Why Google’s Android Platform Is So Popular?

android-ics-logoThe mobile world is blooming. In fact, with the increase in demand for Smartphones, the world too has shrunk more smaller and now fits in your hand. Now, there are a variety of smartphones available in the market and they are powered by various Operating Systems. The war in Smartphone market is not only between the hardware manufacturers but also between the mobile phone operating system makers. Google Android, Microsoft, Symbian are the leading OS makers for the smartphone.

Even though there are too many competitors for the market, Google’s Android overtook every other company and now it has become the leading Operating System maker for the smartphone. It is really remarkable for a company to achieve this in a very short time. You will find it really interesting if you know what is behind the popularity of Android. This post is for the people who wish to know about Android right from the base.

What is Android?

Android is the operating system, not only for Smartphones but also for Tablet computers. Android is based on Linux and it is being developed by Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 80+ leading hardware companies like Sony, Samsung and software companies led by Google. The Open Handset Alliance creates the standards for the mobile devices running on Android.

Versions

Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) – These are not only the desserts but also the various versions of Android. Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest version.

Android_chart

Of all these versions, Gingerbread is the most popular one. Gingerbread is used in more than 63% of Android phones.

Why Android is so Popular?

1. Android is for Free

Android, right from the day it was released, choose to be free and Google will keep Android for free in future also. This caught the attention of Hardware manufacturers all over the world to bring out a low cost smartphone that will be powered by a free Operating System -Android.

Android’s popularity is mainly due to being ‘Free’. Being Free enabled Google to join hands with many leading hardware manufacturers and bring out a really ‘smart’ smartphone.

2. Open Source

Android is Open Source too. Unlike the other mobile phone operating systems, which are protected by various laws, copyrights and what not, Google decided to keep Android open. Being Open enabled Google to allow a large pool of active programmers from all over the world to contribute their best and to enhance Android. With many intelligent brains working for the system, newer and newer ideas were generated and implemented.

3. You too can create your own app

If you are addicted to your Android smartphone or tablet and want to create your own application. You can even develop Android Applications without any coding skill. Google provides you a set of tools that you can use it for free and create your own android application.

Get the Software Development Kit for Android App Development. Letting the users to develop their own application gives the users the much needed flexibility and freedom to modify anything the manufacturers have given you and make it in the way you like.

4. Application Store

Google distributes all the applications for the Android powered phones through its Google Play (previously Android Market). It lets the users to test, use and share a variety of applications and recommend them to the other users. There are nearly 450,000 applications available in the store. Some of these applications are available for free and some for cost.

You can have a visit to Google Play.


Advantages over the other OS

The reasons I have told above tells you why Android is different from others. Indeed not only that are enough to be a top player in the market beating a heavy competition. Android have big advantages over the other Operating System makers.

Android targets Common Man

Android OS targets the common man who wish to get maximum features at a low price. Even now many people think iPhone is for rich. These common men who wish to have their own smartphones can own Android powered smartphone which comes under their budget.  Further, an iPhone without jailbreaking does not accept many SIM, whereas Android will support any SIM.

It is the biggest plus for Android. It has chosen its area of market to be targeted very well. Otherwise, Android would have been just another Google product.

Market Share

According to Gartner’s Report prepared on Q3, 2011 Android holds more than 50% of the smartphone market. The other manufacturers like  BlackBerry, Apple, Symbian and Windows are far behind Android. The chart explains it well.

Who else will join the league?

A popular (perhaps very popular) social network is planning to enter into the smartphone market in association with HTC. They are planning to use a heavily modified version of Android to power their phone. It is still a Rumor and not official yet.

Summing it up, Android has taken the user experience far above what many others have thought about it. It is still young and ever growing. You can get synchronized with it!

If you wish to discuss more about Android please post your queries and suggestions in the Comments Section below. Wish to hear from you on how the article is.

Premium Android Apps for Five Rupees Each

Recently the Android Market Google Play Store has gone on a sale with some of the best paid apps available in the market. During this festive season, it has decided to put some of the best apps in the market for a affordable price of five rupees.

Note: The apps might change after a regular interval.

10 Billion Downloads

This promo offer is also being named the 10 Billion Promo to celebrate 10 Billion app downloads from the Android Market. This promotional offer might be for a limited time and you need to hurry because of the quality of apps available for an amazingly low price.

This sale features the following apps, which are actually priced much higher normally, are now available at a flat price of Rs.5.13 :

  • SoundHound
  • Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD
  • Minecraft: Pocket Edition
  • SwiftKey X Keyboard
  • Endomondo Sports Tracker
  • Great Little War Game
  • SketchBook Mobile
  • Fieldrunners HD
  • Color & Draw for kids:phone ed
  • Paper Camera
From the present batch of the sale I’d suggest downloading SwiftKey X Keyboard app. This helps you to write faster using a swiping method. Though some of the free apps do the same thing, I found SwiftKey X does it better. If you already have the 2.3.4 Android update on your phone, then it might support this kind of keyboard after the update. In that case, it will be thoughtful if you choose some other app to make best use of this offer.
These apps might be changing everyday. So, keep checking for your favorite apps that you wished were almost free.

5 Best Shooter Games For Android

Who haven’t played shooter games like Duck Hunter and Contra in the childhood. If you still love to play such games then here are some shooter games for your Android Smartphone.

We all know how stylish it is to have fun with our guns while playing video games, especially taking it from our holster. You can check the Best Small of Back Holster Reviews by Bobergarms for checking the types.

1. Gun Bros

Bun Bros

Gun Bros is one of best shooter games on Android market. This game provides you a large number of weapons. In this game you need to kill bad guys and as you progress through the game you get more money for killing more bad buys. You can use that money to buy more advanced weapons for you.

[Download Gun Bros]


2. Big Time Gangsta

Big Time Gangsta

The streets of Mission Hill are as deadly as it gets. In this game you need to build your own gang from the bunch of street soldiers. To survive and thrive in these dangerous neighborhoods you need to take out rival gangs before they get to you first. Hustling and dealing, shooting and stealing is the only way to take these streets, earn cold hard cash and own the city.

[Download Big Time Gangsta]


3. Air Attack HD Lite

Air Attack HD

Air Attack is a award winning next-gen top down air combat shooter game with stunning 3D graphics. The objective of this game is to destroy your enemies and survive through the game. In this game you get 3 great missions, 24 different enemy types, 2 unique planes, 3 difficulty modes and much more.

[Download Air Attack HD Lite]


4. Duck Hunter

Duck Hunter

Duck Hunter is an excellent fun game. The objective of this game is to shoot the flying birds that are escaping from the dark forest by tapping on them. Each escaped bird will cost you a life.

[Download Duck Hunter]


5. Sniper

In this game you have got a team and you are the best anti-terrorist unit in US. A group of terrorists has broken into railway station, even taken some innocent passengers as their hostages. You need to clear all the terrorists as this mission.

Sniper Game

[Download Sniper]

This article is written by Simrandeep Singh. He writes reviews about useful and best Android Apps at his blog Explore Android Apps.

Create Android Apps Without Any Coding Skills

If you are an Android phone user, you must have dabbled with quite a number of applications by now. Did you know you too can create an application like the ones you are using presently? Since I have almost zero knowledge of computer languages, I will be telling you here how you can create an application without any coding skills (having coding skills is always a plus since you can go deep inside the generic code and work out wonders).

First have a basic layout of what your application will have. Text, images, videos, RSS feeds, custom HTML, whatever you plan to have in your application, get it ready before you start working on your application. For my test application, I chose recipes. From the web I copied a few recipes, pictures and videos from YouTube.

The platform that I used to create my application is Buzztouch. V 1.4 is the default version that you get to create your application when you sign-up. If you join the early adopter program, they also give you access to v 1.5, but it is only for iPhone apps.

So v1.4 is where you will need to create your android application. Go to “Create New App”.  Give a name to your application and agree to the terms. Next put in the icon for your app, image for your app and a small introduction text that explains what your app intends to do.

Application Control Panel

Now you come to the most important part – the content of your app. Click on “Manage this apps menus and screens” and you will get an option to add custom text, picture, video from Youtube, streaming video, RSS feeds and many more things. Choose the content on the basis of availability. To see how each form of content looks, I will advise to use as many forms as possible. You can create as many screens as you want.

After you are done, go to your app control panel and click on “Download the source code for this app”. It asks you whether you want the source code for iPhone app or Android app. Choose the latter. Let it download. Copy the zip file to a location of your choice and unzip it in a folder. Delete the zip file.

There is a file called Read Me in this folder. Open it to learn about the next set of instructions.

Now go to http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing.html and follow all the instructions in the exact sequence as mentioned there – first download Eclipse, next Android SDK, next ADT Plugin for Eclipse, finally add platforms and other components. You may find some hiccups and this may take time if you have a slow connection. Keep trying and you will finally get to it.

Once you are done with all the steps, it’s time to come back to Eclipse that we use to compile your application. Rejoice as you are very close to your application.

Click on the “new” just below “file” in the upper navigation. It will open a “Select a Wizard” pop-up. Click on Android and then Android Project and click Next. It opens a small box called New Android Project that wants you to name your project. Give it some name. Next click on “Create project from existing source” and browse the folder where you have your application files that you unzipped in one of the past steps. Now in “Build Target” check on the following combination:  Google APIs-Google Inc – Platform 1.6 – AP 4. Click on it. Next click on Finish as there is nothing more clickable there.

New Android Project

It will appear in the Package Explorer area of Eclipse. Check that it doesn’t show any error in the console area.

Next click on Run Button on the upper navigation and it opens a small box. Click on Android development there and click Next. It opens an Android simulator. Follow the instructions and lo it opens your application. See how each of your screens turns out.

First Applcation

Next you can go ahead to publish your own application. I have yet to do that. Go to http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/index.html and it will tell you how the rest of the tasks have to be done.

So tell me, was any coding involved in creation of the app? Do tell me how helpful you found this article. Also if you are able to publish your app in the market, share it with others and let others get encouraged.

This guest is written by Aditya. He blogs at Ityaadi. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.

Convert Your Android Phone Into An IP Camera

I am a big fan of android, therefore this article is also related to android and its applications. In this article I will show you how to convert your android phone into an IP camera. An Internet protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera commonly employed for surveillance, and which unlike analog closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet.

Android IP Camera

Image Credit : laap mx

I am always searching for new and cool apps in the android market and found this application one day when I was doing the same. The name of application is IP Camera.

Requirements

  • Android Phone
  • 1 Computer
  • Wifi Router/Modem
  • VLC Player

Market LinkIP Camera

Description from market listing

Turn you phone into a wireless camera! Supports Windows, Mac and Linux.

Turns your phone into a network camera with multiple viewing options. View your camera on any platform with VLC player or web browser.

Use IP Webcam with tinyCam Monitor on another android device or with third-party MJPG software, including video surveillance software, security monitors and most audio players.

Videochat support (e.g. Skype, Chatroulette, only video stream for Windows only via an universal MJPG driver). To get this application, just open Android Market from your android phone or tablet, then search for IP Camera and the click on install.

Now connect your phone to the wifi network.

Note : Phone must be in the same network as of your computer. Now open this newly installed app and scroll down to the bottom and click on Start Server.

After then browse to the IP address provided by the application in your browser on your computer. It will prompt for username and password if you have defined them in the app.

After that click on “Open stream in media player”, then “Save to” dialog box will appear, click on open radio button and then click Ok.

Voilla now you should be able to view video from your phone on your VLC Player. Please tell in comments what you think about this app and what funny things you did (or will be doing) using this.

This article is written by Aman Arora. He is the guy behind Asian Hackers, which has quite good and easy tutorials to get you started. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.

HOW TO: Get Daily Deals On Your Android Phone

Who hates Daily Deals? They can make our wallets heavy for a while. Now we are going to share another great Android application that can ping you regarding great offers, deals and discounts. T-Mobile is behind this app.

They launched a free new app for providing users with daily deals. T-Mobile’s More for Me™ is a nationwide aggregation service that offers consumers the best in daily deals. The service is completely free and enables consumers to get the best and timely offers, discounts and deals from some of the biggest names in daily deals tailored to their preferences, location and interests.

More for Me

You can download this Android application for free through the Android Market. You will receive instant updates of deals, discounts and offers on various products including hotels, restaurants, entertainment and so on. The deals are actually provided based on your choices, needs, interests and location.

Screenshots

More for me - Screenshots

[Grab T-Mobile More for Me app via Android Market]

TIP : Never MISS A Free Android App Next Time OR Try Paid Android Apps Before Buying

10 Free Android Apps That You Should Try

This is my first post on HBB, so just thought of sharing my list of free android apps, that I feel are really useful because I approximately use them everyday and these apps have made everything really easy for me. I have taken the description from apps market listing. You can also share the apps you like in the comments below.

Note : Apps are in alphabetical order not by rating.

1. Adobe Reader

Description : The global standard for accurately and reliably interacting with PDF Documents

Adobe Reader provides high quality, fast PDF viewing and interaction for your Android smartphones and tablets. Select Adobe Reader as the application of choice when opening a PDF file and you will be able to view and navigate the PDF quickly and intuitively.

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.adobe.reader


2. AndFtp

Description : AndFTP is a FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP client. It can manage several FTP configurations. It comes with both device and FTP file browser. It provides download, upload, synchronization and share features with resume support. It can open, rename, delete, update permissions, run custom commands and more. SSH RSA/DSA keys support.

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=lysesoft.andftp


3. Astro File Manager

Features : File Manager, Backup, Image and text viewers, Networking, SMB, Bluetooth, SFTP, Zip Tar, downloader, thumbnails, search files, application manager, task manager, attachments

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.metago.astro


4. Ebuddy

Description : Chat on multiple MSN, Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, GTalk, MySpace & Hyves accounts

Chat everywhere with eBuddy Messenger. Stay always connected with all your friends and family on MSN (Windows Live Messenger or WLM), Facebook, Yahoo!, MySpace, Gtalk (Orkut), ICQ, AIM (AOL) and Hyves.

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.ebuddy.android


5. Fullonsms

Description : Fullonsms.com brings its service to the android users.

Send unlimited, FULL 160 characters SMS for FREE to people in India. Stay in touch with your friends & family without the worries of mobile bills.

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.spoton.fullonsms


6. Remote RDP Lite

Description : Touchpad mode deprecated,use better on-scr mouse instead

A Remote Desktop Protocol client.

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=org.toremote.rdpdemo


7. Remote Web Desktop

Description : The easiest way to remote manage & control your phone in web browser

The best web desktop for Android phone, it provides the easiest way to remote manage & control your phone in web browser, totally support all 3G/WiFi/USB connections.

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=net.xdevelop.rm


8. Skype

Description : Make free Skype-to-Skype calls, and call phones at Skype rates on the move

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.skype.raider


9. Teamviewer

Teamviewer

Description : This app is currently not available in the market but you can download it from Teamviewer’s official website.

I don’t think I need to give description about this application

Official URL : http://www.teamviewer.com/download/TeamViewer.apk


10. Tubemate

Description : With TubeMate you can enjoy YouTube search, related videos, favorites and download them to SD in various qualities

Market URL : https://market.android.com/details?id=devian.tubemate.henry2

If you are an Android freak, make sure you never miss a free Android app next time and also you can test paid Android apps before buying them.


This article is written by Aman Arora. He is the guy behind Asian Hackers, which has quite good and easy tutorials to get you started. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.

Never MISS A Free Android App Next Time

Hope you are aware about Amazon Appstore’s free app of the day. They will have a different paid application available for free every day. Now this $0.99 worth App – Amazon Free App Reminder – will be helpful to you if you are too lazy or busy kinda thing. This App puts a daily notification about the free app of the day in your status bar. You can also see the general information about that app, configure according to your requirements, and go directly to the Amazon Appstore from the notification.

Remember you can also try Paid Android apps for free without buying them.

Amazon Free App

Image Credit : Lifehacker

This app is inexpensive and will not take much resource I believe. One of my friends tried it, and he was convinced with it. Three types of notifications available – Vibration, LED, and Sound.

[Grab Amazon Free App Reminder]

3 Great Android Phones Within 10K (INR)

Android Phones have become very popular with people these days; so much that it gives brands like Nokia and Apple a very tough competition. It’s a well-known fact that Android phones aren’t cheap and you will have to shell out a few bucks in order to buy one. In this post, I am featuring 3 Great Android Phones that are priced below Rs. 10,000 for the price sensitive Indian Market.

Micromax Andro A60:

Micromax Andro A60Micromax Andro A60 is an entry level full-touch Android Device. It runs on Android 2.1 (Eclair) and has a 3.2 MP Camera. You also get Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity all for a meager price of Rs. 6699/-

The best thing about this phone is that it’s powered by a high-end processor with a power of 600MHz (faster than the HTC Wildfire). Check out Micromax Andro A60 on Flipkart.


Dell XCD28:

Dell XCD28The XCD28  is an Android Powered smartphone from Dell. It comes with Android 2.1 (Eclair) and has a 3.2MP Camera with 2x Zoom. It also features a powerful 600Mhz processor just like the Micromax phone we just saw. This phone is priced at Rs. 8000. Check out it’s page at Flipkart.


Samsung Galaxy5 i5503:

The Samsung Galaxy5 i5503 is a very similar Android Phone powered by Eclair. It comes with a 2MP camera and has features similar to that of the other phones mentioned above. It has GPS and works with a 3.5mm headset. It’s priced at Rs. 8989. Check out it’s page at Flipkart.

I hope you liked these phones. If you can afford a bit more, I’d recommend you check out the LG Optimus One P500 priced at Rs.12,500 and the HTC Wildfire priced at Rs. 13,500.

Top 5 Android Application Development Books

Android Development BooksAndroid Application Development industry is gaining traction, as Android gains market share in the mobile OS industry. Also Android has shown tremendous promise to be a strong market holder in five years from now. Many developers have supported Android when asked for the OS of the future.

Developers have reported to make huge profits through the Android apps business last quarter. The main advantage of having an App in the Android market is 80% of the app price goes to developer unlike 70% in the AppStore. So higher percentage profit for Android developers when compared to iPhone. Android Application Development doesn’t even demand developers to learn complex programming languages. Good knowledge in Java is all you need. How ever for making an Android application one has to know various technical nuances of major Android phones, various versions of Android and its features and also should have thorough understanding of Software development kit provided by Google. Below are few of the books which will help you kick start your career in Android App Development and make your first Android application.

Also check : 10+ Useful Android Applications For Webmasters


#1 – Hello, Android: Introducing Google’s Mobile Development Platform

Hello Android helps you take the baby steps and is a book made for newbies who are serious about developing apps for the Google mobile OS. The book gives real world advice on various versions of Android from Cupcake (Android 1.5) to FroYo (Android 2.2). The book teaches you to build apps with audio and video support, add graphics using 2D and 3D OpenGL, network with web pages and web services, and store data with SQLite.

Android-book


#2 – Sams Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours

If you are in a hurry in learning Android Development then this book will help you like a crash course. The books takes you through the most common Android development tasks in a detailed manner and has a set of  Quizzes and Exercises at the end of each chapter to know the concepts you have grasped.

Android-development


#3 – Android Development for Dummies

The book is written by Android guru Donn Felker and is one of the top selling Android books. The book is written in digestible sections so that the concepts sink in to the learners head. Not just dummies but even professionals can make use of this book.

Android Application Development For Dummies


#4 – Android Application Development: Programming with Google SDK

The book has complete introduction of Android and its SDK kit so that newbies can learn and even the pros can brush up their concepts. Apart from the routine stuff the book covers more advanced topics like Delve into advanced topics such as security, custom views, performance analysis and internationalization. This book good for advanced Android developers.

Android-development-books


#5 – The Busy Coder’s Guide to Advanced Android Development

When you are ready to take out the big guns and apply all your inherent skills on display then this book will be a guide you should have by your side. This book is made for developers with sound understanding of basics and are serious about making the best Android apps in the market.

Advanced-Android-Development

Let me know any good books which you know in the comments.