downloadable fonts
  • Integrated printing support
  • Color management (deep color and wide color gamut)
  • Wi-Fi Assistant

In 2018 recently the current, newly fresh edition of Android OS has been introduced known as “Pie”. The first official release was released on August 6, 2018. According to the reviewers its one of the best OS ever created. Its features include:

  • New user interface for the quick settings menu
  • The clock has moved to the left of the notification bar.
  • The “dock” now has a semi-transparent background.
  • Battery saver no longer shows an orange overlay on the notification and status bars.
  • A “screenshot” button has been added to the power options.
  • A new “Lockdown” mode which disables biometric authentication once activated
  • Rounded corners across the UI
  • New transitions for switching between apps, or activities within apps
  • Richer messaging notifications, where a full conversation can be had within a notification, full scale images, and smart replies akin to Google’s new app, Reply
  • Support for display cutouts
  • Redesigned volume slider
  • Battery percentage now shown in Always-On Display
  • Lock screen security changes include the possible return of an improved NFC Unlock.
  • Experimental features (which are currently hidden within a menu called Feature Flags) such as a redesigned About Phone page in settings, and automatic Bluetooth enabling while driving
  • DNS over TLS
  • A new gesture-based system interface, navigating the OS just like on an iPhone X, removed home button and multitask button
  • Redesigned multitask app switcher with Google search bar and app drawer built in.
  • Android Dashboard, for example, is designed to tell you how much time you’re spending on your device and in apps in the name of digital health
  • “Shush” a new Do Not Disturb mode placing the phone face down will mute notifications, will allow emergencies to come through.
  • Adaptive Battery feature that maximizes battery power by prioritizing the apps you’re most likely to use next.
  • Auto Brightness feature modifies screen brightness based on your own personal preferences.
  • Wind Down option lets Android users set a specific bed time that enables Do Not Disturb and turns the entire phone’s interface gray to discourage further use at night.
  • Vulkan 1.1 Support

One important thing need to be understood that all these new versions of OS can only be experienced if the device is newer or Nexus. Old smartphone devices won’t get any new update like Motorola Droid Razr latest update is kitat. All the android versions has their own touch and feel. Its not worth in comparing each version to the previous ones or newer ones, want to experience new version OS then must have latest smartphone device. No doubt, Google will launch other versions as well which might go beyond our expectations as usual.

Living in the era of technology where everyone is surrounded by various smart gadgets, no one has ever thought of that one day technology would become an important part of our life, which highly affect our lifestyle so much. Smartphone has its own attraction that keeps its audience towards itself,…

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