A brief introduction to the Android OS
Android OS has become one of the largest mobile platforms in the world. The Android OS have become so popular that sometimes people forget what used to be before the advent of the first Android phones. As a fact, they only touched down in the market a few decades ago!
All thanks to Google for its decision to contribute to the open-source operating system – Android – this particular decision made the operating system very popular amongst smartphone manufacturers.
After the launch of Android 1.0, we are now celebrating Android 11 with millions of phones powered by the OS.
It is safe to say that the Android OS came and wiped out every competition like webOS, Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows, and PalmOS.
However, there still stands the Apple iOS and it is the only mobile operating system that poses serious competition against the Android OS mobile operating system.
The competition has been a healthy one over the years and it’s not going to be altered anytime soon.
Brief Android OS history
In October 2003, what would become the largest mobile operating system was born – the Android OS. As of then, there was no phone regarded as a smartphone, and Apple hadn’t even marketed or made its first iPhone.
Palo Alto was the location of the company – Android Inc, and the California based firm had 4 prominent founders – Chris White, Rich Miner, Andy Rubin, and Nick Sears.
The idea of Android OS was initially to improve digital cameras and their operating systems, and it expanded into the production of smartphones that were aware of their owners’ preferences and location.
When the Android OS was basically to improve digital cameras, the market for the latter was already on the decline. So, in order not to crash-land, Android OS development was redirected into mobile phone operating systems.
In 2005, Google offered to purchase Android Inc and successfully did but retained Andy Rubin and co as the head of Android OS development under their watch. Linux was the working basis for the Android OS and this meant that the company could share the operating system for free with other mobile phone manufacturers because they thought they could still rake in profits creating apps and features that are necessary for the functioning of the OS.
In 2013, Andy Rubin decided it was time to break out of the division and begin his own business incubator business which didn’t pay off till 2015. However, that year, he decided to hop onto the smartphone bandwagon and released Essential in 2017 which also didn’t see the light of day.
The Android Logo
During her years of working at Google Inc, Irina Blok modeled the now popular Android Logo which looks like a bug-robot. According to her, the design team didn’t leave her with much instructions other than “make something that looks like a robot.”
The Android Mascot is also said to be an inspiration from restroom logos for men and women.
One thing about the Android Logo is that it is an open-source logo and can be recreated and used by any and everyone and this was made possible by the Creative Commons 3.0 Attributions License.
First Android 1.0 launch
On November 5, 2007, Google launched Android version 1.0, and chairman Eric Schmidt said the platform was designed to power phones of unlimited models. All these happened after Apple launched its first iPhone in that same month and year, creating a great change to the face of mobile operation.
The Android 1.0 version released by Google was referred to as Open Handset Alliance which incorporated phone makers, chip manufacturers, and network carriers from different companies like Motorola, Qualcomm, and T-Mobile respectively.
Fast forward to September 2008, Google unveiled the very first Android smartphone in the world – the T-Mobile G1 popularly called HTCDream. The smartphone with a 3.2-inch touchscreen and physical QWERTY keyboard wasn’t much in terms of physical design, but it carried the all-powerful and all-promising vision Google had in store for eventual Android OS users.
It had an HTML browser that made use of Google’s services, YouTube, Google maps, and the Android Market (now known as Play Store)which now contains millions of applications used on the newer versions of the Android OS.
Newer versions of the Android OS
After Android OS 1.0 was released in 2007, Google has rolled out several other major versions of the platform from time to time.
In April 2009, OS 1.5 Cupcake was released.
In September 2009, Android 1.6 Donut was released. A month later in October, Android 2.0 to 2.1 Éclair was launched. In May 2010, Android 2.2 Froyowas launched. In September of the same year 2010, Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released.
The Android 3.0 version was the Honeycomb launched in 2011. In October 2011, Android 4.0 Ice-cream Sandwich was released.
In June 2012, the 4.1 to 4.3 Jellybean was released.
Android 4.4 KitKat, 5.0 Lollipop, and 6.0 Marshmallow were all released in 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively.
Android 7.0 Nougat, 8.0 Oreo, 9.0 Pie were also released in 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively as well as Android 10 in 2019 and the latest Android 11 in February 2020.
Android Inc from just a startup has grown organically over the years and now has become a leader in mobile phone operating systems with approximately 75% shares of the market.
Google is still working hard to cement Android OS place as the undisputed leader in operating systems while working on a platform that can bring tablets, smartphones, PCs together.