Android is an open source platform and operating system developed by Google and Open Handset Alliance, heralding a new era in mobile application development. Android isn't dependent on device hardware, instead it changes which features it offers.
Android is a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. The Andriod SDK provides the tools and APIs necessary to begin developing applications on the Android platform using the Java programming language.
Some of the key features of Andriod development platform are :
Application Framework enabling reuse and replacement of components
Dalvik Virtual Machine optimized for mobile devices
Integrated Browser Based on the open source Webkit engine
Optimized Graphics powered by a custom 2D graphics library; 3D graphics based on the OpenGL ES 1.0 specification
SQLite for structured data storage
Media Support for common audio, video, and still image formats (MPEG4, H.264, MP3, AAC, AMR, JPG, PNG, GIF)
GSM Telephony (Hardware dependent)
Bluetooth, EDGE, 3G, and WiFi (Hardware dependent)
Camera, GPS, Compass, and Accelerometer (hardware dependent)
Rich Development Environment including a device emulator, tools for debugging, memory and performance profiling, and a plugin for the Eclipse IDE