Android

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Android logo.

Android is an operating system developed by Google primarily for mobile devices, but has also been incorporated into smart televisions and automobiles. It was first released on 2008-09-23 and, in only two years, became the most popular mobile OS on the market, and currently retains that title by a huge margin. The OS is built on a modified LINUX kernel written in C and C++ with its user interface layer written in Java.

Review

Good

  • The OS is written generically enough that it can be used on thousands of different platforms.
  • The swipe-able icon-driven interface is very easy to use, and looks great.
  • By default, the user has a fair amount of control over the many settings on each device (although this control can be, and often is, revoked by the OEM).
  • The Google Play store offers a huge variety of additional software to load. Many of which are free.
  • The source code for much of Android is and remains open-source.
  • I like how programs must inform the user which aspects of your device they require access to before installing.

Bad

  • The "back" navigation system doesn't always work as expected.
  • It's annoyingly difficult to load software outside of the Google Play store.
  • Google isn't as quick at identifying and stopping malicious software on their Play store as they could be.

Ugly

  • Google allows OEMs to easily and irrevocably alter the OS at the expense of the user. Most devices are sold with loads of useless, dangerous, or unwanted software which wastes space, drains the battery, and often spies on the user. This software cannot be removed or even prevented from running.

Links