What is Android?


Android is an open source mobile operating system.

Or a software environment for mobile devices.Android includes:

  • Linux kernel-based OS.
  • Rich UI.
  • End user applications.
  • Code libraries.
  • Application Frameworks.
  • Multimedia etc.

What are the Origins of Android?

Android is based on Linux kernel and was first conceived in the year 2003 by Andy Rubin, Nick Sears, Chris White and Rick Miner.

Then came Google which acquired the startup in July 2005.

This acquisition was then part of Google's strategy to enter the mobile space.

After the acquisition Google took over the development work.

Is Android Free, Open Source?

Google open sourced Android and made it free. So most of the code of the is now available under the Apache license.

So anybody can download the android source code and dig through it.

Vendors and hardware manufacturers can also add their proprietary extensions to Android according to their product interests. This approach has made android the most attractive mobile operating system to vendors since the other android alternatives in the mobile os space don't do it this way.

Who Maintains Android?

Currently Android is maintained by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. Google is the primary maintainer. Open Handset Alliance is a collaboration of dozens of companies with commitment of bringing up a better, more open mobile phone platform.

What was the main reason for Android's creation?

Android started as an open platform for devices with limitations in regards to computation, memory and energy.

Which factors have contributed to Android's rapid growth?

No. Factor Description
1. Timing Android timing was perfect. It came at just the time that smartphones were becoming popular.Iphone came first, but Android was different technically and marketwise. People needed that.
2. Licensing Android is free, as in money. Besides its open source.Yoi don't have to pay any money to use android os. Yet you also have the freedom to play with the source code.This was a great deal for not only end users but also manufactuers. At the end of the day, this positively influences the price of android devices. It makes them cheaper as manufacturers don't have to pay to install android on their products.
3. Programming Language Android has always used Java as the primary programming language.Java has always been a beast in the development arena in that it's used by so many developers. Moreover, it's a well proven programming language that create almost anything.Android applications are written in Java.Then the java source code gets compiled into byte codes. Then the byte codes are interpreted at runtime by an interpreter know as a Virtual Machine.
4. Platform Basis Android platform is based on Linux kernel, the best kernel in the planet. Linux has proven its agility, reliability and portability. That's why it's used in the fields of desktops, servers, mobile and also embedded devices. Starting a mobile operating system from scratch with your own kernel would have been tricky and time consuming.
5. Maintainer That maintainer is Google, a well respected company by both users and developers.Google works hard on android. Their new version release rates is one of the best out there. Yet the documentation they provide is the best.The IDE(Integrated Development Environment) and development tools is great.This hard work has led to a relentless growth rate.

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