adminSeptember 24, 2018
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9min3880

Although iOS is arguably the world’s first smartphone operating system, Google’s Android is without a doubt the most popular among consumers. Android has come a long way since its release back in 2008. Looking at it in retrospect, it has already been 10 years since then and a lot of significant updates have come to pass.

Seeing that this year is Android’s 10th year anniversary, let’s look back on the brief history of the OS and its various updates since then.

A Brief History

Android was first introduced to be used on an HTC-made T-Mobile device in 2008. However, the origin of Android dates back before it was even made available on smartphones. As a matter of fact, Android was first developed and released for digital cameras in 2003 by Andy Rubin.

He soon realized, however, that digital camera operating systems aren’t all that profitable, and so he shifted his attention toward smartphones. By 2005, Google purchased Android and used it to enter into the mobile device business. The company promoted Android to other manufacturers, specifically catching the eye of HTC, who used the platform to produce the first Android phone, which is the HTC Dream.

The Different Android Versions

Android mobile operating system had its origin with the release of the Android beta on November 2007. A year later, the first commercial version, which was named Android 1.0, was released to the public. From there on, there had been a number of minor and major updates to the mobile OS. Here is the complete list of the Android updates to date:

  • Android 1.0
  • Android 1.1 – Petit Four
  • Android 1.5 – Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 – Donut
  • Android 2.0 – Éclair
  • Android 2.2 – Froyo
  • Android 2.3 – Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0 – Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4 – KitKat
  • Android 5.0 – Lollipop
  • Android 6.0 – Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0 – Nougat
  • Android 8.0 – Oreo
  • Android 9.0 – Pie

Various Updates on the Android OS

Following the production of the first Android phone, Google released Android version 1.0, which was obviously far less developed compared to the operating system that we have today. It featured the Google Play Store, which was called the Market at the time. Moreover, it also featured the use of home screen widgets, which the iOS didn’t have at the time.

A year later, Google made its first two updates to the operating system: Android 1.1 and Android 1.5. Not only did the OS get a new version number; it was also the first update to use Google’s unique naming scheme as well. Android 1.1, which was called Petit Four, was released on February 9 and featured a few minor changes, including longer in-call screen timeout and the ability to save attachment in messages; whereas Android 1.5, which was also known as Cupcake, was significant for a lot of reason. The most important one would be that it was the first version to have an on-screen keyboard. The new update also allowed users to capture photos, which they were not able to do with the previous version.

The next big update on Android came in the form of Android 1.6, which is also called Android Donut, in 2009. The much recent update offered support to CDMA networks like Verizon, Sprint, and other big networks in Asia. Donut was primarily aimed to making Android more user-friendly, for example, by enabling it to support different screen sizes. By doing this, manufacturers could create devices with varying display sizes and Android could still run in them.

In the same year, Google made another update on Android, which has now become Android 2.0 Éclair. Éclair perhaps is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, update on Android to date. Most of the changes it brought are still prevalent today, including Google Maps navigation, HTML5 support, and the lock screen.

The following year, Android 2.2 Froyo was introduced, which served as a means to refine the Android experience for users. Froyo also brought mobile hot spot support to the table, as well as the PIN lock screen.

In the same year, Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released and offered a redesign of Android’s widgets and home screen. The update also came with an enhanced keyboard, which lets users to press on multiple keys in order to get access to a second set of keyboard, and the front-facing camera. Would anyone care for a selfie?

In 2011, Google made two other updates to the Android OS, namely the Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. These updates were made to refine most of what is seen on the home screen as well as the widgets. Other features that were added were face unlock, data usage, analysis, and apps for the calendar and mail.

Another big update on Android came in 2012 with the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There are a number of significant changes made by this update, but I would say the most important would be Google Now and Project Butter, which aimed to notably improve the touch performance of the OS by tripling the buffering graphics.

After Android Jelly Bean, Android 4.4 KitKat was launched and brought with it a number of amazing features, mostly focusing on aesthetic changes to the OS at the time. KitKat also brought changes like the “OK, Google” command prompt, a new phone dialer, and the Hangouts app, among many others.

Android 5.0 Lollipop was then released a year later after Andoid KitKat was released. Lollipop featured the company’s “Material Design” philosophy; however, the changes were not all about aesthetics alone. Google also made some major changes under the hood.

After Android Lollipop, along comes Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which brought some design changes as well as changes under the hood. The most significant change would probably be the app menu. In the new update, the background is white rather than the typical black background from the previous OS versions.

The 14th Android version would be the Android 7.0 Nougat, and it is arguably one of the biggest updates to Android since its first release. Google Now got replaced with the much better Google Assistant. Other notable changes are the split-screen mode, an improved multitasking capability, and an enhanced notifications system.

A year after Android Nougat was released, another update was made and was subsequently called Android 8.0 Oreo. This new update brought about a lot of amazing features, such as picture-in-picture, notification dots, and native split-screen.

The most recent Android update, which was released just recently, is named Android 9.0 Pie. Android Pie offered a lot of visual changes; as a matter of fact, looking at a visual standpoint, it is arguably the biggest update to Android in the last few years.

All these complete the evolution of Android, from its simple beginnings to how impressive it is now. With that, I do believe that we will be seeing a lot more impressive things from Android in the coming years.


adminJune 6, 2018
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7min1910

Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in a variety of ways, the most common of which is in improving computer programs and technologies. You might have heard of the popular artificial intelligence conversation program SimSimi back in 2012. For those who don’t know this piece of information, SimSimi was created by ISMaker, and it has an application designed for Android, for Windows Phone, and for iOS.

Another artificial intelligence application is in application programs that function as AI assistants, such as Alexa and Siri. These AI assistants help businessmen run their businesses more efficiently. Most of these AI assistants manage client projects, leaving businessmen more time to help their clients and make them feel satisfied and happy.

AI assistants alexa and siri

A Look into AI Assistants

Before we have further discussion, let’s try to learn what an AI assistant is. An AI assistant is an application program that understands natural language voice commands and completes tasks for the user. They use natural language processing, or NLP, to match user text or voice input to executable commands. Most of them continually learn using artificial intelligence techniques including machine learning.

To activate an AI assistant, a keyword may be used. A keyword is a word or group of words such as “Alexa” or “Siri”.

A Deeper Understanding of Alexa and Siri

Amazon’s Alexa is an AI assistant developed by Amazon. It was first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker, which was developed by Amazon Lab126. Among other things, Alexa is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do-lists, streaming podcasts, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news.

Another great function of Alexa is its capability to control several smart devices while using itself as a home automation system. What’s more amazing about Alexa is that users can extend Alexa’s capabilities by installing “skills”. To make you understand more clearly, skills (also referred to as apps, such as weather programs and audio features) are additional functionalities that are developed by third-party vendors.

Additionally, Amazon allows device manufacturers to integrate Alexa voice capabilities into their own connected products by using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), which is a cloud-based service that provides application programming interfaces to interact with Alexa.

Whereas Alexa is an AI assistant developed by Amazon, Siri is an AI assistant that is part of Apple Inc.’s iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. The AI assistant uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer queries, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of internet services. The software adapts to every user’s unique language usages, searches, and preferences, with continuing use; thus, returned results are individualized.

In actuality, Siri is a spin-off from a project originally developed by the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center, and its speech recognition engine was provided by Nuance Communications.

Siri supports a wide range of user commands, including performing phone actions, handling device settings, checking basic information, searching the Internet, scheduling events and reminders, navigating areas, and is able to engage with iOS-integrated apps, and in addition, Siri uses advanced machine learning to function.

Amazon’s Alexa

How did Alexa and Siri get their names?

We all have been saying, or sometimes practically shouting, their names at our gadgets, but does anyone ever have an idea where they got their names in the first place? If you still don’t know the answer to that, let me tell you now.

No one has ever revealed who actually developed Siri, but we do know that Siri was eventually bought by Apple for their iOS products. And so, Apple had no say over what to name this piece of technology.

Adam Cheyer, Siri’s co-creator, said that the name Siri was chosen because it was short to type, easy to remember, comfortable to pronounce, and is a unique name.

As for Alexa, apparently, the inspiration for the name came from Star Trek. The characters in Star Trek would say “computer” aloud before issuing a voice command to their spaceship. And so, it gave them an idea. However, “computer” wasn’t a suitable choice for the Amazon Echo since the staff needed a unique word that wouldn’t accidentally be said out loud.

In the end, they eventually settled on Alexa because it’s a unique word and easy to pronounce, but most importantly, it has a letter “X”, giving it a very unique sound.



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