Android is software for tablets, mobile phones and a growing range of devices encompassing everything from wearable computing to in-car entertainment. It launched in 2003 and is the world’s most popular mobile operating system (OS).
Android is an open source project (which led by Google but it doesn’t belong to them) called AOSP (Android Open Source Project). Google uses this project as a base to create its version of the Android, which is then used by the other manufacturers.
As an OS (Operating System), Android’s job is to act as a translator between you and your gadget. When you take any photo, Android provides the button you tap and tells the phone what to do when you tap it. When you receive or make a call, Android tells your phone how to do that. When you play any game, Android tells the game what movements you’re making and what buttons you’re pressing. It’s like Windows, but only for mobile devices.
The Android software itself is developed with Google in conjunction, who releases major updates to the platform every year. Manufacturers which run Android on their phones include Huawei, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, HTC, LG and many others; it’s currently operational on more than one billion devices.
Android’s mascot is a green robot: you might have seen it around.
History of Android?
After the launch of Android 1.0 just a few years, Smartphones that had the OS installed were everywhere. Now it has become the most popular mobile OS (Operating System) in the world, defeating its many competitors like Symbian, Palm OS, BlackBerry, webOS, and Windows Phone. Apple’s iOS is the only platform still standing as a serious competitor to the Android, and that situation doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.
The founding of Android
In October 2003, well before the term “the smartphone” was used by most of the public, and several years before Apple announced its first iPhone and its iOS (iPhone Operating System), the company Android Inc was founded in Palo Alto, California. Its four founders were Rich Miner, Chris White, Nick Sears, and Andy Rubin. At the time of its public founding, Rubin was quoted as saying that Android Inc (OS) was going to develop “smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s preferences and location.”
While that sounds like the basic description of the smartphone, Rubin revealed in a 2013 speech in Tokyo that Android OS was originally meant to improve the operating systems of digital cameras, as reported by the PC World. The company made pitches for investors in 2004 that showed how Android, installed on a camera, would connect wirelessly to any PC. That PC would then connect to an “Android Datacenter,” where camera owners could store their photos online on the cloud server.
Obviously, the team at Android didn’t think at first about to creating an OS that would serve as the heart of a complete mobile computing system on its own. But even back then, market for the stand-alone digital cameras was declining, and a few months later, Android Inc decided to shift gears towards using the OS (Operating System) inside mobile phones. In 2013 as Rubin said, “The exact same OS (operating system), the exact same platform we built for cameras, that became the Android for cellphones.”
The next big chapter in Android’s history in 2005, was made when the original company was acquired by Google. Other founding members and Rubin stayed on to continue to develop the OS under their new owners. The decision was made to use Linux as the basis for the Android OS (Operating System), and that also meant that Android itself could be offered to third-party mobile phone manufacturers for free. The Android team and Google felt the company could make money offering other services that used the OS, including apps.
Until 2013, Rubin stayed at Google as head of the Android team, when Google announced he would be leaving that division. In late 2014, Rubin left Google altogether and launched the startup business incubator. Earlier in the 2017, Rubin officially revealed his return to the smartphone industry with his company’s announcement of the Android-based Essential Phone.