The Evolution: Android and Hardware
Android, an operating system almost everybody uses but no one gives a thought about how far it has come from its starting point. It is owned by Google since 2005 and made its debut with the HTC Dream which was the first commercially available Android phone.
The HTC Dream which is the first phone to run android housed a 528 MHz Qualcomm single-core chipset along with 256 MB of internal storage and 192 MB of RAM, if we look back at it, we’d see how with the progress of the software the hardware has progressed. The Helio X20 by Mediatek now has 10 cores set in a cluster of 2 cores, 4 cores and 4 cores. The RAM which used to be negligible in the good old days now stands tall at 6 GB which is more than that on some computers.
Why has the hardware evolved so far and so fast? Because of the evolution of software. Android today offers an array of features which is on par with desktop operating systems like OS X and Windows, this ability to use the functionality on Android requires power higher or at least equitable to what is offered by its desktop counterparts.
Android offers a fully functional OS as of date which can process, create and edit videos and images. It has a wide range of applications which is also available on the computer OSs such as Windows and OS X and to support these intensive applications the hardware power needed is increasing day by day from a single core MHz processor along with 192 MB of RAM to now a Deca-core processor along with a minimum of 3/4 of RAM.
Google launched the Nexus program to use optimum hardware to support the OS which launched some decent phones like the Nexus 5/5X and 6/6P which showed how a well optimized hardware-software solution would work. Google also tried to launch a new program dubbed as the Android One for developing countries like India to showcase that the OS doesn’t really need high-end hardware to give a decent output but the Android One program wasn’t a real success.
Android as an OS has evolved a lot in these years from Android 1.6 Doughnut to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The UI has gotten a complete overhaul a couple of times. The Ice Cream Sandwich brought with it the Holo UI which was a cleaner more flat kind of a design interface, the Holo UI was finally replaced after KitKat and Android 5.0 lollipop brought with it the Material UI which was slick, clean and very minimalistic but with a lot of colors. The app store too has grown a lot over the years and now houses over 1.5 million apps and it’s still growing very rapidly.