Android is an open source mobile operating system that powers a wide variety of devices. It runs on tablets, phones, and even smartwatches. The core of the operating system is free to download, but some features are not.
When it comes to Android, one of the first things you’ll notice is how customizable the user experience is. You can create your own widgets, and change the look and feel of your home screen through third-party apps on the Google Play Store.
The platform includes a web browser, an operating system based on the Linux kernel, and end-user applications. Some Android devices, such as tablets, support Google’s Chrome OS.
One of the more interesting aspects of Android is its integration with the Google ecosystem of services. This includes an app store, a messaging system, and cloud storage. Many companies develop software that lives on top of the platform.
Since the platform is open, it allows for experimentation and invention. Developers can create applications for a wide range of devices. A few notable examples include apps that simulate older gaming consoles, and an operating system for full QWERTY keyboards.
Another cool feature of the platform is its ability to send and receive short messages with NFC technology. These messages are sent via a high-bandwidth peer-to-peer connection.
Unlike Apple’s iCloud suite, Android has no proprietary sync solution. Instead, it uses the high-bandwidth peer-to-peer network to find and connect apps.
For example, the Android operating system supports multi-touch gestures and pinch-to-zoom functionality. In addition, it provides haptic feedback.