Android Inc. was founded in Palo Alto, California by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White in 2003. Android OS was originally designed to improve the operating systems of digital cameras, as reported by PC World. Two years later, in 2005, Android Inc was acquired by Google and by November 2007 the beta version of Android 1.0 was released to consortium of developers known as Open Handset Alliance, which included phone makers like HTC and Motorola, chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm and top US mobile carriers including Sprint and T-mobile.
What’s a mobile OS?
A mobile OS is an Operating System for mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, and other mobile devices. Google’s Android is the leading mobile operating system platform on the planet. The OS is used on more than 74.3% of global smartphones, from the world biggest phone makers like Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi to emerging cell phone manufacturing companies in developing countries. Here is the Android journey from the creation of the company to its latest release.
The Android History
In Sept. 2008, the very first Android smartphone was announced, the T-Mobile G1, also known as the HTC Dream. It went on sale in the U.S. October of that year. The phone has pop-up 3.2-inch touchscreen combined with a QWERTY physical keyboard. Since 2008, Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding new features and fixing bugs in previous releases. Each major release is named in alphabetical order after a dessert, with the first few Android versions being called “Cupcake”- Android 1.5, “Donut”- Android 1.6, “Eclair”- Android 2.0, and “Froyo”- Android 2.2, in that order and so on.
Google launched its own brand of Android phones, the Nexus one in 2010, and by September the same year, Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread was unveiled. With Android 3.0- Honeycomb, comes support for devices with larger displays than Smartphone regular screen size and the release was well adapted for tablets.
The year 2011 was unique in that it saw the first release of two different versions of the mobile OS, the Android 3.0- Honeycomb and Android 4.0- Ice cream sandwich. Android 4.1 to 4.3, the Jelly Bean, started the multi-user support coming into play, albeit on tablets only. KitKat is the name given to Android 4.4 but the major shakeup in the OS was to come with the Android 5.0- Lollipop with revamped navigation bar, rich notifications for the lock-screen and much more in late 2014.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android 7.0 Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo and Android 9.0 Pie are all versions released between 2015 and 2018. By the following year, Google launched the next version of Android, which it called Android Q, in 2019. This release comes with a new logo and the company announced their decision to drop codename for the next Android versions.
The Android Q is also known as Android 10. Some of the features new to this version include support for foldable phones with flexible displays. It also supports new gesture-navigation controls, a more efficient sharing menu, and more control over app-based permissions. The Android source code is released in an open-source format to help advance open standards across mobile devices.
Since then, software and application developers have been able to use Android technology to develop mobile apps, which are sold through app stores, such as Google Play and Samsung’s Galaxy Store. And because it is developed as a Google product, Android users are given the opportunity to link their mobile devices to other Google products, such as Drive, Gmail, Map, YouTube and others.
As more manufacturers and developers which formerly used old mobile OS such as Windows Mobile, Blackberry OS, Symbian and Palm OS, adopt Android OS, the global battle of mobile OS, at the present, stands between two major contenders- Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. With feature-rich content, ease of customization and user friendly nature, Android OS is expected to remain the top global mobile operating system in many years to come.