22.3.2017

Facts you should know about Android

Android is at the moment the most used smartphone operating system worldwide. It’s based on the Linux kernel and running apps on a variant of Java. It is used by most smartphone manufacturers with the exception of Apple and Microsoft. Android devices outsell devices running Windows, Mac OS X and iOS combined.

The History of Android

Android Inc was founded in 2003 by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White. It was bought in 2005 by Google for around 50 million USD. The first commercial phone running Android, the HTC Dream, was released in 2008. The first one available in Finland was the HTC Hero that was released in August 2009. This was just the fourth phone released running Android, but by the end of 2010 the number was already around a hundred.

Market share

Android’s market share worldwide was 87% at the end of 2016. In Finland the market share is around 70%, but it has risen from 38% as recently as 2014. The reason for the relatively low market share in Finland was the abnormally high Windows Phone market share of 32% in Finland versus around 3% worldwide. But as in most markets Android’s share in Finland is growing.

The top 5 Android phone manufacturers are:

1. Samsung

2. Huawei

3. OPPO

4. Vivo

5. OnePlus

Android Open Source Project

The Android source code is released under the Android Open Source Project. Not all of the Google Android experience is open source, Google maintains their own versions of many of the apps that are not released as open source. But you could build a fully working operating system for a phone from the AOSP sources.

Variations

Android is not only for phones. It also runs on tablets and laptops in the standard version, but there are a few specialized versions of Android as well. They can run the same apps as the standard version, but have a different user interface. Apps that doesn’t have interfaces designed for these systems will not run on them properly.

Android Wear is designed for wearable devices, mostly smart watches. They have a very reduced user interface.

Android TV is designed for big screens, and the whole “lean back” experience. The interface is designed to be operated with a remote control.

Android Auto is designed for use in cars. It uses voice control and steering wheel buttons. The screen interaction is limited and it has safeguards against operating while driving.

Chromebooks

Although not running Android, recent Chromebooks can run Android apps, and are rumored to get an even tighter integration in the future. Chromebooks are laptop or desktop computers that run a minimal Linux based operating system that is mostly just the Chrome browser.

6 random facts about Android

· Andy Rubin tried to sell Android to Samsung before Google bought them.

· Samsungs Galaxy Tab was the first Android tablet.

· Android 3.0 only ran on tablets, and the source code was never released.

· Android was first developed for digital cameras.

· The first Android phone on the market was the HTC Dream also known as G1.

· The first Android phone prototypes were not touchscreen devices.

 

Niklas Schönberg

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