What Is Android for Smartphones? Video
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Video:What Is Android for Smartphones?

with Lauren Gores

The world's most popular mobile operating system, Android, boasts some impressive specs available on many different phones. Learn about the features and drawbacks of Google's Android OS in this About.com videoSee Transcript

Transcript:What Is Android for Smartphones?

Hey I’m Lauren Gores and today at About.com I’m gonna talk Android! What are some of its good and not so good features?

First let's break down what Android is.  It’s Google’s mobile operating system. So it's the software you run on your phone if you don’t have an iPhone, Windows Phone or other smartphone device.

Android Jelly Bean 4.1

According to its site, Android is the world’s most popular mobile platform.  Meet its newest operating system, Jelly Bean 4.1.

It comes on the heels of previous versions. Gingerbread -- Android’s most popular OS.  Plus Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich.  HUNGRY yet?!

But what’s so great about Jelly Bean? For starters, it’s fast and fluid.

Plus, you can talk to it. Not like Siri, like Jelly Bean 4.1. Proponents argue it’s less buggy, more accurate and most importantly, more practical. Want to send an email while you’re driving? Just tap the keyboard and start talking. It’s this kind of multitasking that sets Android apart.

Multitasking and Notifications with Android

It’s the first operating system to truly allow users to seamlessly switch back and forth between apps.  Also -- notifications. You can receive alerts and not get interrupted. Android thought of it first.  Other selling points?  The number of devices which run Android operating systems and its integration with all of Google’s services.

And I guess these days an operating system wouldn't be complete without an invisible data hub.  Android has one too,  but it’s not a cloud. Google calls it Drive. You can access any document, email, your photos whatever, from any device.

Android Drawbacks

Of course, there are drawbacks. One of the biggest? Something called fragmentation. Android comes out with updates to improve its operating system, like Jelly Bean 4.1, but carriers often require users to buy a new device to get the latest OS. So, as new apps come out, you may not be keeping up, your apps crash and you have a headache.

Android users also have to sift through something called bloatware. That’s when carriers install their own software that can’t be deleted. They try to get you to sign up for additional stuff you don’t want.

So, as with all operating systems, the idea is to keep up, or get left behind. The good news?  Jelly Bean 4.1 comes out of the box fresh and clean with all new Android devices purchased. Thanks for watching. For more information go to About.com


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