Android is the Linux based operating system and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Initially developed by Android, Inc., which Google backed financially and later bought in 2005. Because of Android’s open source nature, Android based smartphones should be cheaper to produce than those that use operating systems, such as Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, that require a royalty fee be paid for each use.
The first publicly available smartphone running Android, the HTC Dream, was released on October 22, 2008. Android’s source code is released by Google under the Apache License; this permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers, wireless carriers and enthusiast developers. Most Android devices ship with a combination of open source and proprietary software.
Android is popular with technology companies which require a ready-made, low-cost and customizable operating system for high-tech devices. It is primarily designed for phones and tablets. Then also it has been used in televisions, games consoles, digital cameras and other electronics. Android’s open nature has 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.
Andrew E. “Andy” Rubin is the co-founder and former CEO of both Danger Inc. and Android Inc. Google acquired Android Inc. on August 17, 2005; key employees of Android Inc., including Rubin, Miner and White, stayed at the company after the acquisition.