The Android operating system is an open source mobile interface developed by Google. Android was created to offer direct competition to other smartphones on the market, including the Apple iPhone and Research In Motion's BlackBerry. Its open source construction means that Android can be fully customized by developers. This also allows the operating system to be used by a variety of companies. Individuals and small development groups have the ability to freely create applications that are accessible in the Android Market. Android's native picture gallery and media player support many types of video, audio and other multimedia files.
Multiple manufacturers use the Android operating system as the basis for smartphones and tablets. The mobile interface is not exclusive to any particular service provider and can be found on devices for all major carriers in the U.S., including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Android supports common image types, and can be customized by developers to support additional types that are not native to the operating system.
Android supports the JPEG image file format, which is one of the most widely used formats to store images. JPEG files are commonly associated with digital cameras, as most images taken on such devices are stored by default in the JPEG format. Pictures taken on Android devices are also stored by default in this manner. JPEG files are a lossy form of bitmap images created to compress the file size so that they take up less space and can be shared more easily with others.
The Android operating system also supports BMP, GIF and PNG image file types. Files in the BMP format are large and uncompressed images. Images may be stored as BMP files for editing purposes before being compressed to a different format. Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) images are a file type often used to create and store images that may include some type of movement or slideshow effect. The PNG image format is an alternative to GIF, featuring similar properties.
While Android itself supports four common image file formats, the operating system's open source nature gives manufacturers of smartphones or tablets the capability to expand support to include other file types. Check with your specific Android device's manufacturer to determine any additional image file types that may be supported on your device.
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