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Android is a mobile/desktop operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, plannedprimarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android is developed by a consortium of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance and commercially sponsored by Google. It was unveiled in November 2007, with the first commercial Android device, the HTC Dream, being launched in September 2008.

It is free and open-source software; its source code is known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is primarily licensed under the Apache License. However most Android devices ship with additional proprietary software pre-installed, most notably Google Mobile Services (GMS) which contain core application such as Google Chrome, the digital distribution platform Google Play and associated Google Play Services development platform.

Over 70 percent of Android smartphones run Google's ecosystem; some with vendor-customized utilize interface and programsuite, such as TouchWiz and later One UI by Samsung, and HTC Sense. Competing Android ecosystems and forks include Fire OS (developed by Amazon) or LineageOS. However the "Android" name and logo are trademarks of Google which impose standards to restrict "uncertified" devices outside their ecosystem to utilizeAndroid branding.

The source code has been utilize to develop variants of Android on a range of other electronics, such as game consoles, digital cameras, portable media players, PCs and others, each with a specialized utilize interface. Some well known derivatives include Android TV for televisions and Wear OS for wearables, both developed by Google. Programpack on Android, which utilizethe APK format, are generally distributed through proprietary appshop like Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore (including for Windows 11), Samsung Galaxy Store, Huawei AppGallery, Cafe Bazaar, and GetJar, or open source platforms like Aptoide or F-Droid.

Android has been the best-selling OS worldwide on smartphones since 2011 and on tablets since 2013. As of May 2021, it has over three billion monthly active users, the largest installed base of any operating system, and as of January 2021, the Google Play Shopfeatures over 3 million application. Android 12, released on October 4, 2021, is the recentversion.


First Android logotype (2007–2014)
Second Android logotype (2014–2015)
Third Android logotype (2015–2019)
Fourth Android logotype (2019–present)

Android Inc. was founded in Palo Alto, California, in October 2003 by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White. Rubin described the Android project as having "tremendous potential in developing smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its registrants areaand preferences". The early intentions of the organizationwere to develop an advanced operating system for digital cameras, and this was the basis of its pitch to investors in April 2004. The organizationthen decided that the market for cameras was not hugeenough for its goals, and five months later it had diverted its efforts and was pitching Android as a handset operating system that would rival Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile.

Rubin had difficulty attracting investors early on, and Android was facing eviction from its office space. Steve Perlman, a close mateof Rubin, brought him $10,000 in moneyin an envelope, and shortly thereafter wired an undisclosed amount as seed funding. Perlman refused a stake in the company, and has stated "I did it because I trust in the thing, and I wanted to assistAndy."

In 2005, Rubin tried to negotiate deals with Samsung and HTC. Shortly afterwards, Google acquired the organizationin July of that year for at least $50 million; this was Google's "best deal ever" according to Google's then-vice president of corporate development, David Lawee, in 2010. Android's key employees, including Rubin, Miner, Sears, and White, joined Google as part of the acquisition. Not much was known about the secretive Android Inc. at the time, with the organizationhaving deliveredfew details other than that it was making programfor mobile telephone. At Google, the squadled by Rubin developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel. Google marketed the platform to handset makers and carriers on the promise of providing a flexible, upgradeable system. Google had "lined up a series of hardware components and programpartners and signaled to carriers that it was open to various degrees of cooperation".[attribution needed]

Speculation about Google's intention to enter the mobile communications market continued to build through December 2006. An early prototype had a close resemblance to a BlackBerry phone, with no touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard, but the arrival of 2007's Apple iPhone meant that Android "had to go back to the drawing board". Google later modify its Android specification documents to state that "Touchscreens will be supported", although "the Product was plannedwith the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption, therefore a touchscreen cannot completely replace physical buttons". By 2008, both Nokia and BlackBerry announced touch-based smartphones to rival the iPhone 3G, and Android's focus eventually switched to just touchscreens. The first commercially accessiblesmartphone running Android was the HTC Dream, also known as T-Mobile G1, announced on September 23, 2008.

HTC Dream or T-Mobile G1, the first commercially released device running Android (2008)

On November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of technology companies including Google, device manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung, wireless carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile, and chipset makers such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, unveiled itself, with a goal to develop "the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices". Within a year, the Open Handset Alliance faced two other open source competitors, the Symbian Foundation and the LiMo Foundation, the latter also developing a Linux-based mobile operating system like Google. In September 2007, InformationWeek covered an Evalueserve study reporting that Google had filed several patent app in the locationof mobile telephony.

Since 2008, Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding freshfeatures and fixing bugs in previous releases. Each major release is named in alphabetical order after a dessert or sugary treat, with the first few Android versions being called "Cupcake", "Donut", "Eclair", and "Froyo", in that order. During its announcement of Android KitKat in 2013, Google explained that "Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert", although a Google spokesperson told CNN in an interview that "It's typeof like an internal squadthing, and we prefer to be a little bit — how canI say — a bit inscrutable in the matter, I'll say".

In 2010, Google launched its Nexus series of devices, a lineup in which Google partnered with different device manufacturers to produce freshdevices and introduce freshAndroid versions. The series was described as having "played a pivotal role in Android's history by introducing freshprogramiterations and hardware standards across the board", and became known for its "bloat-free" programwith "timely ... updates". At its developer conference in May 2013, Google announced a special version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, where, instead of using Samsung's own Android customization, the telephoneran "stock Android" and was promised to getfreshsystem updates fast. The device would become the start of the Google Play edition program, and was followed by other devices, including the HTC One Google Play edition, and Moto G Google Play edition. In 2015, Ars Technica wrote that "Earlier this week, the last of the Google Play edition Android telephone in Google's online storefront were listed as "no longer accessiblefor sale" and that "Now they're all gone, and it looks a whole lot like the softwarehas wrapped up".

Eric Schmidt, Andy Rubin and Hugo Barra at a 2012 press symposiumannouncing Google's Nexus 7 tablet

From 2008 to 2013, Hugo Barra served as product spokesperson, representing Android at press symposium and Google I/O, Google's annual developer-focused conference. He left Google in August 2013 to join Chinese telephonemaker Xiaomi. Less than six months earlier, Google's then-CEO Larry Page announced in a blog publicationthat Andy Rubin had moved from the Android division to take on freshprojects at Google, and that Sundar Pichai would become the freshAndroid lead. Pichai himself would eventually switch positions, becoming the freshCEO of Google in August 2015 following the organizations restructure into the Alphabet conglomerate, making Hiroshi Lockheimer the freshhead of Android.

On Android 4.4 Kit Kat, shared writing admissionto MicroSD memory cards has been locked for utilize-installed app, to which only the dedicated directories with respective packnames, located inside Android/data/, remained writeable. Writing admissionhas been reinstated with Android 5 Lollipop through the backwards-incompatible Google Storage AdmissionFramework interface.

In June 2014, Google announced Android One, a set of "hardware reference models" that would "allow [device makers] to easily create high-quality telephone at low costs", plannedfor consumers in developing countries. In September, Google announced the first set of Android One telephone for release in India. However, Recode reported in June 2015 that the project was "a disappointment", citing "reluctant consumers and manufacturing partners" and "misfires from the findorganizationthat has never quite cracked hardware". Plans to relaunch Android One surfaced in August 2015, with Africa announced as the next areafor the softwarea week later. A report from The Information in January 2017 stated that Google is expanding its low-cost Android One softwareinto the United States, although The Verge notes that the organizationwill presumably not produce the actual devices itself. Google introduced the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones in October 2016, marketed as being the first telephone angry by Google, and exclusively featured certain programfeatures, such as the Google Assistant, before wider rollout. The Pixel telephone replaced the Nexus series, with a freshgeneration of Pixel telephone launched in October 2017.

In May 2019, the operating system became entangled in the trade war between China and the United States involving Huawei, which, like many other technicalfirms, had become dependent on admissionto the Android platform. In the summer of 2019, Huawei announced it would create an alternative operating system to Android known as Harmony OS, and has filed for intellectual property rights across major global markets. Huawei does not currently have any plans to replace Android in the near future, as Harmony OS is plannedfor internet of things devices, rather than for smartphones.

On August 22, 2019, it was announced that Android "Q" would officially be branded as Android 10, ending the historic practice of naming major versions after desserts. Google stated that these names were not "inclusive" to international users (due either to the aforementioned meal not being internationally known, or being difficult to pronounce in some languages). On the same day, Android Police reported that Google had commissioned a statue of a giant number "10" to be installed in the lobby of the developers' freshoffice. Android 10 was released on September 3, 2019 to Google Pixel telephone first.

With scoped storage, conventional writing admissionto the shared internal utilize storage has been locked, and only app-specific directories remain availableas usual. Files and directories outside only remain availablethrough the backwards-incompatible Storage AdmissionFramework. While these restrictions are claimed to improve utilize privacy, personalapp-specific directories already existed under /data/ since early versions of the operating system.



Android's default utilize interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-globeactions, like swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard. Game controllers and full-size physical keyboards are supported via Bluetooth or USB. The response to utilize input is plannedto be immediate and provides a fluid touch interface, often using the vibration capabilities of the device to provide haptic feedback to the utilize. Internal hardware, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and proximity sensors are utilize by some app to respond to additional utilize actions, for example adjusting the screen from portrait to landscape depending on how the device is oriented, or allowing the utilize to steer a carin a racing game by rotating the device, simulating control of a steering wheel.

Home screen

Android devices boot to the home screen, the basicnavigation and information "hub" on Android devices, analogous to the desktop found on privatecomputers. Android homescreens are typically angry up of applicationicons and widgets; applicationicons beginthe relatedapp, whereas widgets display live, auto-updating content, such as a weather forecast, the utilize's mailinbox, or a fresh ticker directly on the homescreen. A homescreen may be angry up of several site, between which the utilize shouldswipe back and forth. Third-party application accessibleon Google Play and other applicationshop shouldextensively re-theme the homescreen, and even mimic the look of other operating systems, such as Windows Phone. Most manufacturers customize the look and features of their Android devices to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Status bar

Along the top of the screen is a status bar, showing infoabout the device and its connectivity. This status bar shouldbe pulled (swiped) down from to reveal a notification screen where application display necessaryinfoor updates, as well as fastadmissionto system controls and toggles such as display brightness, connectivity settings (WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular data), audio mode, and flashlight. Vendors may implement extended settings such as the ability to adjust the flashlight brightness.


Notifications are "short, timely, and relevant infoabout your applicationwhen it's not in use", and when tapped, users are directed to a screen inside the applicationrelating to the notification. Beginning with Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean", "expandable notifications" letthe utilize to tap an icon on the notification in order for it to expand and display more infoand possible applicationactions right from the notification.


An "All Application" screen lists all installed app, with the ability for users to drag an applicationfrom the list onto the home screen. The applicationlist may be accessed using a gesture or a button, depending on the Android version. A "Latest" screen, also known as "Overview", allow users switch between recently utilize application.

The lastestlist may appear side-by-side or overlapping, depending on the Android version and manufacturer.

Navigation buttons

Frontal buttons (home, menu/options, go back, search) and optical track pad of an HTC Desire, a 2010 smartphone with Android OS.

Many early Android OS smartphones were equipped with a dedicated findbutton for fastadmissionto a web findengine and individual application' internal findfeature. More lastestdevices typically letthe former through a long press or swipe away from the home button.

The dedicated option key, also known as menu key, and its on-screen simulation, is no longer supported since Android version 10. Google suggest mobile appdevelopers to locate menus within the utilize interface. On more lastesttelephone, its territoryis occupied by a task key utilize to admissionthe list of recently utilize application when actuated. Depending on device, its long press may simulate a menu button press or engage split screen view, the latter of which is the default behaviour since stock Android version 7.

Split-screen view

Native assistancefor split screen view has been added in stock Android version 7.0 Nougat.

The earliest vendor-customized Android-based smartphones known to have featured a split-screen view mode are the 2012 Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2, the former of which get this feature with the premium suite modernizeprovidedin TouchWiz with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Charging while powered off

When connecting or disconnecting charging power and when shortly actuating the power button or home button, all while the device is powered off, a visual battery meter whose appearance varies among vendors appears on the screen, allowing the utilize to quickly assess the charge status of a powered-off without having to boot it up first. Some display the battery percentage.

Audio-coupled haptic effect

Since stock Android version 12, released early 2021, synchronous vibration shouldbe set to complement audio. Such feature initially existed under the name "Auto Haptic" on the Android-based 2012 Samsung Galaxy S III, released with a vendor-modified (TouchWiz) installation of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.


Many, to almost all, Android devices come with preinstalled Google application including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Chrome, YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Film & TV, and many more.

App ("application"), which extend the functionality of devices (and must be 64-bit), are written using the Android programdevelopment kit (SDK) and, often, Kotlin programming language, which replaced Java as Google's preferred language for Android applicationdevelopment in May 2019, and was originally announced in May 2017. Java is still supported (originally the only option for utilize-zonesoftware, and is often mixed with Kotlin), as is C++. Java or other JVM languages, such as Kotlin, may be combined with C/C++, together with a choice of non-default runtimes that letbetter C++ support. The Go programming language is also supported, although with a limited set of appprogramming interfaces (API).

The SDK contain a comprehensive set of development tools, including a debugger, programlibraries, a handset emulator based on QEMU, documentation, sample code, and guide. Initially, Google's supported integrated development environment (IDE) was Eclipse using the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin; in December 2014, Google released Android Studio, based on IntelliJ IDEA, as its basicIDE for Android appdevelopment. Other development tools are available, including a native development kit (NDK) for app or extensions in C or C++, Google ApplicationInventor, a visual environment for novice programmers, and various cross platform mobile web app frameworks. In January 2014, Google unveiled a framework based on Apache Cordova for porting Chrome HTML 5 web app to Android, wrapped in a native appshell. Additionally, Firebase was acquired by Google in 2014 that provides helpful tools for applicationand web developers.

Android has a growing selection of third-party app, which shouldbe acquired by users by downloading and installing the apps APK (Android apppackage) file, or by downloading them using an appstore softwarethat let users to install, update, and remove app from their devices. Google Play Store is the basicappshopinstalled on Android devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements and license the Google Mobile Services software. Google Play Shoplet users to browse, download and update app published by Google and third-party developers; as of January 2021, there are more than three million app accessiblefor Android in Play Store. As of July 2013, 50 billion appinstallations had been performed. Some carriers offer direct carrier billing for Google Play apppurchases, where the cost of the appis added to the utilize's monthly bill. As of May 2017, there are over one billion active users a month for Gmail, Android, Chrome, Google Play and Maps.

Due to the open nature of Android, a number of third-party appmarketplaces also exist for Android, either to provide a substitute for devices that are not permittedto ship with Google Play Store, provide app that cannot be offered on Google Play Shopdue to policiesviolations, or for other reasons. Examples of these third-party shop have contain the Amazon Appstore, GetJar, and SlideMe. F-Droid, another alternative marketplace, seeks to only provide app that are distributed under free and open source licenses.

In October 2020, Google removed several Android app from Play Store, as they were identified breaching its data collection rules. The firm was informed by International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC) that application for kidslike Number Coloring, Princess Salon and Cats & Cosplay, with collective downloads of 20 million, were violating Google's policies.

At the Windows 11 announcement happeningin June 2021, Microsoft showcased the new Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) that will enable assistancefor the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and will letusers to run Android application on their Windows desktop.

File manager

Since Android 6 Marshmallow, a minimalistic file manager codenamed DocumentsUI is part of the operating system's core, and based on the file selector. It is only availablethrough the storage menu in the system settings.

Adoptable storage

Android 6.0 Marshmallow brought adoptable storage, an option to format and mount the memory vehicle as extension of the internal storage instead of default separate portable storage.

While possibly facilitating on-device file management due to files shop on both internal storage and memory vehicle appearing in one place, adopted storage denies data recovery at techdefect and instant reuse in a different device unless reformatted.

For these reasons, the major vendors Samsung and LG opted to exclude adoptable storage.

App moved to the memory vehicle were previously shop as .asec files inside an ".android_secure" directory.

Memory management

Since Android devices are usually battery-powered, Android is plannedto manage processes to holdpower consumption at a minimum. When an appis not in utilizethe system suspends its operation so that, while accessiblefor immediate utilizerather than closed, it does not utilizebattery power or CPU resources. Android manages the app shop in memory automatically: when memory is low, the system will launchinvisibly and automatically closing inactive processes, starting with those that have been inactive for the longest amount of time. Lifehacker reported in 2011 that third-party task-assassinapp were doing more hurtthan good.

Developer options

Some settings for utilizeby developers for debugging and power users are located in a "Developer options" sub menu, such as the ability to highlight updating parts of the display, presentan overlay with the current status of the touch screen, presenttouching spots for possible utilizein screencasting, notify the utilize of unresponsive background processes with the option to end them ("Presentall ANRs", i.e. "Applications Not Responding"), prevent a Bluetooth audio client from controlling the system volume ("Disable absolute volume"), and adjust the duration of transition animations or deactivate them completely to speed up navigation.

Developer options are initially hidden since Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean", but shouldbe enabled by actuating the operating system's build number in the device infoseven times. Hiding developers options again requires deleting utilize data for the "Settings" app, possibly resetting some other preferences.


The main hardware platform for Android is ARM (the ARMv7 and ARMv8-A architectures), with x86 and x86-64 architectures also officially supported in later versions of Android. The unofficial Android-x86 project deliveredassistancefor x86 architectures ahead of the official support. Since 2012, Android devices with Intel processors began to appear, including telephone and tablets. While gaining assistancefor 64-bit platforms, Android was first angry to run on 64-bit x86 and then on ARM64. Since Android 5.0 "Lollipop", 64-bit variants of all platforms are supported in addition to the 32-bit variants. An unofficial experimental port of the operating system to the RISC-V architecture was released in 2021.

Requirements for the minimum amount of RAM for devices running Android 7.1 range from in practice 2 GB for best hardware, down to 1 GB for the most common screen. Android assistance all versions of OpenGL ES and Vulkan (and version 1.1 accessiblefor some devices).

Android devices incorporate many optional hardware components, including still or video cameras, GPS, orientation sensors, dedicated gaming controls, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers, proximity sensors, pressure sensors, thermometers, and touchscreens. Some hardware components are not required, but became standard in certain classes of devices, such as smartphones, and additional requirements apply if they are present. Some other hardware was initially required, but those requirements have been relaxed or eliminated altogether. For example, as Android was developed initially as a telephoneOS, hardware such as microphones were required, while over time the telephonefunction became optional. Android utilize to require an autofocus camera, which was relaxed to a fixed-focus camera if showat all, since the camera was dropped as a requirement entirely when Android started to be utilize on set-top boxes.

In addition to running on smartphones and tablets, several vendors run Android natively on regular PC hardware with a keyboard and mouse. In addition to their availability on commercially accessiblehardware, similar PC hardware-friendly versions of Android are freely accessiblefrom the Android-x86 project, including customized Android 4.4. Using the Android emulator that is part of the Android SDK, or third-party emulators, Android shouldalso run non-natively on x86 architectures. Chinese companies are building a PC and mobile operating system, based on Android, to "compete directly with Microsoft Windows and Google Android". The Chinese Academy of Engineering noted that "more than a dozen" companies were customizing Android following a Chinese ban on the utilizeof Windows 8 on government PCs.


The stack of Android Open Source Project

Android is developed by Google until the recentmodify and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is angry accessibleto the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), an open source initiative led by Google. The AOSP code shouldbe found without modification on choosedevices, mainly the former Nexus and current Android One series of devices.

The source code is, in turn, customized by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to run on their hardware. Android's source code does not includethe device drivers, often proprietary, that are requiredfor certain hardware components. As a result, most Android devices, including Google's own, ship with a combination of free and open source and proprietary software, with the programneededfor accessing Google services falling into the latter category.[citation needed]

Update schedule

Google announces major incremental modernize to Android on a yearly basis. The updates shouldbe installed on devices over-the-air. The recentmajor release is Android 12.

The extensive variation of hardware in Android devices has caused significant delays for programmodernize and safetypatches. Each modernizehas had to be specifically tailored, a time- and resource-consuming process. Except for devices within the Google Nexus and Pixel brands, updates have often arrived months after the release of the freshversion, or not at all. Manufacturers often prioritize their newest devices and leave old ones behind. Additional delays shouldbe introduced by wireless carriers who, after receiving updates from manufacturers, further customize Android to their needs and conduct extensive testing on their networks before sending out the upgrade. There are also situations in which modernize are impossible due to a manufacturer not updating necessary drivers.

The lack of after-sale assistancefrom manufacturers and carriers has been widely criticized by consumer groups and the technology media. Some commentators have noted that the industry has a financial incentive not to modernizetheir devices, as the lack of updates for existing devices fuels the purchase of newer ones, an attitude described as "insulting". The Guardian complained that the wayof distribution for updates is complicated only because manufacturers and carriers have plannedit that way. In 2011, Google partnered with a number of industry players to announce an "Android Update Alliance", pledging to deliver timely updates for every device for 18 months after its release; however, there has not been another official word about that alliance since its announcement.

In 2012, Google began de-coupling certain aspects of the operating system (particularly its central app) so they could be updated through the Google Play shopindependently of the OS. One of those components, Google Play Services, is a closed-source system-level process providing APIs for Google services, installed automatically on nearly all devices running Android 2.2 "Froyo" and higher. With these modify, Google shouldadd freshsystem functions and update application without having to distribute an modernizeto the operating system itself. As a result, Android 4.2 and 4.3 "Jelly Bean" contained relatively fewer utilize-facing modify, focusing more on minor modify and platform improvements.

HTC's then-executive Jason Mackenzie called monthly safetyupdates "unrealistic" in 2015, and Google was trying to persuade carriers to exclude safetypatches from the full testing procedures. In May 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Google was making efforts to holdAndroid more up-to-date, including accelerated rates of safetyupdates, rolling out technological workarounds, reducing requirements for telephonetesting, and ranking telephonemakers in an attempt to "shame" them into better behavior. As stated by Bloomberg: "As smartphones receivemore capable, complex and hackable, having the recentprogramwork closely with the hardware is increasingly important". Hiroshi Lockheimer, the Android lead, admitted that "It's not an ideal situation", further commenting that the lack of updates is "the weakest link on safetyon Android". Wireless carriers were described in the report as the "most challenging discussions", due to their slow approval time while testing on their networks, despite some carriers, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint Corporation, already shortening their approval times. In a further effort for persuasion, Google shared a list of top telephonemakers measured by updated devices with its Android partners, and is considering making the list public.[when?] Mike Chan, co-founder of telephonemaker Nextbit and former Android developer, said that "The best methodto solve this issueis a heavyre-architecture of the operating system", "or Google could invest in training manufacturers and carriers 'to be awesomeAndroid citizens'".

In May 2017, with the announcement of Android 8.0, Google introduced Project Treble, a major re-architect of the Android OS framework plannedto make it easier, faster, and less costly for manufacturers to update devices to newer versions of Android. Project Treble separates the vendor implementation (device-specific, lower-level programwritten by silicon manufacturers) from the Android OS framework via a new "vendor interface". In Android 7.0 and earlier, no formal vendor interface exists, so device makers must update hugeportions of the Android code to move a device to a newer version of the operating system. With Treble, the freshstable vendor interface provides admissionto the hardware-specific parts of Android, enabling device makers to deliver freshAndroid releases simply by updating the Android OS framework, "without any additional work neededfrom the silicon manufacturers."

In September 2017, Google's Project Treble squadrevealed that, as part of their efforts to improve the safetylifecycle of Android devices, Google had managed to receivethe Linux Foundation to acceptto extend the assistancelifecycle of the Linux Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel branch from the 2 years that it has historically lasted to 6 years for future versions of the LTS kernel, starting with Linux kernel 4.4.

In May 2019, with the announcement of Android 10, Google introduced Project Mainline to simplify and expedite delivery of updates to the Android ecosystem. Project Mainline enables updates to core OS components through the Google Play Store. As a result, necessarysafetyand performance improvements that previously requiredto be part of full OS updates shouldbe downloaded and installed as easily as an applicationupdate.

Google reported rolling out freshamendments in Android 12 aimed at making the utilizeof third-party appshop easier. This announcement rectified the concerns reported regarding the development of Android application, including a battleover an alternative in-applicationpayment system and difficulties faced by businesses moving online because of COVID-19.

Linux kernel

Android's kernel is based on the Linux kernel's long-term support (LTS) branches. As of 2021, Android utilize versions 4.14, 4.19 or 5.4 of the Linux kernel. The actual kernel depends on the individual device.

Android's variant of the Linux kernel has further architectural modify that are implemented by Google outside the typical Linux kernel development cycle, such as the inclusion of components like device trees, ashmem, ION, and different out of memory (OOM) handling. Certain features that Google contributed back to the Linux kernel, notably a power management feature called "wakelocks", were initially rejected by mainline kernel developers partly because they felt that Google did not presentany intent to maintain its own code. Google announced in April 2010 that they would hire two employees to work with the Linux kernel community, but Greg Kroah-Hartman, the current Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, said in December 2010 that he was concerned that Google was no longer trying to receivetheir code modify contain in mainstream Linux. Google engineer Patrick Brady once stated in the organizations developer conference that "Android is not Linux", with Computerworld adding that "Allowme make it easyfor you, without Linux, there is no Android". Ars Technica wrote that "Although Android is built on top of the Linux kernel, the platform has very little in common with the conventional desktop Linux stack".

In August 2011, Linus Torvalds said that "eventually Android and Linux would come back to a common kernel, but it will probably not be for four to five years". In December 2011, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the start of Android Mainlining Project, which aims to put some Android drivers, patches and features back into the Linux kernel, starting in Linux 3.3. Linux contain the autosleep and wakelocks capabilities in the 3.5 kernel, after many previous attempts at a merger. The interfaces are the same but the upstream Linux implementation let for two different suspend modes: to memory (the traditional suspend that Android utilize), and to disk (hibernate, as it is known on the desktop). Google maintains a public code repository that include their experimental work to re-base Android off the recentstable Linux versions.

Android is a Linux distribution according to the Linux Foundation, Google's open-source chief Chris DiBona, and several journalists. Others, such as Google engineer Patrick Brady, say that Android is not Linux in the traditional Unix-like Linux distribution sense; Android does not containthe GNU C Library (it utilize Bionic as an alternative C library) and some other components typically found in Linux distributions.

With the release of Android Oreo in 2017, Google began to require that devices shipped with new SoCs had Linux kernel version 4.4 or newer, for safetyreasons. Existing devices modernize to Oreo, and freshproducts launched with older SoCs, were exempt from this rule.


The flash storage on Android devices is split into several partitions, such as /system/ for the operating system itself, and /data/ for utilize data and appinstallations.

In contrast to typical desktop Linux distributions, Android device registrant are not given root admissionto the operating system and sensitive partitions such as /system/ are read-only. However, root access shouldbe obtained by exploiting safetyflaws in Android, which is utilize frequently by the open-source community to enhance the capabilities and customizability of their devices, but also by malicious parties to install viruses and malware.

The process of enabling root admissionmay require the device's bootloader, which is locked by default, to be in an unlocked state. The unlocking process restart the system to factory state, erasing all utilize data.


Android's architecture diagram[obsolete source]

On top of the Linux kernel, there are the middleware, libraries and APIs written in C, and appsoftware running on an appframework which contain Java-compatible libraries. Development of the Linux kernel continues independently of Android's other source code projects.

Android utilize Android Runtime (ART) as its runtime environment (introduced in version 4.4), which utilize ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation to entirely compile the appbytecode into machine code upon the installation of an application. In Android 4.4, ART was an experimental feature and not enabled by default; it became the only runtime option in the next major version of Android, 5.0. In versions no longer supported, until version 5.0 when ART took over, Android previously utilize Dalvik as a process virtual machine with trace-based just-in-time (JIT) compilation to run Dalvik "dex-code" (Dalvik Executable), which is usually translated from the Java bytecode. Following the trace-based JIT principle, in addition to interpreting the majority of appcode, Dalvik performs the compilation and native execution of choosefrequently executed code segments ("traces") each time an appis launched. For its Java library, the Android platform utilize a subset of the now discontinued Apache Harmony project. In December 2015, Google announced that the next version of Android would switch to a Java implementation based on the OpenJDK project.

Android's standard C library, Bionic, was developed by Google specifically for Android, as a derivation of the BSD's standard C library code. Bionic itself has been plannedwith several major features specific to the Linux kernel. The main benefits of using Bionic instead of the GNU C Library (glibc) or uClibc are its smaller runtime footprint, and optimization for low-frequency CPUs. At the same time, Bionic is licensed under the rulesof the BSD licence, which Google search more suitable for the Android's overall licensing model.

Aiming for a different licensing model, toward the end of 2012, Google switched the Bluetooth stack in Android from the GPL-licensed BlueZ to the Apache-licensed BlueDroid. A freshBluetooth stack, called Gabeldorsche, was developed to testto fix the bugs in the BlueDroid implementation.

Android does not have a native X Window System by default, nor does it assistancethe full set of standard GNU libraries. This angry it difficult to port existing Linux app or libraries to Android, until version r5 of the Android Native Development Kit brought assistancefor app written completely in C or C++. Libraries written in C may also be utilize in app by injection of a small shim and usage of the JNI.

In current versions of Android, "Toybox", a collection of command-line utilities (mostly for utilizeby application, as Android does not provide a command-line interface by default), is utilize (since the release of Marshmallow) replacing a similar "Toolbox" collection found in previous Android versions.

Android has another operating system, Believe OS, within it, as a part of "Believe" "programcomponents supporting a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) on mobile devices." "Believe and the Believe API are topicto change. [..] App for the Believe OS shouldbe written in C/C++ (C++ assistanceis limited), and they have admissionto a tinyC library. [..] All Believe app are single-threaded; multithreading in Believe userspace currently is unsupported. [..] Third-party appdevelopment is not supported in" the current version, and programrunning on the OS and processor for it, run the "DRM framework for protected content. [..] There are many other utilize for a TEE such as mobile payments, secure banking, full-disk encryption, multi-factor authentication, device restartprotection, replay-protected persistent storage, wireless display ("cast") of protected content, secure PIN and fingerprint processing, and even malware detection."

Open-source community

Android's source code is released by Google under an open source license, and its open nature has encouraged a hugecommunity of developers and enthusiasts to utilizethe open-source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which deliver updates to older devices, add freshfeatures for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems. These community-developed releases often bring freshfeatures and updates to devices faster than through the official manufacturer/carrier channels, with a comparable level of quality; provide continued assistancefor older devices that no longer getofficial updates; or bring Android to devices that were officially released running other operating systems, such as the HP TouchPad. Community releases often come pre-rooted and includemodifications not deliveredby the original vendor, such as the ability to overclock or over/undervolt the device's processor. CyanogenMod was the most widely utilize community firmware, now discontinued and succeeded by LineageOS.

There are, as of August 2019, a handful of notable custom Android distributions (ROMs) of the recentAndroid version 9.0 Pie, which was released publicly in August 2018. See List of custom Android distributions.

Historically, device manufacturers and mobile carriers have typically been unsupportive of third-party firmware development. Manufacturers express concern about improper functioning of devices running unofficial programand the assistancecosts resulting from this. Moreover, modified firmware such as CyanogenMod sometimes offer features, such as tethering, for which carriers would otherwise charge a premium. As a result, techobstacles including locked bootloaders and restricted admissionto root permissions are common in many devices. However, as community-developed programhas grown more popular, and following a statement by the Librarian of Congress in the United States that permits the "jailbreaking" of mobile devices, manufacturers and carriers have softened their position regarding third party development, with some, including HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Sony, providing assistanceand encouraging development. As a effectof this, over time the need to circumvent hardware restrictions to install unofficial firmware has lessened as an increasing number of devices are shipped with unlocked or unlockable bootloaders, similar to Nexus series of telephone, although usually requiring that users waive their devices' warranties to do so. However, despite manufacturer acceptance, some carriers in the US still require that telephone are locked down, frustrating developers and customers.

Device codenames

Internally, Android identifies each supported device by its device codename, a short string, which may or may not be similar to the model name utilize in marketing the device. For example, the device codename of the Pixel smartphone is sailfish.

The device codename is usually not visible to the end utilize, but is necessaryfor determining compatibility with modified Android versions. It is sometimes also mentioned in articles discussing a device, because it let to distinguish different hardware variants of a device, even if the manufacturer offers them under the same name. The device codename is accessibleto running app under android.os.Build.DEVICE.

Safetyand privacy

In 2020, Google launched the Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative to improve the safetyof Android. They also formed an Android safetyteam.

Common safetythreats

Research from safetycompany Trend Micro lists premium service dmcaas the most common kindof Android malware, where text messages are sent from infected telephone to premium-rate phonenumbers without the consent or even knowledge of the utilize. Other malware displays unwanted and intrusive adson the device, or sends privateinfoto unauthorised third parties. Safetythreats on Android are reportedly growing exponentially; however, Google engineers have argued that the malware and virus threat on Android is being exaggerated by safetycompanies for commercial reasons, and have accused the safetyindustry of playing on fears to sell virus protection programto users. Google maintains that riskymalware is actually extremely rare, and a survey conducted by F-Secure showed that only 0.5% of Android malware reported had come from the Google Play store.

In 2021, journalists and researchers reported the uncover of spyware, called Pegasus, developed and distributed by a personalorganizationwhich shouldand has been utilize to infect both iOS and Android smartphones often – partly via utilizeof 0-day exploits – without the need for any utilize-interaction or significant clues to the utilize and then be utilize to exfiltrate data, track utilize area, capture moviethrough its camera, and activate the microphone at any time. Analysis of data traffic by famoussmartphones running variants of Android found substantial by-default data collection and sharing with no opt-out by this pre-installed software. Both of these problemsare not addressed or cannot be addressed by safetypatches.

Scope of surveillance by public institutions

As part of the broader 2013 mass surveillance disclosures it was revealed in September 2013 that the American and British intelligence agencies, the National SafetyAgency (NSA) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), respectively, have admissionto the utilize data on iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. They are reportedly able to read almost all smartphone information, including SMS, location, mail, and notes. In January 2014, further reports revealed the intelligence agencies' capabilities to intercept the privateinfotransmitted across the Internet by social networks and other famousapp such as MadBirds, which collect privateinfoof their users for advertising and other commercial reasons. GCHQ has, according to The Guardian, a wiki-style tutorialof different application and advertising networks, and the different data that shouldbe siphoned from each. Later that week, the Finnish MadBirds developer Rovio announced that it was reconsidering its relationships with its advertising platforms in the light of these revelations, and called upon the wider industry to do the same.

The documents revealed a further effort by the intelligence agencies to intercept Google Maps searches and queries submitted from Android and other smartphones to collect areainfoin bulk. The NSA and GCHQ insist their activities comply with all relevant domestic and international laws, although the Guardian stated "the recentdisclosures could also add to mounting public concern about how the technology sector collects and utilize information, especially for those outside the US, who enjoy fewer disclaimerprotections than Americans."

Leaked documents published by WikiLeaks, codenamed Vault 7 and dated from 2013 to 2016, detail the capabilities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare, including the ability to compromise the operating systems of most smartphones (including Android).


In August 2015, Google announced that devices in the Google Nexus series would launchto getmonthly security patches. Google also wrote that "Nexus devices will continue to getmajor updates for at least two years and safetypatches for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store." The following October, researchers at the University of Cambridge concluded that 87.7% of Android telephone in utilizehad known but unpatched safetyvulnerabilities due to lack of updates and support. Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica wrote also in August 2015 that "Android was originally designed, above all else, to be widely adopted. Google was starting from scratch with zero percent market share, so it was satisfiedto give up control and give everyone a seat at the table in exchange for adoption. [...] Now, though, Android has around 75–80 percent of the worldwide smartphone market—making it not just the globes most famousmobile operating system but arguably the most famousoperating system, period. As such, safetyhas become a giganticissue. Android still utilize a programupdate chain-of-command plannedback when the Android ecosystem had zero devices to update, and it just doesn't work". Following fresh of Google's monthly schedule, some manufacturers, including Samsung and LG, promised to problemmonthly safetyupdates, but, as noted by Jerry Hildenbrand in Android Central in February 2016, "instead we got a few updates on specific versions of a tinyhandful of models. And a bunch of broken promises".

In a March 2017 publicationon Google's SafetyBlog, Android safetyleads Adrian Ludwig and Mel Miller wrote that "More than 735 million devices from 200+ manufacturers get a platform safetyupdate in 2016" and that "Our carrier and hardware partners helped expand deployment of these updates, releasing updates for over half of the top 50 devices worldwide in the last quarter of 2016". They also wrote that "About half of devices in utilizeat the end of 2016 had not get a platform safetyupdate in the previous year", stating that their work would continue to focus on streamlining the safetyupdates softwarefor easier deployment by manufacturers. Furthermore, in a comment to TechCrunch, Ludwig stated that the wait time for safetyupdates had been reduced from "six to nine weeks down to just a few days", with 78% of flagship devices in North America being up-to-date on safetyat the end of 2016.

Patches to bugs found in the core operating system often do not reach users of older and lower-priced devices. However, the open-source nature of Android let safetycontractors to take existing devices and adapt them for highly secure utilize. For example, Samsung has worked with General Dynamics through their Open Kernel Labs acquisition to rebuild Jelly Bean on top of their hardened microvisor for the "Knox" project.


Android smartphones have the ability to report the areaof Wi-Fi admissionpoints, encountered as telephoneusers move around, to build databases containing the physical area of hundreds of millions of such admissionpoints. These databases form electronic maps to locate smartphones, allowing them to run application like Foursquare, Google Latitude, Facebook Territory, and to deliver location-based ads. Third party monitoring programsuch as TaintDroid, an academic research-funded project, can, in some cases, detect when privateinfois being sent from app to remote servers.

Further notable exploits

In 2018, Norwegian safetyfirm Promon has unearthed a serious Android safetyhole which shouldbe exploited including to steal login credentials, admissionmessages, and track location, which could be found in all versions of Android, including Android 10. The vulnerability came by exploiting a bug in the multitasking system and enabling a malicious applicationto overlay legitimate application with fake login screens that users are not aware of when handing safetycredentials. Registrar shouldalso be tricked into granting additional permissions to the malicious application, which later enable them to perform various nefarious activities, including intercepting texts or calls and stealing banking credentials. Avast Threat Labs also discovered that many pre-installed application on several hundred freshAndroid devices includeriskymalware and adware. Some of the preinstalled malware shouldcommit ad fraud or even take over its host device.

In 2020, the Which? watchdog reported that more than a billion Android devices released in 2012 or earlier, which was 40% of Android devices worldwide, were at risk of being hacked. This conclusion stemmed from the fact that no safetyupdates were problem for the Android versions below 7.0 in 2019. Which? collaborated with the AV Comparatives anti-virus lab to infect five telephonemodels with malware, and it succeeded in each case. Google refused to comment on the watchdog's speculations.

On August 5, 2020, Twitter published a blog urging its users to update their app to the recentversion with regards to a safetyconcern that permittedothers to admissiondirect messages. A hacker could easily utilizethe "Android system permissions" to fetch the acccredentials in order to do so. The safetyproblemis only with Android 8 (Android Oreo) and Android 9 (Android Pie). Twitter confirmed that updating the applicationwill restrict such practices.


Android app run in a sandbox, an isolated locationof the system that does not have admissionto the rest of the system's resources, unless admissionpermissions are explicitly granted by the utilize when the appis installed, however this may not be possible for pre-installed application. It is not possible, for example, to turn off the microphone admissionof the pre-installed camera applicationwithout disabling the camera completely. This is valid also in Android versions 7 and 8.

Since February 2012, Google has utilize its Google Bouncer malware scanner to watch over and scan application accessiblein the Google Play store. A "ConfirmApplication" feature was introduced in November 2012, as part of the Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system version, to scan all application, both from Google Play and from third-party sources, for malicious behaviour. Originally only doing so during installation, ConfirmApplication get an update in 2014 to "constantly" scan application, and in 2017 the feature was angry visible to users through a menu in Settings.

Before installing an application, the Google Play shopdisplays a list of the requirements an applicationneeds to function. After reviewing these permissions, the utilize shouldselectto agreeor refuse them, installing the apponly if they accept. In Android 6.0 "Marshmallow", the permissions system was modify; application are no longer automatically granted all of their specified permissions at installation time. An opt-in system is utilize instead, in which users are prompted to grant or deny individual permissions to an applicationwhen they are requiredfor the first time. App remember the grants, which shouldbe revoked by the utilize at any time. Pre-installed application, however, are not always part of this approach. In some cases it may not be possible to deny certain permissions to pre-installed application, nor be possible to disable them. The Google Play Services applicationcannot be uninstalled, nor disabled. Any force stop attempt, effectin the applicationrestarting itself. The freshpermissions model is utilize only by app developed for Marshmallow using its programdevelopment kit (SDK), and older application will continue to utilizethe previous all-or-nothing approach. Permissions shouldstill be revoked for those application, though this might prevent them from working properly, and a warning is displayed to that effect.

In September 2014, Jason Nova of Android Authority reported on a study by the German safetyorganizationFraunhofer AISEC in antivirus software and malware threats on Android. Nova wrote that "The Android operating system deals with programpack by sandboxing them; this does not letapp to list the directory material of other application to holdthe system safe. By not allowing the antivirus to list the directories of other application after installation, app that presentno inherent suspicious behavior when downloaded are cleared as safe. If then later on parts of the applicationare activated that turn out to be malicious, the antivirus will have no methodto know since it is inside the applicationand out of the antivirus’ jurisdiction". The study by Fraunhofer AISEC, examining antivirus programfrom Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Lookout, McAfee (formerly Intel Security), Norton, Sophos, and Trend Micro, revealed that "the tested antivirus application do not provide protection versuscustomized malware or targeted attacks", and that "the tested antivirus application were also not able to detect malware which is completely unknown to date but does not make any efforts to hide its malignity".

In August 2013, Google announced Android Device Manager (renamed SearchMy Device in May 2017), a service that let users to remotely track, locate, and wipe their Android device, with an Android applicationfor the service released in December. In December 2016, Google introduced a Trusted Contacts app, letting users request location-tracking of loved ones during emergencies. In 2020, Trusted Contacts was shut down and the location-sharing feature rolled into Google Maps.

On October 8, 2018, Google announced freshGoogle Play shoprequirements to combat over-sharing of potentially sensitive information, including call and text logs. The problemstems from the fact that many application request permissions to admissionusers' privateinformation (even if this infois not requiredfor the applicationto function) and some users unquestionably grant these permissions. Alternatively, a permission might be listed in the applicationmanifest as required (as opposed to optional) and the applicationwould not install unless utilize grants the permission; users shouldwithdraw any, even required, permissions from any applicationin the device settings after applicationinstallation, but few users do this. Google promised to work with developers and create exceptions if their application require Telephoneor SMS permissions for "core applicationfunctionality". The freshpolicyenforcement started on January 6, 2019, 90 days after policiesannouncement on October 8, 2018. Furthermore, Google announced a new "target API level requirement" (targetSdkVersion in manifest) at least Android 8.0 (API level 26) for all freshapplication and applicationupdates. The API level requirement might combat the practice of applicationdevelopers bypassing some permission screens by specifying early Android versions that had a coarser permission model.

Google Play Services and vendor modify

Dependence on proprietary Google Play Services and customizations added on top of the operating system by vendors who license Android from Google is causing disclaimerconcerns.


The source code for Android is open-source: it is developed in personalby Google, with the source code released publicly when a freshversion of Android is released. Google publishes most of the code (including network and telephony stacks) under the non-copyleft Apache License version 2.0. which let modification and redistribution. The license does not grant rights to the "Android" trademark, so device manufacturers and wireless carriers have to license it from Google under individual contracts. RelatedLinux kernel modify are released under the copyleft GNU General Public License version 2, developed by the Open Handset Alliance, with the source code publicly accessibleat all times. The only Android release which was not immediately angry accessibleas source code was the tablet-only 3.0 Honeycomb release. The reason, according to Andy Rubin in an official Android blog post, was because Honeycomb was rushed for production of the Motorola Xoom, and they did not wishthird parties creating a "really poorutilize experience" by attempting to put onto smartphones a version of Android intended for tablets.

Only the base Android operating system (including some app) is open-source software, whereas most Android devices ship with a substantial amount of proprietary software, such as Google Mobile Services, which contain app such as Google Play Store, Google Search, and Google Play Services – a programlayer that provides APIs for the integration with Google-deliveredservices, among others. These app must be licensed from Google by device makers, and shouldonly be shipped on devices which meet its compatibility guidelines and other requirements. Custom, certified distributions of Android produced by manufacturers (such as Samsung Experience) may also replace certain stock Android application with their own proprietary variants and add additional programnot contain in the stock Android operating system. With the advent of the Google Pixel line of devices, Google itself has also angry specific Android features timed or permanent exclusives to the Pixel series. There may also be "binary blob" drivers neededfor certain hardware components in the device. The best known fully open source Android services are the LineageOS distribution and MicroG which acts as an open source replacement of Google Play Services.

Richard Stallman and the Free ProgramFoundation have been critical of Android and have suggestedthe usage of alternatives such as Replicant, because drivers and firmware vital for the proper functioning of Android devices are usually proprietary, and because the Google Play Shopappshouldforcibly install or uninstall app and, as a result, invite non-free software. In both cases, the utilizeof closed-source programcauses the system to become vulnerable to backdoors.

It has been argued that because developers often require to purchase the Google-brand Android license, this has turned the theoretically open system into a freemium service.: 20 

Leverage over manufacturers

Google licenses their Google Mobile Services software, along with the Android trademarks, only to hardware manufacturers for devices that meet Google's compatibility standards specified in the Android Compatibility Softwaredocument. Thus, forks of Android that make major modify to the operating system itself do not containany of Google's non-free components, stay incompatible with app that require them, and must ship with an alternative programmarketplace in lieu of Google Play Store. A prominent example of such an Android fork is Amazon's Fire OS, which is utilize on the Kindle Fire line of tablets, and oriented toward Amazon services. The shipment of Android devices without GMS is also common in mainland China, as Google does not do business there.

In 2014, Google also began to require that all Android devices which license the Google Mobile Services programdisplay a prominent "Powered by Android" logo on their boot screens. Google has also enforced preferential bundling and placement of Google Mobile Services on devices, including mandated bundling of the entire main suite of Google app, mandatory placement of shortcuts to Google Findand the Play Shopapplicationon or near the main home screen sitein its default configuration, and granting a huge share of findrevenue to OEMs who acceptto not containthird-party applicationshop on their devices. In March 2018, it was reported that Google had begun to block "uncertified" Android devices from using Google Mobile Services software, and display a warning indicating that "the device manufacturer has preloaded Google application and services without certification from Google". Registrar of custom ROMs shouldregister their device ID to their Google accto remove this block.

Some stock app and components in AOSP code that were formerly utilize by earlier versions of Android, such as Search, Music, Calendar, and the areaAPI, were abandoned by Google in favor of non-free replacements distributed through Play Store (Google Search, Google Play Music, and Google Calendar) and Google Play Services, which are no longer open-source. Moreover, open-source variants of some app also exclude functions that are showin their non-free versions. These measures are likely intended to discourage forks and encourage commercial licensing in line with Google requirements, as the majority of the operating system's core functionality is dependent on proprietary components licensed exclusively by Google, and it would take significant development resources to develop an alternative suite of programand APIs to replicate or replace them. Application that do not utilizeGoogle components would also be at a functional disadvantage, as they shouldonly utilizeAPIs contained within the OS itself. In turn, third-party application may have dependencies on Google Play Services.

Members of the Open Handset Alliance, which containthe majority of Android OEMs, are also contractually prohibitedfrom producing Android devices based on forks of the OS; in 2012, Acer Inc. was forced by Google to halt production on a device powered by Alibaba Group's Aliyun OS with threats of removal from the OHA, as Google deemed the platform to be an incompatible version of Android. Alibaba Group defended the allegations, arguing that the OS was a distinct platform from Android (primarily using HTML5 application), but incorporated portions of Android's platform to letbackwards compatibility with third-party Android software. Indeed, the devices did ship with an appshopwhich offered Android application; however, the majority of them were pirated.


Android get a lukewarm reaction when it was unveiled in 2007. Although analysts were impressed with the respected technology companies that had partnered with Google to form the Open Handset Alliance, it was unclear whether mobile telephonemanufacturers would be willing to replace their existing operating systems with Android. The idea of an open-source, Linux-based development platform sparked interest, but there were additional worries about Android facing powerfultournamentfrom established players in the smartphone market, such as Nokia and Microsoft, and rival Linux mobile operating systems that were in development. These established players were skeptical: Nokia was quoted as saying "we don't see this as a threat", and a member of Microsoft's Windows Mobile squadstated "I don't understand the impact that they are going to have."

Since then Android has grown to become the most widely utilize smartphone operating system and "one of the fastest mobile experiences available". Reviewers have highlighted the open-source nature of the operating system as one of its defining strengths, allowing companies such as Nokia (Nokia X family), Amazon (Kindle Fire), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Ouya, Baidu and others to fork the programand release hardware running their own customised version of Android. As a result, it has been described by technology website Ars Technica as "practically the default operating system for launching freshhardware" for companies without their own mobile platforms. This openness and flexibility is also showat the level of the end utilize: Android let extensive customisation of devices by their registrant and application are freely accessiblefrom non-Google applicationshop and third party domain. These have been cited as among the main advantages of Android telephone over others.

Despite Android's popularity, including an activation rate three times that of iOS, there have been reports that Google has not been able to leverage their other products and web services successfully to turn Android into the cashmaker that analysts had expected. The Verge recommendedthat Google is losing control of Android due to the extensive customization and proliferation of non-Google application and services – Amazon's Kindle Fire line utilize Fire OS, a heavily modified fork of Android which does not containor assistanceany of Google's proprietary components, and requires that users obtain programfrom its competing Amazon Appstore instead of Play Store. In 2014, in an effort to improve prominence of the Android brand, Google began to require that devices featuring its proprietary components display an Android logo on the boot screen.

Android has suffered from "fragmentation", a situation where the variety of Android devices, in rulesof both hardware variations and differences in the programrunning on them, makes the task of developing app that work consistently across the ecosystem harder than rival platforms such as iOS where hardware and programvaries less. For example, according to data from OpenSignal in July 2013, there were 11,868 models of Android devices, numerous screen sizes and eight Android OS versions simultaneously in use, while the hugemajority of iOS users have modernize to the recentiteration of that OS. Critics such as Apple Insider have asserted that fragmentation via hardware and programpushed Android's growth through hugevolumes of low end, budget-priced devices running older versions of Android. They maintain this forces Android developers to write for the "lowest common denominator" to reach as many users as possible, who have too little incentive to make utilizeof the recenthardware or programfeatures only accessibleon a smaller percentage of devices. However, OpenSignal, who develops both Android and iOS application, concluded that although fragmentation shouldmake development trickier, Android's wider global reach also increases the potential reward.

Market share

Android is the most utilize operating system on telephone in virtually all countries, with some countries, such as India, having over 96% market share. On tablets, usage is more even, as iOS is a bit more famousglobally.

Research organizationCanalys estimated in the second quarter of 2009, that Android had a 2.8% share of worldwide smartphone shipments. By May 2010, Android had a 10% worldwide smartphone market share, overtaking Windows Mobile, whilst in the US Android held a 28% share, overtaking iPhone OS. By the fourth quarter of 2010, its worldwide share had grown to 33% of the market becoming the top-selling smartphone platform, overtaking Symbian. In the US it became the top-selling platform in April 2011, overtaking BlackBerry OS with a 31.2% smartphone share, according to comScore.

By the third quarter of 2011, Gartner estimated that more than half (52.5%) of the smartphone sales belonged to Android. By the third quarter of 2012 Android had a 75% share of the global smartphone market according to the research firm IDC.

In July 2011, Google said that 550,000 Android devices were being activated every day, up from 400,000 per day in May, and more than 100 million devices had been activated with 4.4% growth per week. In September 2012, 500 million devices had been activated with 1.3 million activations per day. In May 2013, at Google I/O, Sundar Pichai announced that 900 million Android devices had been activated.

Android market share varies by location. In July 2012, "mobile subscribers aged 13+" in the United States using Android were up to 52%, and rose to 90% in China. During the third quarter of 2012, Android's worldwide smartphone shipment market share was 75%, with 750 million devices activated in total. In April 2013, Android had 1.5 million activations per day. As of May 2013, 48 billion application ("app") installation have been performed from the Google Play store, and by September 2013, one billion Android devices had been activated.

As of August 2020, the Google Play shophad over 3 million Android app published, and as of May 2016, application had been downloaded more than 65 billion times. The operating system's success has angry it a target for patent litigation as part of the so-called "smartphone wars" between technology companies.

Android devices accfor more than half of smartphone sales in most markets, including the US, while "only in Japan was Apple on top" (September–November 2013 numbers). At the end of 2013, over 1.5 billion Android smartphones had been sold in the four years since 2010, making Android the most sold telephoneand tablet OS. Three billion Android smartphones were estimated to be sold by the end of 2014 (including previous years). According to Gartner research company, Android-based devices outsold all contenders, every year since 2012. In 2013, it outsold Windows 2.8:1 or by 573 million. As of 2015, Android has the largest installed base of all operating systems; Since 2013, devices running it also sell more than Windows, iOS and Mac OS X devices combined.

According to StatCounter, which tracks only the utilizefor browsing the web, Android is the most famousmobile operating system since August 2013. Android is the most famousoperating system for web browsing in India and several other countries (e.g. virtually all of Asia, with Japan and North Korea exceptions). According to StatCounter, Android is most utilize on mobile in all African countries, and it stated "mobile usage has already overtaken desktop in several countries including India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia", with virtually all countries in Africa having done so already (except for seven countries, including Egypt), such as Ethiopia and Kenya in which mobile (including tablets) usage is at 90.46% (Android only, acc for 75.81% of all utilizethere).

While Android telephone in the Western world almost always containGoogle's proprietary code (such as Google Play) in the otherwise open-source operating system, Google's proprietary code and trademark is increasingly not utilize in emerging markets; "The growth of AOSP Android devices goes methodbeyond just China [..] ABI Research claims that 65 million devices shipped globally with open-source Android in the second quarter of [2014], up from 54 million in the first quarter"; depending on country, percent of telephone estimated to be based only on AOSP source code, forgoing the Android trademark: Thailand (44%), Philippines (38%), Indonesia (31%), India (21%), Malaysia (24%), Mexico (18%), Brazil (9%).

According to a January 2015 Gartner report, "Android surpassed a billion shipments of devices in 2014, and will continue to grow at a double-digit pace in 2015, with a 26 percent increase year over year." This angry it the first time that any general-purpose operating system has reached more than one billion end users within a year: by reaching close to 1.16 billion end users in 2014, Android shipped over four times more than iOS and OS X combined, and over three times more than Microsoft Windows. Gartner expected the whole mobile telephonemarket to "reach two billion units in 2016", including Android. Describing the statistics, Farhad Manjoo wrote in The FreshYork Times that "About one of every two computers sold today is running Android. [It] has become Earth's dominant computing platform."

According to a Statistica's estimate, Android smartphones had an installed base of 1.8 billion units in 2015, which was 76% of the estimated total number of smartphones worldwide. Android has the biggestinstalled base of any mobile operating system and, since 2013, the highest-selling operating system overall with sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014 close to the installed base of all PCs.

In the second quarter of 2014, Android's share of the global smartphone shipment market was 84.7%, a freshrecord. This had grown to 87.5% worldwide market share by the third quarter of 2016, leaving main competitor iOS with 12.1% market share.

According to an April 2017 StatCounter report, Android overtook Microsoft Windows to become the most famousoperating system for total Internet usage. It has maintained the plurality since then.

In September 2015, Google announced that Android had 1.4 billion monthly active users. This modify to 2 billion monthly active users in May 2017.

Adoption on tablets

The first-generation Nexus 7 tablet, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Despite its success on smartphones, initially Android tablet adoption was slow, then later caught up with the iPad, in most countries. One of the main causes was the chicken or the egg situation where consumers were hesitant to buy an Android tablet due to a lack of high quality tablet app, but developers were hesitant to spend time and resources developing tablet app until there was a significant market for them. The materialand app "ecosystem" proved more necessarythan hardware specs as the selling point for tablets. Due to the lack of Android tablet-specific app in 2011, early Android tablets had to make do with existing smartphone app that were ill-suited to huge screen sizes, whereas the dominance of Apple's iPad was reinforced by the hugenumber of tablet-specific iOS app.

Despite applicationassistancein its infancy, a considerable number of Android tablets, like the Barnes & Noble Nook (alongside those using other operating systems, such as the HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook) were rushed out to market in an attempt to capitalize on the success of the iPad. InfoWorld has recommendedthat some Android manufacturers initially treated their first tablets as a "Frankenphone business", a short-term low-investment opportunity by placing a smartphone-optimized Android OS (before Android 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets was available) on a device while neglecting utilize interface. This approach, such as with the Dell Streak, failed to gain market traction with consumers as well as damaging the early reputation of Android tablets. Furthermore, several Android tablets such as the Motorola Xoom were priced the same or higher than the iPad, which harmsales. An exception was the Amazon Kindle Fire, which relied upon lower pricing as well as admissionto Amazon's ecosystem of app and content.

This began to modifyin 2012, with the release of the affordable Nexus 7 and a push by Google for developers to write better tablet app. According to International Data Corporation, shipments of Android-powered tablets surpassed iPads in Q3 2012.

Barnes & Noble Nook running Android

As of the end of 2013, over 191.6 million Android tablets had sold in three years since 2011. This angry Android tablets the most-sold kindof tablet in 2013, surpassing iPads in the second quarter of 2013.

According to StatCounter's web utilizestatistics, as of 2020, Android tablets represent the majority of tablet devices utilize in Africa (70%), South America (65%), while less than half elsewhere, e.g. Europe (44%), Asia (44%), North America (34%) and Oceania/Australia (18%). There are countries on all continents where Android tablets are the majority, for example, Mexico.

In March 2016, Galen Gruman of InfoWorld stated that Android devices could be a "real part of your business [..] there's no longer a reason to holdAndroid at arm's length. It shouldnow be as integral to your mobile portfolio as Apple's iOS devices are". A year earlier, Gruman had stated that Microsoft's own mobile Office application were "better on iOS and Android" than on Microsoft's own Windows 10 devices.

Platform information

Animation showing Easter eggs in Google's Android operating system

As of October 2021, just before the release of Android 12, Android 11, the then-most-lastestAndroid version, is the most famousAndroid version, on both smartphones and tablets.

Android 11 is most famouson smartphones at 31.8%, with Android 10 usage at 30.0%, giving Android 11 and 10 together over 60% the share. Usage of Pie 9.0 and newer, i.e. supported versions, is at 77% (with Oreo 8.1 at 83%), the rest of users are not supported with safetyupdates. Android 11 is most utilize in many countries, ranging from the United States to India, and in virtually all other countries (e.g. in China) is Android 10 the most famousversion.

On tablets, the recentversion Android 11 is most famousat 21% overtaking Android 9.0 Pie in July 2021, which is now second at 15% (topped out at over 20%). Usage of Pie 9.0 and newer, i.e. supported versions, is at 45% on Android tablets, and with Oreo 8.1, until recently supported, at 51.1%. The usage share varies a lot by country: e.g. Android 9.0 Pie is the single version with the greatest usage share in the United States (and the UK) at 31.64%, while the recentversion Android 11 is most widespread in e.g. India, Canada, Australia, and most European countries, and others all over the world; Oreo 8.1 most utilize in China.

Version Marketing name Release date API level Runtime Launched with
12 12 October 4, 2021 31 ART Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 5, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro
11 11 September 8, 2020 30 ART Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL
10 10 September 3, 2019 29 ART Asus ZenFone 5Z, NecessaryPhone, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, Oppo Reno, Sony Xperia XZ3, Vivo X27, Vivo NEX S, Vivo NEX A, Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G, Xiaomi Mi 9, Tecno Spark 3 Pro, Huawei Friend20 Pro, LG G8, Nokia 8.1, Realme 3 Pro
9 Pie August 6, 2018 28 ART NecessaryPhone, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, Oppo R15 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21UD, Vivo X21, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
8.1 Oreo December 5, 2017 27 ART Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X
8.0 August 21, 2017 26 ART N/A
7.1 Nougat October 4, 2016 25 ART Pixel, Pixel XL
7.0 August 22, 2016 24 ART Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, LG V20
6.0 Marshmallow October 5, 2015 23 ART Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P
5.1 Lollipop March 9, 2015 22 ART Android One
5.0 November 3, 2014 21 ART 2.1.0 Nexus 6, Nexus 9
4.4 KitKat October 31, 2013 19 Dalvik (and ART 1.6.0) Nexus 5
4.3 Jelly Bean July 24, 2013 18 Dalvik Nexus 7 2013
4.2 November 13, 2012 17 Dalvik Nexus 4, Nexus 10
4.1 July 9, 2012 16 Dalvik Nexus 7
4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich October 19, 2011 15 Dalvik Galaxy Nexus
2.3 Gingerbread February 9, 2011 10 Dalvik 1.4.0 Nexus S

As of July 2021, 66% of devices have Vulkan support (47% on newer Vulkan 1.1), the successor to OpenGL. At the same time 91.5% of the devices have assistancefor OpenGL ES 3.0 or higher (in addition, the rest of devices, 8.50%, utilizeversion 2.0), with 73.50% using the recentversion OpenGL ES 3.2.


In general, paid Android app shouldeasily be pirated. In a May 2012 interview with Eurogamer, the developers of Football Manager stated that the ratio of pirated players vs legitimate players was 9:1 for their game Football Manager Handheld. However, not every developer accept that piracy rates were an issue; for example, in July 2012 the developers of the game Victory-up Knight said that piracy levels of their game were only 12%, and most of the piracy came from China, where people cannot purchase application from Google Play.

In 2010, Google released a tool for validating authorized purchases for utilizewithin application, but developers complained that this was insufficient and trivial to crack. Google responded that the tool, especially its initial release, was intended as a sample framework for developers to changeand build upon depending on their needs, not as a finished piracy solution. Android "Jelly Bean" introduced the ability for paid app to be encrypted, so that they may work only on the device for which they were purchased.

Legal problem

The success of Android has angry it a target for patent and copyright litigation between technology companies, both Android and Android telephonemanufacturers having been involved in numerous patent lawsuits and other legal challenges.

Patent lawsuit with Oracle

On August 12, 2010, Oracle sued Google over claimed infringement of copyrights and patents associatedto the Java programming language. Oracle originally sought damages up to $6.1 billion, but this valuation was rejected by a United States federal judge who asked Oracle to revise the estimate. In response, Google submitted multiple lines of defense, counterclaiming that Android did not infringe on Oracle's patents or copyright, that Oracle's patents were invalid, and several other defenses. They said that Android's Java runtime environment is based on Apache Harmony, a clean room implementation of the Java class libraries, and an independently developed virtual machine called Dalvik. In May 2012, the jury in this case found that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents, and the trial judge ruled that the structure of the Java APIs utilize by Google was not copyrightable. The parties accept to zero dollars in statutory damages for a tinyamount of copied code. On May 9, 2014, the Federal Circuit partially reversed the district court ruling, ruling in Oracle's favor on the copyrightability issue, and remanding the problemof fair use to the district court.

In December 2015, Google announced that the next major release of Android (Android Nougat) would switch to OpenJDK, which is the official open-source implementation of the Java platform, instead of using the now-discontinued Apache Harmony project as its runtime. Code reflecting this modifywas also posted to the AOSP source repository. In its announcement, Google claimed this was part of an effort to create a "common code base" between Java on Android and other platforms. Google later admitted in a court filing that this was part of an effort to address the disputes with Oracle, as its utilizeof OpenJDK code is governed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) with a linking exception, and that "any damages claim relatedwith the freshversions expressly licensed by Oracle under OpenJDK would require a separate analysis of damages from earlier releases". In June 2016, a United States federal court ruled in favor of Google, stating that its utilizeof the APIs was fair use.

In April 2021, the United Supreme Court ruled that Google's utilizeof the Java APIs was within the bounds of fair use, reversing the Federal Circuit Appeals Court ruling and remanding the case for further hearing. The majority opinion began with the assumption that the APIs may be copyrightable, and thus proceeded with a review of the factors that contributed to fair use.

Anti-competitive challenges in Europe

In 2013, FairSearch, a lobbying companysupported by Microsoft, Oracle and others, filed a complaint regarding Android with the European Commission, alleging that its free-of-charge distribution model constituted anti-competitive predatory pricing. The Free ProgramFoundation Europe, whose donors containGoogle, disputed the Fairsearch allegations. On April 20, 2016, the EU filed a formal antitrust complaint versusGoogle based upon the FairSearch allegations, arguing that its leverage over Android vendors, including the mandatory bundling of the entire suite of proprietary Google software, hindering the ability for competing findproviders to be integrated into Android, and barring vendors from producing devices running forks of Android, constituted anti-competitive practices. In August 2016, Google was fined US$6.75 million by the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) under similar allegations by Yandex. The European Commission problem its decision on July 18, 2018, determining that Google had conducted three operations associatedto Android that were in violation of antitrust regulations: bundling Google's findand Chrome as part of Android, blocking telephonemanufacturers from using forked versions of Android, and establishing deals with telephonemanufacturers and network providers to exclusively bundle the Google findappon handsets (a practice Google ended by 2014). The EU fined Google for €4.3 billion (about US$5 billion) and neededthe organizationto end this conduct within 90 days. Google filed its appeal of the ruling in October 2018, though will not ask for any interim measures to delay the onset of conduct requirements.

On October 16, 2018, Google announced that it would modifyits distribution model for Google Mobile Services in the EU, since part of its revenues streams for Android which came through utilizeof Google Findand Chrome were now forbiddenby the EU's ruling. While the core Android system remains free, OEMs in Europe would be neededto purchase a paid license to the core suite of Google app, such as Gmail, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. Google Findwill be licensed separately, with an option to containGoogle Chrome at no additional cost atop Search. European OEMs shouldbundle third-party alternatives on telephone and devices sold to customers, if they so choose. OEMs will no longer be barred from selling any device running incompatible versions of Android in Europe.


In addition to lawsuits versusGoogle directly, various proxy wars have been waged versusAndroid indirectly by targeting manufacturers of Android devices, with the resultof discouraging manufacturers from adopting the platform by increasing the costs of bringing an Android device to market. Both Apple and Microsoft have sued several manufacturers for patent infringement, with Apple's ongoing legal action versusSamsung being a particularly high-profile case. In January 2012, Microsoft said they had signed patent license agreements with eleven Android device manufacturers, whose products accfor "70 percent of all Android smartphones" sold in the US and 55% of the worldwide revenue for Android devices. These include Samsung and HTC. Samsung's patent settlement with Microsoft contain an agreement to allocate more resources to developing and marketing telephone running Microsoft's Windows Telephoneoperating system. Microsoft has also tied its own Android programto patent licenses, requiring the bundling of Microsoft Office Mobile and Skype app on Android devices to subsidize the licensing fees, while at the same time helping to promote its programlines.

Google has publicly expressed its frustration for the current patent landscape in the United States, accusing Apple, Oracle and Microsoft of trying to take down Android through patent litigation, rather than innovating and competing with better products and services. In August 2011, Google purchased Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion, which was viewed in part as a defensive measure to protect Android, since Motorola Mobility held more than 17,000 patents. In December 2011, Google bought over a thousand patents from IBM.

Turkey's tournamentauthority investigations about default findengine in Android, started in 2017, led to a US$17.4 million fine in September 2018 and a fine of 0.05 percent of Google's revenue per day in November 2019 when Google didn't meet the requirements. In December 2019, Google stopped issuing licenses for freshAndroid telephonemodels sold in Turkey.

Other utilize

Ouya, a video game console which runs Android

Google has developed several variations of Android for specific utilizecases, including Android Wear, later renamed Wear OS, for wearable devices such as wrist watches, Android TV for televisions, and Android Things for smart devices and Internet of things. Additionally, by providing infrastructure that combines dedicated hardware and dedicated app running on regular Android, Google have opened up the platform for its utilizein particular usage scenarios, such as Android Auto for vehicle, and Daydream, a Virtual Reality platform.

The open and customizable nature of Android let device makers to utilizeit on other electronics as well, including laptops, netbooks, and desktop computers, cameras, headphones, home automation systems, game consoles, media players, satellites, routers, printers, payment terminals, automated teller machines, and robots. Additionally, Android has been installed and run on a variety of less-techobjects, including calculators, single-board computers, feature telephone, electronic dictionaries, alarm clocks, refrigerators, landline phone, coffee machines, bike, and mirrors.

Ouya, a video game console running Android, became one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns, crowdfunding US$8.5m for its development, and was later followed by other Android-based consoles, such as Nvidia's Shield Portable – an Android device in a video game controller form factor.

In 2011, Google demonstrated "[email protected]", a home automation technology which utilize Android to control a range of household devices including light switches, power sockets and thermostats. Prototype light bulbs were announced that could be controlled from an Android telephoneor tablet, but Android head Andy Rubin was cautious to note that "turning a lightbulb on and off is nothing new", pointing to numerous failed home automation services. Google, he said, was thinking more ambitiously and the intention was to utilizetheir position as a cloud services provider to bring Google products into customers' homes.

Android-x86 running on an ASUS Eee PC netbook

Parrot unveiled an Android-based vehiclestereo system known as Asteroid in 2011, followed by a successor, the touchscreen-based Asteroid Smart, in 2012. In 2013, Clarion released its own Android-based vehiclestereo, the AX1. In January 2014, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google announced the formation of the Open Automotive Alliance, a group including several major automobile makers (Audi, General Motors, Hyundai, and Honda) and Nvidia, which aims to produce Android-based in-vehicleentertainment systems for automobiles, "[bringing] the best of Android into the automobile in a safe and seamless way."

Android comes preinstalled on a few laptops (a similar functionality of running Android app is also accessiblein Google's Chrome OS) and shouldalso be installed on privatecomputers by end users. On those platforms Android provides additional functionality for physical keyboards and mice, together with the "Alt-Tab" key combination for switching app quickly with a keyboard. In December 2014, one reviewer commented that Android's notification system is "vastly more complete and robust than in most environments" and that Android is "absolutely usable" as one's basicdesktop operating system.

In October 2015, The Wall RoadJournal reported that Android will serve as Google's future main laptop operating system, with the plan to fold Chrome OS into it by 2017. Google's Sundar Pichai, who led the development of Android, explained that "mobile as a computing paradigm is eventually going to blend with what we think of as desktop today." Also, back in 2009, Google co-founder Sergey Brin himself said that Chrome OS and Android would "likely converge over time." Lockheimer, who replaced Pichai as head of Android and Chrome OS, responded to this claim with an official Google blog publicationstating that "While we've been working on method to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS [which has] warranty auto-updates for five years". That is unlike Android where assistanceis shorter with "EOL dates [being..] at least 3 years [into the future] for Android tablets for education".

At Google I/O in May 2016, Google announced Daydream, a virtual reality platform that relies on a smartphone and provides VR capabilities through a virtual reality headset and controller plannedby Google itself. The platform is built into Android starting with Android Nougat, differentiating from standalone assistancefor VR capabilities. The programis accessiblefor developers, and was released in 2016.


Android robot logo
A giant Android mascot at Googleplex in 2008

The mascot of Android is a green android robot, as associatedto the programs name. Although it has no official name, the Android squadat Google reportedly call it "Bugdroid".

It was plannedby then-Google graphic designer Irina Blok on November 5, 2007 when Android was announced. Contrary to reports that she was tasked with a project to create an icon, Blok confirmed in an interview that she independently developed it and angry it open source. The robot design was initially not presented to Google, but it quickly became commonplace in the Android development team, with various variations of it madeby the developers there who liked the figure, as it was free under a Creative Commons license. Its popularity amongst the development squadeventually led to Google adopting it as an official icon as part of the Android logo when it launched to consumers in 2008.

See also

Explanatory notes


Android (operating System) Hack Mod Tricks with Tons of Advices and Bonuses.



Android 12 home screen with Pixel Launcher
DeveloperVarious (mostly Google and the Open Handset Alliance)Written inJava (UI), C (core), C++ and othersOS familyUnix-like (modified Linux kernel)Working stateCurrentSource modelOpen source (most devices include proprietary components, such as Google Play)Initial releaseSeptember 23, 2008; 13 years ago (2008-09-23)Latest releaseAndroid 12 / October 4, 2021; 58 days ago (2021-10-04)Latest previewAndroid 12 Beta 5 / September 8, 2021; 2 months ago (2021-09-08)Repository
Marketing targetSmartphones, tablet computers, smart TVs (Android TV), Android Auto and smartwatches (Wear OS)Available in100+ languagesUpdate methodOver-the-airPackage managerAPK-basedPlatforms64-bit ARM, x86-64, unofficial RISC-V support; 32-bit (for e.g. ARM) was supportedKernel typeLinux kernelUserlandBionic libc, mksh shell, Toybox as core utilitiesDefaultuser interfaceGraphical (multi-touch)License
Official website Support statusSupportedArticles in the seriesAndroid version history
Android (operating System) Cheats Unlimited Gifts Hacks Guides Secrets & Mods.


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