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Android has been the best-selling OS worldwide on Smartphone’s since 2011 and as of May 2017, it has over two billion monthly active users, the largest installed base of any operating system, and as of June 2018, the Google Play store features over 3.3 million apps. Since 2008, Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding new features and fixing bugs in previous releases.
What is Android?
Initially developed by Android Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007, with the first commercial Android device launched in September 2008. The operating system has since gone through multiple major releases, with the current version being 9 "Pie" (2018). The core Android source code is known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and is primarily licensed under the Apache License. Android is also associated with a suite of proprietary software developed by Google, called Google Mobile Services (GMS).
Android's default user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions:
The response to user input is designed to be immediate and provides a fluid touch interface. Android devices boot to the homescreen, the primary navigation and information "hub" on Android devices
Android home screens are typically made up of:
App icons launch the associated app, whereas widgets display live, auto-updating content, such as a weather forecast, the user's email inbox, or a news ticker directly on the home screen. a Home screen may be made up of multiple pages, between which the user can swipe back and forth. Most manufacturers customize the look and features of their Android devices to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Along the top of the screen is a status bar, showing information about the device and its connectivity. This status bar can be "pulled" down to reveal a notification screen where apps display important information or updates.
Applications ("apps"), which extend the functionality of devices, are written using Android software development kit (SDK). The SDK includes:
Since Android devices are usually battery-powered, Android is designed to manage processes to keep power consumption at a minimum. When an application is not in use the system suspends its operation so that it does not use battery power or CPU resources.
Third Party Apps
Third-party applications can be acquired by users by downloading and installing the application's Android application package file, or by download via an application store program that allows users to install, update, and remove applications from their devices. Google Play Store is the primary application store installed on Android devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements and license the Google Mobile Services software.
The main hardware platform for Android is ARM (the ARMv7 and ARMv8-A architectures), with x86 and x86-64architectures also officially supported in later versions of Android.
Requirements for the minimum amount of RAM for devices running Android 7.1 range from in practice 2 GB for best hardware, down to 1 GB for the most common screen, to absolute minimum 512 MB for the lowest spec 32-bit smartphone.
The recommendation for Android 4.4 is to have at least 512 MB of RAM, while for "low RAM" devices 340 MB is the required minimum amount that does not include memory dedicated to various hardware components such as the baseband processor.
Android devices incorporate many optional hardware components, including:
Android is developed by Google until the latest changes and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is made available to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), an open source initiative led by Google.
The mascot of Android is a green android robot, as related to the software's name. Although it has no official name, the Android team at Google reportedly call it "Bugdroid it has become one of the most recognizable icons in the technology world.