Android was originally created by Andy Rubin as an operating system for mobile phones, around the dawn of this twenty-first century. In 2005, Google acquired Android Inc., and made Andy Rubin the Director of Mobile Platforms for Google. Many think the acquisition was largely in response to the emergence of the Apple iPhone around that time; however, there were enough other large players, such as Nokia Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile, that it seemed like a salient business decision for Google to purchase the talent and intellectual property necessary to assert the company into this emerging space, which has become known as Internet 2.0.
Internet 2.0 allows users of consumer electronics to access content via widely varied data networks through highly portable consumer electronic devices, such as smartphones, touchscreen tablets, and e-books, and even through not so portable devices, such as iTVs, home media centers, and set-top boxes. This puts new media content such as games, 3D animation, digital video, digital audio, and high-definition imagery into our lives at every turn. Android is one of the vehicles that digital artists will leverage to develop media creations that users have never before experienced.
Over the past decade, Android has matured and evolved into an extremely reliable, bulletproof, embedded operating system platform, having gone from version 1.0 to stable versions at 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and, recently, 3.0. An embedded operating system is like having an entire computer on a chip small enough to fit into handheld consumer electronics, but powerful enough to run applications (commonly known as apps).
Android has the power of a full-blown computer operating system. It is based on the Linux open source platform and Oracle’s (formerly Sun Microsystems’s) Java, one of the world’s most popular programming languages.
NOTE: The term open source refers to software that has often been developed...