Android, as a software stack for mobile devices, has a rich and multi-layered architecture. This architecture provides a lot of flexibility and robustness, making Android a versatile operating system for a variety of devices. Let’s delve into the details of Android’s architecture.
Android Architecture Layers
Android’s architecture is divided into five layers:
Linux Kernel: This is the foundation of the Android platform. It provides a level of abstraction between the device hardware and the upper layers of the Android software stack. It contains all the essential hardware drivers like a camera, keypad, display, etc.
Libraries: These are a set of instructions that guide the device’s response to different types of data. They include surface manager, media framework, SQLite, WebKit, OpenGL, and more.
Android Runtime: This includes core libraries and the Dalvik Virtual Machine. The core libraries support most of the functionalities available in the core libraries of Java programming language. Every Android application runs its process, with its instance of the Dalvik virtual machine.
Application Framework: This layer exposes the various capabilities of the Android OS to application developers so they can make use of them in their applications. It includes managers like Activity Manager, Content Providers, Resource Manager, Notifications Manager, and View System.
Applications: This is the topmost layer of Android architecture and it includes your app code and third-party apps. All applications, both native and third-party, are built on the application layer using the same API libraries.
Key Components of Android Architecture
- Activity Manager: Manages the lifecycle of applications and provides a common navigation back stack.
- Content Providers: Allow applications to share data with other applications.
- Resource Manager: Provides access to non-code resources such as localized strings, graphics, and layout files.
- Notifications Manager: Allows applications to display alerts and notifications to the user.
- View System: An extensible set of views used to create application user interfaces.