All about Android: the complete beginner's guide

All about Android: the complete beginner’s guide

All about Android: the complete beginner's guide

What is Android?

Android is Google’s software for smartphones, tablets, and many other devices like TVs and cars. Launched in 2003, Android is now the most popular operating system (OS) in the world.

Android’s job as an OS is to be the translator between you and your device. For example: when you make a call, Android is responsible for “telling” your phone how to do this. It works more or less like Windows on your computer.

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This is just a small portion of the devices that run on the Android OS / © ANDROIDPIT

Android is developed by Google, which performs major updates to the platform every year and releases minor updates to correct minor flaws and stabilize the system.

Where does Android come from?

Android has been owned by Google since 2005 (No, Google didn’t invent Android). The Operating System is based on the Linux kernel – if you have friends who work in IT, you may have heard of it. It is the basic structure of the GNU / Linux operating system, which is a unix-type system (portable, multitasking and multi-user operating system). The Linux kernel is one of the most prominent examples of free software, as it can support the development and execution of other free software.

What is the difference between Android and iPhone?

It’s not quite a difference between Android and iPhone, but rather the difference between Android and iOS, which is the operating system used by Apple on its devices.

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The war between Android and iOS should not end anytime soon / © ANDROIDPIT

Basically, both systems are capable of the same thing, with minor differences. Both open applications, connect to Wi-Fi networks, take pictures, send messages, etc., but they have different appearances and different possibilities. In the link below, you can learn more about these differences:

Why is Android not the same on all devices?

Manufacturers can modify Android to adapt the operating system to its interface. That is, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, etc. make modifications that they deem relevant and transform Android according to their design and need.

What are the advantages of Android?

Options, many options. With Android you have hundreds of devices at your disposal, from the cheapest, to the most expensive and innovative on the market.

Android is also incredibly customizable, both in its functions and in its appearance.

Why do all versions have a sweet name?

All versions of Android are codenamed based on consecutive letters of the alphabet. The most recent version presented by Google was Android N, which has not yet received a sweet name, but previous versions include Marshmallow, Lollipop, KitKat and Jelly Bean.

Legend has it that the Android developer received this code name from his colleagues at Apple, where he worked before joining the Google family. Because of your love for desserts, all versions of your system have candy names.

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Android version 4.4 is also known as KitKat / © ANDROIDPIT

In addition, Google wants Android to be a system that makes users’ lives more «sweet», does not cause major problems and is easy to handle, thus giving their versions names of sweets.

You can read more about Android versions here.

What is the Google Play Store?

The Google Play Store is the Google app store for Android. There, you can download and buy different apps, games, books, movies, music and more.

To purchase any of the Play Store services, you must have a Gmail account.

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The Play Store is the most trusted store for getting apps / © ANDROIDPIT

Here are some words you should know about Android

ADB: acronym for Android Debug Bridge, a tool that is used primarily by developers to send commands from a computer to Android. It works like a client-server, that is, it is able to simulate situations on the PC that would happen on the portable device.

Android Wear: is a version of the Android operating system, adapted for wearable products such as smartwatches and fit bands.

APK: Android application file format, used to distribute and install applications. Each Android application is compiled and archived into a single file, which includes all application code, resources, etc. The application file can have any name, but must use the .apk extension. For convenience, an application file is often referred to as an «.apk».

Backup: is the English term that refers to making a backup copy of your data (emails, contacts, SMS). It is recommended that it always be done before Root is done. The most popular backup application on Android is Titanium Backup.

Bluetooth: data transmission system between devices by radio waves and without using wires or other type of connectors.

Bootloader: procedure that allows accessing the recovery and download modes of the device.

Brick: means «brick» in English. It refers to leaving the device as a brick that does not start and becomes unusable due to some configuration error after making a modification.

Open Source: Android is such an operating system, which means that users have the possibility to freely modify and improve it. That’s why on Android, unlike iOS, anyone can create an app for other users to enjoy.

Factory Reset: restore factory settings. It is the action of formatting your device and leaving it as it was originally.

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You can get to see this screen more times than you think / © ANDROIDPIT

Firmware: is the contents of the device’s ROM. To find the firmware version of your device, go to Settings -> About phone -> Software Information.

Flash: it is the act of changing a device’s ROM.

Kernel: can be understood as the core of our operating system. He is responsible for combining the software and hardware functions of the device.

KIES: Samsung application that allows you to update and synchronize data on your smartphone or tablet.

Launcher: responsible for personalizing the device by modifying the user interface. In this article, you can check a selection with the best options for your Android.

Download Mode / Download Mode: device download mode, used to install or replace your device’s firmware or a new ROM.

ODIN: program to flash your device.

MicroSD: removable memory card format, smaller than MiniSD, for use in portable devices.

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These are microSD cards / © ANDROIDPIT

OTA: stands for Over The Air and refers to updates that are made from the smartphone or tablet, without the need to connect it to the computer.

QR: black and white barcode that can be scanned with your device to open a link, take it to an application, etc.

Recovery Mode: another method of starting your Android so you can install ROMs, wipe your Android device, and format your device.

ROM: is what you see on the device, it can be said that it is equivalent to the computer’s operating system. Android devices usually have an original ROM, depending on the brand of your device. Check out our selection of the best custom ROMs for your Android.

Root: the act of unlocking the Android operating system and having full control over the device, through which you can access hidden files, change the ROM or install certain special apps. Android root makes you a «superuser».

ONLY: as we specified above, OS stands for operating system

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The Android operating system may seem complicated, but together we will unravel the mysteries of this world and you will see that Android is not a seven-headed bug / © ANDROIDPIT

Soft Reset: is the act of restarting your phone, whether intentionally or not. It has the same effect as when you remove your battery.

Unlock: action of «unlocking» the device, to be able to use a SIM card of any operator.

Widget: «icon» or part of an application that we can put on the home screen to view information quickly or access the app in a faster and easier way.

Wipe: means «clean» in English. It is the act of formatting the device, so to speak. Erase external ROM data, such as Gmail accounts, applications or settings. This action results in the removal of our data.

Little by little, we are improving our knowledge about these, and many more, terms. Stay tuned, in the next episodes of the Android series for beginners, to learn all about the world of the little green robot.