Android is the largest mobile operating system at the moment - over 1 billion Android devices were sold in 2014.
The largest team of engineers for Android from Google outside the United States is in London, this team having a huge contribution to the latest update of the operating system, called Lollipop. The Telegraph spoke with several members of this team, in the center of which is a novel.
Google's director of engineering, Andrei Popescu, is the one who made his first contribution to the operating system with version 1.6 Donut, released in September 2009. Since then, his team has grown massively and led to the launch of Android Lollipop, the new operating system version. Currently, 700 engineers work at Google's headquarters in the UK, of which 200 work on Android.
Andrei Popescu gave an interview to the Telegraph in which he spoke about his contribution to Android 5.0 Lollipop. "We've made massive investments in Android in London and I don't think many people know what significant part of Android is built here. The Google search experience on Android is built here, as is voice search, Chrome for Android and Google Play. In addition, we work on the rest of the system, focusing on creating a better experience, improving the operating system and creating a better product in general, "says Andrei Popescu.
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These elements of Android development have been assigned to the London team because of their experience in creating a search experience on other phones. Some of the team members worked on developing the Google search for the original version of the Windows Phone operating system, which was briefly the most popular before Android and iOS took the lead. Andrei Popescu's team was also responsible for adapting Material Design applications - one of the defining functions of Android Lollipop - as well as optimizing Lollipop performance on 64-bit devices such as the Nexus 9.
"You will see many animations when the user does an action, when he touches a button or on the screen, for example, the effect will be seen on the screen and this is one of the key aspects of Material Design - the ability to respond to user actions. you did something and a nice transition to the next step "said Andrei Popescu.
Although much of the work of engineers in London is conducted at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, the company has a strong culture of cultivating innovation, so you can work on your own projects. Andrei Popescu offers the example of Auto Awesome Movies, a feature from the Google Photos application that was created and built in London. "With the clips you could shoot a certain amount of images and it's not very good overall, but editing a clip on your mobile phone where you have limited space and the screen is small is really difficult. The idea was to let the phone do the work. difficult to realize which are the good parts and which are the bad, adding maybe a theme, a song that matches the sound of the clip, stuff like that.This is the idea with which I came and built the product and I produced it "
Andrei Popescu admits that there are features in Lollipop that not all users have appreciated - such as giving up silent mode - but says that it is better to innovate certain things and see the reactions and adapt than to continue with the same thing in each new release.
"There is always a balance. If everything is different, users will be confused, but at the same time you can't offer the same software over and over again. You have to find the right balance between innovative features and utility. It's a fine line," said Andrei Popescu. the leader of the London Android team.