Android powers hundreds of millionsof mobile devices in more than 190countries around the world. Its thelargest installed base of any mobileplatform and growing fast—every dayanother million users power up theirAndroid devices for the first time andstart looking for apps, games, andother digital content.
Android gives you a world-class platform for creatingapps and games for Androidusers everywhere, as wellas an open marketplace fordistributing to them instantly.
Android’s openness hasmade it a favorite forconsumers and developersalike, driving strong growth inapp consumption. Androidusers download more than 1.5billion apps and games fromGoogle Play each month.
Android devices are beingactivated faster than ever.Presumably, due to the sheernumber of manufacturers usingthe OS, much faster thanWindows Phone devices arebeing activated.
Google said there are nowmore than one millionAndroid device activations aday, or 12 devices everysecond of every day. 400million Android devices havealso been sold to date.
Android gives you everything youneed to build best-in-class appexperiences. It gives you a singleapplication model that lets you deployyour apps broadly to hundreds ofmillions of users across a wide rangeof devices—from phones to tabletsand beyond.
Android also gives you tools forcreating apps that look great and takeadvantage of the hardware capabilitiesavailable on each device. Itautomatically adapts your UI to look itsbest on each device, while giving youas much control as you want over yourUI on different device types.
For example, you can create a singleapp binary thats optimized for bothphone and tablet form factors. Youdeclare your UI in lightweight sets ofXML resources, one set for parts of theUI that are common to all form factorsand other sets for optimizationsspecific to phones or tablets. Atruntime, Android applies the correctresource sets based on its screensize, density, locale, and so on.
Android phones currently rankfirst in terms of smartphoneoperating systems and covermore than half thesmartphones numbersaround the world.
An Android™ phone, sometimes called aDroid™ phone, is a mobile telephone thatuses the Google-developed Android™operating system. This operating system hasbecome a popular option in recent years forso-called "smart phones," becausedevelopers and manufacturers may freelycustomize it to their specific needs.
Android™ phones are consideredrevolutionary in some circles because ofthe open source structure of the basicfirmware. All developers, whetherprofessional or hobbyists, areencouraged to write programs andapplications for the operatingsystem, and contribute to the evolvingAndroid™ project by submitting them toGoogles Play Store™, a closed sourceapplication for Android™ phones.
MultitaskingAn Android™ phone can run multipleapplications at the same time in thebackground, making multitasking easier. Thismakes the functionality of the phone more fluidthan some competing platforms, although theextent of this capability depends on thehardware of the individual phone.
Non-Proprietary ApproachSome comparable devices using other operatingsystems are governed by strict proprietary rules.Developers interested in writing applications for theiPhone™, for example, may not be permitted tocreate programs that closely mirror applicationsowned by Apple, such as iTunes™. All applicationsmust be approved by Apple before they arepermitted to appear in the Apple App Store™.
Historical BackgroundInitially, Google partnered with the High TechComputer Corporation (now HTCCorporation) to build the first mobile phone torun the Android™ platform, known as theG1™ in the United States. In 2008, T-Mobilepremiered the G1™ Android™ phone to theAmerican public.
SDKAndroid™ offers a Software Development Kit(SDK) to help developers create functionalapplications. While some parts of theAndroid™ operating system are protectedunder the Apache™ License to guard againstapplications that could compromise thephones basic functionality, much of it isreleased under the General PublicLicense, which invites developers to freelymake modifications.
RootingDespite the relatively open structure of theoperating system, manufacturers of manydevices that use Android™ do frequentlyrestrict user access to certain resources andfunctions within the structure of the software.
Android became the world’s leadingsmartphone platform at the end of2010. For the first quarter of2012, Android had a 59%smartphone market shareworldwide.
Android is without ashadow of doubt nowthe best selling mobileOperating systemlanding more marketshares than even theiPhone.