Android as a startup platform and framework in 2004 was in trouble and was out of cash. Other investors were also not biting into it. Nevertheless, Steve Perlman believed in it and funded additional money to Andy Rubin. With the additional funds, Rubin got the platform back on track, securing more funding and moved the team to a bigger office in Palo Alto, California, which is a technology hub on the West Coast.

These days, Android powers around 85 percent of all smart phones all over the world while the iPhone only accounts for over 11 percent. Furthermore, the platform is making a push into cars, wristwatches and televisions. It is not difficult to envision a time when it would be in each single device from thermostats and stoves, even to toothbrushes.

At present, roughly five months after the Android 5.0 Lollipop and the Nexus 9 was released and Google now released some updates and a bigger bug fixing Lollipop update, there are countless Nexus devices that are all updated to Android 5.1 Lollipop. The update delivered several new features to the framework and debuted on the Nexus 9. Nonetheless, the tablet has been stuck with no bug fixing upgrades. Back in June 2014 at the Google I/O developer conference, Google officially unveiled Android One, a program wherein Google works hand-in-hand with low-cost smart phone manufacturers in emerging markets. The program's goal is to provide phone makers with hardware specs that the companies could utilize to create the most cost-effective devices, which run the stock operating system, the same to the OS found on Nexus devices.

Lollipop has taken over from KitKat with new and major differences. It is a big update that sees Google taking its mature platform several steps up. The firm has tightened up almost every element of the mobile platform, refining the feel and look across the board and touching up back-end protocols and tools as well to make it even more efficient. The first update waves now are in full swing with Samsung and Motorola. The updates are massive and could be seen in its glory. Luckily, most of the platform's large players have started toning down the custom skins in view of Lollipop. Nonetheless, the most notable is Samsung which confirmed plans of making TouchBiz on board the Galaxy S6 more similar to the UX that is found on Nexus 6.

The big deal with Lollipop is the Material Design, an end-to-end redesign of the framework from the ground up. It is a big visual change that is packed with a lot of enhancements and new features. The flatness viewed in KitKat remains correct and present, but now comes with a twist, which is realism. Animation will play a huge part in the new design and would adopt real-time shadows for giving the interface more depth, making it appear more dynamic. The shadows are around since Lollipop would make more use of the User Interface layers, enabling developers to perform all sorts of visual customization within their applications.

Another huge change is the famous soft buttons which have been given a face lift, looking more stylish than ever. The platform is clearly an upgrade on the current KitKat style. However, Google embellishes it with new visual tricks that make things even more attractive. The 5.0 update is completely free, thus users would simply have to wait for manufacturers to incorporate all the changes to their software for every device. In the United States, carries would have to test the changes and approve upgrades before they arrive, making updates slower than others. Nexus 6 and 9 come with Android 5.0 pre-installed. Nevertheless, for those with older devices, they may have to wait for over the air upgrades to enjoying everything.

The Nexus 5 Android 5.1 release would soon pick up speed soon. Historically, the organization has taken one to two weeks and at times even more to deliver new firmware to Nexus tablets and smart devices. This is an integral update for the version 5 and Google is working hard to get it out to as many consumers and in as many places as possible.

With Lollipop, Google has made many changes, both with the feel and look, effects and animation and the size of icons. Everything is simply more bold, very smooth and easier to understand. This is one of the largest redesigns in the latest history of the platform. Android delivered right from Google, which buyers would enjoy on any Nexus device and most Motorola devices at present. Those with HTC, LG, Sony, Samsung and other manufacturers would have the same feel but would look different as most manufacturers put skin or overlay on top of the Android stock. Google has changed the lock screen, the way the notifications work and being managed, the notification pull down bar, redesigned the settings menu, added clean animations and bright colors to icon selections or button taps and hugely enhanced the recent apps menu which is otherwise known as multitasking option. This is a new card-style user interface that appears great and also easy to use.

Most of the core applications that are used daily, like Maps, Play Store, Gmail, Calendar and many more all are the same as Google has updated them via the Play Store. The lock screen has been slightly enhanced with a shortcut to the dialer by swiping left to right. Notifications are more interactive and useful. They could be swiped away, slide down to expand or double tap for instantly unlocking into the notification or application. Everything is smooth and simple, and there is still a full-screen album artwork on the lock screen while playing music.

One other great news with the Android platform is that soon users may be able to use the application on a Windows phone. The scope of emulation is relatively wide. As the software stands currently, most applications are compatible while some builds even sport a working Google Play Store client. Google is on the verge of releasing Windows 10 and along with it, refreshed development tools that could finally make building and publishing multi-platform applications simpler. The company aims to address the concern of the market share through producing a program that could easily convert Android devices to Windows. If this succeeds, the efforts could give Windows device a boost that it needs in order to compete with others. Still, Microsoft must act fast.

Almost five years after the debut, the Windows Phone continues to suffer from a lack of applications. High-profile, recent additions such as WatchESPN have mitigated things. However, the truth remains that the offerings of the iOS and Android app stores have positively dwarfed Microsoft's. Respectively, the App and Play Stores boost of an application catalog north of one million, while the Windows Phone store last November reached 187,000. Microsoft is aware of this fact, and in response is reportedly experimenting with an Android application emulation within the Windows Phone 10.

The scope of the emulation is quite big. As the software stands at present, most Android apps are compatible and some even sport a working Google Play Store client. For sure, questions regarding the legality of the implementation of the emulation and its possible effects on native Windows Phone development kept the project from being green-lit as of date. Technical problems could also be playing a part. The Android emulation solution of BlackBerry in the BlackBerry 10 operating system was filled with performance concerns and limitations and required downloading and installing applications manually. Since then, it has been improved, but Microsoft would not doubt prefer avoiding the same user backlash that its competitor has endured.

The issue of concern with running Android applications on a Windows phone includes legal matters about the practice. Microsoft has leveraged the patent system against Android device makers to gather ample revenue. Google would jump at any chance to take legal action against Microsoft if it tries to use Google play applications within Windows. Software emulation, even when open sourced technically is always a legal gray matter.

The second concern alluded to before is the universal Windows apps and developers. If Microsoft comes too early with an Android emulation plan, it could severely undercut the message regarding the development of native applications for Windows 10. Without doubt, it cuts any such arguments off, making the version 10 a difficult sell to the development community. After all, if the firm does not believe in their application model's power, so why should developers believe it?

While Microsoft can unveil such a plan at BUILD later in April, there still is no evidence that suggests they it would. Rather, the firm may continue creating out of the system as a backup plan in case things will go very sour with Windows 10 and the adoption of the application. In this regard, any company conclusions should be hold off since an organization such as Microsoft has a lot of contingency plans in place should specific product lines start to fail.

Author's Bio: 

Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specializes in Agile Scrum methodology, Marketing Ops (MRM) application development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management.