List of features in Android
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||This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (November 2012)|
- Handset layouts
- The platform is adaptable to larger, VGA, 2D graphics library, 3D graphics library based on OpenGL ES 2.0 specifications, and traditional smartphone layouts.
- SQLite, a lightweight relational database, is used for data storage purposes.
- Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, NFC and WiMAX.
- SMS and MMS are available forms of messaging, including threaded text messaging and Android Cloud To Device Messaging (C2DM) and now enhanced version of C2DM, Android Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) is also a part of Android Push Messaging service.
- Multiple language support
- Android supports multiple languages.
- Web browser
- Java support
- While most Android applications are written in Java, there is no Java Virtual Machine in the platform and Java byte code is not executed. Java classes are compiled into Dalvik executables and run on Dalvik, a specialized virtual machine designed specifically for Android and optimized for battery-powered mobile devices with limited memory and CPU. J2ME support can be provided via third-party applications.
- Media support
- Android supports the following audio/video/still media formats: WebM, H.263, H.264, AAC, HE-AAC (in 3GP or MP4 container), MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR-WB (in 3GP container), MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, WebP.
- Streaming media support
- RTP/RTSP streaming (3GPP PSS, ISMA), HTML progressive download (HTML5 <video> tag). Adobe Flash Streaming (RTMP) and HTTP Dynamic Streaming are supported by the Flash plugin. Apple HTTP Live Streaming is supported by RealPlayer for Android, and by the operating system in Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).
- Additional hardware support
- Android can use video/still cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers, dedicated gaming controls, proximity and pressure sensors, thermometers, accelerated 2D bit blits (with hardware orientation, scaling, pixel format conversion) and accelerated 3D graphics.
- Android has native support for multi-touch which was initially made available in handsets such as the HTC Hero. The feature was originally disabled at the kernel level (possibly to avoid infringing Apple's patents on touch-screen technology at the time). Google has since released an update for the Nexus One and the Motorola Droid which enables multi-touch natively.
- Supports A2DP, AVRCP, sending files (OPP), accessing the phone book (PBAP), voice dialing and sending contacts between phones. Keyboard, mouse and joystick (HID) support is available in Android 3.1+, and in earlier versions through manufacturer customizations and third-party applications.
- Video calling
- Android does not support native video calling, but some handsets have a customized version of the operating system that supports it, either via the UMTS network (like the Samsung Galaxy S) or over IP. Video calling through Google Talk is available in Android 2.3.4 and later. Gingerbread allows Nexus S to place Internet calls with a SIP account. This allows for enhanced VoIP dialing to other SIP accounts and even phone numbers. Skype 2.1 offers video calling in Android 2.3, including front camera support. Users with the Google+ android app can video chat with other google+ users through hangouts.
- Multitasking of applications, with unique handling of memory allocation, is available.
- Built in text to speech is provided by Talk back for people with low or no vision. Enhancements for people with hearing disabilities is available as is other aids.
- Voice based features
- Google search through voice has been available since initial release. Voice actions for calling, texting, navigation, etc. are supported on Android 2.2 onwards. As of Android 4.1, Google has expanded Voice Actions with the ability to talk back and read answers from Google's Knowledge Graph when queried with specific commands. The ability to control hardware has not yet been implemented.
- Android supports tethering, which allows a phone to be used as a wireless/wired Wi-Fi hotspot. Before Android 2.2 this was supported by third-party applications or manufacturer customizations.
- Screen capture
- Android supports capturing a screenshot by pressing the power and volume-down buttons at the same time. Prior to Android 4.0, the only methods of capturing a screenshot were through manufacturer and third-party customizations or otherwise by using a PC connection (DDMS developer's tool). These alternative methods are still available with the latest Android.
- External storage
- Most Android devices include microSD slot and can read microSD cards formatted with FAT32, Ext3 or Ext4 file system. To allow use of high-capacity storage media such as USB flash drives and USB HDDs, many Android tablets also include USB 'A' receptacle. Storage formatted with FAT32 is handled by Linux Kernel VFAT driver, while 3rd party solutions are required to handle other popular file systems such as NTFS, HFS Plus and exFAT.
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- "Android 3.0 Platform Highlights". Google. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- Musil, Steven (February 11, 2009). "Report: Apple nixed Android's multitouch". CNET News. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- Ziegler, Chris (February 2, 2010). "Nexus One gets a software update, enables multitouch". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- "Android 3.1 Platform Highlights". Android Developers. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
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