Happy 5th Birthday Android… sort of!

The HTC G1. A white plastic slider phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard and a trackball for navigation. Back, home and menu buttons that we've grown to love (or hate) sit under a relatively small touchscreen display. It's 2008. It's the first commercially available phone to ever run Android.

One billion activations and five years later, Android is massively popular, and is virtually unrecognisable from the days when it would cower under the iPhone and Microsoft's measly attempts involving Windows Mobile 6. Android 4.4 KitKat, the next major version, now sits on the horizon, and we wait for greatly-anticipated app redesigns and an accompanying new Nexus phone

While the G1 – with a 320x480 display, 528 MHz processor and 192 MB of RAM – was the first commercially available Android phone, it's worth noting that the software was in development for some time prior to this announcement. Originally planned to be software for a digital camera, Android was written over a span of five years, notably after Google acquired the company in 2005.

Since then, the platform has suffered some controversy, whether over the amount of malware found in apps available on the Play Store, or the fact that in its early years, the software was slow and far off the competition. With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google redesigned the software and brought it in line with the iPhone and other competitors; later they removed most signs of lag in 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Nevertheless, the issue of fragmentation has remained: Less than 40 percent of phones run Jelly Bean, and a whole 30 percent are still running Gingerbread, a 3-year-old version. In comparison, iOS 7 is currently installed on 58 percent of Apple devices, less than a week after launch. In addition, skins such as Samsung's TouchWiz have arguably damaged Android's reputation, as they remove much of the design initiative that Google have spent so long working on.

But remember: Android is big and successful. In its stock form, it is a fantastic mobile OS, and we cannot wait to see what Google have in store in the future.

Image: Hexmar on Flickr

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Spicoli said,
If current trends continue, WP8 will pass the iOS global marketshare in a few years.

Believing this. Keekeekee

Android is more appealing for device makers because its open source. at the same time its the biggest weakness it has because developer has no idea about the target device spec, other hardware driver support. Windows chose the middle path, not as closed as apple but not as open as android. the reason its in the bottom because of wrong decisions has been made for past 2 years. Next year is going to be Windows Phone year. gaining market share and bumping specs and features.
Look at cortana voice AI. notification center, quad core support and so on.

iwillneverstop said,
android 5 years on top,WP 3 years at botoom:D

Why bring windows phone into this, it`s basically a Happy 5th Birthday for Android yet still people like to shoot it down with their negativity...

And where`s the botoom? Next to the butoock

I'm a big android fan

What annoys me is people who buy those £99 android tablets, then moan that android is rubbish. Grrrr! They don't realise it's the cheap hardware and not the OS.

Android still has a long way to go on tablets. I have a new nexus 7 and some of the "tablet" apps are extremely inferior to their android phone counterparts, maybe its a screen size issue. I haven't tried a larger android tablet with jelly bean but the ones on honeycomb really sucked.

anothercookie said,
Android still has a long way to go on tablets. I have a new nexus 7 and some of the "tablet" apps are extremely inferior to their android phone counterparts, maybe its a screen size issue. I haven't tried a larger android tablet with jelly bean but the ones on honeycomb really sucked.

Hmm, maybe it depends on the tablet. I have the first Galaxy Tab 8.9 and for the most part the apps are great. I got it when that size first came out and there were some scaling issues at first, but I think that's understandable--it was the first tablet out there in that size IIRC. I would think they'd be sorted by now! Guess not... but the major devs have it together anyway.

anothercookie said,
Android still has a long way to go on tablets. I have a new nexus 7 and some of the "tablet" apps are extremely inferior to their android phone counterparts, maybe its a screen size issue. I haven't tried a larger android tablet with jelly bean but the ones on honeycomb really sucked.

Yeah like ESPNFC app. Juuuuuunk!

glen8 said,
I'm a big android fan

What annoys me is people who buy those £99 android tablets, then moan that android is rubbish. Grrrr! They don't realise it's the cheap hardware and not the OS.

My friend is like that with phones. he always had a cheap Android phone and said he was going for Apple because Android is crap. I convinced him not to be so stupid and wasting so much money on Apple ($650 for iPhone 5S on T-Mobile) and spend $250 for a Nexus 4. He feel very foolish now. He's happy he got the Nexus 4.

glen8 said,
I'm a big android fan

What annoys me is people who buy those £99 android tablets, then moan that android is rubbish. Grrrr! They don't realise it's the cheap hardware and not the OS.

The first Nexus 7 is slow as molasses and that was, until recently, Google's flagship tablet.

It may be cheap but they don't offer a more expensive better version, so what can you do? It's slow or nout!

Hardcore Til I Die said,

The first Nexus 7 is slow as molasses and that was, until recently, Google's flagship tablet.

It may be cheap but they don't offer a more expensive better version, so what can you do? It's slow or nout!

what? Its not slow at all.

Kalint said,

what? Its not slow at all.

My mum has one but I can use it whenever I want. It's slooooow. It always gets stuck when I'm flicking between home screens and takes about twice as long to load web pages as my iPad 2.

It's not smooth at all compared to iOS.

I have both Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) as well as the iPad 3. I don't notice any difference on any of these devices. The only thing I notice is that iPad doesn't zoom to fit text on screen and Android does. Other than that, they are pretty similar.

Must be something wrong with yours, as mine zips along very nicely thanks, never had any issues flicking between homescreens, guess it depends which browser your using for web page load times but Chrome,stock Browser and InBrowser perform well enough - been ages since I tried Dolphin, Boat, Maxthon etc etc

Hardcore Til I Die said,

The first Nexus 7 is slow as molasses and that was, until recently, Google's flagship tablet.

It may be cheap but they don't offer a more expensive better version, so what can you do? It's slow or nout!

You either need to do a firmware update and factory reset, or return it to the shop. Whilst not as fast as the mkII model, the original Nexus 7 was still a fast machine. If yours was slow and jerky, it's either a software glitch, or a hardware fault.

glen8 said,

You either need to do a firmware update and factory reset, or return it to the shop. Whilst not as fast as the mkII model, the original Nexus 7 was still a fast machine. If yours was slow and jerky, it's either a software glitch, or a hardware fault.

It's not mine, but I take your point

20legend said,
Must be something wrong with yours, as mine zips along very nicely thanks, never had any issues flicking between homescreens, guess it depends which browser your using for web page load times but Chrome,stock Browser and InBrowser perform well enough - been ages since I tried Dolphin, Boat, Maxthon etc etc

I read about a glitch with Google Currents slowing down the whole OS, and I turned it off. That seemed to solve the lagginess for a while but it has reared its' ugly head again now.

I use Chrome.

I had the G1 once, it's the reason i don't like Android today. It was super laggy, apps crashed a lot, took really bad photos (when the app didn't crash), but what i really hate was the stupid trackball, it got on my nerves everyday, really bad battery life. I liked the keyboard.

After a while i installed the "Cyanogenmod" ROM, I overclocked but the battery life was worse than before, it looked better but it didn't run as smooth as I would like. So the phone was keep in my drawer for years until I sold it.

I know Android is not what it was, over the years the hardware has been improved a lot, today is very powerful and that help a lot to the OS, the cloud integration is really nice, cameras take better photos, etc. Some apps are still pretty ugly though.

Competition between Apple, Google and now Microsoft it's a good thing for consumers, copying/using features and ideas from the others, better user experience at the end of the day, that's is what matters.

I believe that Android or Ubuntu phones will close the gap the phone and the PC someday, to the point that your phone will be your PC.

I've been a happy Apple & iPhone fan/user since the first iPhone. The only thing that I like of the modern Androids is not the faster processors or the huge RAM the manufacturers dump in the hardware; but the big screens that some Androids have. But I think my iPad fills that scenario.

Ooops. Seems everyone forgot to mention the herd of elephants in the room:

1. Android is stolen property. It was simply ripped off from Apple, Nokia and even Microsoft. These companies are now piling on lawsuit after lawsuit against Android - and winning every single one of them in Germany, USA and Asia. Every Android manufacturer (except Motorola) now (voluntarily, no lawsuits) pays up to $35 per handset as patent fees to Microsoft, Nokia and Apple. Android (free hahaha) is now the most expensive OS for mobile manufacturers.

2. Android is Java in disguise. Software for kiddies. Even worse, Oracle owns Java and wants it back. Major lawsuit in 2014 will likely see the end of Google's ownership of Android. What then?

3. Same as 2. Android is Java. Java is a defunct and technically backward platform. iOS and WP8 are modern designs that can be extrapolated for ten or more years. Android/Java is already on its technology deathbed. Samsung needs to use 8-core processors to make Android run as fast as WP8 on a single core.

4. Without Samsung Android is a failure. Samsung are busy developing their own, Tizen-based OS that they'll switch to as soon as Intel can make low-power chips. Using the alien-dalvik technology, Tizen will run Android apps faster than Android can. Tizen is open-source, Android isn't. Other manufacturers will follow Samsung in 2014.

5. Malware. Android makes Windows look like OSX. 'nuff said.

Future versions - more NSA backdoors including fingerprint sending regardless if such feature is officially available.

Ulpian said,
Future versions - more NSA backdoors including fingerprint sending regardless if such feature is officially available.

link to source?

Ulpian said,
Future versions - more NSA backdoors including fingerprint sending regardless if such feature is officially available.

Troll comment. You do know it is Open Source? You do know anyone can point out these backdoors you speak of. You do know that nobody has ever found one on Android?

Did anyone find it on Microsoft tor Apple? Oh wait, they have a walled garden and are making secret deals with the government to steal the poor saps that use it.

You see anyone can play your stupid game but you have to be smart about it. YOU FAILED!!!

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