How the Android Platform Architecture Works

Android Platform Architecture

With demands for the digital-first model surging, small and large enterprises alike are rushing to build apps. Given the unique set of benefits, mobile apps often ensure a higher ROI than other digital solutions. More so for small and medium enterprises. And in markets like India, Android stands out when it comes to enterprise apps. But what makes Android so popular among developers and app owners alike? The short answer is its platform architecture.

If you’re an Android developer, you already know the role of platform architecture in the coding process. Android is an open-source, Linux-based software stack, and it supports a diverse range of devices and form factors. But to use the environment to its optimal potential, you need to know its architecture inside out. That’s where this blog post intends to help you. Read on!

Core Components of the Android Platform Architecture

The Linux Kernel

The android platform architecture is built on top of a Linux kernel. The Android Runtime (ART), for instance, relies on the Linux kernel. It uses the kernel for underlying functionalities like low-level memory management and threading, among others.

Using the kernel, the Android framework bolsters security and enables device manufacturers to build hardware drivers for a familiar kernel.

Android Runtime (ART)

Each Android device runs in its process and its own runtime. The Android runtime is designed to run multiple virtual machines of low-memory devices. By executing the DEX files, the ART completes this process. It also relies on a bytecode format that ensures minimal memory usage.

Additionally, build tools like d8 and then compile Java sources onto DEX bytecode. This code can run on the Android platform. The ART features ahead-of-time (AOT) and just-in-time (JOT) compilations. It also has an optimized garbage collection. Additionally, and version 9 and above Android developers get the conversion of an app package’s DEX files into more compact machine code.

And that’s not all. Android Runtime also offers better-debugging support, including detailed diagnostics, a dedicated sampling profiler, and crash reporting, among other features.

Native Android Libraries

Writing Android code requires native libraries based on C and C++. This is crucial since core Android components such as ART and HAL are built from native libraries. Android developers can use Java framework APIs to expose the functionality of these native libraries to apps.

For instance, by accessing the OpenGL ES through Android’s Java OpenGL API, you could add support for drawing and manipulating 2D and 3D graphics in your app. Besides, you could use the Android NDK if you’re developing an app that requires C or C++ code.

For native android app development, it enables you to access native platform libraries directly from your code.

Here are some features of libraries:

  • SQLite library is best known for its use in data storage, but it’s also light on computing power and memory. WebKit library lets you browse the web using a powerful browser engine.
  • surface manager deals with rendering screens, while media framework handles things like videos and music files.
  • The OpenGl (Open Graphics) and SGL(Scalable Graphics) libraries handle 3D-rendering versus 2D-rendering, respectively.
  • FreeType turns your text into something readable while you browse the internet or read an e-book.
  • Java API Framework

    All features of the Android OS are available to you through Java APIs. These APIs, in fact, are the building blocks for the Android app development process. They enable you to simplify the reuse of core code, and modular system components and services, among others.

    These include an extensible View System to build the app UI, a Resource Manager for non-code resources like graphics and layouts, and a Notification Manager for custom alerts. Additionally, the framework also provides an activity tracker that manages the apps’ lifecycle and Content Providers that allows you to access data from other apps.

    Activity Manager: Manages the lifecycle of apps & provides common navigation back stack.

    Window Manager: Manages windows and drawing surfaces, and is an abstraction of the surface manager library.

    Content Providers: Allows application to access data from other applications. Also, it allows you tp share their own data. It provides a mechanism to exchange data among apps.

    View System: Contains User Interface building blocks used to build an application’s UI, including lists, grids, texts, boxes, buttons, etc. as well as performing the event management of UI elements.

    Package Management: Manages various kinds of information related to the application packages that are currently installed on the device.

    Telephony Manager: Enables app to use phone capabilities of the device.

    Resource Manager: Provides access to non-code resources (localized Strings, bitmaps, Graphics and Layouts).

    Location Manager: Deals with location awareness capabilities.

    Notification Manager: Enable apps to display custom alerts in the status bar.

    Android System Apps

    The Android ecosystem offers a glamorous array of apps for email, SMS, calendars, contacts, and internet browsing. This enables third-party apps to become the user’s default web browser, text messenger, or even keyboard.

    Using the system apps, Android developers can provide users with the key capabilities of Android. For instance, you don’t need to build the SMS functionality to deliver a text messenger capability in your app.

    Wrapping Up

    For mobile app developers, understanding the Android stack architecture deeply is crucial. It not just allows you to use the architecture to its full potential but also to avoid potential glitches. At Android Developer, an Android app development company, we’re poised to use the architecture efficiently.

    With vast experience working across industries, we make sure that all your app requirements are fulfilled promptly. You could hire Android app developers for building custom apps.


    Q. What is Rapid Application Development used for?

    Rapid application development (RAD) is a concept of software development that emphasizes working on software and being more adaptive. This development concept, introduced by James Martin in the 1980s, focuses on speed and used strategies such as prototyping, iterative development, and time boxing.

    Q. How much does it cost to build an Android mobile app?

    The development cost for an Android mobile app on what kind of app you need. Apps with basic features and simple designs cost less. If you need a high-performance app with more advanced features, the cost will be different. We offer competitive pricing for every kind of mobile app.

    Q. How long does it take to develop an Android app?

    The development time of an Android mobile app depends on your requirements. If your requirements are limited and predefined it takes comparatively less time. At Android Developer, we build solutions in a truly short turnaround time.