When someone says “Android”, you first think of this really cool smartphone operating system and also Google(the owner)
Well, Android has become a phenomenon since it started! Its Market share in Q2 2009 was 2.8% and by Q4 it reached to 33% of the market! At the recent Google I/O May 10th 2011, Google announced it was activating 400,000 droids per day!
Now for the big question: “What is Android?” Android is a mobile phone operating system which is based on the famous Linux. Its predominantly used in smartphones and enables them to run like computers!
Android was actually born from a company called Android Inc a company founded in 2003. Google Inc acquired the company in 2005 and released Android OS officially on 5th November 2007
Android OS has seen a lot of updates since the original release and interestingly all the releases have been named after a dessert item in alphabetical order. They are:
1. Cupcake (v 1.5)- 2.3%
2. Donut (v 1.6) – 3.0%
3. Eclair (v2.0 or v2.1)- 24.5%
4. Froyo (v 2.2) -65.9%
5. Gingerbread (v 2.3)- 1.0%
6. Honeycomb (v 3.0, v3.1)- Honeycomb was developed primarily for tablets (0.3%)
7. Icecream Sandwich – The now upcoming Android release which brings Gingerbread and Honeycomb together and will be released in Q4 2011.
Android OS has really enhanced the smartphone experience, especially the touchscreen variety through addition of eyecandy features like live wallpapers(from Eclair and beyond), multitouch support(includes pinch zoom) and Applications.
Google developed the Android Market where consumers can be able to buy apps and it is a source of income for the developers who create the apps. Currently, Android Market passed the 250,000 apps mark second only to the Apple Appstore which has over 350,000 applications. This apps have really broaden the capabilities of the android phones since apps are the in-thing in the smartphone world.
Locally, Safaricom released the IDEOS Android smartphone way back in January 2011 at an impressive price of Kshs 8,500 ($100) bundled with Kshs 1000 airtime and 600MB data.This release was a massive success and from the just released Safaricom results, they reputed they sold over 60,000 IDEOS U8150 smartphones and currently hold 45% of Kenya’s smartphone market.
IDEOS U8150 is not the only droid around, Sony Ericsson Xperia line (mini, mini pro and X10 ), HTC Desire/DesireZ, Samsung Galaxy S/Galaxy Ace/Galaxy 5 among many others have been available in mobile retail stores.
In summary, the Android platform future looks promising and nobody is not stopping this charging train!