Android (operating system)

Android 8.1 Oreo home screen
Company / developerGoogle,
Open Handset Alliance
Programmed inJava (UI), C (core), C++ and more[1]
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source (most devices include proprietary components, such as Google Play)
Initial releaseSeptember 23, 2008; 11 years ago (2008-09-23)[2]
Latest stable release9 "Pie" / August 7, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-08-07)
Marketing targetSmartphones, tablet computers, smartTVs (Android TV), Android Auto and smartwatches (Wear OS)
Package managerAPK (primarily through Google Play; installation of APKs also possible locally or from alternative sources such as F-Droid)
Supported platforms32- and 64-bit ARM, x86 and x86-64
Kernel typeMonolithic (modified Linux kernel)
UserlandBionic libc,[3] mksh shell,[4] Toybox as core utilities beginning with Android 6.0,[5][6] previously native core utilities with a few from NetBSD[7][8]
Default user interfaceGraphical (multi-touch)
LicenseApache License 2.0
GNU GPL v2 for the Linux kernel modifications[9]

Android is an operating system for mobile devices. It is mostly used for smartphones, like Google's own Google Pixel, as well as by other phone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung. It has also been used for tablets such as the Motorola Xoom and Amazon Kindle. A modified Linux kernel is used as Android's kernel.[10]

Google says that over 1.3 million Android smartphones are sold every day.[11] Most mobile phones run Android, making it the most popular mobile operating system. It is also the most popular operating system in general.

It supports multitasking and two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics.

Android programs

Programs for Android, also called "apps", come from the Google Play Store. The Android programs have an extension of .apk. Google states that[12] "Android apps can be written using Kotlin, Java, and C++ languages", while using other languages are also possible; such as Python and Go and those languages and even C++ may have restrictions. Large portions of the operating system itself are also written in Java. There are over 2.6 million apps available for Android in the Google Play Store.[13] Some apps are distributed elsewhere.

Android version numbers and names

File:Google Android.jpg
Smartphones with Android Nougat, Oreo, P

Each version of Android has both a number and a name based on confectioneries. The version numbers and names are:

  • 1.1: (No codename)
  • 1.1: Petit Four
  • 1.5: Cupcake
  • 1.6: Donut
  • 2.0 and 2.1: Eclair
  • 2.2: Froyo (FROzen YOgurt)
  • 2.3: Gingerbread
  • 3.x: Honeycomb (a tablet-only version)
  • 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3: Jelly Bean
  • 4.4: KitKat
  • 5.0 and 5.1: Lollipop
  • 6.0 and 6.0.1: Marshmallow[14]
  • 7.0 and 7.1: Nougat
  • 8.0: Oreo
  • 9.0: Pie[15]

Related pages


  1. "Android Language Breakdown". Open Hub. October 25, 2017. Archived from the original on December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  2. Morrill, Dan (September 23, 2008). "Announcing the Android 1.0 SDK, release 1". Android Developers Blog. Google. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  3. "android/platform/bionic/". Archived from the original on December 17, 2017.
  4. "android/platform/external/mksh/". Archived from the original on January 21, 2016.
  5. "android/platform/external/toybox/toys/". Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.
  6. "Android gets a toybox". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  7. "android/platform/system/core/toolbox/". Archived from the original on February 9, 2014.
  8. "dd command from NetBSD as an example". Archived from the original on March 19, 2014.
  9. "Licenses". Android Source. Google. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  10. Android Project Home
  11. "There Are Now 1.3 Million Android Device Activations Per Day". TechCrunch. 2012-09-05.
  12. Android Developers Application Fundamentals
  13. "Number of apps on Android Devices". Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  14. "Introducing new Android OS Marshmallow 6.0". Android Official. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  15. "Android 9 Pie". Android. Retrieved 2018-08-06.

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