Google created Android has taken a step forward in the war of smart phone platforms that is growing at a fast rate. It has snatched market share of RIM and Nokia’s Symbian OS, unlike the popular myth of overtaking share of Apple’s iOS. The biggest loser in market share has been Symbian who has lost about 14% in a year having only about 2.6% share according to latest statistics, whereas RIM has lost about 5.7% during the same period, and iOS has lost 1% of its users. Well iOS and Android cannot be termed as competitors since they target a different customer base when the prices are compared. But still, it can be said to have taken lead in the market when the figures are compared.
One of the main reasons for the Android’s popularity is that it has operating system based on Linux that is very secure and user interface that is appealing to users. It also has special Dalvik virtual machine devised for its integration. One of the fact which is not known by many is that Google has helped Linux in making OS for smart phones and tablet computers based on Linux OS while researching for Android development. Due to its feature of open source, it is available cheap to manufacturers. Software applications based on Android are available for download at stores such as Google Play and third party websites such as Amazon.
The four types of android applications are: activity, services and content provider. Let’s look at each of them.
Activity: It is most visible part of the application. It presents UI to an application known as view. It implements various UI elements such as textbox, labels, etc. Application moves from one activity to another by using method known as startActivity()
Services: Like different multitask figuring domains, there are applications running “out of sight” that perform different obligations. It calls the aforementioned sorts of applications “services.” The service is an Android requisition that has no UI. The recipient is a provision part that gets solicits to process goals. Like the service, a beneficiary does not, in standard rehearse, have a UI component. Collectors are ordinarily enlisted in the AndroidManifest.xml index.
Content Provider: The Content Provider is the android mechanism for data-store abstraction.
Android is named after its initial developer before it was bought by Google. Google unveiled Android with Open Handset Alliance that is open standards for mobile devices in 2007. It has about 7 million apps as on Oct 2012 and about 25 billion apps are downloaded by users worldwide.