It is amazing how much Android software development has changed over the past 10 years. To help you keep up with all the changes to Android OS, we have created a brief history of Android software development.
By understanding the history of Android, you will know how to create successful mobile apps for the Android OS.
As with all histories, we start from the beginning. In 2003 Rich Miner, Nick Sears, Chris White, and Andy Rubin founded a company called Android Inc.
The name came from Andy Rubin’s nickname when he worked at Apple. Rubin had a passion for Android robots. Henceforth, Andy became Android.
Rubin started Android so they could develop “smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s location and preferences”.
For the next two years the company struggled to gain a foothold in the smartphone industry. That was until Google purchased the company in 2005.
Rubin and his co-founders stayed on with full access to Google’s entire lineup of products.
One of the biggest decisions made at the time of the acquisition was to use Linux as the foundation for the Android operating system.
Launching and Open Source
Steve Jobs launched the modern smartphone era with his announcement of the iPhone on January 9, 2007. By June of that year, the first batch of iPhones was live in stores. The phone had become an instant sensation.
iPhone had become an instant sensation in June 2007
However, Google was not far behind. Then Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt admitted in November 2007 to an ambitious new Google phone and an open source OS.
Google then joined the Open Handset Alliance with HTC, Motorola, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, and Texas Instruments.
Google’s Android OS became the de facto software for numerous smartphone manufacturing companies including HTC, Motorola, and Samsung.
The first Android phone launched in September 2008.
The first Android-based smartphones were not as aesthetically pleasing as the iPhone. Still, many of them combined the new touchscreen technology with a physical QWERTY keyboard.
The first Android phone used several Google products such as Google Maps, YouTube, and Google search among others.
The Google Play store had not launched yet. Instead, they added the Android Marketplace where developers displayed their mobile apps.
Since that first phone in 2008, Google has launched 8 versions of their OS that is installed on over 24,000 different devices.
They have also released two major phone models: Pixel and Pixel 2, which did not make a splash on the market despite an aggressive marketing campaign.
Here is the usage of multiple Android OS versions.
Android Development Tools
Google and the Android development community created several tools to develop mobile apps for Android. Here are some of the best tools for your next Android app.
1. Android Studio
This is the official Android development tool. Developers use it to build apps for every type of Android device.
Android Studio includes code editing, debugging, and performance tools. Use these tools to build the high-quality apps you believe could help your prospects.
This software program improves developer productivity for companies of all sizes.
Developers can code in the language of their choice. Gradle prepares your mobile app for deployment, so your company can automatically delivery your software to the platforms of your choice.
Gradle’s versatility allows you to build whatever type of a mobile app you envision.
3. Material Design
Material Design offers Android developers a set of methodologies to create the graphics they need for their mobile applications.Material Design provides a concept for you to create quality designs across all Android devices. Click To Tweet
Material Design supports standards for the Android OS going back to Lollipop.
Android Runtime (ART)
Runtime software manages low-level processes running in the background.
ART features include:
- Ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation
- Garbage collection
- Development and debugging improvements
- Diagnostic Reporting
Over the past few years, Android has expanded past smartphones. You now have smartwatches, tablets, home monitoring devices, and a host of other applications.
The truth is our entire world is changing thanks to the Internet of Things. Android is in the middle of this change.
Android has an entire API framework and lots of development tools to help companies create apps for their devices.
Future of Android
Google is releasing a new version of Android this year — Android P. This new version adds several powerful features:
- App Actions and Slices for remote access to your apps;
- Android App Bundle to make apps smaller;
- Indoor navigation working off Wi-Fi networks;
- Machine Learning and Augmented Reality SDKs for a new generation of AI-enabled apps;
- Adaptive battery feature to save energy for our devices, etc.
Android has achieved a lot over the course of the past 15 years. Because of all the developments with this platform, we need to study Android’s history to better understand the modern principles of Android software development.
Hopefully, you can use this information to explore how to create an Android app for your business.