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The Android Operating System

Android is an operating system (OS) from Google that is widely available in various smartphone and tablet devices. Google has allowed manufacturers of mobile phones to modify the Android software according to their handsets.

Statistics show that in 2011, Android is the most installed OS among its competitors. In 2013, Android gadgets have increased sales volume than Mac Os, iOS and Windows. Surveys also revealed that around 70 percent of mobile developers create applications for Android.

Features

Android OS has the following features:

* Interface

It relies on direct touch keyed in by the users and recognized by the sensor of the device. On top of the screen is the status bar where you can view the connections. You can pull it down to show the notifications such as updates and SMS.

* Applications

Android has a large collection of applications, which you can access through the Google App store. As of 2013, about one million apps in the Play store are available for users’ download. In addition, many helpful applications are downloadable at no cost

* Memory

Android OS exists in mobile devices; hence it is built to use power at an optimal level. The memory temporarily holds the apps that are not in use. Likewise, it is capable of terminating the applications when there is no sufficient memory available.

The latest version is the Android Kitkat 4.4, which has the following functions:

* Design

One of the most significant updates is the interface design in the new version, the Android Kitkat 4.4. The developer removed the line

separating the homescreen from the shortcut icons as well as the apps and the widget tabs in the menu of the 4.4 version. Likewise, you will notice that new curved-shaped and animated icons replaced the previous square box design. The developers would like to create a friendlier version that can cater to new and existing users. The Android KitKat does not have the black backdrop, which is available in the previous versions. While you are watching movies or listening to music, your handset will show the album or movie display. Although  the screen is locked, there is a button to play, fast forward, pause or search options.

* Pre-installed Google Quickoffice

This app is useful for reading and editing documents. You can browse word documents, presentations, spreadsheets and PDF files. You will also get a free 15GB storage to Cloud application.

* Google Caller ID

This unique feature searches the net for unidentified numbers and displays it on your handset.

* Google Now

This shows significant information based on your location, such as nearby establishments and weather updates. The feature can be activated by your voice, simply by saying “Ok Google”. However, the voice command is only available with Nexus 5 handsets.

* Printing

Android settings now include printing option that enables you to print directly in Wi-Fi accessible printers.

* Speed

The Android Kitkat would operate quickly on gadgets with 512MB of random access memory (RAM) to compete better with the fast navigation response of iOS. This will allow users to perform multi-tasking better.

* Camera and Video

Both the camera and the video facilities of the Android 4.4. have no significant improvement compared with the previous OS. Google will address these features in the newer versions of the OS, which is the 4.4.1, and 4.4.2 that they will develop.

* Decrease battery performance

Users of the Android KitKat reported a decline in the battery’s performance. Google is currently fixing the problem and suggests deleting Skype and SnapChat in the meantime until they have created the software solution.

* Updated Hangouts App

This app will store both your SMS and MMS message. It also features enhanced voice and video calling. In addition, it lets you share your location through Google Maps.

* Sensors

The Kitkat version has better sensors to support step counters and detectors for fitness program applications.

* Emoji Characters

These vibrant and colorful Japanese characters are now available on Android keyboards.

* Switching of homescreens

The updated version lets you conceal all the applications to focus on certain task such as reading or listening to music. Swiping the edge of the current screen will restore the icons and notifications.

One of the disadvantages of the Android OS is that it needs a continuous internet connection. Although many applications are free, cluttered advertisements will frequently interrupt you.

Android reviews show positive feedbacks as evident with the large number of users. The latest version targets a more user-friendly operating system for its users. Its accessibility is one of its greatest advantages because it does not limit the users to a particular type of phone.

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