Technical Terms related to Android Operating System (A to Z)

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Technical Terms related to Android Operating System (A to Z)
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The mobile operating system – Android from Google is already extremely popular. Despite being a very simple operating system for mobile, it is a powerful system and a little tricky for those who are not very familiar with the technology.

If compare to several other mobile operating systems, Android has its own terminology, full of acronyms and strange words. A good tip to take best advantage of Android is to try to get familiar with some of its technical terms and slang related to the Android operating system.

To help you better understand the technology that powers your smartphone or tablet, let’s clarify the meaning of Technical Terms related to Android that used frequently in the world of green little robot:

Technical Terms related to Android

ADB: stands for “Android Debug Bridge”, a development tool that lets you send commands to an Android device connected to your computer. This is a very powerful tool that can be run from the command line on your PC or Mac.

Android Studio: is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) used to create applications for the Android platform. It includes a code editor, several code samples that can be used as a basis for new apps. It also includes simulators for testing software and many other development tools.

AOSP: acronym for an initiative called “Android Open Source Project”, which aims to provide Android versions entirely based on open source. In other words, it is the “pure Android” that manufacturers take to create their own smartphones.

API: stands for “Application Programming Interface”, is a set of routines and programming standards for access to a software application or Web-based platform. An API is created when a software company intends that other software developers to develop products associated with their service.

APK: the acronym comes from the term “Android Package”, which is nothing more than a file format of Android applications. It is used to install software in parallel to the Android Google Play. That means any user can download an APK file and install on the smartphone without using Google Play.

ARM: refers to a processor architecture pattern usually found in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. ARM Processors are known for their versatility, as they have few instructions for programming.

Baseband: is the communications processor that controls the frequency of radio signals emitted by the device, as its a kind of antenna. Thanks to baseband, your smart phone can communicate with the phone towers. for example, you can receive calls.

Beam: feature that allows users to easily share files between two devices by simply touching one another. The Android Beam is not available on all models of devices as it depends on the hardware specifications.

Bloatware: are programs preinstalled on devices by their manufacturers. They add a number of features to the Android code base and are also known as “application-waste”, they often add nothing to the user experience.

Boot: boot process (starting process) of an operating system.

Bootloader: it is a boot manager that runs even before the operating system of your smartphone to boot. It is very similar to the BIOS of PCs. The bootloader is active in the background, but you can only access the interface by using the Android Developer tool Bridge (ADB).

Bugdroid: is the name of the green robot, Android mascot, Android Robot.

Custom ROM: are unofficial variants of Android that offer customized versions of the operating system. Examples of famous Custom ROM include CyanogenMod, Slim ROM, Carbon ROM and MIUI ROM.

CyanogenMod: is a firmware and an alternative distribution project for Android devices. The CyanogenMod offers features and options that are not available in the official firmware distributed by manufacturers of these devices.

Dalvik: virtual machine used to run Android applications. It is designed to require little memory and allow multiple instances to run at the same time, leaving less work for the operating system. This results in a much faster loading the app on your device.

Doze: Android 6.0 Marshmallow feature that monitors the activities of your device to put applications to “sleep”, saving battery.

Downgrade: term indicate the opposite method of upgrade. In other words, it is the procedure to return the operating system of a recent version of an older one.

Firmware: the programmed set of operating instructions directly on your smartphone or tablet hardware. It works by means of codes recorded in the chips of the integrated circuits that make up the equipment.

Google Play: official online store of applications, games, movies, music and books for devices with Android system.

HDR: stands for “High Dynamic Range”, which represents the amount of light of different intensities that can be recorded by the camera lens. On your smartphone, activating this function allows you to increase the dynamic range, making the dark parts of a picture are flush with the light parts.

IPS: “In-Plane Switching”, the IPS is a technology used in LCD displays to enhance image quality and projection.

Kernel: the core of operating system and has the function to connect the software to the hardware, establishing effective communication between Android resources.

Launcher: Android Interface segment that guarantees the operating elements as the initial screen and the installed application folders. The devices come with their own launcher, but there are many other custom options available in the app stores.

Material Design: design language presented by Google in 2014 with the release of Android Lollipop.

mAH: refers to “milliampere-hours”, an electric charge unit that refers the load capacity of a battery.

Miracast: an industry standard technology that lets you stream the screen of your smartphone or tablet to your TV or other monitor.

Nexus: Google brand name for a line of smartphones and tablets that run the so-called “pure Android” or “vanilla-Android”, with no extra customization.

NFC: acronym for “Near Field Communication”. The name given to a very short-range communication technology (about 10 cm) in a simple and secure way. Smartphones with NFC can be used to interact with machines equipped with the same technology, including payment terminals, allowing you to use your phone as a credit card.

OLED and AMOLED: OLED means “Organic light emitting diode” and is currently the most advanced technology for the manufacture of any type of screen. AMOLED stands for Active Matrix OLED, is a technology based on the OLED and the difference between them is the presence of a thin film transistor (TFT) that controls the moment at which a pixel should be on or off. AMOLED screens offer increased energy savings and color fidelity at different angles.

OpenGL ES: OpenGL is a set of programming APIs and technologies that developers can use as a basis for applications employing 3D rendering. OpenGL ES, also known as OpenGL for Embedded Systems, is a simpler version of the OpenGL built for devices such as smartphones and tablets. 3D games that you play on your Android smartphone are probably built in OpenGL ES.

Over The Air (OTA): method of distributing new software updates, configurations and regular keys settings of encryption for devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Qi and PMA: these are two competing standards for wireless charging.

ROM: acronym for “Read Only Memory”, consisting of a virtual copy of the compiled platform into a single file.

Root: is the name given to a particular user account – also often called as Super User or Administrator – equivalent to the “administrator” of Windows. Also Read: Why Should You Root Your Android Phone.

SDK: The “Software Development Kit” released for developers to create new applications for the operating system. The Android SDK includes documentation, code and utilities so that programmers are able to develop their applications according to a pattern of development.

TouchWiz: is a custom touch interface developed by Samsung.

Widgets: are mini-programs that run on the home screen of a device. The basic difference between an icon and a widget is the icon only serves as a shortcut to a program, while the widget provides in its own interface information generated by the program in which it is associated.

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