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Android (operating system)

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Android robot.svg
Android logo (2007-2014).svg
The Android logo
Android 4.4 with stock launcher.png
Android 4.4 KitKat home screen
Company / developer Google
Open Handset Alliance
Android Open Source Project
Programmed in C, C++, Java[1]
OS family Unix-like, Linux (kernel)
Working state Current
Source model Open source[2]
Initial release 23 September 2008 (2008-09-23)[3]
Latest stable release 5.0.2 Lollipop / December 19, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-12-19)[4]
Marketing target Smartphones
Tablet computers
Available language(s) Multi-lingual
Package manager Google Play, APK
Supported platforms ARM, MIPS,[5] x86,[6] I.MX[7]
Kernel type Monolithic (modified Linux kernel)
Default user interface Graphical (Multi-touch)
License Apache License 2.0
Linux kernel patches under GNU GPL v2[8]
Official website

Android is an operating system for mobile devices. It is mostly used for cell phones, like Google's own Galaxy Nexus, as well as by other phone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung. It has also been used for tablets such as the Motorola Xoom and Amazon Kindle Fire. Android's kernel is based on Linux.[9]

Google says that over 1.3 million Android cell phones are sold every day.[10]

Android programs

Programs for Android, also called "apps", come from the Google Play store. The android programs have an extention of .apk. Android programs are built in C, C++, or Java programming languages but the UI is always made using Java. There are over 900,000 apps available for Android.

Android version numbers and names

Each version of Android has both a number and a name based on a dessert. The version numbers and names are:

  • Beta versions: Astro and Bender
  • 1.5: Cupcake
  • 1.6: Donut
  • 2.0 and 2.1: Eclair
  • 2.2: Froyo (FROzen YOgurt)
  • 2.3: Gingerbread
  • 3.x: Honeycomb (a tablet-only version)
  • 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3: Jelly Bean
  • 4.4: KitKat
  • 5.0: Lollipop

Related pages


  1. "Android Code Analysis". Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  2. "Philosophy and Goals". Android Open Source Project. Google. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  3. "Announcing the Android 1.0 SDK, release 1". September 9, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  4. "android_5.0.2_r1 - Git at Google". December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  5. "MIPS gets sweet with Honeycomb". Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  6. Shah, Agam (December 1, 2011). "Google's Android 4.0 ported to x86 processors". Computerworld. International Data Group. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  7. "Android OS for i.MX Applications Processors Product Summary Page". freescale Inc.
  8. "Licenses". Android Open Source Project.. Open Handset Alliance. Retrieved 2012-09-09. "The preferred license for the Android Open Source Project is the Apache Software License, 2.0. ... Why Apache Software License? ... For userspace (that is, non-kernel) software, we do in fact prefer ASL2.0 (and similar licenses like BSD, MIT, etc.) over other licenses such as LGPL. Android is about freedom and choice. The purpose of Android is promote openness in the mobile world, but we don't believe it's possible to predict or dictate all the uses to which people will want to put our software. So, while we encourage everyone to make devices that are open and modifiable, we don't believe it is our place to force them to do so. Using LGPL libraries would often force them to do so."
  9. Android Project Home
  10. "There Are Now 1.3 Million Android Device Activations Per Day". TechCrunch. 2012-09-05.