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Android technology is a type of OSS (open source software), which is a type of software readily available with a source code that isn’t held exclusive by copyright laws. Android is made specially for mobile devices and includes: software that provides common services for computer applications, middleware, which lets multiple applications run at the same time or connect, and many other key applications like social networking, games, and business modules. Android is modeled after Linux kernel, the first operating system of free and open-source software.
However, Android is moving to increase the number of people with web access via mobile devices (cell phones). In August of 2005, Google purchased the original software developer of Android. Android technology includes the hardware devices, operating systems, and computer-programming languages used by the Android phone. Android developers write in java language, which is why the majority of the open-source software stack consists of Java applications on a Java-based framework that is object-oriented.
Some of the most popular android products are HTC-EVO 4G and Droid X, 2, and Pro smart phones as well as one of it’s latest developments, the Motorola XOOM, an Android tablet.
Android continues to progress in its production of newer software, smart phones, etc. To date, there are over two hundred thousand applications offered for Android. Lastly, Android technology has improved mobile technology by forming the Open Handset Alliance, a group of handset manufacturers, service providers, and chip producers whose goal is to form the ecosystem for Android operating systems.
Android technology hosts a number of potential benefits to possible consumers.
Android is powered by open-source software stack, which means it is free to obtain and can be accessed from the Internet. In fact, Google has out sourced codes of Android technology on the web to be trialed. It safe to say that Google sees an importance in the customers familiarizing themselves with the product before purchasing say a smart phone, tablet, etc. that comes equip with Android technology.
In saying this, it would be incorrect to say that Android manufacturers don’t believe in customer service. Another, benefit of Android is its push to increase the number of people with mobile web access. A benefit of mobile access to the web relieves the hassle of trying to find a desktop or waiting until one gets home to check emails, Google groups, social networking sites that hold important information, etc. Android Technology is provided in a wide array of products, such as the Motorola Droid X.
More specifically, benefits of Droid X are perks like: its 4. 3 inch vivid display allowing for pocket-sized home theater quality, the ability to control your home’s Frontpoint security system, an advanced 8 mega-pixel camera with dual flash that captures pictures and records HD videos, and an HDMI output that is capable of connecting to your home HD television to view your HD videos. Ultimately, each product carrying Android technology has it’s own little perks whether that’s software, elongated battery life, etc.
The potential benefits of this kind of technology outweigh any potential pitfalls. According to Marguerite Reardon in her CNET news article Living with Technology: Google Android and the Wireless Future, “much of the software’s success will be determined by what others in the ecosystem choose to do with it” (Reardon 1). This means benefits can be endless, because with android technology you get what you put in, as cliche as that sounds, the more applications you add to your device the more sufficient you and your mobile device will be.
Like all other advancements in technology, Android technology is a modification of what came before it (Linux kernel). Due to nature of it being a new and exciting type of technology, people have begun to voice perspective on legal, social, ethical, and security conditions of products including the software. First, to clear up any confusion Google only has rights to the software or operating system; it is not there job to supply the build or make devices.
Rights to manufacture phones/smart phones and other devices using Android operating systems powered by Google are companies like LG, HTC, Samsung, and Motorola. Also, service providers like Verizon and T-Mobile only provide cell phone service; they don’t manufacture the phones or write the software that is put into them. This is something that catches people off guard when they see these devices being sold at local Verizon and T-Mobile stores. The main determinant of social perspectives is feedback whether that’s in the form of a review or letter.
Mobile technology specialist Ian Fogg had this to say, “Android offers some key advantages. Handset manufacturers can get a leg up, a quicker start, because they're using Android as a base, they can still differentiate with software, and they get the advantage of having compatibility with all the applications out in the Android marketplace. " The idea of taking something like a cellular phone and inserting Android technology exponential improves the user’s capability to interact with others based on a number of different applications and simply by mobilizing web access.
Opinions of Ethical standards in terms of Android technology go hand in hand with opinions of its security policies. First, in order to activate the software you must purchase a data plan, which is billed monthly in addition to the total cost of the device itself. This rules out the obsoleteness of the software, because although it is freely obtainable it is not in free and workable condition without a data plan. This is a feature of Android technology that society rewards; being able to main exclusivity underlines the importance, safety, and integrity of the company.
Also, in terms of perspectives on ethics and security, phones have in put GPS devices that signal where the phone is, if it is ever to lost or stolen. Lastly, ethics are built on societal needs and coming through with them. One of the many pre-installed application that comes with an Android device is an application called “places”. This application allows people to locate necessary “places”: gas stations, ATM’s, and dining facilities in their vicinity with just the touch of a button.
One of the biggest obstacles that caused a minor setback for Google’s Android during the beginning of its expansion was its absence of Bluetooth API (application programming interface). Ken Dulaney, a Gartner analyst, pointed out that although there was no Bluetooth API, “Android’s partial support for headsets would alleviate some concerns“ (Ruffolo 1). However, it didn’t take away all potential problems.
Dulaney continued by saying, “one of the major side effects of the missing Bluetooth API – and of the open source platform in general – is that the Android-based handhelds will suffer from serious fragmentation across the various vendors using the platform, [ultimately] complicat[ing] the development process” (Ruffolo 1). Yet, these weren’t obstacles that couldn’t have been overcome. The author talks about how even Apple had problems with the iPhone in its manufacturing stages; all that was needed was time for developers to grow and their product to further mature.
Android technology is a open-source software that has created numerous possibilities with its many potential benefits such as: applications, mobile web access, and growing popularity/dependability. It has received positive feedback from the public in terms of applications and software that apply to legal, social, ethical, and security perspectives. Lastly, although it is apparent that minor set backs have occurred in the developing of products with Android technology, time will allow them to grow and improve from stages of experimentation.
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