Android – History

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Currently Android is the most popular mobile operating system on the Earth. The little green robot has conquered the world in a few years and has almost destroyed many of its rivals. Today, more than 1.5 million android devices are activated every single day and by May 2013, there were around 900 million devices using Android. These are some astonishing numbers, having in mind that the first mobile phone using Android was purchased in the end of 2008.



History

First let’s say some words about what Android (www.android.com) actually is. It’s a Linux based operating system, especially designed and developed for mobile devices. It is completely free for its users – an open source software – distributed under the Apache License. It was developed by the company Android Inc. many years ago, but started gaining popularity after Google decided to provide some funding to the company and actually bought it in 2005. Being open source software, Android has attracted a large number of developer and contributors, which additionally boosted its popularity. Currently, the market share of the operating system is around 75%, which is … HUGE.

The logo of Android

Back in October 2003, four guys named Andy Rubin, Chris White, Nick Sears and Rich Miner decided to found a company with the main purpose – to make “smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s location and preferences”. It was named Android Inc. and this is how the Android revolution began. One of their first projects was an operating system for video cameras, but it was not that profitable as expected, because of the small market for such products. This is how the four entrepreneurs decided to switch to developing an operating system for mobile phones. The company was really small at the beginning and was trying to make really big leaps for its size, competing with Windows Mobile and other very popular OS like Symbian. After a year in the business, Android Inc. ran out of cash and was in front of a bankruptcy. Fortunately, a friend of Andy Rubin – Steve Perlman, gave him $10 000 and actually saved the company, without even wanting a stake in it.

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In 2005, the Internet giant Google Inc. bought the young company and changed its future forever. Having billions of cash in disposal, the giant began investing decent amounts in developing a mobile phone operating system based on the Linux kernel. The new operating system was announced and presented in 2007. The first mobile phone running Android was released 22nd of October, 2008. That was the model produced by HTC – HTC Dream. Since then, the operating system has gone through many improvements and updates.  The latest version of the platform (by 05.2013) is Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which has set new standards in mobile devices.

Some Major Versions of Android:

Android versions distribution in 2013, source: commons.wikimedia.org