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What Are Android Apps? Everything You Need To Know

by jordanhara
What Are Android Apps Everything You Need To Know

It’s very likely that you have at least one app on your smartphone that is made by Android. You know, those little programs that help you do everything from unlock it to calculate the amount of time you spend talking on it each month? Who knew there were so many uses for them?

Over the course of its existence. Android has evolved into a mature mobile operating system and we use apps much more than we do anything else on our devices. So what exactly are these things and how do they affect us as users?

There are hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of applications available for download in the Google Play Store. Developers keep coming up with new concepts every day. But if you’re reading this article, you’re probably wondering what an app is and how it works.


So let’s start with the basics first.


What are Android apps?

Apps are small programs that are used to fill a need or perform a specific task on Android devices. including smartphones, tablets, wearable technology, televisions, cars and more. Perhaps the most interesting thing about them is that they can be installed from an online repository known as the Play Store. Which holds over 2 million of these things at this point in time. The store was originally called the Android Market back when it debuted in October 2008 under its original owner Google.

There are also other sources through which one can obtain and install apps, but we’ll get to that later. Getting back on track, the number of apps available in the Play Store is increasing at a steady pace. Because more and more developers come up with ideas every day. Some go viral and top the lists, while others are destined to fail miserably after being released. There are also those which are simply ignored by the majority.


How do Android apps work?

At their core, Android apps are nothing more than small programs that you can run on your device conveniently. Whenever you hear people talking about “apps”. They’re usually referring to software created for mobile devices with operating systems like iOS or Android. So these programs have specific functions depending on what they were designed for. There is an app for almost everything, including games , productivity tools, weather forecasts, navigation services and more. There are even apps that let you pay dues online or take notes without having to boot up your PC!

The possibilities are virtually endless, but it all comes down to how skilled the developer is in his/her craft. For instance, programmers do their best to make their creations require as little system resources. As possible so that they don’t put too much pressure on older devices with smaller RAM capacities. As soon as you download an Android app onto your device it will be added to your Application List . You can find this list by going into the Apps section of the Settings menu by navigating to Applications > Manage applications. Here’s what it looks like when you do that:

As you can tell, the Application List displays every app that is currently installed on your Android device. You can click on any of them in order to open the respective program or remove it by pressing the Clear data button followed by Uninstall :

From this point forward, you can always access all of your downloaded apps in one handy spot without having to search for them in separate locations. Furthermore, you can re-install any app from its source provider(Play Store) , or just clear its cached data by following the guidelines provided above.


How do Android apps affect battery life?

The short answer would be “the more apps you use, the faster your battery drains”. But what makes this statement true? The fact of the matter is that every app running in the background uses at least a tiny bit of system resources. These things can add up if you have too many programs open simultaneously, and eventually make your device expend energy faster than it would under normal circumstances when certain tasks aren’t being processed. In order to fix this problem all one has to do is close all apps running in the background by going back into the Application List mentioned earlier and pressing “End all” after choosing any application from there:

If for some reason that doesn’t work then try clearing its cached data instead (by repeating said process but selecting “Clear Cache”). Please keep in mind that clearing app data will result in the loss of certain settings for each program.

How to save battery life on Android devices?

To tell you the truth, there are countless ways to solve this issue depending on your device type and what OS version it runs on. For example, some users have gotten great results by applying various hacks which can be found all over the Internet. These things work by tweaking software parameters located deep within the OS source code, thus helping their gadgets run more efficiently. Just make sure you do your research before trying anything too drastic!

On top of that, here are a couple of tips that should help conserve energy regardless of what type of Android device you own. Auto-Brightness feature is useless if it’s constantly adjusting the screen’s backlight depending on your surroundings. Most of the time, this causes more problems than it solves by making your display unnaturally bright or dim. So either turn off Auto-Brightness altogether, or set the slider to “medium” and leave it on that level.

It makes sense to go into Developer options (by navigating through Settings>About device>Software information>Build number) and uncheck the “Stay awake” option under Debugging section if you’re not planning on using your phone for anything else apart from normal activities like calling, texting etc. That way your gadget will automatically lock itself as soon as you put it down or switch it over to standby mode. By doing so battery life should be preserved even if you forget to turn it off completely.


What is ‘Doze’?


Since Android Marshmallow, Google has implemented a new feature called “Doze”. Which enhances battery life by putting the device into idle mode when it’s not being used. This way all background processes are automatically disabled whenever your phone or tablet isn’t being carried around, thus preventing apps from using up too many resources whenever they’re launched. You can read more about Doze here .

How to improve battery life on Android devices?

Well, that depends on what version of Android you’re running and how old your gadget is in general. If the manufacturer doesn’t provide official updates for very long periods of time then there’s nothing much one can do to prevent their battery from deteriorating.

What is ‘ART’ in Android?


The new ART runtime was introduced with the release of Android Lollipop. Replacing Dalvik which had been used for years prior to that. It’s basically a different way of interpreting apps bytecode into machine code at runtime. Allowing them to run faster than before since processing doesn’t require constant disk I/O anymore. There are some drawbacks too though, like increased RAM usage which can cause some older devices with limited memory resources to lag or behave unexpectedly when multiple programs are opened simultaneously. If your phone or tablet suffers from this problem then you should either upgrade it (if possible). switch back to Dalvik mode by going through Developer options and selecting “Use Dalvik” option under the ART sub-menu.

How often does Google release security patches?

Well, that depends on your device’s manufacturer and what version of Android it runs on top of. If you have a Nexus or Pixel gadget then you can always count on its maker to provide quick security fixes whenever they become available. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for most other brands. Where updates are either released really slowly (if at all) or never come out at all since manufacturers prefer to sell new devices instead of taking care of older ones. Also, keep in mind that if your phone is really old and running Jelly Bean 4.1 or earlier. Then it will never be updated again even if you buy a newer model which features the latest flavor of Android.

What is ‘Dirty Cow’ in Linux?

The Dirty COW vulnerability, also known as CVE-2016-5195. Is a privilege escalation bug within the copy-on-write (COW) feature present in Linux kernel versions 2.6.22 to 4.8.2. Regardless of device or architecture which allows any unprivileged process to gain write access to read-only file system by exploiting a race condition in how operating system handles reference counting for private shared memory. Read more about it here.

What’s really worrying though is that this bug has existed since 2007 and was found last year thanks to Google’s Project Zero. So there are literally dozens of devices out there which could be exploited based on it. Also, this isn’t the first or last time something like that happens. There’s always another bug ready to be exploited somewhere else. As long as manufacturers continue releasing products which lack proper support (security-wise) then it will never stop. Will Dirty COW affect my smartphone? Most likely not unless you’re running some kind of custom ROM based on Android 5 Lollipop or earlier. Only Nexus and Pixel devices are patched against it so far. But Samsung has already confirmed that Galaxy S7 handsets are vulnerable to this exploit too .

What is ‘Stagefright’ in Android?


The Stagefright vulnerability, also known as CVE-2015-1538. Is a privilege escalation bug within multiple media parsers present in Android operating system. Regardless of device or version number which allows any person to send a specially crafted MMS message to the victim’s phone. Forcing it to execute its code on the target’s device. Read more about it here . So what? Well, this bug affects 95% of all devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and newer due to how old their firmware is in general. The latest fix has been released for Nexus handsets back in August while some non-Google devices have already received. Custom patches through new ROM updates too, but that still leaves millions of users vulnerable.

Will Stagefright affect my smartphone? Again, most likely not unless you’re using some kind of custom ROM based on an outdated version of Android. However, if you can afford it then we recommend using handsets. Which run stock Android or at least receive updates quite fast after Google releases them. Otherwise your device will remain vulnerable to this and other possible exploits for years.


Do you feel better now? Is there a chance your Android device might have been exploited already instead of being patched against Dirty COW or Stagefright? Well, it depends on a lot of factors which you probably don’t even know about. If you really want to stay safe then buy a Nexus or Pixel phone and update it regularly. While trying to avoid third-party ROMs for the time being. The same goes for other manufacturers do not buy their products. If they are no longer supported by the company itself! Remember that security is important too, especially when dealing with something as sensitive as your smartphone.

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