This brings Google-branded products to Android, including the Google Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, etc. However, during the later development of the OS, Rubin realized that smartphones were the future. He decided to revamp it as a smartphone operating system instead. The idea didn’t attract much investment since Windows Phone, Symbian, and other phone operating systems were already dominating the market. Rubin and his team almost stopped development when they ran out of money.

It is an open source area of development and is a Linux based OS which acts as middleware and a key mobile application. This OS is designed to use in modern smartphones, e-book readers, set-top boxes, tablets, and televisions as well. In this tutorial, you will learn the basics of Android, and what are its features and categories of applications developed for Android. Android Operating SystemAndroid is a powerful operating system and it supports a large number of applications on Smartphones. These applications are more comfortable and advanced for users. The hardware that supports android software is based on the ARM architecture platform.

In October 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Android will serve as Google’s future main laptop operating system, with the plan to fold Chrome OS into it by 2017. That is unlike Android where support is shorter with “EOL dates [being..] at least 3 years for Android tablets for education”. Moreover, open-source variants of some applications also exclude functions that are present in their non-free versions. Apps that do not use Google components would also be at a functional disadvantage, as they can only use APIs contained within the OS itself.


In addition to their availability on commercially available hardware, similar PC hardware-friendly versions of Android are freely available from the Android-x86 project, including customized Android 4.4. Using the Android emulator that is part of the Android SDK, or third-party emulators, Android can also run non-natively on x86 architectures. Chinese companies are building a PC and mobile operating system, based on Android, to “compete directly with Microsoft Windows and Google Android”. The Chinese Academy of Engineering noted that “more than a dozen” companies were customizing Android following a Chinese ban on the use of Windows 8 on government PCs. In June 2014, Google announced Android One, a set of “hardware reference models” that would “allow to easily create high-quality phones at low costs”, designed for consumers in developing countries.

definition of android

The robot design was initially not presented to Google, but it quickly became commonplace in the Android development team, with various variations of it created by the developers there who liked the figure, as it was free under a Creative Commons license. Its popularity amongst the development team eventually led to Google adopting it as an official icon as part of the Android logo when it launched to consumers in 2008. At Google I/O in May 2016, Google announced Daydream, a virtual reality platform that relies on a smartphone and provides VR capabilities through a virtual reality headset and controller designed by Google itself. The platform is built into Android starting with Android Nougat, differentiating from standalone support for VR capabilities. The software is available for developers, and was released in 2016. According to a Statistica’s estimate, Android smartphones had an installed base of 1.8 billion units in 2015, which was 76% of the estimated total number of smartphones worldwide.

The first known use of android was

Éclair 2.0 version was released after six weeks of the Donut version. The first Android version like 1.0 was released in the year 2008 but it didn’t have any codename. The Dalvik VM makes use of Linux core features like memory management and multithreading which is in java language.

definition of android

HTC, Samsung, LG, Huawei, Lenovo, and Sony are just a few of the manufacturers that run Android on the devices they manufacture. Initially founded by Andy Rubin in October 2003 and later acquired by Google on August 17, 2005. Android is a free Linux based platform and is an open software stack with an operating system, middleware, and applications. It was originally developed by Google and released on November 5, 2007, for mobile platforms. Finally, other operating systems out there are not based on Android, but do support running its apps.

Developers can create programs for Android using the free Android software developer kit . Android programs are written in Java and run through a Java virtual machine JVM that is optimized for mobile devices. The “Dalvik” JVM was used through Android 4.4 and was replaced by Android Runtime or “ART” in Android 5.0. Users can download and install Android apps from Google Play and other locations. Device fragmentation creates challenges for developers because it’s difficult to develop apps that work across all device types and versions.

This Play Store is a huge advantage of having an Android device. All the content you purchase will be connected with your Google account. That way, you will be able to access the content on any Android device logged into the Google account. Every year, Google releases major updates to the Android operating system. Even though Google plays a major part in the development of Android, Google provides the Android operating system to manufacturers for free.

Google engineer Patrick Brady once stated in the company’s developer conference that “Android is not Linux”, with Computerworld adding that “Let me make it simple for you, without Linux, there is no Android”. Ars Technica wrote that “Although Android is built on top of the Linux kernel, the platform has very little in common with the conventional desktop Linux stack”. Android’s default user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions, like swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard.

Android Multimedia

In Android 7.0 and earlier, no formal vendor interface exists, so device makers must update large portions of the Android code to move a device to a newer version of the operating system. In 2012, Google began de-coupling certain aspects of the operating system so they could be updated through the Google Play store independently of the OS. One of those components, Google Play Services, is a closed-source system-level process providing APIs for Google services, installed automatically on definition of android nearly all devices running Android 2.2 “Froyo” and higher. With these changes, Google can add new system functions and update apps without having to distribute an upgrade to the operating system itself. As a result, Android 4.2 and 4.3 “Jelly Bean” contained relatively fewer user-facing changes, focusing more on minor changes and platform improvements. The lack of after-sale support from manufacturers and carriers has been widely criticized by consumer groups and the technology media.

definition of android

As of Android 11, Android has required apps to conform to a data privacy policy known as scoped storage, under which apps may only automatically have access to certain directories , and app-specific directories they have created themselves. Apps are required to use the SAF to access any other part of the filesystem. That’s why we build accessible features and products that work for the various ways people want to experience the world. Because when it comes to technology, there’s no one-size-fits all. Videos, podcasts and audio messages, across any app—even stuff you record.

Android versions

Google marketed the early mobile platform to handset manufacturers and mobile carriers with its major benefits as flexibility and upgradability. In 2005, Google acquired Android, Inc. and two years later unveiled smartphone specifications for third-party manufacturers. In 2010, Google began to offer “pure Android” versions, devoid of vendor add-ons .

Additionally, Firebase was acquired by Google in 2014 that provides helpful tools for app and web developers. In 2010, Google launched its Nexus series of devices, a lineup in which Google partnered with different device manufacturers to produce new devices and introduce new Android versions. The series was described as having “played a pivotal role in Android’s history by introducing new software iterations and hardware standards across the board”, and became known for its “bloat-free” software with “timely … updates”. At its developer conference in May 2013, Google announced a special version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, where, instead of using Samsung’s own Android customization, the phone ran “stock Android” and was promised to receive new system updates fast.

Your phone stays safe with built-in security.

The unofficial Android-x86 project provided support for x86 architectures ahead of the official support. Since 2012, Android devices with Intel processors began to appear, including phones and tablets. While gaining support for 64-bit platforms, Android was first made to run on 64-bit x86 and then on ARM64. An unofficial experimental port of the operating system to the RISC-V architecture was released in 2021.

The emulators utilize the android virtual device configurations. Once your application is running on it, it can use services of the android platform to help other applications, access the network, play audio, video, store, and retrieve the data. Support statusSupportedArticles in the seriesAndroid version historyAndroid is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open-source software, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android is developed by a consortium of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance and commercially sponsored by Google. It was unveiled in November 2007, with the first commercial Android device, the HTC Dream, being launched in September 2008.

This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. In the early days of the smartphone industry, Android and iOS were wildly different. This dichotomy created an “Android vs iOS” culture that still pervades today. Most manufacturers also “skin” the operating system, which means they create their software that lives on top of Android. This is why the Android you find on a Samsung phone and the software you see on a OnePlus phone function similarly but look very different. Instead, the person or company using the software simply needs to abide by a set of rules related to the licensing of that software.