Android applications are written in the Java programming language. The compiled Java code — along with any data and resource files required by the application — is bundled by the aapt tool into an Android package, an archive file marked by an .apk suffix. This file is the vehicle for distributing the application and installing it on mobile devices; it's the file users download to their devices. All the code in a single .apk file is considered to be one application.
In many ways, each Android application lives in its own world:
• By default, every application runs in its own Linux process. Android starts the process when any of the application's code needs to be executed, and shuts down the process when it's no longer needed and system resources are required by other applications.
• Each process has its own Java virtual machine (VM), so application code runs in isolation from the code of all other applications.
• By default, each application is assigned a unique Linux user ID. Permissions are set so that the application's files are visible only that user, only to the application itself — although there are ways to export them to other applications as well.
It's possible to arrange for two applications to share the same user ID, in which case they will be able to see each other's files. To conserve system resources, applications with the same ID can also arrange to run in the same Linux process, sharing the same VM.
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