Monday, December 29, 2014

A detailed history of the popular operating system Google Android: from a small start-up to taking over the world – Ferra

Today Android – it’s not just an operating system for smartphones, and the whole infrastructure. On the “green robots” working phones, tablets, televisions, smart watches, and other gadgets, and soon cars will be managed using the Android. C which began the history of one of the most famous operating system, as well as some ups and downs were in this unusual project corporation Google. On this and many other tell in this material.

Today, the latest version of Android has a sequence number 5 and the code name for Lollipop. The system has received significant upgrades in design, functionality, in general, it is virtually re-created product. Already smartphones Google Nexus 5 began to upgrade to this version of the OS, and soon all modern smartphones get the latest updates. However, about the new 5.0 we describe separately and want to start yet since those times when Android project does not even belong to Google …

Android: Start

Many believe that the history of Android began in 2008, when it was released the first version of Android 1.0. But in fact, everything began to turn 5 years earlier, in 2003, when Andy Rubin teammates (Nick Searcy, Chris White and Rich Miner) decided to create a mobile operating system and registered company Android Inc. The developers initially focused on devices that could reside in users determine GPS location and automatically adapt to the needs of man.

Andy Rubin, founder of Android


For investors that time hardly ever there was something clear. Well, who wants to invest in a strange startup that yet does not bring any money … So it was that by 2005, Andy and friends spent all the money, but luckily for them shopped from Google and August 17, 2005 the corporation has become a full owner of a small Android Inc. It is worth noting that Google at the time did not have any special plans for the gadgets, and was more focused on improving its software and search algorithms. It is terrible to say, but at that time there was no Google Adsense and even YouTube (it was purchased in 2007 alone).

Google logo in 2005.

In the same year amid litigation Oracle and Google decided that Android is a free operating system and, of course, primarily focus on the implementation of services of Google. Since Andy Rubin initially engaged in projects related to the GPS, as the corporation has been Maps, involves the introduction of cards in phones. And then it was not any smartphone, so the card could appear on a normal cot with buttons. The first images also indicate that Google was guided by the experience of RIM with their Blackberry, so that if it were not a coincidence, then touch phones might not appear. But, unfortunately or fortunately, in 2007, the iPhone and Google sharply revise strategy. However, to be released in 2008 the first assembly prepares Android 1.0. However, in early 2007, Google does not have a partner, who would release the phone on the new OS. Nokia – very large company, which will be a conflict of interest, Motorola has no t moved away from the take-off sales models Razr. In Google choose between the LG and HTC. Korean LG interesting US market, but it is afraid of cooperation with an unknown partner and uses only an agreement with Google to conclude contracts with Microsoft to create a smartphone with Windows Mobile. But HTC was ready to work together, and besides, the Taiwanese company could quickly create working samples. The first known prototype became Google Sooner. Here, however, had to abandon the touch screen, this model is designed for the original specification, when Google was based on the experience of Blackberry.

Maybe the first prototype phone on Android – Google Sooner

Sources say that the first working version is dated 15.05.2007 and it was called then M3. Operating System interface is very similar to Blackberry, the main position is occupied by a search string Google. In general, if not for the emergence of the iPhone and the rate on the touch screens, perhaps we would now have seen Android like this.

Screenshot Android M3, perhaps the first working version of the OS

Android: official start

In Google clearly understood that with the release of Apple iPhone touch screen presence is necessary, and therefore early development had to be postponed . This was facilitated communication with operators, in the summer of 2007, their views on the future of Android were pessimistic. In August 2007, an article in the WSJ, which refers to the efforts of Google’s platform and your phone. In this article it is mentioned that the company has two prototypes – one similar to the Palm Treo with QWERTY-keyboard below the screen, and the second is a bit like an option Nokia. Android is within the team competition with time, as all previous plans are worthless and have decided to abandon them. Command changes the terms, and in the second half of 2007 produced the M3. In the version of the M5, it appears at the beginning of 2008, it appears the status bar, although experiments with UI visible to the naked eye. Watch the video to understand the difference between these v ersions.

It was only in August 2008, Google has developed a version 0.9 to represent the OS version 1.0 in September 2008. From 22 October 2008, the operator T-Mobile in the US starts selling HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1), the first Android-smartphone, which was attended by the touch screen and the OS is fully integrated under its use. But rework on Google OS could only version 1.6, getting rid of old ideas, which originally laid when it was created. Perhaps that from that moment and starts off Android. Interest in the HTC Dream in the United States was enormous, the operator sold by 23 April 2009 1 million units. Such a demand for such a mundane and simple device has once again proved that the idea of ​​winning, in this aspect of it was the idea of ​​touch phones, which has captured the minds of consumers.

Of course, the very first tests on real users revealed many shortcomings of the platform and in the first year of the Android Google has released the following update: 1.1. Banana Bread, 1.5 Cupcake (appeared upload video and photos to YouTube and Picasa, automatic display orientation, predictive, etc.), and 1.6 Donut (speech-to-text with multilingual pronunciation, support WVGA, optimized to work with gestures, etc. Etc..)

Android: second attempt

Android 2.0

With the improvement of the 1st version , Android has already received advanced functionality and good looks to version 2.0, and then to 2.1 with the same code name Eclair. It became possible to use multiple accounts on Google, as a standard web browser has received support HTML5. At the same time on sale new models of Android-smartphone: HTC Magic and Hero, Motorola Droid and Samsung Galaxy.

At the same time, in 2010, begins production of mobile processors with a clock speed of 1 GHz. And there is the first branded Google Nexus One smartphone with a 1 GHz processor. Of course, Google becomes a partner of HTC. A processor with the same frequency received NTS Desire, Motorola Droid 2 and Samsung Galaxy S. By the way, HTC will no longer make the Google until 2014, when will the Nexus 9. In the same 2010, Google has released yet another version of Android, a new 2.2 Froyo , which increased the performance of applications that use JIT-compilation, and adds support for Adobe Flash. Well, the update to Froyo smartphones got all of the above with a 1 GHz processor. In addition, the assembly was such updates, as Chrome V8 JS engine for web-browser, transfer contacts and support for docking stations BlueTooth, cloud sync, etc.

Google Nexus One and Android 2.2 Froyo

By the way, in Russia, many saw it for the first time Android in this edition, as this year in our country begins the demand for touchscreen smartphones, Android gradually coming into fashion. Until 2010, the “green robot” saw only geeks, and even then, most on the internet or magazines than in his own hands.

Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb

It was in the third year of the Android market. It was already a popular operating system, but there were still a lot of problems. And then, there is the update 2.3 Gingerbread, which until 2013 was installed on a huge number of devices. Indeed, in this version of the operating system was implemented many features that marked the development prospects of the platform itself – Support for SIP-telephony, Near Field Communication and Google Talk, work with higher resolution screens, the new download manager and much more.

However, Gingerbread, Google vypustkaet his second branded smartphone – Nexus S. At this time, the manufacturer becomes Samsung, Nexus S and is, in fact, slightly modified Galaxy S. However, Google Nexus S came out clearly too late: the day of the its sales, LG announced the first dual-core smartphone Optimus 2X. Now manufacturers are measured not gigahertz, and the number of cores. As a result, dual-core chips was not only LG Optimus 2X, but the Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Sensation and Motorola Droid X2.

A company Samsung, meanwhile, released after the smartphone Galaxy S another device – the tablet Galaxy Tab. Compact and lightweight seven-inch “tablet” has become a good alternative for those who do not like bulky Apple iPad. But here’s the rub, Android-that while there is only for smartphones. No problem, thought at Google, and in early 2011, appears the first designed specifically for the Tablet PC version of Android – 3.0 Honeycomb. Looked on Honeycomb tablets and the truth is better than the stretched smartphone interface Gingerbread. Thus, based on the Android OS has earned and smartphones, and tablets. Business began to grow, with rapidly. Honeycomb carriers are almost all Android-tablet – Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia Tab, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, etc.

In the same year 2011 on the IFA technology 2011 in Berlin, Samsung predstavilyaet its first 5-inch Phablet Glaxy Note, which has become a very popular device, despite the skeptics. Then it was, in fact, the first device of this class, and even on Android. Apple before it took another three years, in 2014 the company released the iPhone Phablet 6 Plus.

Android 4 from Ice Cream Sandwich to KitKat

In Google understands that to have two separate systems for smartphones and tablets – it’s not very profitable. Spend more time on the development and support. And in the autumn of 2011, Google released version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is the first cross-platform version for smartphones and tablets. In the assembly also appears to access applications directly from the “lokskrina” and AndroidMarket renamed to Google Play. According to many experts, it is version 4.0 Android began to take shape and the usual normal functionality. The device is now in the “green robot” also could just enjoy, they ceased to be gadgets for geeks.

Following the new OSes and Google presented a new smartphone – Galaxy Nexus, which, obviously, was also developed in cooperation with Samsung. And again, after the release of the smartphone OEMs begin to fight for iron. Qualcomm introduces powerful processors Krait, and Nvidia announces 4-core chip Tegra 3. Well, the undisputed leader of Android-smartphone in 2012, becoming Samsung Galaxy S III, part of the company budget bestselling ASUS Nexus 7 on the basis of the new operating system Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

In 2012-2013, nothing much has happened with Android after global changes with the union of tablet and smartphone versions. However, in 2012, Google is still 2 branded devices – smartphone LG Nexus 4 and tablet Samsung Nexus 10. In parallel with the latest assembly was updated Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which will complement the previous version. Now, users were able to fully experience the benefits of using GoogleNow, Cloud Messaging, Android Beam, triple buffering, multi-channel USB audio, etc. Then submitted to Google Moto X smartphone and tablet Google Nexus 7 2nd generation, which in our country is not particularly popular due to the fact that Motorola has left the Russian market back in 2010.

In 2013, the market appears Nexus 5, again, as a result of cooperation with LG. And for him, and other devices there is a new version of Android 4.4 KitKat. Yes, this is the first time that the indicator version becomes the name of a commercial product, but do not talk about it. The changes affected not only the interface of individual system components and applications. Appeared in the promised transparency KitKat top notification bar along with a new font and sophisticated support full-screen interface on the part of individual applications. With the release of KitKat simplified access to the service Google Now. Now his challenge is unified – just hold your finger across the screen from left to right. Earlier ways to access Google Now varied depending on the model of the smartphone (pressing the Home, shaking, and so on. D.). Additionally, the service is activated by the phrase «OK Google» open at the start screen. Did not escape the attention of developers and program Hangouts. Now she not only allows you to send chat messages, and SMS / MMS. Finally, we note the built-in pedometer KitKat, which even works in the background, as well as enhanced compatibility with printers through cloud technology Google Print. The latter allows you without any wires to send a print job, changing the paper size and pre-specifying the number of pages.

So, Android KitKat has become almost perfect version of the system. The work of all services was established, the appearance overtook Apple’s intuitive and style, in general, on all sides it was a good modified system. But Google wanted more. Needed a Material Design, Android Wear, work with cars and more. In general, all that which is not in the KitKat, but there is a Lollipop.

Android Lollipop

In early 2014, Google shows the world Android Wear, a special operating system for handheld devices. Some companies immediately begin to develop this device OSes to have at IFA 2014 to present them to the users. So, there is a 360 Moto, LG Watch R and Sony SmartWatch 3. But this is not the main event in Android, which is waiting for him this year.

In June, at the conference Google I / O developer introduces a new version of Android L. The exact name of the system is unknown, but it is clear that she ordered index is 5. For some models Nexus is released a beta version of the system. And the whole world stands still pending. This system is very beautiful, made in the style of Material Design, announced a lot of improvement.

And that’s only in October 2014, Google admits that the letter L – this Lollipop, and two new devices to is the OS – it’s Nexus 6 (Motorola) and Nexus 9 (HTC). The most obvious changes in Android Lollipop include a new user interface, called the authors’ material design, “the basic principles of which are shadows, the information shown in the design, reminiscent of layers of paper, bright, but at the same time are more informative, advanced notice, which are now available from the lock screen, and from the top of the screen of any application. There is such a departure from the Skeuomorph same as that of Apple. Internal changes are based on the transition to a virtual machine Android Runtime (ART), officially replaced by outdated Dalvik to improve performance and optimization aimed at improving the energy efficiency of the system.

At the end of 2014 Android Lollipop already supplied on the old Nexus 5, and in the coming months and the flagships of other enterprises should upgrade to the latest version. However, for many older smartphones latest available version will be Android 4.4.4 KitKat, since 5.0 they are not pulled.

The history of Android does not end there, follow the developments …

PS: No matter how funny, but October 31, 2014 by Andy Rubin, founder of Android and Development Manager of the OS has left the team, but remained at Google. He will be engaged in other areas of the company, in particular – robotics. It is possible that Andy Rubin and Android More reunite.


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