Four Years And Counting: Android’s Bittersweet Journey To The Top

Isn’t it a little bizarre to think that it has been four years since Google conjured up the SDK 1.0? As Android celebrates its fourth anniversary, not only does one feel that time has flown, but Android’s precipitous evolution in the said time is also pretty staggering. Before the Google announcement, cell phone consumers had to opt for a phone from Apple, a Windows-based one or a basic device, which would come with the stock operating system of the manufacturer. Now you have smart phones coming up with devices that have Android as an OS. In merely four years Google has taken a mobile OS which was based on Linux, and transformed into this tech behemoth that is ruling the roost over the smart phone market.


Four Years Ago…

As one takes a walk down the memory lane, it was four years ago that the rumors regarding Google developing a cell phone OS, gathered momentum leaving the tech realm with a tang of perplexity. How and more importantly why, would a search engine company bother with a mobile operating system? And even though the thought was refreshing but one couldn’t put two and two together.

This was the time when the tech aficionados were coping with the likes of Windows Mobile 6.0 or an early iPhone version, with Google – working like a focused Android spy – mulling over putting together the initial versions of Android, while iPhone tracking pundits hailed the Apple product as the quintessential nugget sent from tech deities. And these iPhone tracking pundits were proven right initially as iPhones steamrolled one and all, while Android took baby steps towards prominence.

While those times were tough and Android took its due time in coming to the fore as a big name in the smart phone world, as history vindicates, Android is gradually becoming the biggest name in the tech realm by regularly coming up with features that would enhance user-interaction. It has been four years of relentless evolution, so that Android works in synchrony with the demands of the users – the 4.0 or Jelly Bean is proof enough to showcase how the OS has evolved since 2008.

No Initial Sweet Tooth

When one thinks of Android, a myriad of dessert names spring to mind inadvertently. However, Android did not have a sweet tooth from the get go. The 1.0 SDK didn’t have a name based on sweets, and it wasn’t up till the 1.5 version that Google began summoning sweet-based names. The first one, the 1.5 version, was the ‘Cupcake’, Version 1.6 was ‘Donut’ and then came ‘Éclair’ – the Android 2.0 – as Android began upping the ante on its scrumptious offerings. The dessert based names have recently culminated in Jelly Bean, but they were preceded by the likes of Froyo, Ginerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich – versions 2.2, 2.3, 3.0 and 4.0 respectively. Jelly Brean the latest sweet dish on the Android table is referred to as Android 4.1 SDK.

Goole JB ICS

Expanding Beyond Conventions

The thing that has catapulted Android toward the apogee of operating systems isn’t merely its ability with regards to enhancing its ecosystem which leads to better interactivity. Google has actually formulated a cell phone operating system that hasn’t been optimized merely for mobile phones. In addition to providing the operating system to cater to enhanced mobile interaction, it has further expanded to cater to and bolster the user experience and performance in tablets. Expanding beyond conventions has made Android a tech superpower, and it is this versatility that has resulted in the Android market share regularly soaring miles above its immediate competitors.

Out in the Open

Last, and definitely not the least, Android’s “open source” concept has resulted in manufacturers optimizing their use of the OS despite the fact that one could trace an inkling or two of haziness in it. This open source concept allows the developers to conjure their own OS versions that would fit the bill for their customers and cater to the hardware requirements simultaneously. So yes, when the source is left out in the open, the developers can add all their artistry and magic and further enhance the overall user experience, without compromising the practical requirements.

From being a nobody to now the king of the show, it has been a bittersweet journey for Android. It was bitter initially, when no one actually took it seriously, but now with back-to-back-to-back scrumptious desserts being put on the plate, everything’s sweet and sugary in the Android world.

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