Platform vs device

Throughout the book, wherever code must be tested or exercised on a device, a software-based emulator is employed. See chapter 2 for information on how to set up and use the Android Emulator.

The term platform refers to Android itself—the software—including all of the binaries, code libraries, and tool chains. This book is focused on the Android platform. The Android emulators available in the SDK are simply one of many components of the Android platform.

With all of that as a backdrop, creating a successful mobile platform is clearly a nontrivial task involving numerous players. Android is an ambitious undertaking, even for Google, a company of seemingly boundless resources and moxie. If anyone has the clout to move the mobile market, it is Google and its entrant into the mobile marketplace, Android.

Android Software Environment

Custom & built-in applications written in Java

Dalvik virtual machine

Linux kernel

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Figure 1.1 Android is software only. Leveraging its Linux kernel to interface with the hardware, you can expect Android to run on many different devices from multiple cell phone manufacturers. Applications are written in Java.

Pager Phone Organizer Laptop

No internet access Portable music player

Phone

Organizer

Laptop

Limited internet access Portable music player

The maturing mobile experience

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