What is an Android Operating System & Its Features

The Android operating system is most frequently used on different mobile platforms around the world. It is occupied approximately 75% of shares in the worldwide market by the end of 2020. A company like Open Handset Alliance has developed the first Android that depends on the customized version of the Linux kernel as well as other open-source software. At the initial stage of 2005, Google sponsored the project & it obtained the entire company. In September 2008, the first Android device was released in the market to dominate the mobile industries due to several features like user friendly, the support of the community is huge, customization, manufacturing of android devices in large companies. Consequently, the market examines the demand to develop Android-supported devices with smart developers. So, the Android operating system became a complete set of operating systems for different devices like wearables, mobiles, notebooks, smart TVs, tablets, set-top boxes, etc.

What is an Android Operating System?

Android is a Linux-based operating system it is designed primarily for touch screens mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. The operating system has developed a lot in the last 15 years starting from black and white phones to recent smartphones or mini computers. One of the most widely used mobile OS   these days is android.  The android is software that was founded in Palo Alto of California in 2003.

Android Operating System
Android Operating System

Android is a powerful operating system and it supports a large number of applications on Smartphones. These applications are more comfortable and advanced for users. The hardware that supports android software is based on the ARM architecture platform. The android is an open-source operating system that means that it’s free and anyone can use it. Android has got millions of apps available that can help you manage your life one or another way and it is available at low cost in the market for that reason android is very popular.

Android development supports the full java programming language. Even other packages that are API and JSE are not supported. The first version 1.0 of the android development kit (SDK) was released in 2008 and the latest updated version is a jelly bean.

Features of Android Operating System

The unique features/characteristics of the android operating system include the following.

  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Alternate Keyboards
  • IR Transmission
  • No-Touch Control
  • Automation
  • Wireless App Downloads
  • Storage & Battery Swap
  • Custom Home Screen
  • Widgets
  • Custom ROMs
  • Headset layout
  • Storage
  • Connectivity: GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, Bluetooth, WI-FI, EDGE,3G,NFC, LTE,GPS.
  • Messaging: SMS, MMS, C2DM (could to device messaging), GCM (Google could messaging)
  • Multilanguage support
  • Multi-touch
  • Video calling
  • Screen capture
  • External storage
  • Streaming media support
  • Optimized graphics

Android Architecture

The android is an operating system and is a stack of software components which is divided into five sections and four main layers that is

  • Linux kernel
  • Libraries
  • Android runtime
  • Application Framework
  • Applications
Android Architecture
Android Architecture

Linux Kernel

The android uses the powerful Linux kernel and it supports a wide range of hardware drivers. The kernel is the heart of the operating system that manages input and output requests from the software. This provides basic system functionalities like process management, memory management, device management like camera, keypad, display, etc the kernel handles all the things.

Linux is really good at networking and it is not necessary to interface it to the peripheral hardware. The kernel itself does not interact directly with the user but rather interacts with the shell and other programs as well as with the hardware devices on the system.


The on top of a Linux kennel there is a set of libraries including open-source web browsers such as WebKit, library libc. These libraries are used to play and record audio and video. The SQLite is a database that is useful for the storage and sharing of application data. The SSL libraries are responsible for internet security etc.

Android Runtime

The android runtime provides a key component called Dalvik Virtual Machine which is a kind of java virtual machine. It is specially designed and optimized for android. The Dalvik VM is the process virtual machine in the android operating system. It is software that runs apps on android devices.

The Dalvik VM makes use of Linux core features like memory management and multithreading which is in java language. The Dalvik VM enables every Android application to run its own process. The Dalvik VM  executes the files in the .dex format.

Application Framework

The application framework layer provides many higher-level services to applications such as windows manager, view system, package manager, resource manager, etc. The application developers are allowed to make use of these services in their applications.


You will find all the android applications at the top layer and you will write your application and install it on this layer. Examples of such applications are contacts, books, browsers, services, etc. Each application performs a different role in the overall applications.

Android Emulator

The Emulator is a new application in the Android operating system. The emulator is a new prototype that is used to develop and test android applications without using any physical device.

Android Emulator
Android Emulator

The android emulator has all of the hardware and software features like mobile devices except phone calls. It provides a variety of navigation and control keys. It also provides a screen to display your application. The emulators utilize the android virtual device configurations. Once your application is running on it, it can use services of the android platform to help other applications, access the network, play audio, video, store, and retrieve the data.

Android Versions

The different android versions from the beginning to the present are mentioned below from 1.0 to 2.0. Here is the android operating system list.

Android Operating System Versions
Android Operating System Versions

Android Versions from 1.0 – 1.1

The first Android version like 1.0 was released in the year 2008 but it didn’t have any codename.

Android Version – 1.5

In the year 2009, the 1.5 android version was released which is named Cupcake.

Android Version – 1.6

The Android version – 1.6 was released in the year 2009 which is called Donut. The ability of this version is, it operates on different screen sizes as well as resolutions.

Android Versions from 2.0 – 2.1

Éclair 2.0 version was released after six weeks of the Donut version.

Android Version – 2.2

After four months of 2.1version invention, the Android 2.2 version was released which is called Froyo.

Android Version 2.3

The first true visual identity of Android version 2.3 was released in the year 2010 namely Gingerbread.

Android Version from 3.0 – 3.2

In the year 2011, the versions from 3.0 – 3.2 were released which is named Honeycomb

Android Version 4.0

Android 4.0 was released in the year 2011 which is called Ice Cream Sandwich.

Android Versions 4.1 – 4.3

Android Versions 4.1 to 4.3 were released between 2012 to 2013 which is called Jelly Bean.

Android Version 4.4

Android Version 4.4 was released in Late-2013’s which is called KitKat.

Android 5.0

The version of Android 5.0 was launched in the year 2014, Nov in the Nexus 6 device which is called Lollipop

Android 5.1

This version of Android 5.1 was released in March 2015 called Lollipop

Android 6.0

Android 6.0 Version like Marshmallow was released in Oct 2015.

Android 7.0

Android 7.0 version was released by Google in Aug 2016 called Nougat.

Android 7.1, 7.1.1 & 7.1.2 Nougat

Android 7.1 version was released in Oct 2016, called Nougat

Android 8.0

Android 8.0 version was released in Aug 2017 called Oreo.

Android 8.1.0

Android 8.1.0 version was released in Dec 2017, called Oreo

Android Version 9 Pie

Android version 9 Pie was released in Aug 2018

Android Version 10

Android version 10 was launched in September 2019

Android Version 11

Android version 11 was released recently on September 8th, 2020

Android Operating System vs. Apple iOS

Differences between the android operating system and apple iOS include the following.



The developer of Android was mostly Google & Open Handset Alliance The developer of iOS was Apple Inc.
The initial release was Sep23, 2008 The initial release was July 29, 2007
The latest version is Android 11 Latest version of iOS is14.1 & iPadOS 14.1
It is an open-source model The source model is closed including open source components.
As compared to iOS, file transfer is easy File transfer is more difficult in iOS but transferring media files can be done through the iTunes desktop app.
The browser used in Android is Google Chrome The browser used in iOS is Safari
Web mapping used in this is Google maps Web mapping used in this is Apple maps
Available languages are nearly 100 Available languages are nearly 40
Video calling can be possible through different apps. For video calling, face time & other third-party apps are used.
Google assistant is used as a virtual assistant Siri is used as a virtual assistant
This OS supports different smartphones like Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Honor, Vivo, etc This OS supports only Apple products like iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch & Apple TV
Battery life is good Battery life is not good as compared to Android
Biometric Authentication used in Android OS is Fingerprint or Face recognition Biometric Authentication used in iOS is Fingerprint or Face recognition
OS family is Linux OS family is Linux OS X, UNIX

Windows Operating System

Windows operating system as compared to android is discussed below.

  • An operating system like Windows is owned by Microsoft Incorporation & launched in the year 1985.
  • It is used in all personal computers in all organizations. So the present stable version of this OS is Windows 10.
  • Kernel type is Hybrid based.
  • Chosen license is Proprietary & Source-available.
  • The original version is commercial
  • In all the PCs, it is the most frequently used operating system.
  • It is used for media centers, workstations, PCs, embedded systems & tablets.

How to Change the Operating System of Android Phone?

In mobile phones, the operation of different applications can be run through an operating system. There are different kinds of OS available in the market where each OS has its own features. This OS used in the device plays a key role in determining the apps, software, and functions. So, some of the famous OS are Symbian, Palm, MXI, Windows Mobile, Mobile Linux, etc. Here, you can change an OS in some mobile phones by using the following steps.

  • Go to Settings in android device => Select developer options => Enable USB debugging otherwise go to “about phone”, enable Build number & tap on it until you receive a message like you’re now a new developer.
  • Download the change my software from this link (http://ow.ly/xTBl309o8fd)
  • When the download is finished, connect your android mobile to your PC & open ‘Change My Software.
  • Now, pick Android => Windows then install it on your Android phone.
  • Click on continue & select a language if it asked
  • When you choose the language, then automatically windows driver download will start. Once it is finished, then click on the button “Install”
  • You will find an option like Remove Android.
  • If you desire to double boot it, then you can pay no attention to the message otherwise click on the alternative there itself. Wait until the process is completed. Once the installation of files is completed then the mobile will reboot automatically.
  • Similarly, the Change My Software’ is again you can use if you desire to go back to Android. For that, you need to connect the device to the PC & choose the condition of Restore to the original state option over the major menu.

Application of Android- Android Application Controlled Remote Robot

It controls the robotic vehicle using an android application. The Bluetooth device is interfaced to the control unit on the robot for sensing the signals transmitted by the android application. The remote operation is achieved by any smart-phone or table etc with android OS based on touch screen operation. The transmitting end uses an android application device remote through which commands are transmitted and at the receiver side, these commands are used for controlling the robot in all directions such as forward, backward and left or right, etc.

The receiver end movement is achieved by two motors that are interfaced to the microcontroller. The serial communication data sent from the android application is received by a Bluetooth receiver that is interfaced to the microcontroller.

Android Application
Android Application


The advantages of the Android operating system include the following.

  • Android is a Linux based open-source operating system, it can be developed by anyone
  • Easy access to android apps
  • You can replace the battery and mass storage, disk drive, and UDB option
  • Its supports all Google services
  • The operating system is able to inform you of a new SMS and Emails or the latest updates.
  • It supports Multitasking
  • Android phone can also function as a router to share the internet
  • It’s free to customize
  • Can install a modified ROM
  • Its supports 2D and 3D graphics
  • We can install Millions of apps-
  • Backup and restore of apps can be possible
  • It supports Third-party apps
  • Addition & removal of unwanted features:-
  • High job demands for Android developers
  • Notifications can be displayed very clearly
  • Huge community support
  • The Internet can be shared from device to device
  • It is an Open source
  • Different types of mobile models you can select
  • Add/ Remove Unwanted
  • Internal memory is Expandable
  • Cloud storage
  • It supports big screens at a reasonable price
  • Foldable Android devices
  • Different apps can run at the same time
  • Several widgets on display

The disadvantages of the Android operating system include the following.

  • Apps work in the background
  • Battery discharges easily due to a lot of processes within the background.
  • Requires Google account
  • Less security, so fake apps can be easily installed to steal your data from strange resources
  • Mobiles with low specification run very slow
  • Generally, you require additional code on Java language as compared to Objective-C.
  • Android developers have a critical time
  • Difficult layouts & animations are tough to code within Android.
  • Protection of Virus is required
  • For developers of the app, Google is strict
  • Several ads within apps
  • Some apps quality is not good
  • For elders, it is not friendly

Thus, this is all about an overview of the android operating system. This is a mobile operating system, developed by Google. The applications of an android operating system include the following in cell phones, touch screen devices & tablets. Here is a question for you, what is the latest Android version 2020?

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