Latest Symbian News
Sep 26, 2021
Executives from HTC, Google, T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom take the stage to unveil Android 1.0, an all-new mobile operating system, and the first smartphone to run on it, the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile’s G1). Company representatives talked at length about how the new platform was opened and focused on encouraging third-party developers to create Android apps. According to them, they wanted to “provide users with many new devices, applications and services so that people can use the mobile Internet around the world.” Google executives Larry Page and Sergey Brin appeared in front of the public on commercials. Bryn, who describes himself as a geek, demonstrated the first app he wrote for Android that counted the time the G1 spent in the air when thrown. These two were clearly in love with the new platform and excitedly talked about its potential. On that day, the combination of hardware and software in a new product laid the foundation for the Android we use today. But what was this Android 1.0 like? What functions did you have? What chips did he lack? The platform was surprisingly complete and unfinished at the same time. Let’s remember the first steps of Android in honor of the recent anniversary. Android 1.0: a familiar but new experience If we fast forward to the past, in the fall of 2008, we will see that in those days many mobile operating systems competed with each other. Apple’s iOS was only a year old and was inferior to industry leaders BlackBerry OS and Symbian in scale. Let’s not forget about Windows Mobile and Palm OS. Google and the Android developers combined some of the cool elements from the already mature platforms plus added a number of new ideas that are still part of Android to this day. Android 1.0 had three home screen panels. The centerpiece was the main home screen that hosted pre-installed apps and widgets. You could swipe left or right to add more apps and widgets to other screens, just like modern Android. The use of widgets in Android was new at the time. Platforms of that time, such as Windows Mobile, which was controlled by single screen taps, also included widgets, but they were not as diverse and not as customizable as in Android. Android 1.0 had an app carousel. It was possible to get into it from the active window by tapping on a special button at the bottom of the screen. However, in general, the functionality of the list of applications was the same as it is now. The Android 1.0 settings menu was organized in a similar way to modern Android, but the quick settings menu did not yet exist. By the way, iOS 2, which iPhones ran on in 2008, did not have an app carousel, but it did have a similarity on Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices. The platform was tied to the hardware component. Those who have used Android since childhood of this OS will surely remember all these buttons to control it, these tenacious “Back”, “Home” and menu buttons were necessary for navigation and additional actions. There was not even an onscreen keyboard: the G1 required a physical QWERTY keyboard to enter any text. The platform has now completely reoriented itself to touch and gesture for the same actions. Of all the platforms available in 2008, only the iPhone was completely controllable by touching the screen. BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows, on the other hand, were very dependent on physical buttons. The implementation of notifications in Android 1.0 was already very successful back then and formed the basis of what notifications are today. The way they briefly popped up in the notification bar influenced other mobile platforms, prompting developers to adopt the idea. The active Google search bar has been built in since the beginning and is still alive today. And even the earliest version of the search tool included an autocomplete feature. What about security? You had the opportunity to use a pattern to unlock the screen, which you actually see now as one of the options. “There is an application for this” – what was before? Apple unveiled its App Store with iOS 2 in July 2008, just before Android debuted. At the time, a centralized app store on a device was rare. Most of the applications at the time were bought directly from the developer or from individual online distributors. It’s good that Google has followed Apple’s lead. The first Android 1.0 apps were primitive but functional. Among the first available to users were Google’s own apps such as Gmail, calendar, calculator, maps, and YouTube. Third party apps were available in the Android Market, as the Play Store was originally called. Android Market 1.0 was very primitive. Few applications could be found there, and it was also all text – with only a few splashes of graphics and pictures. At that time, Gmail already supported such important things as push notifications, IMAP / POP and SMTP, which gave it an edge over mail on other platforms. YouTube, on the other hand, was painful because the then 3G networks simply could not stream video. And the browser was not yet called Chrome. It was based on WebKit, but initially lacked support for Flash. The camera app was unimpressive. For example, every time you took a photo, a window pops up asking what you want to do – save, customize, share or delete the photo. Each. Once. Worse, the camera app didn’t have much of a feature, nor did it have the ability to record video. Google Maps was the undoubted advantage of the platform. Even though they were available on a number of other platforms such as the BlackBerry OS, maps for Android were very advanced. These included Street View, the ability to look at the actual appearance of the desired object. In addition, they already had support for panoramic views, so you could explore the area before you even get close to the desired object. Laying the Foundations for the Future of Android There is no doubt that Android 1.0 was a decent product from the start. It collected many ideas under one banner and became a very promising platform from the start. But not everything was so simple. At that time, only the T-Mobile operator in the United States offered the G1 smartphone, and the device did not enter other markets until early 2009. In general, Android devices did not sell in large volumes until Verizon Wireless introduced the Motorola Droid in the fall of 2009 – a year after the platform’s launch. By that time, it was already about Android 2.0. But the importance of these first steps can hardly be overestimated, since it was then that the foundations of the development of Android were laid. Google was in a hurry to talk about future versions of the platform, including Cupcake and Donut, which the company promised to add features and fix bugs over time. This fueled expectations as well as spurred further proliferation. Moreover, Android quickly became popular among the developer and modding community because it was open source, unlike BlackBerry OS, iOS, PalmOS, and Symbian. In general, this path was long, but on the eve of the release of Android 12, we can definitely say that we would not want everything to turn out differently, right? Are we feeling nostalgic?