Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" on the Nexus 4
|Company / developer||Google
Open Handset Alliance
Android Open Source Project
|Programmed in||C, C++, Java|
|OS family||Unix-like, Linux|
|Source model||Open source|
|Initial release||September 23, 2008|
|Latest stable release||4.2.1 Jelly Bean / November 27, 2012|
|Package manager||Google Play, APK|
|Supported platforms||ARM, MIPS, x86|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (modified Linux kernel)|
|Default user interface||Graphical (Multi-touch)|
|License||Apache License 2.0
Linux kernel patches under GNU GPL v2
Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It is currently developed by Google in conjunction with the Open Handset Alliance. Initially developed by Android Inc, whom Google financially backed and later purchased in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 86 hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.
Google releases the Android code as open source, under the Apache License. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP), led by Google, is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android.Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("Apps") that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of Java. They are available for download through Google Play or third-party sites. In October 2012, there were approximately 700,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from Google Play (and the now-defunct Android Market) was 25 billion.
The first Android-powered phone was sold in October 2008,and by the end of 2010 Android had become the world's leading smartphone platform, overtaking Symbian which held the record previously.. It had a worldwide smartphone market share of 75% during the third quarter of 2012,with 500 million devices activated and 1.3 million activations per day. Application of the operating system has also moved beyond mobile phones and tablets; amongst others, televisions, smartbooks and cameras have been released running Android.