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What is…?

What is… Android Runtime (ART)?

Android ART webpage

Back in June, at the Google I/O event, Google heralded the next major version of Android. While the Material Design UI change grabbed a lot of attention, another important development was also flagged – Android Runtime (ART)

What is…BlueDroid?

Android Bluedroid Bluetooth

At a recent Android-related press briefing by Bluetooth specialists CSR (see VibeHub makes itself at home for audio) there was mention of BlueDroid. This was new to me – time for another in our What is…? series! BlueDroid In a nutshell, “BlueDroid” is the Android Bluetooth stack implementation, used by the likes of CSR and other third-parties when they want to ...

What is…a GATT Service?

Bluetooth SMart Ready logo square

I was writing up the new features of the recently released Android 4.3 and came across support for Bluetooth Smart and mention of GATT  and a Generic Attribute Profile… But what is GATT and what are GATT Services? Time for another in our What Is…? series. Not specifically part of Android, maybe, but definitely now relevant to Android. In a ...

What is…Security Enhanced (SE) Android?

When writing up the Samsung KNOX release recently - it's a means of managing secure data access, in a corporate environment - the company stated it was built upon Security Enhanced (SE) Android. What is that, I wondered? Time for another What is...? looking at aspects of Android technology that are somewhat beneath the radar.

What is…Project Butter?

Butter? Why was Google's performance optimisation of the Android interface called Project Butter? The answer of course is 'smooth as...' The idea was to take a functionally operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich aka version 4.0 to 4.0.4) and make it that bit more responsive, immediate, or smoother...

What is…Open Accessories Mode?

It immediately provoked the question, what exactly is Open Accessories Mode? How exactly would your Android phone control, for example, your customised home gadget (a curtain closing device perhaps)? Where does this fit with standard USB comms?