Android is the leading mobile operating system worldwide. According to Statista, Android became the leading mobile OS since 2011; almost 220 million smartphones running Android were sold. This figure grew to 1.2 billion in 2015.
Here are some of the most interesting facts about Android:
1. The name “Android”
Android is a reference to a male robot. A female robot is called “Gynoid.” – Wikipedia.
2. Google did not create Android
The OS that runs your smartphone today was not created by Google. Instead, it was created by Android Inc which was founded by Rich Miner, Andy Rubin, Chris White, and Nick Sears.
Initially, Android Inc was focused towards developing an advanced OS for digital cameras. Upon coming to the realisation that the camera market would not suffice the company’s goals, Android was pitched as a handset OS
3. Google bought Android Inc in 2005
After Google acquired Android Inc in 2005 for at least $50 million, the OS, Android, was unveiled in 2007 alongside the founding of Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of technology companies for advancing open standards for mobile devices.
The OS quickly gained support from major smartphone manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, and HTC.
4. First smartphone to run Android OS
According to Wikipedia, HTC Dream was the “first commercially released device to use the Linux-based Android operating system.”
5. Android versions are named after sweet treats (desserts) and are arranged alphabetically
Apart from the initial version of Android OS, including v1.0, and 1.1, all the other versions are named after sweet treats alphabetically. These versions include
- Cupcake (v1.5)
- Donut (v1.6)
- Eclair (v2.0-2.1)
- Froyo (v2.2-2.2.3)
- Gingerbread (v2.3-2.3.7)
- Honeycomb (v3.0-3.2.6)
- Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0-4.0.4)
- Jelly Bean (v4.1-4.3.1)
- KitKat (v4.4-4.4.4)
- Lollipop (v5.0-5.1.1)
- Marshmallow (v6.0-6.0.1)
- Nougat (v7.0-7.1.2)
- Oreo (v8.0.0)
6. Secret feature in every Android OS version
You can reveal an Easter egg in all Android OS versions by tapping the version number in the “About” screen, which is in the settings.
7. The initial design days of the Android OS
Before the release of the first Android OS, Google marketed the Linux kernel-powered platform (developed by the team at Google led by Rubin Miner) to carriers and handset manufacturers to promise a flexible, and an upgradable system.
The early prototype of a smartphone running Android OS pose great resemblance to the BlackBerry phone, and was redesigned after the release of the 2007 Apple iPhone (1st generation).
8. Andy’s role in Google
After Android was acquired by Google, co-founder Andy Rubin became Android’s SVP and oversaw the development of Android OS. In 2013, Rubin moved from the Android division to work on other projects at Google, while Sundar Pichai took over Android.