Learning what operating system a phone uses can help you make a purchase decision or figure out if your app collection will work with it. The Samsung Infuse, a smartphone on AT&T's cellular network, uses Google's Android operating system. Out of the box, the Infuse comes with Android version 2.3, also known as Gingerbread. Samsung layers the operating system with its TouchWiz user interface, which provides extra functions and proprietary apps like Samsung's Media Hub, Samsung widgets for your homepage, and the Smart Unlock feature. With the Infuse, you can check email when you're out of the office, remotely start your car, or use the LED flash as a flashlight.
Google has specific guidelines for how Android-powered phones must look and operate. The four capacitive-touch buttons on the bottom of the Samsung Infuse are indicative that it uses Android. Smartphones like BlackBerry and iPhone don't have similar buttons. Furthermore, Android is compatible with home-screen widgets including the Google search bar. Apple's iPhone lacks these widgets. Finally, the animated live wallpapers that come with Android devices such as the Infuse also help you determine which operating system the phones use.
Android is the smartphone operating system that Google has been developing since 2005. It powers hundreds of phone models by different manufacturers, including several devices by Samsung. At the time that Samsung and AT&T released the Infuse, version 2.3 was mainstream. Since then, Android version 4.0 and 4.1 have been released on newer smartphones. However, the Samsung Infuse didn't see official upgrades from AT&T and Samsung. You can use default apps like mail, maps or the home-screen launcher or download other apps to fulfill your needs.
Not all of the default apps and capabilities of the Samsung Infuse are due to the operating system. TouchWiz version 3.0 controls the touch interface and hardware such as the accelerometer, which detects when your phone is turned or tilted to adjust the screen. TouchWiz also provides the launch on your home screen for opening common apps such as the dialer. Finally, Samsung's user interface completely powers your home screen, which enables you to use Samsung's widget. If you switch to a launcher from the marketplace, it disables TouchWiz and Samsung widgets.
You can download free or purchase third-party apps for the Samsung Infuse from a variety of sources. The official Google Play market is an app on the phone, and you can send apps to your phone from the Play store in your browser. Amazon's App Store works similarly to Google Play, and it offers a single app for free every day. You can also add apps to your phone if you download the APK file directly from the developer or another website, transfer the file to your phone, and launch it with a file manager.