Android powers hundreds of millions of mobile devices in more than 190 countries around the world. Its the largest installed base of any mobile platform and growing fast—every day another million users power up their Android devices for the first time and start looking for apps, games, and other digital content.Android gives you a world-class platform for creating apps and games for Android users everywhere, as well as an open marketplace for distributing to them instantly.
Android is the worlds most popular mobile platform. With Android you can use all the Google apps you know and love, plus there are more than 600,000 apps and games available on Google Play to keep you entertained, alongside millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies. Android devices are already smart, and will only get smarter, with new features you wont find on any other platform, letting you focus on whats important and putting you in control of your mobile experience.
Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Initially developed by Android, Inc., which Google backed financially and later purchased in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance: a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. The first Android-powered phone was sold in October 2008.Android is open source and Google releases the code under the Apache License. This open source code and permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers, wireless carriers and enthusiast developers. Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of the Java programming language. In October 2012, there were approximately 700,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from Google Play, Androids primary app store, was 25 billion.
These factors have allowed Android to become the worlds most widely used smartphone platform and the software of choice for technology companies who require a low-cost, customizable, lightweight operating system for high tech devices without developing one from scratch.As a result, despite being primarily designed for phones and tablets, it has seen additional applications on televisions, games consoles and other electronics. Androids open nature has further encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices which were officially released running other operating systems.Android had a worldwide smartphone market share of 75% during the third quarter of 2012, with 500 million devices activated in total and 1.3 million activations per day.
Android has a growing selection of third party applications, which can be acquired by users either through an app store such as Google Play or the Amazon Appstore, or by downloading and installing the applications APK file from a third-party site.The Play Store application allows users to browse, download and update apps published by Google and third-party developers, and is pre-installed on devices that comply with Googles compatibility requirements. The app filters the list of available applications to those that are compatible with the users device, and developers may restrict their applications to particular carriers or countries for business reasons. Purchases of unwanted applications can be refunded within 15 minutes of the time of download, and some carriers offer direct carrier billing for Google Play application purchases, where the cost of the application is added to the users monthly bill. As of September 2012, there were more than 675,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from the Play Store was 25 billion.
Building on the contributions of the open-source Linux community and more than 300 hardware, software, and carrier partners, Android has rapidly become the fastest- growing mobile OS.Every day more than 1 million new Android devices are activated world wide. Android’s openness has made it a favorite for consumers and developers alike, driving strong growth in app consumption. Android users download more than 1.5 billion apps and games from Google Play each month.With its partners, Android is continuously pushing the boundaries of hardware and software forward to bring new capabilities to users and developers. For developers, Android innovation lets you build powerful, differentiated applications that use the latest mobile technologies.
Android gives you everything you need to build best- in-class app experiences. It gives you a single application model that lets you deploy your apps broadly to hundreds of millions of users across a wide range of devices—from phones to tablets and beyond.Android also gives you tools for creating apps that look great and take advantage of the hardware capabilities available on each device. It automatically adapts your UI to look its best on each device, while giving you as much control as you want over your UI on different device types.
For example, you can create a single app binary thats optimized for both phone and tablet form factors. You declare your UI in lightweight sets of XML resources, one set for parts of the UI that are common to all form factors and other sets for optimzations specific to phones or tablets. At runtime, Android applies the correct resource sets based on its screen size, density, locale, and so on.To help you develop efficiently, the Android Developer Tools offer a full Java IDE with advanced features for developing, debugging, and packaging Android apps. Using the IDE, you can develop on any available Android device or create virtual devices that emulate any hardware configuration.
Google Play is the premier marketplace for selling and distributing Android apps. When you publish an app on Google Play, you reach the huge installed base of Android.As an open marketplace, Google Play puts you in control of how you sell your products. You can publish whenever you want, as often as you want, and to the customers you want. You can distribute broadly to all markets and devices or focus on specific segments, devices, or ranges of hardware capabilities.
You can monetize in the way that works best for your business—priced or free, with in-app products or subscriptions—for highest engagement and revenues. You also have complete control of the pricing for your apps and in-app products and can set or change prices in any supported currency at any time.Beyond growing your customer base, Google Play helps you build visibility and engagement across your apps and brand. As your apps rise in popularity, Google Play gives them higher placement in weekly "top" charts and rankings, and for the best apps promotional slots in curated collections.Preinstalled on hundreds of millions of Android devices around the world, Google Play can be a growth engine for your business.
Android 4.2 introduces a completely new camera experience, a new form of typing that helps you power through your messages, and much more.
• Samsung Galaxy S3 (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon)Pumped with high-performing hardware and creative software features, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an excellent, top-end phone thats neck and neck with the HTC One X.• Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon)Samsung delivers a powerful, boundary-pushing device that gets a lot right. Yet its complicated features and high price raise questions about its purpose.
• HTC Droid DNA (Verizon Wireless)With quad-core power, 4G LTE, a lovely 5-inch screen, and a stunning design, the $199.99 HTC Droid DNA is currently Verizons best Android deal.• LG Nexus 4 (T-Mobile)While the LG Nexus 4 wins on internal performance and user experience, anyone shopping for an unlocked phone should consider a comparable LTE handset first.• Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD (Verizon)Motorolas fast, stylish Droid Razr Maxx HD offers outstanding battery life, but its camera captures unimpressive images.