This is an era of smartphones. People have access to 3G, 4G technologies. Most of the things we can do online can be done on mobile phones whether it is to transfer money, pay bills or shopping. Mobile handset is no more a device just used for communication. This serves as an entertainment system. We can watch videos, movies, listen to music, play games, and access web applications on a mobile handset.
All these things are achieved by developing various applications which run on a particular mobile operating system. Android is a most popular open source Mobile OS used in smart phones.
In 2005, a company working in cell phones technology called “Android, Inc” was acquired by Google. At that point in time the expectation was that Google is going to get into mobile phone market. But in 2007, a group of companies named “Open Handset Alliance” released an open source mobile operating system “Android” to the market, which was led by Google.
Below is the version history of Android and some of the devices which used Android:
- Android 1.0: Released in September 2008, HTC Dream was the first Android device
- Android 1.1: Released in February 2009, used in T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream)
- Cupcake 1.5: Released in April 2009, based on Linux Kernel, which included many more features
- Donut 1.6: Released in September 2009, updated with support for many technologies such as CDMA/EVDO, text-to-speech engines, gallery and camera are fully integrated.
- Éclair 2.0/2.1: Released in October 2009. Many advanced features are included in this version.
- Froyo 2.2.x: Released in May 2010. This release included performance optimizations, speed improvements, support for C2DM service, improved Microsoft Exchange service, etc.
- Gingerbread 2.3.x: Released in December 2010. User interface design was updated and made simple to use.
- Honeycomb 3.x: Released in February 2011.
- Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.x: Released in October 2011.
For complete version history and features of each version, kindly visit: Wikipedia Android version history
Here, I want to mention some of the devices which have used Android OS:
- LG Nitro HD (AT&T)
- HTC Sensation XL
- Samsung Galaxy Note
- HTC Sensation XE
- Sony Xperia S
- Samsung Galaxy S
- Motorola Atrix 2
- HTC Incredible
- LG Optimus Sol E730
- HTC Rhyme
The Android market has opened up incredible opportunities for Software Professionals. Software testers who are experienced in Test Automation of Android applications with tools such as Selenium are on high demand in the market.
Every business such as banking, trading, e-commerce, etc are developing their own Android apps. These applications definitely need software developers as well as software testers. When I specify testers, they include automation testers, performance testers, and functional testers.
This is the time to grab the opportunities in the Android space.