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What is an Android App?

Updated on July 21, 2012
Apps on an Android Phone
Apps on an Android Phone | Source

Android powers hundreds of millions of mobile devices across the globe. Android devices are available in over 190 countries and Android is the largest installed base of any mobile platform – and it is growing rapidly with millions of new users powering up their Android devices every day and looking for apps, games and other software to install onto their Android Devices.

The Android G1
The Android G1 | Source

Android is a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices (such as smart phones and tablets) and is developed by the Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of 84 firms, lead by Google.

The first Android powered handset, the G1, was released by T-Mobile back in 2008. Since the launch of android devices, a vast number of crafty developers have been constantly working on new and interesting mobile apps for Android phones and tablets.

An Android Map App
An Android Map App | Source

But What is an App?

The word “app” is an abbreviation for application. An app typically refers to a software application developed for use on mobile devices powered by Google’s Android platform. These software applications extend the functionality of android devices.

Where do I get Android Apps?

The Android Apps are available for download on Google’s online app store, Google Play (previously known as Android Market) as well as other third-party sites such as Amazon Appstore and other various Android focused sites. All of the apps downloaded from Android focused sites can run on Android smart phones, tablets, Google TV and other Android enabled devices.

How are apps created?

Android also gives developers a world class platform for developing apps and games for Android users, as well as a marketplace for distributing to Android users world wide instantly. Google encourages developers to program their own Android apps. Many Android apps available are free to download, however, other apps called “Premium Apps” can be downloaded after purchase. The revenue generated from these premium apps are shared between Google (30% of total revenue) and the App Software Developer (70% of the total revenue). Free apps can also generate revenue if they follow the “freemium“ business model, where an app software developer can generate revenue through Google’s in-app billing capabilities.

There are hundreds of thousands of Apps available for Android users to downloaded. These apps include everything from games, home automation, weather, reading, music, photography, productivity, security, news and health and fitness related applications – all conveniently available for use anywhere on your Android mobile device.

Android Versions

The Android operating system has been updated frequently since its original "Astro" version. With each new version that is released, previous bugs (problems or issues with the software) are fixed and new features are added. Android name their update versions in alphabetical order with every update since the second, "Cupcake", being named after desserts.

The Android versions to date have been;

  • Astro
  • Cupcake
  • Donut
  • Eclair
  • Froyo
  • Gingerbread
  • Honeycomb
  • Ice cream sandwich
  • Jellybean

As these updates are released, apps are also modified to take advantage of these new features and fix any previous problems, also known as bugs.

Android devices are readily available in the market, including phones such as the Sony Xperia and tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Do you own an Android phone or mobile device?

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