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Android is a mobile operating system (OS) first developed by a Silicon Valley company by the name of Android Inc. A collaboration spearheaded by Google in 2007 through the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) gave Android an edge in delivering a complete software set, which includes the main OS, middleware and specific mobile application, or app.
Patterned after the Linux kernel, the Android also was released as open source code. Development for the Android may be done through Windows, Linux or Mac. Although primarily written in Java, there is no Java Development Machine (JDM) in the platform.
Instead of allowing Java programs to run through the JDM, Google developed Dalvik, a virtual machine specifically for the Android. Dalvik runs recompiled Java code and reads it as Dalvik bytecode and was designed to optimize battery power and maintain functionality in an environment with limited memory and CPU power, such as that of mobile phones, netbooks and tablet PCs.
One of the Android’s selling points is an ability to break down application boundaries. Another advantage is that it is easily developed, not to mention its speed of app development. A large community of developers continuously devises and designs apps that enhance the capability of devices. These apps are then made available worldwide through Google’s Android Market, or other third-party sites.