In 2003, a group of software developers came together in California to develop a software designed to improve the functionality of digital cameras. That software was quickly named ‘Android’. Having realised that the digital camera market was not large or competitive enough to make the work worth their time, they quickly turned their attention to the smartphone industry — which at this stage was only just in its infancy.
Fast forward two years to 2005 and Google acquired Android for approximately $50 million. At the time, Google had not entered the smartphone industry but they moved quickly to develop early Android prototype phones that aimed to compete with the big players at the time — Blackberry and Nokia.
Early efforts were in vain. The 2007 release of Apple’s first ever iPhone sent the Android developers back to the drawing board, particularly as Google’s first prototype still featured a standard keyboard and no touchscreen capabilities.
Soon after, Google announced the formation of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of tech companies including HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony. The Open Handset Alliance aims to provide open source software to the benefit of all developers and consumers and led to the creation of the hundreds of different types of Android phones available on the market today.
The work of the Open Handset Alliance has led to many different iterations of the Android platform. Android 1.0 was launched in 2007, which led to the unveiling of the world’s first ever Android phone — the T-Mobile G1. This phone was not particularly well received, particularly when compared to Apple’s first iPhone.
Fast forward to today and Android recently announced the beta release of Android 12, signalling the significant impact that Android devices continue to have on the smartphone market. Android 12 is believed to have an updated interface, improved privacy and security functions, and enhanced battery life.
Android apps explained
Broadly defined, an Android app is any type of software that can be downloaded to the Android operating system. This is not just smartphones, but also includes Android televisions, car monitors (Android Auto) and any other type of device that runs on Android OS.
Android applications are most commonly downloaded via the Google Play store. The Android operating system differs from iOS in that apps can be downloaded from other sources, but this is generally not recommended. Such applications may be dangerous to your device.
Apps are built using what is known as a programming language, or code. In the case of Android apps, this language is usually Java. Other popular options include Kotlin and C++. The programming code is used in conjunction with specific programming tools, including Android Studio and Android SDK, to build unique and innovative apps.
Android app development is by no means an easy process, which is why many people opt to work with a professional developer to bring their app dreams to life.
Looking towards the future
Technology is moving at lightning pace, meaning that the apps of today may be virtually unrecognisable in a few years time.
With that in mind, what kind of technology can you take advantage of to make sure that your software remains relevant and engaging?
Many of your phone’s functions already operate using AI technology. For example, biometric security features, such as face recognition phone lock, uses a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence to protect your private information.
AI possesses the ability to provide personalised user experiences, which are revolutionising the way that businesses interact with consumers. If you want to provide your clients with tailored information, products, and services, you are best to ask your app development company about the possibility of incorporating AI technologies into your software.
AR and VR
Augmented reality and virtual reality are often associated with games. In reality, they have a wide range of applications beyond this, particularly when it comes toandroid app development.
For example, AR technology has been implemented by Swedish store Ikea, granting customers the ability to foresee how furniture might look in their own home. AR and VR are somewhat still in their infancy, and rely to a large extent on app users having 5G connectivity. However, if you want your app to stand out from the crowd, it’s well worth investigating how you might make the most of these innovative technologies.
Have you ever been scrolling the Google Play store and come across an app that you think looks good, but you’re not convinced it would meet your needs? Enter instant apps.
An instant app enables a user to download a small portion of an application to test out, removing the need to install it completely on their device. Instant apps are also useful in situations where a user needs to quickly access a particular application — for example, check in to a location using a QR code.
On demand apps
On demand apps are those that provide time-sensitive services — Uber, for example, is an on demand app.
These applications have revolutionised our lives completely. It’s not just the transportation industry that have taken advantage of this technology; commerce, crowdfunding, and entertainment sectors have all built apps around the idea that consumers want instant access to products and services.
With this in mind, all businesses should consider how they are currently interacting with their customers and how technology can facilitate improvements in this regard.
Android app development is a sector that is experiencing continuous growth. Android devices have come a long way since the early days, rapidly gaining ground on their iOS counterpart to emerge as legitimate competitors in the smartphone industry. With this in mind, all businesses should consider the opportunities provided through the development of Android apps.