Android: a linux-based operating system

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Android: a linux-based operating system

By | Feb. 2013
Page 1 of 6
Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such aanroids smartphones and tablet computers. Initially developed by Android, Inc., which Google backed financially and later purchased in 2005,[9] Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance: a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.[10] The first Android-powered phone was sold in October 2008.[11] Android is open source and Google releases the code under the Apache License.[12] 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 ("apps") that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of the Java programming language.[13] 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, was 25 billion.[14][15] These factors have allowed Android to become the world's most widely used smartphone platform,[16] overtaking Symbian in the fourth quarter of 2010,[17] and the software of choice for technology companies who require a low-cost, customizable, lightweight operating system for high tech devices without developing one from scratch.[18] As a result, despite being primarily designed for phones and tablets, it has seen additional applications on televisions, games consoles and other electronics. Android's open nature has further encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which add new features for advanced users[19] or bring Android to devices which were officially released running other operating systems. Android had a...