An operating system (OS) is defined as a system software that is installed in the systems for the management of the hardware along with the other software resources. Every computer system and mobile device requires an operating system for functioning and execution of operations. There is a great use of mobile devices such as tablets and Smartphones that has increased. One of the widely used and implemented operating system in these devices is the Android Operating System. Android is a mobile operating system that provides the users with the interface and software for the management of the resources and the execution of the operations.
Android Operating System – Explanation
Android is a mobile operating system that is based on Linux and was first released under the Apache version 2 with an open source license.
Android OS is a product of Google and the platform that is provided by the operating system includes a Graphical User Interface (GUI), web browser along with numerous applications that can be downloaded from the Android Google Play Store.
There have been many versions of the operating system that have been released in the market for the end-users. The latest version 8.0 was released on August 21, 2017 and has been termed as Android Oreo.
Android operating system comprises of four different layers that include five sections. The technical architecture of Android is as illustrated below.
Linux kernel is placed at the bottom of the Android architecture that provides the abstraction ability to the operating system. It comprises of the hardware drivers and also includes the power management and security features .
Libraries and Android Runtime
The second layer of Android architecture comprises of the libraries and the runtime requirements for the operating system.
There have been libraries and repositories that have been created for information storage, management, sharing, and execution of other operations. The libraries such as SQLite, SSL and many more are included in the second layer. These libraries also enhance the internet and device security. Android libraries are also present in this layer for content management, database management, web kits, etc. .
Application framework is present at the third layer and provides the services such as activity and resource manager, notification manager, content providers and view system.
The services that are included in the application framework are in the form of higher level services that are included in the form of Java classes.
The top-most layer in the architecture is the application layer as it provides the user with the interface. The applications that are written in Android are based upon this layer only.
Advantages of Android OS
There are a number of advantages that are offered by Android operating system that have been listed below.
- Multitasking: One of the prime advantages that are offered by Android is the ability to multi-task. The users can perform several operations at one. For instance, playing music, instant messaging, browsing on the Internet etc. can be done simultaneously in Android. This property of Android allows the users to execute multiple activities at the same instance and saves their time. There are many professional users that make use of Android phones for executing office-related operations. This feature provides such users with the ability to easily execute the operations .
- Ease of notifications: The notifications that are generated in terms of the call notifications, message notifications, email notification etc. are displayed in the real-time in Android. The phone will create alerts that will make sure that any important information is not missed. The users will be able to see these notifications at the top of their screens and it would also be optional to show or remove the notifications from the pane.
- Phone Options: Android operating system is a product that has been developed by Google. However, it does not come with a restriction to make use of only the Google devices for installing Android operating system. There are a number of Smartphones and tablets from various other brands that come with Android as the operating system. It provides the users with the freedom to choose the brand and the device as per their choice .
- Application Store: The application store that comes with Android operating system in the form of Google play store offers a huge number of applications that are free of cost and paid. These applications belong to different categories such as games, news applications, social media applications and many more. There are a number of utilities that are offered on the marketplace. These applications serve a number of different purposes for the users. For instance, there are many social media applications that can be downloaded from the play store and can be installed on the Android device for free of cost. These applications allow the users to connect with their friends, families and professional contacts at just a click of a button. Also, the user can access these applications from any location which does not restrict them in terms of time or user location for accessing the Android app.
- Cost-effective: Android operating system comes with the mobile devices in a huge range. There are Smartphones that are available in low budget that goes up to high range devices as well. The case is the same with the tablets and other handheld and mobile devices. This makes the availability of the devices and the operating systems for all the users irrespective of their budget constraint. The system and application updates that come along with the Android operating system at regular intervals also come for free of cost. The users can easily upgrade their operating system to a better version. Therefore, the operating system is extremely cost-effective in nature .
- Many widgets: There are plenty of widgets that come along with Android operating system. These widgets are used to customize the settings and the options that are displayed on the home screen. These widgets allow the users to place the application icons on the home screen that they use frequently. Also, the settings in terms of the themes and display settings can be easily done with the aid of these widgets .
- Trusted Brand: Android is a product of Google which is a giant in the market of Smartphones, mobile devices and the technological industry. The support and maintenance that comes along with the Android operating system cannot be questioned at all. It provides the customers with the trust to go ahead with the use of the Android operating system in their mobile devices.
Disadvantages of Android
There are certain disadvantages of Android as well that are required to be controlled and monitored to make sure that the services and options that are offered are used to the fullest.
- Security and privacy concerns: With the expansion of the use and application of the Android based phones and applications, there are a number of security and privacy issues that have been observed. These issues are in the form of the security risks and attacks that take place on the devices and the applications that are installed within these devices. Attackers have developed a lot many malicious codes and also make use of the networks to give rise to the breaching and leakage of the information present in the Android phones .
- Android is the mobile operating system that consumes a lot of battery from the device. It leads to the draining of the battery and there are certain operations and applications that cannot be minimized or controlled in terms of the battery drain.
- Android device cannot be accessed with an active Gmail id and password. This id is used in the activation of the software and also in the updates. The id is used in unlocking of the device as well. In case of the loss of this id or privacy issues with the id, there may be security and privacy attacks that may be executed.
- The Android applications include a lot many advertisements and pop-ups that are often attacked with the malware.
Mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets are being used at a huge scale by the users all across the globe. The user needs and requirements keep on varying and it is always demanded by the users that something new is offered to them at regular intervals. Android is a mobile operating system that provided the users with a much-needed change in the field of Smartphones and mobile devices. There are many advantages that are offered to the users with Android mobile device in terms of ease of access, rich user interface, variety of applications and many more. There are, however, certain disadvantages as well in terms of security and privacy issues and concern. The users must take steps to make sure that there devices are enabled with the latest security mechanisms and protocols in terms of the installation of anti-malware tools, internet security applications, device locks and passwords along with advanced access control and authentication.
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