Android

Description

Android is a mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel. It was initially developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries.

The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 48 hardware, software, and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache License, a free-software and open source license.

Android was built from the ground up with the explicit goal to be the first open, complete, and free platform created specifically for mobile devices.

Licensing

Since 21 October 2008, Android has been available as open source. Google opened the entire source code (including network and telephony stacks), which had previously been unavailable, under an Apache license.

With the Apache License, vendors are free to add proprietary extensions without submitting those back to the open source community.

Sponsorship and Financial

Android is supported by Google and the rest of the members of the members of Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of several companies which include Broadcom Corporation, HTC, Intel, LG, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Texas Instruments.

All members of the Alliance have committed to making the initial version of the platform a commercial success. Some companies have contributed significant intellectual property to the Alliance that will be released under the Apache v2 Open Source license. Others are working to make sure their chipsets support the platform. Handset manufacturers and mobile operators are working to develop handsets based on the platform. Commercialization partners are working with the industry to support the platform via a professional services model.

  • Sponsor (Corporation, Community, Joint (corporate and community) etc.) - OHA
  • Financial source (Corporate, donations etc) -OHA
  • Revenue models - 1. OHA will use the Android platform for their commercial products 2.The Market Place, Android SDK, and its system platform allows a simple way for programmers to write application and publish them out to end users

Community

Android has a very active community. Both the Android platform itself (http://source.android.com/) and the Android Marketplace (the second largest mobile app store, behind Apple's iPhone's App Store)

Market Penetration

  • Visibility/Publicity - Android Open Source Project gives you access to the entire platform source.

Support and Infrastructure

  • Application store availability - Android Market is an open service that lets you distribute your apps to handsets.
  • Type of support (Professional support, community support, corporate support etc) - A large community, wit Google I/O developer conference for support, along support from OHA.
  • Developers’ tools (IDE, developer sand box etc.) - The Android SDK has the tools, sample code, and docs you need to create Andriod apps.

Quality

  • Quality/Stability of the platform - 1. The Android platform has vastly improve from 1.0 to 1.5. On top of that, the Android community have been vastly improving the overall platform as well. 1-2 more release is due out the second half of 2009 (includes Android 2.0, codename Donut) 2. The Android Market provides an excellent platform for developers to launch their applications. Again, Android Marketplace is the second largest mobile app store.
  • Quality of the documentation for developer - There are tons of information, documentation, and help from the official Android website (http://source.android.com ), along with different forums and community throughout the web.

Portability

  • Since OHA consist of many hardware manufacturers, Android supports multiple hardware. Three of those companies, HTC, Samsung, and Sony will have an Android device out this year.

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