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Jul 23, 2013

What is Android OS? | Information & History of Android

Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

Android Inc. was founded by,
  • Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger)
  • Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire Communications, Inc.)
  • Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile)
  • Chris White (headed UI development at WebTV)

    in Palo alto, California, United states in October 2003.

Google acquired Android on august 17 ,2005 and the first Android-powered phone called "HTC Dream" was sold in 22 October, 2008.

Android is Open Source and Google releases the code under the Apache License. This open source code and permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers, wireless carriers and enthusiast developers.

Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing applications (Sometime called "apps") that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of the Java programming language.

Note : In October 2012, there were approximately 700,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from Google Play, Android's primary app store, Today it was more than 25 billion.

-- Versions of Android OS --

*This chart provides data about the relative number of devices running a given version of the Android platform as of July 8, 2013.

At Google, the team led by Rubin developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel and Android Mobile OS was developed.

Android's user interface is based on direct manipulation, means Just using Touch Inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions, like swiping, tapping, pinching and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects.

Device's Internal hardware such as Accelerometers, Gyroscopes and Proximity Sensors are used by some applications to respond to additional user actions,

~~> E.g. For Adjusting the screen from Portrait to Landscape depending on how the device is oriented, or allowing the user to steer a vehicle in a racing game by rotating the device, simulating control of a steering wheel.

-- Applications --

Android has a growing selection of third party applications, which can be acquired by users either through an app store such as Google Play like Windows Phone Marketplace or Apple AppStore, or by downloading and installing the application's APK file from a third-party site.

The Play Store application allows users to browse, download and update apps published by Google and third-party developers, and is pre-installed on devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements.

Android is developed in private by Google until the latest changes and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is made available publicly. This source code will only run without modification on select devices, usually the Google Nexus series of devices. 

"The green Android logo was designed by graphic designer Irina Blok."

-- Linux & Android --

Previous versions
of Android consists of a kernel based on Linux kernel version 2.6 and, from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich onwards, version 3.x, with middleware, Libraries and APIs written in C, and application software running on an application framework which includes Java-compatible libraries based on Apache Harmony. Android uses the Dalvik Virtual Machine (DVM) with Just-In-Time(JIT) compilation to run Dalvik 'dex-code' (Dalvik Executable), which is usually translated from Java bytecode.

-- Different User Interfaces --

The Below are some screenshots of different Android OS User Interfaces customized by Mobile Platform Companies.

LG Optimus UI

HTC Sense UI

Samsung TouchWiz UI

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