7.LATEST ANDROID NEWS

Image

 

NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

  • It was predicted that Google Android Sales will Overtake iPhone in 2012 and the predictions came to be  true.
  • Intel doesn’t want to lose ownership of the netbook market, so they need to prepare for anything, including Android
  • Fujitsu launched an initiative to offer consulting and engineering expertise to help run Android on embedded hardware, which aside from cellphones, mobile internet devices, and portable media players, could include GPS devices, thin-client computers and set-top boxes.
  • Google executive Huga Barra said that Google’s Nexus family of devices will be the first to get the new version of Jellybean Android 4.3, but the Google Play Edition phones will have to wait a little while.
  • Amazon is reportedly working on developing an Android-operated gaming console (like the Ouya) scheduled to be released by this year.
  • The next Android OS Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is expected to launch in October 2013 alongside the new Nexus 10 tablet.
  • Intel unveils 2 android based tablets for education purpose.
  • A new app has been developed for iOS and Android devices that will protect Twitter users’ accounts from hackers and other attackers.
  •  Android won an astonishing 79% of the global smart phone market in Q2 with 187 million devices shipped; Apple sold 31 million iPhones  but its market share fell to 13%.
  • Googe play store beats Apple App store in app downloads but not in revenue.
  •  After $5,720 worth of Bitcoins were stolen using Android security flaw, Google engineers now warn devs to avoid JCA after “random” number generator produces duplicates.
  •  A mobile port of LibreOffice is “frustratingly close” to completion, but needs additional support to make it onto Android , hence  LibreOffice devs are seeking Android’s help.
  • Android founder Andy Rubin,the man behind the smartphone operating system will focus on new projects at Google, and makes way for  Google Chrome’s Sundar Pichai Chrome VP. 

NEWS FROM OUR MOTHERLAND

  • Indian Government especially Ministry of External Affairs, has now entered into the world of smart phones with the launch of interactive app for Android and iOS devices.If you want to apply for a passport, check your passport status or ask any query to MEA ,then this app will surely save your time.
  • Narendra Modi fans have come up with a new dual-SIM Android mobile phone ” Smart Namo ” dedicated to the Gujarat CM.

6.MARKET RULING AND COMPETITORS

Image

 

With the entry of Android, the world witnessed the revolution in mobile ..from the physical keyboards to the touch screen the technology changed.Now most users opt for touch screens rather than the physical keyboards. Thus the smart phone users population increased. This giant leap inspired other competitors to enter into the market. The quest for  new technology began the race of mobile OSs.The entry of Apple’s iOS was the major breakthrough.What the world next witnessed was the battle that waved between iOS and Android. The power to capture the saddle belt is still on .Now the emergence of other competitors are really a siren for android.The market captured by Android may loose if right steps are not taken .
Recently Microsoft Windows overpowered Blackberry in the market.But the tug of war between Android and iOS,with Android continuing to out pace its rival is a good news for the Android well wishers.
 
Google Android takes tablet  OS and now shares the crown with iOS.This is a big revolution in the case of tablet OS. 

 

According to various studies the conclusions that support Android geeks are:
      60% of Android users are under the age of 34.
      8% of Android users switched from an iphone.
      45% of Android users say android is their first smart phone.

The top 10 download categories in android market can be seen in this figure.

 

The growth of Android market over the years can be seen here.

But admist this we are witnessing a battle with the Apple ios and the other upcoming mobile OSs.The emergence of Firefox OS with superior browsing and other mobile OSs are trying to gain the market from Android.

5.DEVELOPMENT TOOLS

Image

 

The major packages needed for android application development  are:
 
1)Android SDK   (developer.android.com/sdk/index.html)
   class library
   Developer Tools
     dx-Dalvik Cross Assembler
     aapt-Android Asset Packaging Tool
     adb-Android Debug Bridge
     ddms-Dalvik Debug Monitor Service
   Emulator and system Images
   Documentation and Sample code
 
2)Eclipse IDE +ADT :
   The main components required for establishing a Eclipse IDE +ADT are:
       1) package Explorer
       2) DDMS(Dalvik Debug Monitor Server )
       3) LogCat
       4) Console
3)•JDK 6 (Java Development Kit ) :
 
This makes a good combination for application developers.The user interface and application running developemtn gives the user a quick view of the product and can modify with ease.
 
An example is shown below:
Image
 
The eclipse +  ADT is shown above,where the package explorer and console can be viewed.The source code is shown above the console.The package explorer contains the details of the application.As mentioned in previous post, package explorer gives the list of all the files necessary for an application to run.The console gives the execution details .

When the source code, say, listview.java  as shown in figure is executed as an ‘android application’, it simulates the emulator and it will come alive.Next if there is no error, the application package is installed.

ImageImage
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The figures above  show the home view of the emulator which is much similar to that of an actual smart phone.When the application is ran in IDE the output can be viewed in the emulator.
 
Image
 
This figure shows the output of the listview application.If you want to run an application which is already installed then just go to the menu.
Image
 
Now we need to publish the application for distribution..We mainly use Google play.

Steps to publish in Google play:
1. Go to  play.google.com/apps/publish/
2. Upload an Application
        1. Upload .apk file
        2. Upload icons/images of an Application.
3. Listing Details
        1. Language – English, Title, Description
        2. Category – Entertainment / Education /Business/…
        3. Price – free / priced.
4. Publishing options
        1. Set copy protection to on / off
        2. set Content rating to All
        3. set Location to All location
5. Contact Information
        1. website name, E-mail, phone number
6. Check for acknowledge and click on Publish button.

4.ANATOMY OF ANDROID APPLICATION

Image

 

ANDROID COMPONENTS:

 
An Android application is  packaged in a .apk file and this file contains a collection of components.Usually components share a Linux process, by default one process per .apk file.To communicate  .apk files uses intents or AIDL.Each component has a managed life cycle. Application components are mainly 4 types and they are:
 
(1) Activities – A single screen with user interface to do a particular action can be considered as an activity.An application uses multiple activities that are connected to each other.
*For example: An application to sent a folder using bluetooth can have multiple activities like :welcome screen,menu,create,delete,search,share.
 
(2) Services – They have no visual interface but run in the  background to support the activity.By default it runs in the main thread of the application that hosts it.
Example : Playing Music,Checking updates etc.
 
(3) Broadcast Receivers  –They receive and react to broadcast announcements.Sometimes an application wants to communicate to all other activities running in the system.In such cases they sent a system-wide Broadcast announcements.A  Broadcast receiver is a component that responds to such Broadcast announcements.
Example : In Fold and share application,the message that folder is received, is a broad cast announcement.
 
(4) Content Providers – They allow data exchange between applications
.Example : In fold and share application it exchange data through bluetooth ,this application can interact with other applications like file manager.This sharing of data are controlled by content providers.
Image
This figure represents the components in detail.



BUILDING BLOCKS OF AN ANDROID APPLICATION:
 
Some major files that must be familiarized for Android application development are:
 
1) src folder: It contain .java file
2) bin folder: It contain .apk file 
3) Assests folder:  it contain text file, image file, video file etc.
Assets provide a way to include arbitrary files like  text,  xml,fonts, music, and video, in your application. 
 If you try to include these files as ‘resources’,  Android will process them into its resource system,  and you will not be able to get the raw data.
If you want to access data untouched,   using Assets is one way to do it.
• Android offers one more directory  where you can keep files which also will   be  included is package.  This directory called /assets.
•The difference between /res and  /assets is that, Android does not  generate IDs of assets content.
•You need to specify relative path and   name, for files inside /assets.
4) res folder: It has drawable and layout directory which contain main.xml file
5) value folder: it contain string.xml file, AndroidManifest.xml file. R.Java and Resource
 
a)AndroidManifest.xml
 
Every application must have an AndroidManifest.xml file.The manifest presents essential information about the  application to the Android system.The manifest does the following:
      1) It names the Java package for the application. The package name serves as a unique identifier for the application
     2) It describes the components of the application : The activities, services, broadcast receivers, and
      content providers.
     3)  It determines which processes will host application  components.
     4) It also declares the permissions that others are required   to have, in order to interact with the components of the   application
     5) It declares the minimum level of the Android API,   that the application requires.
 
b)R.java
 
1) The file R.java is an auto-generated file,   that is added to your application,   by the Android plug-in.
2) This file contains pointers into   the drawable, layout, and    values directories.
3) You should never  modify this file directly.  You will be only referencing R.java in most of your
   applications.
 
            c)Resource
                Almost all Android applications will have some sort of  resources in them; at a minimum they often have the  user interface layouts in the form of XML files.The three files that make up the default resources, are  created in the Resources folder:
  Ic_launcher.png – The default icon for the application 
  Main.xml – The default user interface layout file for the application. 
  Strings.xml – A string table to help with localization of the application
 
6)Widgets
• Android widgets can, bring lot of useful information directly to  your  home screen, without the need to start the application.
•Widgets should be viewed as mini applications   that sit on your home screen.
•They display various bits of information from the main  application.
 
a)Information widget: 
Information widgets typically display a few crucial information elements that are important to a user and track how that information changes over time.Good examples for information widgets are weather widgets, clock widgets
 
b)Collection widget:
As the name implies, collection widgets specialize on displaying multitude elements of the same type, such as a collection of pictures from a gallery app, a collection of articles from a news app or a collection of emails/messages from a communication app.  
 
 
 Now the world of Android is open for you with this basics we can analyze the structure of an Android application.The basic structure can give more flexibility to the users.

 
 

Note:
*Fold and share is an application developed by 2010-14 batch B.Tech computer science students of GEC Sreekrsihnapuram, as a their mini project.The members include:Deepthi.P,Likitha K.T,Gopika KV,Amritha.U.

 

3.ARCHITECTURE

Image

 

Platform is the combination of a particular computer and a particular operating system where as architecture defines the structure and organization of a computer’s hardware or a system software. In the previous post we discussed about the Android platform and through this post we will see the architecture of Android.The figure below is the architecture of Android.

Image

 

In the 2nd post of this series we have seen the brief description about the structure of Android.Now lets go deep into the layers of Android.
Following are the different layers in the Android stack:
  • Linux Kernel Layer
  • Native Layer
  • Application Framework Layer
  • Applications layer

Linux kernel Layer

Linux kernel lies at the bottom of the Android stack.Linux kernel provides the functionalities like : Hardware ,Abstraction,Memory Management Programs,Security Settings,Power Management Software,Other Hardware Drivers (Drivers are programs that control hardware devices.),Support for Shared Libraries,Network Stack.
In the initial stage the bootloader loads the Kernel and start the Init process then the Daemons are started which will handle the USB,ADB,debugger and radio.After this,initial Dalvik VM process(Zygote) is created and runtime process initiates the service manager which is a part of binders and Inter Process Communication. 
For running System server , Runtime process requests Zygote to start a new instance.Then graphics and audio outputs are handled.Then the components of Android are started.
 

Libraries

 
The set of libraries in Android includes : open-source Web browser engine WebKit, well known library libc and SQLite database 
Android Libc implementation:
It mainly for embedded applications.It has built-in support for android-specific services.

Storage, rendering, multimedia:
SQLite, WebKit,Media Framework,Optimized 2D//3D graphic library based on OpenGL ES

Surface Manager:
It provides a surface composer.Manages the surfaces and use hardware accelerators.

Audio Manager:
Audio manager handles the audio streams. It can take audio as the input , process it and output the audio.
Hardware Abstraction Libraries:
It contains the libraries that helps in the interface. It contains the standard APIs and other necessary components for integrating with android application.es hardware “drivers” to implement.
 

Android Runtime

 
The Android Runtime and libraries reside in the same layer.The  Dalvik Virtual Machine is th key component of Android and this DVM can be found here.DVM is mainly optimized for mobile OS.It runs applications in executable .Dex format and this can be found in APK .
Application Framework
The application framework supports the applications to run on the DVM machine.It act as an interface between the underlying components and the applications.Underlying all applications is a set of services and systems, including:
  1. Activity Manager
  2. Windows Manager
  3. Content Provider
  4. View System
  5. Package Manager
  6. Telephony Manager
  7. Resource Manager
  8. Location Manager
  9. Notification Manager

Applications

 
Android applications are found at the top layer .The applications are usually written in Java programming language.They run on DVM which resides on Linux kernel.

2.ANDROID PLATFORM

Image

 

Android is a Linux based mobile operating system that uses Linux for its device drivers,memory management, process management,Permission-based security model,support for shared libraries,Provide core system services and networking. It provides an abstract layer between the H/W and the rest of the S/W stack.The features of a Linux based OS helps the Android to develop.

Above the kernel there lies the Android native libraries. Libraries are normally written in C/C++ and can be called through Java interfaces. In this layer you can find the Surface Manager, 2D and 3D graphics, Media codecs, the SQL database (SQLite), and a native web browser engine (WebKit).

Application frameworks run above libraries and  Android run time. Dalvik Virtual Machine optimized for mobile devices  and Dalvik runs dex  files, which are coverted at compile time from standard class and jar files.Applications are found even above the application frameworks.

Other features of Android platform are:

1) It extends media support for common audio, video, and still image formats  (MPEG4, H.264, MP3, AAC, AMR, JPG, PNG, GIF)
2) It suports wireless communication using:GSM mobile phone technology,3G ,EDGE,802.11 wifi network.Especially,
          Cellular networking : GSM, EDGE, 3G (hardware dependent)
           LAN : Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (hardware dependent)
3) Graphics Hardware Acceleration
4) Camera, GPS and Compass (hardware dependent)
5) Touch screen and accelerometerfor motion sensing
6)Integrated browser based on the open source WebKit engine
7)SQLite for relational data storage

While running an application, security is ensured in Android which is much similar to that of Linux facilities.User and group IDs are assigned to applications just like super user power and normal user power in Linux. Due to this, security is enforced at the process level .A permission mechanism in Android enforces restrictions on the specific operation that  a particular process can perform, and per-URI permissions for granting ad-hoc access to specific pieces of data.

1.INTRODUCTION TO ANDROID

Image

SMART PHONES – without which the world seems to slow down, have become an  essential companion of modern civilization.The new Gen-Y ‘technology assistant’ that help us to carry out various tasks in a blink,is governing the markets.The fastness and the robustness that we experience today is the result of the evolution of Android and the key role that it plays, to maintain a cutting edge experience for the users ,developers, industry and business.
When we turn back to the history we can witness the strong hold of Google and other OHA based tech giants, that support the development of Android. This strong foundation and correct time-to-market made Android a cherry pick for the users. In July 2005 , Google started the revolutionary concept of mobile OS by conquering  Android Inc. Later on 5th November 2007 OHA (Open Handset Alliance) was formed which consisted of Google,HTC,Intel,Motorola,T-mobile. Developed by Google,Android is considered to be the first OHA product. It comes under version 2 of the Apache Software License (ASL).On 12 th November 2007 they released the preview of Android OHA. The main aim of OHA was to devote in advancing open standards for mobile devices and to develop technologies that will significantly lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile technologies and services.
Android is a complete and modern embedded operating system  which can act as an operating system, middle ware and key mobile application. It works based on the Linux kernel, hence promoting the free and open source concepts.It was an attempt to open the world of mobile applications to take the full advantage that a handset can offer.Combining all mobile applications under one platform was an attempt to  generalize phone’s core applications and third-party applications. Users could take full advantage of inbuilt as well as other external applications.The restrictions imposed by the phone manufactures to use their proprietary software came to a halt with the emergence of Android. The limitations of the handset was completely over taken by the Android applications.
Android significantly enhanced the open source concepts and made applications free for use. The flexibility and mobility of Android was a boon to geeks who got engaged in shrinking the world to our finger tips. Google play have contributed much to this growth.Millions of applications are being developed and distributed around the world and the benefit that Google obtains through android is unbeatable.
 If you think Android as just a software development platform then its high time you change your view points, the influence of Android is unimaginable that it started to appear in hardware oriented scenarios also.But don’t think that its a single piece of  hardware. Its a complete, end to end software platform that can be applied to any hardware configurations.
We can find no such areas where Android haven’t  extended its reach.Let it be business  promotions, professional development, games or anything else, all  have taken a new step to reach to their clients and the path they have chosen is Android applications.The increasing popularity of smart phones and the usage of android applications have open the market for developers.Following the footsteps of Google and Android others have entered the game,especially windows phone that runs with windows 8,apples iOS and firefox OS and much more are coming .Now it will be interesting to see what new plans are being cooked up behind the curtains.

Image

LATEST TECHNICAL ADVANCEMENTS

A PEEP INTO ‘WOW’ TECH
 
With the advancements of technology the world is rapidly undergoing a renovation. There are many catalysts in these advancements. Let’s have a peep into some of them:
The advancements in the fields of graphene are going to revolutionize the Internet. It will speed up the internet by up to 100 times. This development wills surely double the pace of the evolution that the web is undergoing.



BIG DATA
With the flooding of data in internet, the availability of resources increased, but the arising big data problems is sucking the life of the web. The development of the “Superman Memory Crystal”, a small disk that is able to hold 360 Terabytes of data and preserve it for over one million years will enhance the storage mechanisms. In the future there will be overflow of data and the problems associated with it will be tackled with the superman memory crystal. 
 
ROBO ASSISTED LIFE
 Another technology that will assist the physically disabled people is the “Robohand” which is a 3D-printed hand for people who are missing fingers. The medical field also witnessed the development in various Innovative wearable artificial pancreas and other human parts which will be a part of our human body.Pancreum CoreMD & BetaWedge are developd to ensure the humans, the ability to live their life smoothly.
In order to assure the security the “Doorbot” are the solutions…It enables you to view who is at your door through your phone.
 
SMART PHONES
The market dominating smart phones are now the symbol of trending technology. The multipurpose smart phones available in our hands reach have exceeded the limitations of an ordinary PC. The advanced options proposed by these smart phones enable the users to communicate, interact and exchange knowledge. Information at your finger  tips is now a reality.

HARDWARE REVOLUTION

The revolution of hardware is under progress.Raspberry pi leading the hardware area with the breathtaking ideas and wide range of opportunities, make the upcoming technology highly sophisticated. Arduino and other boards are emerging to dominate the industry.

 
HUMAN SURVIVAL
With the increase in population, the human will have no space left on earth to accommodate. If this tends to go on like this , it’s sure that we will have to search  other planets or under water scrapers for survival. The trending hypothetical technology of ULTIMA TOWER, Water-Scraper and space settlement colonies are breaking the limitations of human imagination.
 
COLLABORATE AND WORK
Lenovo has unveiled a computer the size of a coffee table that works like a giant tablet and can be used by up to four people at once .This will help “collaborate and work” model in web.
 
COMMUNICATION
NASA has successfully sent an image of the Mona Lisa to the moon with a laser. Are lasers the future of interplanetary communication? This question is an eye opener to the upcoming communication technologies. The future of communication is more flexible with the development of new and advanced fibre optical cables and other  satellite communication technologies.
 
ENERGY AND DEVELOPMENT
 A New Technology Converts Solar Energy into Vapour which have the capability to revolutionize the energy production and storage methods. This technology will mark the beginning of a much awaited movement for future.
 
HIGH TECH LIFE
The days of storing passwords in your brain are numbered. In a few years’ time you may be able to log into your online bank account using an electronic tattoo on your arm, or a pill that, once swallowed, broadcasts a password through the wall of your stomach.
 
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Human Brain project and Blue brain projects are the stepping stone in making the artificial intelligence a prime focus in the upcoming era. There are various fields in AI like genetic algorithm, Artificial Neural Network and Fuzzy logic that give a push to the developmental works.
AEROSPACE AND ASTRONOMY
The VASIMR concept of electro-magnetic thrusters for spacecraft propulsion is the modern step towards a faster propulsion technology. The manned MARS mission is on and the advancements in astronomy are being utilized. The experiments at International Space Station give a hope for the golden era of astronomy.
 
Researchers are going on in fields like nano technology, genome sequencing, quantum computers, super conductors and much more. The current trends will change and the path shown by these will surely enhance the development of other fields. Aforementioned areas are just the example of 21st century wow-factors. There are many areas which have shown promising growth. It’s time we move along with the technical advancements and be aware of them.

Fantasy to verity

Tech at a glance
Once upon a time there lived nomads who dreamt of flying just like the birds. They saw the dream, but their successors made it a reality. Ideas that seeded in their mind found the need to break their chains and flew high. They showed the world that imagination have the power to make things come true. When the 21st century blossomed, it witnessed a technical renaissance that changed the existence of human beings. What once thought to be found only in films and dreams have taken shape in front of us and that have made us open our mouths in awe. These advancements give the strength to see more dreams and make them true. The degree of interaction between humans and technology have increased to such an extent that the 21st century seems to make all the fascinations true. 
As Karl Marx stated, “………the formation of social relations, mental conceptions and attitudes are dependent upon technology”
 
It is evident that technology is the key that transforms the mentality of the people and the well being of the society. The connection and influence of technology on human thinking and society is widely under discussion. There are many positive as well as negative thoughts regarding the advancements. Some predicts that the world depicted in Matrix film can be seen in near future. Such a situation is not far that we humans will be under the control of robots. Technology can encroach our life and the tunes of our life may be put in purgatory.  There are also views that, these technical advancements can change the course of the universe and that a new era is waiting for us, a world where there will be no torments or wars.
 
When man discovered fire, it was the turning point of the humanity. With the arrival of Wheels he expanded his kingdom. That was when the technology started to take its baby steps. Now when we fast forward, we see Internet as the primary key that plays the key role in current advancements. The 21st century has been full of sumptuous inventions and discoveries; with the advancements from touch screen phones, BigData, Artificial Intelligence, Open hardware’s etc.With out the influence of Internet technologies all other areas that utilized it also developed to greater heights. Internet could increase the pace of development of other areas and developed inter disciplinary works, thus accelerating the collaborative development. The ease of access for data and information exchange can be viewed as the keystone in the developments of 21st century.
 
 

Twitter was created to answer one small question “what are you doing?”  But now it’s a platform to extend your business, personal aspects.Sometimes pictures can speak more than words and hence the interest and histogram have paved a new way of revolutionizing our thoughts.Even these platforms help us interact in our professional life LinkedIn and other professional organizations have extended the job search and opened the job market for the people.
 
MOOCs have become a reliable platform for acquiring knowledge thus developing a new ‘Educational Culture’. It makes the education available at our door steps. The availability of online classes and online channels help us to interact, exchange and acquire knowledge. Similarly Think binder and other technologies have showed that internet can maintain, collaborate and work together sitting at different poles.
 
Technology has revolutionized our world. From specs to Google glass, letters to chats, chats to hangouts, likes and tweets have conquered our world and now the change is rapid. Internet has become a part of our life .it gives us an exposure to communicate dynamically. If technology has contributed to computer science similar is the case of all other domains. Even those areas that seemed to be unrecognized have become a part of this revolution. Advancements of card size computers and the revolution of 2 second mobile charging seemed to speed up this evolution.
Real environment, augmented reality, virtual environment are surely going to make our world a virtual one.The advancements in genetics, energy, materials, and brain and information technologies will support the transformations.
 
Modern technology has provided a platform for us to lead a comfortable life. There is no work that can be completed without the help of technology. We are being addicted to it. We have no idea when likes, comments, tweeps, tweets, tweeting have entered into our mundane life. Social networking websites represent the wheels of technical advancements. These sites are even used for business promotions. Thus becoming a “virtual world” where we keep a unique identity and maintain a dual life. Teenagers and professionals both strive to keep their profiles updated and maintain a thin line between their dual lives.    
 
It’s true that new technologies enhance the capabilities and those are changing the way people view the world. “Success with social networking” is the new motto of Y-Gen. But despite advances in technology, have we humans, truly changed? Has technology altered the ways our minds function? 21st century technologies have expanded the public space, but have not fundamentally changed the human thought process. Whatever happens the well wishers of technology prays that these advancements should not have the fate of Maginot line.