Android architecture has a stack of components that help in supporting various Android devices. Android software consists of an open-source Linux Kernel with a compiled stack of numerous C/C++ libraries exposed via application framework services.
The primary advantage of using Linux Kernel is that it provides OS functionality for creating smartphone applications and the Dalvik Virtual Machine platform for running an android application. In this blog, we shall discuss the uses of the Android framework, the architecture of android and the application of android.
Visual representation of android architecture with several primary components and their sub-components will help you understand comprehensively.
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Android applications have been built with the massive collaboration of various components and with the investment of different top companies. To justify this statement, the giant company behind this Android is GOOGLE. There are multiple companies such as Intel, LG, ARM and Samsung, and these are manufacture-based companies.
When we discuss the architecture of the Android system, we are referring to how the system has been created, divided into layers, and assembled to function as a system. To ensure that all the parts of a system this complex work together harmoniously, careful structuring is necessary. Because of its architecture, all of its parts work together without crashing.
- Android Application
- Application Framework
- Android Runtime and Core/Native Libraries
- Core Libraries
- Linux Kernel
- Device Drivers
- Memory Management
- Process Management
As indicated on the diagram, the layers that make up the Android architecture are as follows:
- Application Framework
- Android Runtime and Core Libraries
- Linux Kernel
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Developing or building an OS for mobile devices is a challenging task. Several difficulties are involved in creating an operating system for mobile devices. This layered architecture ensures that various issues are deconstructed and resolved at multiple levels.
By separating concerns, the layered architecture ensures that Android app developers don’t constantly have to deal with low-level issues. Instead, they can concentrate on providing business value related to the layer they are working on.Implementing an application framework shouldn’t annoy developers who are working on apps. That effort is left up to the system developers developing the Application framework.
Low-level drivers are not a priority during the application framework’s development, which focuses on the developer experience. Low-level system engineers might focus on low-level components like Bluetooth, audio drivers, and similar items.
Because of Android’s layered structure, it is possible to apply updates with bug fixes or improvements to each layer. This ensures that changes across layers do not conflict.
This enables people with different OS levels to collaborate without obstructing each other as new updates and releases are completed.
Because of the layered design of Android, each layer can independently get updates with bug fixes or enhancements. This ensures that changes made at different layers are distinct from one another. Individuals using different OS levels can impede one another’s progress as new releases and upgrades are made.
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Users interact with this layer in many ways. Application developers publish their programmes for this layer’s execution.
Android devices come with many pre-installed applications, enabling them to function immediately.
Home: On Android, the homepage includes launcher icons for commonly used apps that the user may want quick access to. You can run these programmes by clicking on their launchers. At the top of the screen are panels showing the network, battery life, date, and time.
Contacts: Android uses a method for storing and retrieving contacts by default. The other apps share contact information to improve functionality.
Messages: Android in-built feature has the capability of sending and receiving messages.
Email: Android comes with built-in email services.
Setting up an Android device requires a Gmail account: Configuring Gmail on Android devices makes more email-dependent components available. Email-dependent features include security and recovery options. One feature dependent on email is connectivity to the Play Store, a marketplace for Android software.
Browser: The default browser is accessible on the Android device.
Notification Drawer: The notification drawer is accessed by swiping down on the screen, and the user should be conscious of the provided application events. The users can select a set of shortcuts to a few frequently used device settings located above the notification. Shortcut buttons for Bluetooth and WiFi, among other hardware components, are included in these settings. We can access these events’ settings pages by long-pressing them.
This layer is known as user-level, which is primarily intended for application development. At this level, application developers design and alter the user interfaces for their applications.
Application developers do not modify the layers underneath the application layer but are considered part of the system layer.
The Android OS exposes the underlying libraries and features of the Android device that use a Java API. This is what is known as the Android framework. The framework exposes a safe and uniform means to utilize Android device resources.
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- Applications use the Android activity component to present an app access point.
- The Android ActivityManager is to blame for predictable and consistent behaviour during application transitions.
- Applications can react to these transitions in many ways, playing games or playing music while on the phone.
Android can analyze screen data to ascertain the specifications required to build windows applications.
Android uses the Window manager to alert running programmes and the OS so they can adapt to the device’s mode.
- Most Android devices have GPS systems that use satellite data to locate users.
- Programmers can offer location-aware experiences and ask consumers if they want to use their location.
- Android devices can also use wireless technologies to increase coverage inside closed environments.
- Android provides several functions under the umbrella of the Location Manager.
Android employs TelephoneManager to integrate hardware and software to deliver telephony services. External parts like the SIM card and device parts like the microphone, camera, and speakers are included in the hardware components.
The programme has built-in features like a dial pad, phone book, and ringtone profiles. An application developer can enhance or modify the built-in calling features using the TelephoneManager.
The Android app typically includes more than just code. They also feature other resources like animations, text files, audio and video files, icons, etc.
Additionally, Android allows users to quickly design the common visual elements required for app interaction. These elements include button-like widgets, holders for images like ImageView, ones that display lists of things like ListView, and many more. Premade and branded components are available to suit the requirements.
The Notification Manager is responsible for alerting Android users to application events. When an event occurs, users are alerted by vibration, visual, or a combination of these cues.
Access to information about installed applications is also made possible by Android. Android keeps track of information about individual applications, including installation and removal activities, access to the app requests, and resource utilization, including memory usage.
With the help of this information, developers can create applications that activate or deactivate functionality in response to new features offered by companion applications.
Using the content provider, Android has a standardized method for data sharing between programmes on the device. Developers can use the content provider to expose data to other apps. For example, they may enable external search engines to access the app’s data. Android uses the same method to disclose data, including calendar and contact information.
Android Runtime and Core/Native Libraries
The Android Runtime (ART) is currently used to run application code. The Dalvik Runtime comes before ART, compiling developer code into Dalvik Executable files (Dex files).
These execution environments consider mobile device CPU and memory limitations tailored for the Android platform.
The runtime converts programmer-written code into computer code that performs computations and uses android framework components to provide functionality. Android supports several apps and system components, each running in its process.
This section will discuss fundamental libraries that make up the Android operating system.
Popular media codecs are also natively supported by Android, which makes it simple for apps made for the Android platform to use and play multimedia elements right out of the box.
Additionally, Android supports an SQLite database that provides rapid native database operations without needing outside frameworks.
An efficient and adaptable font engine is pre-installed in Android. This allows application developers to style different parts of their programme and provide a rich user experience that reflects their objective.
Additionally, Android includes the OpenGL graphics engine. A C library enables Android to induce 2D and 3D graphics in real-time using hardware components.
Additionally, Android has a built-in security layer that enables safe connection between its applications and external devices, including servers, other portable devices, and routers 6.
In the android platform, an optimized graphics library is built into Android and implemented in low-level code. The more advanced parts of the Android graphics pipeline’s framework are compatible.
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The core of Android includes libraries built in C and C++, low-level languages intended for embedded use that aid in maximizing performance. These libraries can access low-level system features like Threads, Sockets, IO, and similar ones.
The browser is built using this open-source browser engine. Before KitKat version 4.4, it was used by the default Android browser to produce web pages. It allows web components to display in the view system utilizing WebView for application developers. Because of this, programmes can include online components in their functioning.
The seamless rendering of application screens is the responsibility of the surface manager. It accomplishes this by combining 2D and 3D visuals for rendering. Off-screen buffering further facilitates this.Now that you have understood what is android framework, the architecture of Android and android application components. So, there are components like Linux Kernel, Memory Management, and Process Management. So, if you intend to learn more about the Android application, you can join Android Training in Bangalore, which will help you understand the installation of Android Studio, Services, Intent, Intent Filters, Storage, etc.