Questions about understanding Android

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  1. mike_terror

    mike_terror Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Aug 27, 2010
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    Hello everyone, I'm about to experience my first Android phone for the very first time, but I've always had a bit of confusion about "android". I've tried searching for these answers, but have never seem to have any luck. At first I never cared because I never owned an android phone, but now that I will be receiving my Samsung Captivate, I feel that I have a stronger need to understand. Maybe these will help future android users too?

    1) I understand that Android is a mobile OS made for mobile phones. It is made by google, and is a software, not hardware. Does this mean the only difference between android phones will be the hardware and physical aspect of the phone? The OS will all look the same whether its an HTC EVO, Motorolla Droid, Samsung Galaxy S?

    Similar to how Windows 7 os looks exactly and works exactly the same whether its on a Dell, Gateway, HP, or Sony?

    2) My second question is related to question one. What is the difference between a Motorolla Droid X vs a Samsung Galaxy S besides the hardware? Reason I ask is because I know both are android phones that are currently part of the popular bunch. When you remove the hardware aspects, what do you have left?

    3) If I look at the UI for a Droid X vs an HTC EVO 4G, will they be the same?

    4) What is Motorolla Blur vs Samsung's Touchwhiz?

    5) I've read reviews and forums where its mentions how a certain phone would be ran with the android OS, but also the manufactures own OS on top of it? Im not sure if this question is clear.

    6) My first time ever hearing about android was with the Tmobile G1, and I felt that it was awful. I've never looked into another android phone since then. I'm assuming the 2.1 is a lot newer than the G1?

    If anyone's kind enough to ease my understanding this will definitely help a lot. Thanks!

  2. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2010
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    While it's true that all Windows machines look the same, that is not the most important part of what makes a Windows machine, a Windows machine. The important part is that all I such machines are able to run Windows applications. It's in that sense that you can compare Windows to Android. All Android phones can run Android apps. Just like Windows, hardware compatibility issues sometimes prevent certain apps from working properly, but that's rare in my experience, in both Windows and Android, as both systems provide a separation layer between the app and the hardware.

    But while the compatibility and the core OS sameness are the same for both Windows and Android, unlike Windows, Android doesn't always look exactly the same, because phone manufactureres have all come up with their own skins and UI themes, home screen software, app drawers and even virtual keyboards. But in most cases, you can download and run your own so-called "launcher" apps and keyboards.

    The philosophy of the Android system is that while the core OS is the same and guarantees app compatibility, it is heavily customizable, doesn't have to look the same, and doesn't force the user to use it in any given way. No Apple-style uniformity is forced on app developers. That does have its pros and cons.
  3. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
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    Yes and no. Android is just an OS like Windows. However it's an open source OS unlike Windows. Open source just means that anyone can customize it which is exactly what manufacturer's tend to do. HTC throws the Sense interface on top of Android. Motorola uses MotoBlur and Samsung uses TouchWhiz. The engine underneath is the same. The paint on top is different. That's the best analogy I can come up with. Does that make sense? The hardware differs from Android phone to Android phone. Many run similar hardware, but none are identical.

    You've got the same underlying OS, but you've got a (slightly) different GUI on top of it. I've not used MotoBlur or TouchWhiz so I can't speak to any of their differences.

    They'll be similar enough that you'll be able to navigate around I would think.
    They're different User Interfaces.

    The phone runs Android underneath and runs a custom user interface on top of Android. Make sense?

    What did you not like about the T1? That may help determine how you'll feel about the Captivate.

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