Android (operating system)

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Android (operating system)
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{{other uses|Android (disambiguation)}}{{pp-semi-protected|small=yes}}{{short description|Free and open-source operating system for mobile devices, developed by Google}}{{Use mdy dates|date=May 2019}}

and logotype {{small|(bottom)}}| logo alt = A stylized green robot with rounded head featuring two antennas and blank dots for eyes, a blank space separating its head from the body similar to an egg but with a flat base, and two rounded rectangles on either side for its arms.| screenshot = Android Pie.png| caption = Android Pie home screen with the Pixel Launcher on the Google Pixel 2| collapsible = noGoogle, |Open Handset Alliance}}| family = Unix-like (Modified Linux kernel)| working state = CurrentOpen source software>Open source (most devices include proprietary components, such as Google Play)Android Pie>9.0 "Pie"Android Q Beta 4 (QPP4.190502.018)SUPPORT AND RELEASE NOTES WEBSITE=ANDROID DEVELOPERS BLOG GOOGLE >ACCESSDATE=MAY 7, 2019, Smartphones, tablet computers, smartTVs (Android TV), Android Auto and smartwatches (Wear OS)Java (programming language) (UI), C (programming language)>C (core), C++ and others}}| language = | language count = 100+ | language footnote = Over-the-air update>Over-the-airAndroid application package>APK {{small|(primarily through Google Play; installation of APKs also possible locally or from alternative sources such as F-Droid)}}32-bit>32- and 64-bit computing ARM architecture>ARM, x86 and x86-64 Monolithic kernel>MonolithicBionic (software)>Bionic libc, mksh shell, Toybox as core utilities (beginning with Android 6.0) Graphical user interface>Graphical (multi-touch)Apache License 2.0|GNU GPL v2 for the Linux kernel modifications}}weblink}}| other articles = Android version history}}Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. It is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, and is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, Google has developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Wear OS for wrist watches, each with a specialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on game consoles, digital cameras, PCs and other electronics.Initially developed by Android Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007, with the first commercial Android device launched in September 2008. The current stable version is Android 9 "Pie", released in August 2018. Google released the first beta of the next release, Android Q, on Pixel phones in March 2019. The core Android source code is known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is primarily licensed under the Apache License.Android is also associated with a suite of proprietary software developed by Google, called Google Mobile Services (GMS),WEB,weblink Android – Google Mobile Services, Android, en-US, While the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) provides common, device-level functionalities such as email and calling, GMS is not part of AOSP. GMS is only available through a license with Google [..] We ask GMS partners to pass a simple compatibility test and adhere to our compatibility requirements for their Android devices., October 21, 2018, that frequently comes pre-installed on devices. This includes core apps such as Gmail, the application store/digital distribution platform Google Play and associated Google Play Services development platform, and usually includes the Google Chrome web browser and Google Search app. These apps are licensed by manufacturers of Android devices certified under standards imposed by Google, but AOSP has been used as the basis of competing Android ecosystems such as's Fire OS, which use their own equivalents to Google Mobile Services.Android has been the best-selling OS worldwide on smartphones since 2011 and on tablets since 2013. {{As of|2017|5}}, it has over two billion monthly active users, the largest installed base of any operating system, and {{as of|2018|12|lc=y}}, the Google Play store features over 2.6 million apps.WEB,weblink Number of available applications in the Google Play Store from December 2009 to December 2018, Statista, en, January 26, 2019,


{{See also|Android version history}}(File:Android logo (2007-2014).svg|thumb|Old Android logotype (2007-2014))Android Inc. was founded in Palo Alto, California, in October 2003 by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White.WEB, Google's Android OS: Past, Present, and Future,weblink PhoneArena, August 18, 2011, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Ben, Elgin, Google Buys Android for Its Mobile Arsenal,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg L.P., August 17, 2005, February 5, 2011, March 12, 2017, Rubin described the Android project as "tremendous potential in developing smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner's location and preferences". The early intentions of the company were to develop an advanced operating system for digital cameras, and this was the basis of its pitch to investors in April 2004.WEB, Jay, Alabaster, Android founder: We aimed to make a camera OS,weblink PC World, International Data Group, April 16, 2013, May 9, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 10, 2017, The company then decided that the market for cameras was not large enough for its goals, and by five months later it had diverted its efforts and was pitching Android as a handset operating system that would rival Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile.WEB, Chris, Welch, Before it took over smartphones, Android was originally destined for cameras,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, April 16, 2013, May 9, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 29, 2017, Rubin had difficulty attracting investors early on, and Android was facing eviction from its office space. Steve Perlman, a close friend of Rubin, brought him $10,000 in cash in an envelope, and shortly thereafter wired an undisclosed amount as seed funding. Perlman refused a stake in the company, and has stated "I did it because I believed in the thing, and I wanted to help Andy."WEB, Lisa, Eadicicco, THE RISE OF ANDROID: How a flailing startup became the world's biggest computing platform,weblink Business Insider, Axel Springer SE, March 27, 2015, May 9, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 20, 2017, WEB, Ashlee, Vance, Steve Perlman's Wireless Fix,weblink Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg L.P., July 29, 2011, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 19, 2017, In July 2005, Google acquired Android Inc. for at least $50 million.WEB, Farhad, Manjoo, A Murky Road Ahead for Android, Despite Market Dominance,weblink The New York Times, May 27, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink July 6, 2017, Its key employees, including Rubin, Miner and White, joined Google as part of the acquisition. Not much was known about the secretive Android at the time, with the company having provided few details other than that it was making software for mobile phones. At Google, the team led by Rubin developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel. Google marketed the platform to handset makers and carriers on the promise of providing a flexible, upgradeable system.WEB, Ryan, Block, Google is working on a mobile OS, and it's due out shortly,weblink Engadget, AOL, August 28, 2007, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, Google had "lined up a series of hardware components and software partners and signaled to carriers that it was open to various degrees of cooperation".{{attribution needed|date=April 2018}}WEB, Amol, Sharma, Kevin J., Delaney, Google Pushes Tailored Phones To Win Lucrative Ad Market,weblink The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, August 2, 2007, July 24, 2017, no,weblink July 29, 2017, Speculation about Google's intention to enter the mobile communications market continued to build through December 2006.NEWS, McKay, Martha,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, February 5, 2013, Can iPhone become your phone?; Linksys introduces versatile line for cordless service, The Record (Bergen County), L9, December 21, 2006, February 21, 2012, And don't hold your breath, but the same cell phone-obsessed tech watchers say it won't be long before Google jumps headfirst into the phone biz. Phone, anyone?, An early prototype had a close resemblance to a BlackBerry phone, with no touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard, but the arrival of 2007's Apple iPhone meant that Android "had to go back to the drawing board".WEB, Daniel, Ionescu, Original Android Prototype Revealed During Google, Oracle Trial,weblink PC World, International Data Group, April 26, 2012, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 11, 2017, WEB, Chris, Ziegler, This was the original 'Google Phone' presented in 2006,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, April 25, 2012, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 25, 2017, Google later changed its Android specification documents to state that "Touchscreens will be supported", although "the Product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption, therefore a touchscreen cannot completely replace physical buttons".WEB, Chris, Ziegler, Google in 2007: 'a touchscreen cannot completely replace physical buttons',weblink The Verge, Vox Media, April 25, 2012, March 12, 2017, no,weblink June 23, 2017, By 2008, both Nokia and BlackBerry announced touch-based smartphones to rival the iPhone 3G, and Android's focus eventually switched to just touchscreens. The first commercially available smartphone running Android was the HTC Dream, also known as T-Mobile G1, announced on September 23, 2008.WEB, Doug, Aamoth, T-Mobile officially announces the G1 Android phone,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, September 23, 2008, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Richard, Gao, Android and its first purchasable product, the T-Mobile G1, celebrate their 8th birthdays today,weblink Android Police, September 23, 2016, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, File:HTC Android T-Mobile G1.jpg|thumb|left|200px|HTC DreamHTC DreamOn November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of technology companies including Google, device manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung, wireless carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile, and chipset makers such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, unveiled itself, with a goal to develop "the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices".WEB, Industry Leaders Announce Open Platform for Mobile Devices,weblink Open Handset Alliance, November 5, 2007, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 2, 2012, WEB, Erick, Schonfeld, Breaking: Google Announces Android and Open Handset Alliance,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, November 5, 2007, March 12, 2017, no,weblink June 22, 2017, WEB, Andy, Rubin, Where's my Gphone?,weblink Official Google Blog, Google, November 5, 2007, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, Within a year, the Open Handset Alliance faced two other open source competitors, the Symbian Foundation and the LiMo Foundation, the latter also developing a Linux-based mobile operating system like Google. In September 2007, InformationWeek covered an Evalueserve study reporting that Google had filed several patent applications in the area of mobile telephony.NEWS,weblink Google's Secret Patent Portfolio Predicts gPhone, Claburn, Thomas, InformationWeek, September 19, 2007, March 12, 2017, yes,weblink" title="">weblink March 17, 2008, WEB, James Quintana, Pearce, Google’s Strong Mobile-Related Patent Portfolio,weblink Gigaom, Knowingly, Corp., September 20, 2007, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, Since 2008, Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding new features and fixing bugs in previous releases. Each major release is named in alphabetical order after a dessert or sugary treat, with the first few Android versions being called "Cupcake", "Donut", "Eclair", and "Froyo", in that order. During its announcement of Android KitKat in 2013, Google explained that "Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert", although a Google spokesperson told CNN in an interview that "It's kind of like an internal team thing, and we prefer to be a little bit — how should I say — a bit inscrutable in the matter, I'll say".WEB, Murali K., Menon, Android Nougat: Here’s why Google names the OS after sweets,weblink The Indian Express, Indian Express Limited, July 3, 2016, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, In 2010, Google launched its Nexus series of devices, a lineup in which Google partnered with different device manufacturers to produce new devices and introduce new Android versions. The series was described as having "played a pivotal role in Android's history by introducing new software iterations and hardware standards across the board", and became known for its "bloat-free" software with "timely ... updates".WEB, Florence, Ion, From Nexus One to Nexus 10: a brief history of Google’s flagship devices,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, May 15, 2013, March 12, 2017, no,weblink June 24, 2017, At its developer conference in May 2013, Google announced a special version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, where, instead of using Samsung's own Android customization, the phone ran "stock Android" and was promised to receive new system updates fast.WEB, Sean, Hollister, Google turns the Samsung Galaxy S4 into a Nexus phone, coming June 26th for $649,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, May 15, 2013, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 26, 2016, The device would become the start of the Google Play edition program, and was followed by other devices, including the HTC One Google Play edition,WEB, Andrew, Cunningham, Review: The HTC One Google Play edition offers the best of both worlds,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, July 4, 2013, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, and Moto G Google Play edition.WEB, Andrew, Cunningham, Moto G Google Play edition replaces near-stock Android with stock Android,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, January 14, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, In 2015, Ars Technica wrote that "Earlier this week, the last of the Google Play edition Android phones in Google's online storefront were listed as "no longer available for sale" and that "Now they're all gone, and it looks a whole lot like the program has wrapped up".WEB, Andrew, Cunningham, Don’t cry for the Google Play edition program; it was already dead,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, January 25, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Chris, Chavez, Google kills off the last remaining Google Play Edition device in the Play Store,weblink Phandroid, January 21, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 29, 2016, File:A Press Conference for the Launch of Nexus 7 on September 27, 2012 in Seoul from acrofan 3.JPG|thumb|Eric Schmidt, Andy Rubin and Hugo BarraHugo BarraFrom 2008 to 2013, Hugo Barra served as product spokesperson, representing Android at press conferences and Google I/O, Google's annual developer-focused conference. He left Google in August 2013 to join Chinese phone maker Xiaomi.WEB, Mat, Smith, Android VP Hugo Barra leaves Google, joins Chinese phone maker Xiaomi (updated),weblink Engadget, AOL, August 28, 2013, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Egan, Orion, Google's Android VP Hugo Barra joins Chinese phone maker Xiaomi,weblink The Inquirer, Incisive Media, August 28, 2013, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, Less than six months earlier, Google's then-CEO Larry Page announced in a blog post that Andy Rubin had moved from the Android division to take on new projects at Google, and that Sundar Pichai would become the new Android lead.WEB, Larry, Page, Update from the CEO,weblink Official Google Blog, Google, March 13, 2013, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Charles, Arthur, Andy Rubin moved from Android to take on 'moonshots' at Google,weblink The Guardian, Guardian Media Group, March 13, 2013, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, Pichai himself would eventually switch positions, becoming the new CEO of Google in August 2015 following the company's restructure into the Alphabet conglomerate,WEB, Russell, Brandom, Google is reorganizing and Sundar Pichai will become new CEO,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, August 10, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Jessica, Conditt, Google gets an overhaul and a new CEO: Sundar Pichai,weblink Engadget, AOL, August 10, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, making Hiroshi Lockheimer the new head of Android.WEB, Mark, Bergen, New Google CEO Sundar Pichai Makes First Major Executive Picks,weblink Recode, Vox Media, October 9, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 14, 2017, WEB, Andrew, Martonik, Sundar Pichai promotes Hiroshi Lockheimer to oversee Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, October 9, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 23, 2017, In June 2014, Google announced Android One, a set of "hardware reference models" that would "allow [device makers] to easily create high-quality phones at low costs", designed for consumers in developing countries.WEB, Jacob, Kastrenakes, Android One will help manufacturers build low-cost phones for developing markets,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, June 25, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Dan, Seifert, With Android One, Google is poised to own the entire world,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, June 26, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Ben, Woods, Google announces ‘Android One’ standard for affordable devices, arriving first in India at under $100,weblink The Next Web, June 25, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, In September, Google announced the first set of Android One phones for release in India.WEB, Sundar, Pichai, For the next five billion: Android One,weblink Official Google Blog, Google, September 15, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Android One smartphones released in India,weblink BBC News, September 15, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, However, Recode reported in June 2015 that the project was "a disappointment", citing "reluctant consumers and manufacturing partners" and "misfires from the search company that has never quite cracked hardware".WEB, Mark, Bergen, Beset With Failures, Google Tries to Breathe New Life Into Android One,weblink Recode, Vox Media, June 11, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, Plans to relaunch Android One surfaced in August 2015,WEB, Dante, D'Orazio, Google will take another shot at low-cost Android One initiative,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, August 9, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, with Africa announced as the next location for the program a week later.WEB, Natasha, Lomas, Google Pushes Android One To Africa,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, August 18, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Daniel, Cooper, Google brings Android One devices to Africa,weblink Engadget, AOL, August 18, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, A report from The Information in January 2017 stated that Google is expanding its low-cost Android One program into the United States, although The Verge notes that the company will presumably not produce the actual devices itself.WEB, Amir, Efrati, Google’s New Stab at Boosting Android Brand in U.S.,weblink The Information, January 17, 2017, November 9, 2017, no,weblink November 1, 2017, {{subscription required}}WEB, Dieter, Bohn, Low-cost Android One phones reportedly coming to the US,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, January 17, 2017, November 9, 2017, no,weblink November 3, 2017, Google introduced the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones in October 2016, marketed as being the first phones made by Google,WEB, Vlad, Savov, Pixel ‘phone by Google’ announced,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, October 4, 2016, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 5, 2016, WEB, Richard, Lawler, Google's Pixel phones make their debut,weblink Engadget, AOL, October 4, 2016, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, and exclusively featured certain software features, such as the Google Assistant, before wider rollout.WEB, Dan, Seifert, Google's new Pixel phones come with Android 7.1 Nougat,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, October 4, 2016, March 13, 2017, no,weblink May 11, 2017, WEB, Alfred, Ng, Pixel won't share Google Assistant with other Android phones,weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, October 6, 2016, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, The Pixel phones replaced the Nexus series,WEB, Dieter, Bohn, The Google Phone,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 6, 2017, with a new generation of Pixel phones launched in October 2017.WEB, Jacob, Kastrenakes, Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL announced with water resistance, ‘dual-pixel’ camera, and always-on display,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, October 4, 2017, October 12, 2017, no,weblink October 11, 2017,


{{See also|List of features in Android}}


Android's default user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions, like swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard.WEB, Touch Devices,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Android Open Source Project, Google, January 25, 2012, March 12, 2017, Game controllers and full-size physical keyboards are supported via Bluetooth or USB.WEB, Handling Controller Actions,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, WEB, Handling Keyboard Input,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, The response to user input is designed to be immediate and provides a fluid touch interface, often using the vibration capabilities of the device to provide haptic feedback to the user. Internal hardware, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and proximity sensors are used by some applications to respond to additional user actions, for example adjusting the screen from portrait to landscape depending on how the device is oriented,WEB, Sensors Overview,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink February 16, 2017, or allowing the user to steer a vehicle in a racing game by rotating the device, simulating control of a steering wheel.WEB, Chris, Chavez, Real Racing 2 Speeds Into The Android Market – Leaves Part 1 In The Dust,weblink Phandroid, December 22, 2011, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 19, 2017, Android devices boot to the homescreen, the primary navigation and information "hub" on Android devices, analogous to the desktop found on personal computers. Android homescreens are typically made up of app icons and widgets; app icons launch the associated app, whereas widgets display live, auto-updating content, such as a weather forecast, the user's email inbox, or a news ticker directly on the homescreen.WEB, Widgets,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, A homescreen may be made up of several pages, between which the user can swipe back and forth. Third-party apps available on Google Play and other app stores can extensively re-theme the homescreen,WEB, Joe, Hindy, 15 best Android launcher apps of 2017,weblink Android Authority, February 4, 2017, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 1, 2017, and even mimic the look of other operating systems, such as Windows Phone.WEB, Whitson, Gordon, Launcher 7 Brings Windows Phone's Simple, Attractive Interface to Android,weblink Lifehacker, Univision Communications, May 20, 2011, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 8, 2017, Most manufacturers customize the look and features of their Android devices to differentiate themselves from their competitors.WEB, Daniel A., Begun, Looking at the Android operating system,weblink For Dummies, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 12, 2017, Along the top of the screen is a status bar, showing information about the device and its connectivity. This status bar can be "pulled" down to reveal a notification screen where apps display important information or updates.WEB, Phones & Tablets,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 31, 2017, Notifications are "short, timely, and relevant information about your app when it's not in use", and when tapped, users are directed to a screen inside the app relating to the notification.WEB, Notifications,weblink Material Design, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 22, 2017, Beginning with Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean", "expandable notifications" allow the user to tap an icon on the notification in order for it to expand and display more information and possible app actions right from the notification.WEB, Notifications,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Android Developers, Google, December 8, 2012, March 12, 2017, An All Apps screen lists all installed applications, with the ability for users to drag an app from the list onto the home screen. A Recents screen lets users switch between recently used apps.


{{See also|Android software development|Google Play}}Applications ("apps"), which extend the functionality of devices, are written using the Android software development kit (SDK)WEB, Alex, Mullis, How to install the Android SDK (Software Development Kit),weblink Android Authority, November 21, 2016, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 3, 2017, and, often, the Java programming language.WEB, Introduction to Android,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 21, 2017, Java may be combined with C/C++,WEB, Android NDK Native APIs,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, together with a choice of non-default runtimes that allow better C++ support.WEB, C++ Library Support,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, The Go programming language is also supported, although with a limited set of application programming interfaces (API).WEB, package app,weblink GoDoc, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 29, 2017, In May 2017, Google announced support for Android app development in the Kotlin programming language.WEB, Paul, Miller, Google is adding Kotlin as an official programming language for Android development,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, May 17, 2017, May 22, 2017, no,weblink May 17, 2017, WEB, Frederic, Lardinois, Google makes Kotlin a first-class language for writing Android apps,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, May 17, 2017, May 22, 2017, no,weblink May 22, 2017, The SDK includes a comprehensive set of development tools,WEB,weblink Tools Overview, Android Developers, July 21, 2009, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 13, 2012, mdy-all, including a debugger, software libraries, a handset emulator based on QEMU, documentation, sample code, and tutorials. Initially, Google's supported integrated development environment (IDE) was Eclipse using the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin; in December 2014, Google released Android Studio, based on IntelliJ IDEA, as its primary IDE for Android application development. Other development tools are available, including a native development kit (NDK) for applications or extensions in C or C++, Google App Inventor, a visual environment for novice programmers, and various cross platform mobile web applications frameworks. In January 2014, Google unveiled an framework based on Apache Cordova for porting Chrome HTML 5 web applications to Android, wrapped in a native application shell.WEB, Kwame, Opam, Chrome Apps are coming to iOS and Android,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, January 28, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2017, Android has a growing selection of third-party applications, which can be acquired by users by downloading and installing the application's APK (Android application package) file, or by downloading them using an application store program that allows users to install, update, and remove applications from their devices. Google Play Store is the primary application store installed on Android devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements and license the Google Mobile Services software.WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, October 21, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 10, 2017, Google Play Store allows users to browse, download and update applications published by Google and third-party developers; {{As of|lc=y|2013|7}}, there are more than one million applications available for Android in Play Store.WEB,weblink Google Play Hits 1 Million Apps, July 24, 2013, January 2, 2014, Mashable, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 2, 2014, {{As of|2013|7}}, 50 billion applications have been installed.WEB, Warren, Christina, Google Play Hits 1 Million Apps,weblink Mashable, June 4, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 30, 2014, WEB,weblink Android Compatibility, Android Developers, November 16, 2013, Google, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 17, 2013, mdy-all, Some carriers offer direct carrier billing for Google Play application purchases, where the cost of the application is added to the user's monthly bill.WEB,weblink Android Developers Blog: New Carrier Billing Options on Android Market, Chu, Eric,, April 13, 2011, May 15, 2011, no,weblink June 28, 2011, {{as of|2017|May|}}, there are over one billion active users a month for Gmail, Android, Chrome, Google Play and Maps.Due to the open nature of Android, a number of third-party application marketplaces also exist for Android, either to provide a substitute for devices that are not allowed to ship with Google Play Store, provide applications that cannot be offered on Google Play Store due to policy violations, or for other reasons. Examples of these third-party stores have included the Amazon Appstore, GetJar, and SlideMe. F-Droid, another alternative marketplace, seeks to only provide applications that are distributed under free and open source licenses.NEWS,weblink Independent App Stores Take On Google's Android Market, June 11, 2010, Priya, Ganapati, Wired News, February 20, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 23, 2012, WEB, Ron, Amadeo, The great Ars experiment—free and open source software on a smartphone?!,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, July 29, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, WEB, Lee, Hutchinson, Google evicts ad-blocking software from Google Play store,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, March 14, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink February 10, 2017,

Memory management

Since Android devices are usually battery-powered, Android is designed to manage processes to keep power consumption at a minimum. When an application is not in use the system suspends its operation so that, while available for immediate use rather than closed, it does not use battery power or CPU resources.WEB,weblink The truth about Android task killers and why you don't need them, PhoneDog, June 26, 2011, October 30, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 23, 2012, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Lesson 3: Android Application's Life Cycle, September 9, 2013, April 15, 2014, February 22, 2014, Victor Matos, Cleveland State University,, PDF, Android manages the applications stored in memory automatically: when memory is low, the system will begin invisibly and automatically closing inactive processes, starting with those that have been inactive for the longest amount of time.WEB,weblink Android PSA: Stop Using Task Killer Apps,, June 16, 2011, October 30, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 17, 2013, BOOK,weblink Professional Android 4 Application Development, Reto Meier, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, 978-1-118-23722-9, no,weblink January 21, 2016, Lifehacker reported in 2011 that third-party task killer applications were doing more harm than good.WEB,weblink Updates,, November 2, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 5, 2012,


{{See also|Android hardware requirements}}The main hardware platform for Android is ARM (the ARMv7 and ARMv8-A architectures), with x86 and x86-64 architectures also officially supported in later versions of Android.WEB, Android Lollipop,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 11, 2017, no,weblink January 30, 2017, WEB, Support for 64-bit x86,weblink Android Developers, Google, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 6, 2017, WEB, Mark, LaPedus, Update: MIPS gets sweet with Honeycomb,weblink EE Times, AspenCore Media, April 26, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 14, 2017, WEB, NDK Revision History,weblink Android Developers, Google, July 17, 2018, The unofficial Android-x86 project provided support for x86 architectures ahead of the official support.WEB,weblink Google's Android 4.0 ported to x86 processors, Shah, Agam, December 1, 2011, Computerworld, International Data Group, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 24, 2012, WEB,weblink Android on Intel Architecture,, July 11, 2013, February 9, 2014, no,weblink February 9, 2014, The ARMv5TE and MIPS32/64 architectures were also historically supported but removed in later Android releases.WEB, ABI Management,weblink Android Developers, Google, July 17, 2018, Since 2012, Android devices with Intel processors began to appear, including phonesWEB,weblink Orange San Diego Intel Android mobile phone review, Warman, Matt, June 7, 2012, The Daily Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group Limited, June 19, 2013, and tablets. While gaining support for 64-bit platforms, Android was first made to run on 64-bit x86 and then on ARM64. Since Android 5.0 "Lollipop", 64-bit variants of all platforms are supported in addition to the 32-bit variants.Requirements for the minimum amount of RAM for devices running Android 7.1 range from in practice 2 GB for best hardware, down to 1 GB for the most common screen, to absolute minimum 512 MB for the lowest spec 32-bit smartphone. The recommendation for Android 4.4 is to have at least 512 MB of RAM,WEB, Android KitKat,weblink Android Developers Portal, November 16, 2013,, no,weblink October 31, 2013, while for "low RAM" devices 340 MB is the required minimum amount that does not include memory dedicated to various hardware components such as the baseband processor.BOOK, Android Compatibility Definition Document, Google, November 27, 2013, 4.4, PDF, 33, 7.6.1,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink March 4, 2014, Android 4.4 requires a 32-bit ARMv7, MIPS or x86 architecture processor (latter two through unofficial ports), together with an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible graphics processing unit (GPU).WEB
, Android Developers: Graphics
, November 15, 2013
, no
,weblink" title="">weblink
, October 10, 2014
, mdy-all
, Android supports OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and as of latest major version, 3.2 and since Android 7.0 Vulkan (and version 1.1 available for some devicesNEWS,weblink Vulkan on Android, Vulkan 1.1 is available as a Developer Preview OTA for the NVIDIA SHIELD TV., February 10, 2016, NVIDIA Developer, March 21, 2018, en, no,weblink January 23, 2018, ). Some applications may explicitly require a certain version of the OpenGL ES, and suitable GPU hardware is required to run such applications.Android devices incorporate many optional hardware components, including still or video cameras, GPS, orientation sensors, dedicated gaming controls, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers, proximity sensors, pressure sensors, thermometers, and touchscreens. Some hardware components are not required, but became standard in certain classes of devices, such as smartphones, and additional requirements apply if they are present. Some other hardware was initially required, but those requirements have been relaxed or eliminated altogether. For example, as Android was developed initially as a phone OS, hardware such as microphones were required, while over time the phone function became optional. Android used to require an autofocus camera, which was relaxed to a fixed-focus camera if present at all, since the camera was dropped as a requirement entirely when Android started to be used on set-top boxes.In addition to running on smartphones and tablets, several vendors run Android natively on regular PC hardware with a keyboard and mouse.WEB,weblink Lenovo N308 Desktop specs, PCWorld, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 28, 2014, WEB,weblink Remix OS for PC,weblink" title="">weblink September 27, 2017, no, September 22, 2017, Now powered by Android Marshmallow., WEB,weblink Three Android all-in-one PCs reviewed, Michael Brown, May 8, 2014, PCWorld, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 28, 2014, WEB,weblink Acer TA272 HUL Android All-in-One Review, Shawn Knight, TechSpot, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 28, 2014, In addition to their availability on commercially available hardware, similar PC hardware-friendly versions of Android are freely available from the Android-x86 project, including customized Android 4.4.WEB,weblink ReleaseNote 4.4-r1 – Android-x86 – Porting Android to x86, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 28, 2014, Using the Android emulator that is part of the Android SDK, or third-party emulators, Android can also run non-natively on x86 architectures.WEB,weblink 4 Ways to Run Android on Your PC and Make Your Own "Dual OS" System,, January 13, 2014, April 7, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 7, 2014, WEB, Brad Chacos,weblink Hybrid hijinks: How to install Android on your PC, PCWorld, September 6, 2013, April 7, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 7, 2014, Chinese companies are building a PC and mobile operating system, based on Android, to "compete directly with Microsoft Windows and Google Android".WEB,weblink China ditching Windows and Android for its own operating system, Jose Pagliery, August 25, 2014, CNNMoney, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 28, 2014, The Chinese Academy of Engineering noted that "more than a dozen" companies were customising Android following a Chinese ban on the use of Windows 8 on government PCs.WEB,weblink BBC News – China plans new PC operating system in October, BBC News, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 12, 2014, WEB,weblink China Criticizes Android's Dominance, Paul Mozur, March 5, 2013, WSJ, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 29, 2015, WEB,weblink China targets own operating system to take on likes of Microsoft, Google, Reuters, November 1, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 28, 2014,


(File:Android open source project.png|thumb|150px|The stack of Android Open Source Project)Android is developed by Google until the latest changes and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is made available to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP),WEB, Welcome to the Android Open Source Project!,weblink Android Source, Google, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 12, 2017, an open source initiative led by Google.WEB,weblink Android Open Source Project, December 22, 2017, no,weblink December 22, 2017, The AOSP code can be found without modification on select devices, mainly the Nexus and Pixel series of devices.WEB, Lynn, La, Brian, Bennett, Powerful, pure Android handsets (roundup),weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, November 14, 2014, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 14, 2017, The source code is, in turn, customized and adapted by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to run on their hardware.WEB, Richard, Lawler, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean source code now available,weblink Engadget, AOL, July 9, 2012, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 14, 2017, WEB, John, McCann, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean source code released,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink TechRadar, Future plc, July 10, 2012, July 13, 2012, March 13, 2017, Also, Android's source code does not contain the often proprietary device drivers that are needed for certain hardware components.WEB, Building for devices,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Android Open Source Project, Google, January 7, 2012, March 13, 2017, yes, As a result, most Android devices, including Google's own, ultimately ship with a combination of free and open source and proprietary software, with the software required for accessing Google services falling into the latter category.

Update schedule

{{See also|Android version history}}Google announces major incremental upgrades to Android on a yearly basis.WEB, Peter, K., We'll get a major Android release every year from now on: Android M tomorrow, Android N in 2016,weblink PhoneArena, May 27, 2015, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, The updates can be installed on devices over-the-air.WEB, OTA Updates,weblink Android Source, Google, March 13, 2017, no,weblink December 25, 2016, The latest major release is 9 "Pie".Compared to its primary rival mobile operating system, Apple's iOS, Android updates typically reach various devices with significant delays. Except for devices within the Google Nexus and Pixel brands, updates often arrive months after the release of the new version, or not at all.WEB, Antonio, Villas-Boas, The latest Android delay is why I'm sticking to iPhone,weblink Business Insider, Axel Springer SE, September 14, 2016, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 14, 2017, This was partly due to the extensive variation in hardware in Android devices,WEB, Casey, Johnston, Android fragmentation: one developer encounters 3,997 devices,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, May 16, 2012, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 14, 2017, to which each upgrade must be specifically tailored, a time- and resource-consuming process.WEB, Alex, Dobie, Solving the impossible problem of Android updates,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, January 18, 2014, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 3, 2017, Manufacturers often prioritize their newest devices and leave old ones behind.WEB, Andrew, Cunningham, What happened to the Android Update Alliance?,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, June 28, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, Additional delays can be introduced by wireless carriers that, after receiving updates from manufacturers, further customize and brand Android to their needs and conduct extensive testing on their networks before sending the upgrade out to users.WEB, Chris, Hoffman, Why Do Carriers Delay Updates for Android But Not iPhone?,weblink How-To Keep, May 25, 2013, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, There are also situations in which upgrades are not possible due to one manufacturing partner not providing necessary updates to drivers.WEB, Andrew, Cunningham, Why isn’t your old phone getting Nougat? There’s blame enough to go around,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, August 31, 2016, April 3, 2017, no,weblink April 3, 2017, The extensive variation of hardware in Android devices causes significant delays for software upgrades, with new versions of the operating system and security patches typically taking months before reaching consumers, or sometimes not at all. The lack of after-sale support from manufacturers and carriers has been widely criticized by consumer groups and the technology media.WEB, Priya, Ganapati, New Phones Still Sold With Old Versions of Android,weblink Wired (website), Wired, Condé Nast, March 15, 2010, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 14, 2017, WEB, cwalters, Make Sure You Know Which Version Of Android Is On That Phone Before Buying It,weblink Consumerist, Consumer Reports, March 15, 2010, March 13, 2017, no,weblink June 14, 2017, WEB, Dan, Gillmor, Android's smartphone OS upgrade issues need more than a quick fix,weblink The Guardian, Guardian Media Group, October 28, 2012, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 14, 2017, Some commentators have noted that the industry has a financial incentive not to upgrade their devices, as the lack of updates for existing devices fuels the purchase of newer ones,WEB, John, Leyden, Security takes a backseat on Android in update shambles,weblink The Register, Situation Publishing, November 22, 2011, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 14, 2017, an attitude described as "insulting". The Guardian complained that the method of distribution for updates is complicated only because manufacturers and carriers have designed it that way. In 2011, Google partnered with a number of industry players to announce an "Android Update Alliance", pledging to deliver timely updates for every device for 18 months after its release; however, there has not been another official word about that alliance since its announcement.WEB, JR, Raphael, It's time to rethink the Android upgrade standard,weblink Computerworld, International Data Group, February 13, 2014, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 13, 2017, In 2012, Google began decoupling certain aspects of the operating system (particularly its core applications) so they could be updated through the Google Play store independently of the OS. One of those components, Google Play Services, is a closed-source system-level process providing APIs for Google services, installed automatically on nearly all devices running Android 2.2 "Froyo" and higher. With these changes, Google can add new system functionality through Play Services and update apps without having to distribute an upgrade to the operating system itself.WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Balky carriers and slow OEMs step aside: Google is defragging Android,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, September 3, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 3, 2013, As a result, Android 4.2 and 4.3 "Jelly Bean" contained relatively fewer user-facing changes, focusing more on minor changes and platform improvements.WEB, Andrew, Cunningham, Review: Android 4.3’s multitude of minor changes future-proofs the platform,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, August 9, 2013, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 14, 2017, In May 2016, Bloomberg reported that Google was making efforts to keep Android more up-to-date, including accelerated rates of security updates, rolling out technological workarounds, reducing requirements for phone testing, and ranking phone makers in an attempt to "shame" them into better behavior. As stated by Bloomberg: "As smartphones get more capable, complex and hackable, having the latest software work closely with the hardware is increasingly important". Hiroshi Lockheimer, the Android lead, admitted that "It's not an ideal situation", further commenting that the lack of updates is "the weakest link on security on Android". Wireless carriers were described in the report as the "most challenging discussions", due to carriers' slow approval time due to testing on their networks, despite some carriers, including Verizon and Sprint, having already shortened their respective approval times. HTC's then-executive Jason Mackenzie called monthly security updates "unrealistic" in 2015, and Google was trying to persuade carriers to exclude security patches from the full testing procedures. In a further effort for persuasion, Google shared a list of top phone makers measured by updated devices with its Android partners, and is considering making the list public. Mike Chan, co-founder of phone maker Nextbit and former Android developer, said that "The best way to solve this problem is a massive re-architecture of the operating system", "or Google could invest in training manufacturers and carriers "to be good Android citizens"".WEB, Jack, Clark, Scott, Moritz, Google Steps Up Pressure on Partners Tardy in Updating Android,weblink Bloomberg L.P., May 25, 2016, March 15, 2017, no,weblink March 30, 2017, WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Google’s making a list: Android OEMs to be ranked, shamed by update speed,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, May 26, 2016, March 15, 2017, no,weblink March 16, 2017, WEB, Abner, Li, Report: Google pressuring OEMs and carriers to speed up Android updates, security patches,weblink 9to5Google, May 25, 2016, March 15, 2017, no,weblink March 16, 2017, In May 2017, with the announcement of Android 8.0, Google introduced Project Treble, a major re-architect of the Android OS framework designed to make it easier, faster, and less costly for manufacturers to update devices to newer versions of Android. Project Treble separates the vendor implementation (device-specific, lower-level software written by silicon manufacturers) from the Android OS framework via a new "vendor interface". In Android 7.0 and earlier, no formal vendor interface exists, so device makers must update large portions of the Android code to move a device to a newer version of the operating system. With Treble, the new stable vendor interface provides access to the hardware-specific parts of Android, enabling device makers to deliver new Android releases simply by updating the Android OS framework, "without any additional work required from the silicon manufacturers."WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Google’s "Project Treble" solves one of Android’s many update roadblocks,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, May 12, 2017, November 10, 2017, no,weblink December 3, 2017, In September 2017, Google's Project Treble team revealed that, as part of their efforts to improve the security lifecycle of Android devices, Google had managed to get the Linux Foundation to agree to extend the support lifecycle of the Linux Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel branch from the 2 years that it has historically lasted to 6 years for future versions of the LTS kernel, starting with Linux kernel 4.4.WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Android users rejoice! Linux kernel LTS releases are now good for 6 years,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, September 29, 2017, November 10, 2017, no,weblink November 11, 2017,

Linux kernel

Android's kernel is based on the Linux kernel's long-term support (LTS) branches. {{as of|2018}}, Android targets versions 4.4, 4.9 or 4.14 of the Linux kernel.WEB, Modular Kernel Requirements,weblink Android Open Source ProjectGoogle >date=August 6, 2018 TITLE=WHAT IS A KERNEL? WEBSITE=ANDROID CENTRAL ACCESSDATE=JUNE 20, 2017 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20170527152852/HTTP://WWW.ANDROIDCENTRAL.COM/ANDROID-Z-WHAT-KERNEL, May 27, 2017, Android's variant of the Linux kernel has further architectural changes that are implemented by Google outside the typical Linux kernel development cycle, such as the inclusion of components like device trees, ashmem, ION, and different out of memory (OOM) handling.WEB, What Are The Major Changes That Android Made To The Linux Kernel?,weblink Forbes, May 13, 2013, June 20, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 4, 2017, WEB, LMG Upstreaming,weblink Linaro, December 5, 2016, no,weblink January 9, 2018, Certain features that Google contributed back to the Linux kernel, notably a power management feature called "wakelocks",WEB, Brian, Proffitt, Garrett's LinuxCon Talk Emphasizes Lessons Learned from Android/Kernel Saga,weblink LinuxCon, Linux Foundation, August 10, 2010, June 20, 2017, no,weblink June 29, 2017, were initially rejected by mainline kernel developers partly because they felt that Google did not show any intent to maintain its own code.WEB, David, Meyer, Linux developer explains Android kernel code removal,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, February 3, 2010, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 15, 2016, WEB, Greg, Kroah-Hartman, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Android and the Linux kernel community,weblink Linux kernel monkey log, December 9, 2010, June 20, 2017, Google announced in April 2010 that they would hire two employees to work with the Linux kernel community,WEB, Paula, Rooney, DiBona: Google will hire two Android coders to work with,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, April 15, 2010, June 17, 2010, March 11, 2017, but Greg Kroah-Hartman, the current Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, said in December 2010 that he was concerned that Google was no longer trying to get their code changes included in mainstream Linux. Google engineer Patrick Brady once stated in the company's developer conference that "Android is not Linux",WEB, Ryan, Paul, Dream(sheep++): A developer’s introduction to Google Android,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, February 24, 2009, June 20, 2017, no,weblink July 4, 2017, with Computerworld adding that "Let me make it simple for you, without Linux, there is no Android".WEB, Steven J., Vaughan-Nichols, Android/Linux kernel fight continues,weblink Computerworld, International Data Group, September 7, 2010, June 20, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 14, 2017, Ars Technica wrote that "Although Android is built on top of the Linux kernel, the platform has very little in common with the conventional desktop Linux stack".In August 2011, Linus Torvalds said that "eventually Android and Linux would come back to a common kernel, but it will probably not be for four to five years".WEB, Steven J., Vaughan-Nichols, Linus Torvalds on Android, the Linux fork,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, August 18, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 18, 2017, In December 2011, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the start of Android Mainlining Project, which aims to put some Android drivers, patches and features back into the Linux kernel, starting in Linux 3.3.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink December 8, 2013, Android drivers to be included in Linux 3.3 kernel, Chris von Eitzen,, December 23, 2011, February 15, 2012, Linux included the autosleep and wakelocks capabilities in the 3.5 kernel, after many previous attempts at merger. The interfaces are the same but the upstream Linux implementation allows for two different suspend modes: to memory (the traditional suspend that Android uses), and to disk (hibernate, as it is known on the desktop).WEB, Jonathan, Corbet, Autosleep and wakelocks,weblink LWN, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 26, 2012, Google maintains a public code repository that contains their experimental work to re-base Android off the latest stable Linux versions.WEB,weblink Google Working On Android Based On Linux 3.8, February 28, 2013, February 28, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 2, 2013, WEB,weblink Google working on experimental Linux Kernel 3.10 for Android,, September 3, 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 27, 2013, The flash storage on Android devices is split into several partitions, such as /system for the operating system itself, and /data for user data and application installations.WEB, Raja, Haroon Q.,weblink Android Partitions Explained: boot, system, recovery, data, cache & misc,, May 19, 2011, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 22, 2012, In contrast to desktop Linux distributions, Android device owners are not given root access to the operating system and sensitive partitions such as /system are read-only. However, root access can be obtained by exploiting security flaws in Android, which is used frequently by the open-source community to enhance the capabilities of their devices,See rooting but also by malicious parties to install viruses and malware.WEB, Jools Whitehorn ,weblink Android malware gives itself root access | News, TechRadar, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 1, 2012, Android is a Linux distribution according to the Linux Foundation,WEB,weblink What a Year for Linux: Please Join us in Celebration, Amanda, McPherson, Linux Foundation, December 13, 2012, April 16, 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 17, 2014, Google's open-source chief Chris DiBona,WEB,weblink Google: "Android is the Linux desktop dream come true", Andreas, Proschofsky,, July 10, 2011, March 14, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 22, 2013, and several journalists.WEB, Jerry, Hildenbrand, Ask AC: Is Android Linux?,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, November 8, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 8, 2017, WEB,weblink Is Android really a Linux distribution?, Jim, Lynch, ITworld, August 20, 2013, April 17, 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink February 5, 2014, Others, such as Google engineer Patrick Brady, say that Android is not Linux in the traditional Unix-like Linux distribution sense; Android does not include the GNU C Library (it uses Bionic as an alternative C library) and some of other components typically found in Linux distributions.WEB, Ryan, Paul, Dream(sheep++): A developer’s introduction to Google Android,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, February 24, 2009, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, With the release of Android Oreo in 2017, Google began to require that devices shipped with new SoCs had Linux kernel version 4.4 or newer, for security reasons. Existing devices upgraded to Oreo, and new products launched with older SoCs, were exempt from this rule.WEB, Doug, Lynch, Google is Mandating Linux Kernel Versions in Android Oreo,weblink XDA Developers, September 2, 2017, November 9, 2017, no,weblink September 4, 2017, WEB, Mark, Wycislik-Wilson, With Android Oreo, Google is introducing Linux kernel requirements,weblink BetaNews, eFront, September 3, 2017, November 9, 2017, no,weblink November 7, 2017,

Software stack

(File:Android-System-Architecture.svg|thumb|right|250px|Android's architecture diagram)On top of the Linux kernel, there are the middleware, libraries and APIs written in C, and application software running on an application framework which includes Java-compatible libraries. Development of the Linux kernel continues independently of Android's other source code projects.Android uses Android Runtime (ART) as its runtime environment (introduced in version 4.4), which uses ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation to entirely compile the application bytecode into machine code upon the installation of an application. In Android 4.4, ART was an experimental feature and not enabled by default; it became the only runtime option in the next major version of Android, 5.0.WEB
, Meet ART, Part 1: The New Super-Fast Android Runtime Google Has Been Working On In Secret For Over 2 Years Debuts In KitKat
, Cody
, Toombs
, Android Police
, November 6, 2013
, April 27, 2014
, no
,weblink" title="">weblink
, May 13, 2014
, mdy-all
, In versions no longer supported, until version 5.0 when ART took over, Android previously used Dalvik as a process virtual machine with trace-based just-in-time (JIT) compilation to run Dalvik "dex-code" (Dalvik Executable), which is usually translated from the Java bytecode. Following the trace-based JIT principle, in addition to interpreting the majority of application code, Dalvik performs the compilation and native execution of select frequently executed code segments ("traces") each time an application is launched.WEB
, A JIT Compiler for Android's Dalvik VM
, May 2010
, March 18, 2015
, Ben Cheng
, Bill Buzbee
, Google
, 5–14
, yes
,weblink" title="">weblink
, November 6, 2015
, mdy-all
, WEB, Phil, Nickinson, Google Android developer explains more about Dalvik and the JIT in Froyo,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, May 26, 2010, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 8, 2017, WEB, Ed, Burnette, Patrick Brady dissects Android,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, June 4, 2008, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink July 5, 2017, For its Java library, the Android platform uses a subset of the now discontinued Apache Harmony project. In December 2015, Google announced that the next version of Android would switch to a Java implementation based on the OpenJDK project.WEB, Google confirms next Android version won’t implement Oracle’s proprietary Java APIs,weblink VentureBeat, December 30, 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 30, 2015, Android's standard C library, Bionic, was developed by Google specifically for Android, as a derivation of the BSD's standard C library code. Bionic itself has been designed with several major features specific to the Linux kernel. The main benefits of using Bionic instead of the GNU C Library (glibc) or uClibc are its smaller runtime footprint, and optimization for low-frequency CPUs. At the same time, Bionic is licensed under the terms of the BSD licence, which Google finds more suitable for the Android's overall licensing model.Aiming for a different licensing model, toward the end of 2012, Google switched the Bluetooth stack in Android from the GPL-licensed BlueZ to the Apache-licensed BlueDroid.WEB,weblink Returning BlueZ to Android, May 6, 2014,, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 25, 2014, Android does not have a native X Window System by default, nor does it support the full set of standard GNU libraries. This made it difficult to port existing Linux applications or libraries to Android, until version r5 of the Android Native Development Kit brought support for applications written completely in C or C++.WEB
, Gingerbread NDK Awesomeness
, Chris
, Pruett
, Android Developers Blog
, Google, Inc.
, January 11, 2011
, April 22, 2014
, no
,weblink" title="">weblink
, February 19, 2014
, mdy-all
, Libraries written in C may also be used in applications by injection of a small shim and usage of the JNI.WEB,weblink Simple DirectMedia Layer for AndroidSimple DirectMedia Layer>SDL, August 12, 2012,weblink" title="">weblink June 4, 2012, In current versions of Android, "Toybox", a collection of command-line utilities (mostly for use by apps, as Android doesn't provide a command-line interface by default), is used (since the release of Marshmallow) replacing a similar "Toolbox" collection found in previous Android versions.Android gets a toybox {{webarchive|url= |date=March 4, 2016 }} on by Jake Edge (January 14, 2015)Android has another operating system, Trusty OS, within it, as a part of "Trusty" "software components supporting a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) on mobile devices." "Trusty and the Trusty API are subject to change. [..] Applications for the Trusty OS can be written in C/C++ (C++ support is limited), and they have access to a small C library. [..] All Trusty applications are single-threaded; multithreading in Trusty userspace currently is unsupported. [..] Third-party application development is not supported in" the current version, and software running on the OS and processor for it, run the "DRM framework for protected content. [..] There are many other uses for a TEE such as mobile payments, secure banking, full-disk encryption, multi-factor authentication, device reset protection, replay-protected persistent storage, wireless display ("cast") of protected content, secure PIN and fingerprint processing, and even malware detection."WEB,weblink Trusty TEE, no,weblink October 18, 2016,

Open-source community

Android's source code is released by Google under an open source license, and its 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 deliver updates to older devices, add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems.WEB, Damien, McFerran, Best custom ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy S2,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, April 17, 2012, April 19, 2012, March 11, 2017, These community-developed releases often bring new features and updates to devices faster than through the official manufacturer/carrier channels, with a comparable level of quality;WEB, Artem, Russakovskii, Custom ROMs For Android Explained – Here Is Why You Want Them,weblink Android Police, May 1, 2010, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 28, 2017, provide continued support for older devices that no longer receive official updates; or bring Android to devices that were officially released running other operating systems, such as the HP TouchPad. Community releases often come pre-rooted and contain modifications not provided by the original vendor, such as the ability to overclock or over/undervolt the device's processor.NEWS, Isaac, Mike,weblink Android OS Hack Gives Virtual Early Upgrade | Gadget Lab,, April 11, 2011, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 2, 2012, CyanogenMod was the most widely used community firmware,WEB,weblink CyanogenMod Has Now Been Installed On Over 2 Million Devices, Doubles Install Numbers Since January,, May 28, 2012, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 4, 2012, now discontinued and succeeded by LineageOS.WEB,weblink Lineage OS – Lineage OS Android Distribution, OS, Lineage,, January 31, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 25, 2016, Historically, device manufacturers and mobile carriers have typically been unsupportive of third-party firmware development. Manufacturers express concern about improper functioning of devices running unofficial software and the support costs resulting from this.WEB,weblink HTC's bootloader unlock page,, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 19, 2012, Moreover, modified firmware such as CyanogenMod sometimes offer features, such as tethering, for which carriers would otherwise charge a premium. As a result, technical obstacles including locked bootloaders and restricted access to root permissions are common in many devices. However, as community-developed software has grown more popular, and following a statement by the Librarian of Congress in the United States that permits the "jailbreaking" of mobile devices,WEB, Sadun, Erica,weblink LoC rules in favor of jailbreaking,, July 26, 2010, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 30, 2012, manufacturers and carriers have softened their position regarding third party development, with some, including HTC, Motorola,WEB, Jordan, Crook, Motorola Offers Unlocked Bootloader Tool For Droid RAZR, Verizon Removes It,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, October 24, 2011, June 25, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 25, 2011, SamsungWEB,weblink CyanogenMod 7 for Samsung Galaxy S2 (II): Development Already Started!, June 8, 2011, Inspired Geek, yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 22, 2012, September 15, 2012, WEB, Menno, CyanogenMod coming to the Galaxy S 2, thanks to Samsung,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, June 6, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 8, 2017, and Sony,WEB, Forian, Daniel,weblink Sony Ericsson supports independent developers – Developer World,, September 15, 2012, yes,weblink" title="">weblink February 12, 2012, providing support and encouraging development. As a result of this, over time the need to circumvent hardware restrictions to install unofficial firmware has lessened as an increasing number of devices are shipped with unlocked or unlockable bootloaders, similar to Nexus series of phones, although usually requiring that users waive their devices' warranties to do so. However, despite manufacturer acceptance, some carriers in the US still require that phones are locked down, frustrating developers and customers.WEB, Janus, Kopfstein, Access Denied: why Android’s broken promise of unlocked bootloaders needs to be fixed,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, November 20, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2017,

{{anchor|codename}}Device codenames

Internally, Android identifies each supported device by its device codename, a short stringWEB,weblink Device codename – XDA-Developers,, March 13, 2019, , which may or may not be similar to the model name used in marketing the device. For example, the device codename of the Pixel smartphone is sailfish.The device codename is usually not visible to the end user, but is important for determining compatibility with modified Android versions. It is sometimes also mentioned in articles discussing a device, because it allows to distinguish different hardware variants of a device, even if the manufacturer offers them under the same name. The device codename is available to running applications under android.os.Build.DEVICEWEB,weblink Documentation of the Build class, Android Developers, en, March 13, 2019, .

{{Anchor|APP-OPS}}Security and privacy

{{See also|Mobile security|WARRIOR PRIDE}}

Scope of surveillance by public institutions

As part of the broader 2013 mass surveillance disclosures it was revealed in September 2013 that the American and British intelligence agencies, the National Security Agency (NSA) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), respectively, have access to the user data on iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. They are reportedly able to read almost all smartphone information, including SMS, location, emails, and notes.NEWS,weblink Privacy Scandal: NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data, September 7, 2013, September 7, 2013, Staff, In January 2014, further reports revealed the intelligence agencies' capabilities to intercept the personal information transmitted across the Internet by social networks and other popular applications such as Angry Birds, which collect personal information of their users for advertising and other commercial reasons. GCHQ has, according to The Guardian, a wiki-style guide of different apps and advertising networks, and the different data that can be siphoned from each.WEB,weblink Angry Birds and 'leaky' phone apps targeted by NSA and GCHQ for user data | World news,, James Ball, February 2, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 2, 2014, Later that week, the Finnish Angry Birds developer Rovio announced that it was reconsidering its relationships with its advertising platforms in the light of these revelations, and called upon the wider industry to do the same.WEB,weblink Angry Birds firm calls for industry to respond to NSA spying revelations | World news, January 28, 2014,, James Ball (journalist), James Ball, February 2, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 30, 2014, The documents revealed a further effort by the intelligence agencies to intercept Google Maps searches and queries submitted from Android and other smartphones to collect location information in bulk. The NSA and GCHQ insist their activities are in compliance with all relevant domestic and international laws, although the Guardian stated "the latest disclosures could also add to mounting public concern about how the technology sector collects and uses information, especially for those outside the US, who enjoy fewer privacy protections than Americans."Leaked documents published by WikiLeaks, codenamed Vault 7 and dated from 2013–2016, detail the capabilities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare, including the ability to compromise the operating systems of most smartphones (including Android).WEB,weblink Vault 7: Wikileaks reveals details of CIA's hacks of Android, iPhone Windows, Linux, MacOS, and even Samsung TVs, Computing (magazine), Computing, March 7, 2017, NEWS,weblink How the CIA Can Hack Your Phone, PC, and TV (Says WikiLeaks), Greenberg, Andy, March 7, 2017, WIRED, en-US,

Common security threats

Research from security company Trend Micro lists premium service abuse as the most common type of Android malware, where text messages are sent from infected phones to premium-rate telephone numbers without the consent or even knowledge of the user. Other malware displays unwanted and intrusive advertisements on the device, or sends personal information to unauthorised third parties.NEWS, Emil, Protalinski, Android malware numbers explode to 25,000 in June 2012,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, July 17, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 12, 2016, Security threats on Android are reportedly growing exponentially; however, Google engineers have argued that the malware and virus threat on Android is being exaggerated by security companies for commercial reasons,WEB,weblink Mobile malware exaggerated by "charlatan" vendors, says Google engineer, November 24, 2011, PC Advisor, November 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 8, 2013, WEB, Jerry, Hildenbrand, Android 4.2 brings new security features to scan sideloaded apps,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, November 2, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 8, 2017, and have accused the security industry of playing on fears to sell virus protection software to users. Google maintains that dangerous malware is actually extremely rare, and a survey conducted by F-Secure showed that only 0.5% of Android malware reported had come from the Google Play store.WEB,weblink Android malware perspective: only 0.5% comes from the Play Store,, March 14, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 9, 2013, In August 2015, Google announced that devices in the Google Nexus series would begin to receive monthly security patches. Google also wrote that "Nexus devices will continue to receive major updates for at least two years and security patches for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store."WEB, Adrian, Ludwig, Venkat, Rapaka, An Update to Nexus Devices,weblink Official Android Blog, Google, August 5, 2015, March 16, 2017, no,weblink March 18, 2017, WEB, Ryan, Whitwam, Google Announces New Update Policy For Nexus Devices Including Monthly Security Patches For 3 Years And Major OTAs For 2 Years From Release,weblink Android Police, August 5, 2015, March 16, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 26, 2017, WEB, Brandon, Chester, Google Commits To Monthly Security Updates For Nexus Devices,weblink AnandTech, Purch Group, August 5, 2015, March 16, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 17, 2017, The following October, researchers at the University of Cambridge concluded that 87.7% of Android phones in use had known but unpatched security vulnerabilities due to lack of updates and support.WEB, 87% of Android devices insecure,weblink Android Vulnerabilities, University of Cambridge, October 8, 2015, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 22, 2017, WEB, Daniel R., Thomas, Alastair R., Beresford, Andrew, Rice, Security Metrics for the Android Ecosystem,weblink Libraries of the University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, March 16, 2017, no,weblink February 22, 2017, WEB, Ron, Amadeo, University of Cambridge study finds 87% of Android devices are insecure,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, October 14, 2015, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica wrote also in August 2015 that "Android was originally designed, above all else, to be widely adopted. Google was starting from scratch with zero percent market share, so it was happy to give up control and give everyone a seat at the table in exchange for adoption. [...] Now, though, Android has around 75–80 percent of the worldwide smartphone market—making it not just the world's most popular mobile operating system but arguably the most popular operating system, period. As such, security has become a big issue. Android still uses a software update chain-of-command designed back when the Android ecosystem had zero devices to update, and it just doesn't work".WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Waiting for Android’s inevitable security Armageddon,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, August 6, 2015, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, Following news of Google's monthly schedule, some manufacturers, including Samsung and LG, promised to issue monthly security updates,WEB, Liam, Tung, After Stagefright, Samsung and LG join Google with monthly Android patches,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, August 6, 2015, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 12, 2017, but, as noted by Jerry Hildenbrand in Android Central in February 2016, "instead we got a few updates on specific versions of a small handful of models. And a bunch of broken promises".WEB, Jerry, Hildenbrand, Monthly security patches are the most important updates you'll never get,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, February 19, 2016, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 15, 2017, In a March 2017 post on Google's Security Blog, Android security leads Adrian Ludwig and Mel Miller wrote that "More than 735 million devices from 200+ manufacturers received a platform security update in 2016" and that "Our carrier and hardware partners helped expand deployment of these updates, releasing updates for over half of the top 50 devices worldwide in the last quarter of 2016". They also wrote that "About half of devices in use at the end of 2016 had not received a platform security update in the previous year", stating that their work would continue to focus on streamlining the security updates program for easier deployment by manufacturers.WEB, Adrian, Ludwig, Mel, Miller, Diverse protections for a diverse ecosystem: Android Security 2016 Year in Review,weblink We released monthly Android security updates throughout the year for devices running Android 4.4.4 and up—that accounts for 86.3 percent of all active Android devices worldwide., Google Security Blog, Google, March 22, 2017, March 22, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 22, 2017, Furthermore, in a comment to TechCrunch, Ludwig stated that the wait time for security updates had been reduced from "six to nine weeks down to just a few days", with 78% of flagship devices in North America being up-to-date on security at the end of 2016.WEB, Kate, Conger, Android plans to improve security update speed this year,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, March 22, 2017, March 22, 2017, no,weblink March 22, 2017, Patches to bugs found in the core operating system often do not reach users of older and lower-priced devices.WEB, Lorenzo, Franceschi-Bicchierai, Goodbye, Android,weblink Motherboard, Vice Media, July 29, 2015, March 16, 2017, no,weblink March 16, 2017, WEB, Adrian, Kingsley-Hughes, The Android 'toxic hellstew' survival guide,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, June 9, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 27, 2017, However, the open-source nature of Android allows security contractors to take existing devices and adapt them for highly secure uses. For example, Samsung has worked with General Dynamics through their Open Kernel Labs acquisition to rebuild Jelly Bean on top of their hardened microvisor for the "Knox" project.WEB,weblink Air-to-ground rocket men flog top-secret mobe-crypto to Brad in accounts, February 28, 2013, The Register, August 8, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink July 28, 2013, WEB,weblink Samsung Armors Android to Take On BlackBerry, February 28, 2013, The New York Times, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 23, 2017, Android smartphones have the ability to report the location of Wi-Fi access points, encountered as phone users move around, to build databases containing the physical locations of hundreds of millions of such access points. These databases form electronic maps to locate smartphones, allowing them to run apps like Foursquare, Google Latitude, Facebook Places, and to deliver location-based ads.NEWS,weblink Suit Opens a Window Into Google, May 8, 2011, The New York Times, 0362-4331, Steve Lohr, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 16, 2012, Third party monitoring software such as TaintDroid,WEB,weblink" title="">weblink Real Time Privacy Monitoring on Smartphones, March 15, 2018, February 22, 2012, October 9, 2018, an academic research-funded project, can, in some cases, detect when personal information is being sent from applications to remote servers.NEWS,weblink Study Shows Some Android Apps Leak User Data Without Clear Notifications | Gadget Lab, Ganapati, Priya, September 30, 2010,, January 30, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 4, 2011,

Technical security features

Android applications run in a sandbox, an isolated area of the system that does not have access to the rest of the system's resources, unless access permissions are explicitly granted by the user when the application is installed, however this may not be possible for pre-installed apps. It is not possible, for example, to turn off the microphone access of the pre-installed camera app without disabling the camera completely. This is valid also in Android versions 7 and 8.WEB, Gary, Sims, How secure is Android?,weblink Android Authority, May 30, 2012, March 15, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 16, 2017, Since February 2012, Google has used its Google Bouncer malware scanner to watch over and scan apps available in the Google Play store.WEB, Hiroshi, Lockheimer, Android and Security,weblink Google Mobile Blog, Google, February 2, 2012, March 22, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 27, 2017, WEB, Chloe, Albanesius, Google 'Bouncer' Now Scanning Android Market for Malware,weblink PC Magazine, Ziff Davis, February 2, 2012, March 22, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 27, 2017, A "Verify Apps" feature was introduced in November 2012, as part of the Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system version, to scan all apps, both from Google Play and from third-party sources, for malicious behavior.WEB, JR, Raphael, Exclusive: Inside Android 4.2's powerful new security system,weblink Computerworld, International Data Group, November 1, 2012, March 22, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 17, 2017, Originally only doing so during installation, Verify Apps received an update in 2014 to "constantly" scan apps, and in 2017 the feature was made visible to users through a menu in Settings.WEB, Ryan, Whitwam, Google's Verify Apps now shows apps that it has recently scanned,weblink Android Police, February 13, 2017, March 15, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 16, 2017, WEB, Kyle, Wiggers, Google's virus-scanning Verify Apps feature for Android now reveals its secrets,weblink Digital Trends, February 15, 2017, March 15, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 16, 2017, Before installing an application, the Google Play store displays a list of the requirements an app needs to function. After reviewing these permissions, the user can choose to accept or refuse them, installing the application only if they accept.WEB, Review app permissions thru Android 5.9,weblink Google Play Help, Google, March 15, 2017, no,weblink March 16, 2017, In Android 6.0 "Marshmallow", the permissions system was changed; apps are no longer automatically granted all of their specified permissions at installation time. An opt-in system is used instead, in which users are prompted to grant or deny individual permissions to an app when they are needed for the first time. Applications remember the grants, which can be revoked by the user at any time. Pre-installed apps, however, are not always part of this approach. In some cases it may not be possible to deny certain permissions to pre-installed apps, nor be possible to disable them. The Google Play Services app cannot be uninstalled, nor disabled. Any force stop attempt, result in the app restarting itself.WEB, Nick, Mediati, How to toggle app permissions in Android Marshmallow,weblink Greenbot, International Data Group, October 12, 2015, March 15, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 7, 2017, WEB, Dan, Seifert, Google announces Android M, available later this year,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, May 28, 2015, March 15, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 28, 2017, The new permissions model is used only by applications developed for Marshmallow using its software development kit (SDK), and older apps will continue to use the previous all-or-nothing approach. Permissions can still be revoked for those apps, though this might prevent them from working properly, and a warning is displayed to that effect.WEB, Chris, Hoffman, How to Manage App Permissions on Android 6.0,weblink How-To Geek, October 11, 2015, March 6, 2017, no,weblink March 7, 2017, WEB, Ara, Wagoner, How to take advantage of the new App Permissions in Marshmallow,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, November 1, 2015, March 6, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 19, 2017, In September 2014, Jason Nova of Android Authority reported on a study by the German security company Fraunhofer AISEC in antivirus software and malware threats on Android. Nova wrote that "The Android operating system deals with software packages by sandboxing them; this does not allow applications to list the directory contents of other apps to keep the system safe. By not allowing the antivirus to list the directories of other apps after installation, applications that show no inherent suspicious behavior when downloaded are cleared as safe. If then later on parts of the app are activated that turn out to be malicious, the antivirus will have no way to know since it is inside the app and out of the antivirus’ jurisdiction". The study by Fraunhofer AISEC, examining antivirus software from Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Lookout, McAfee (formerly Intel Security), Norton, Sophos, and Trend Micro, revealed that "the tested antivirus apps do not provide protection against customized malware or targeted attacks", and that "the tested antivirus apps were also not able to detect malware which is completely unknown to date but does not make any efforts to hide its malignity".WEB, Jason, Nova, The State of Antivirus for Android,weblink Android Authority, September 14, 2014, March 22, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 21, 2017, In August 2013, Google announced Android Device Manager (renamed Find My Device in May 2017),WEB, Ryne, Hager, Android Device Manager updated for the first time in two years and renamed to Find My Device [APK Download],weblink Android Police, May 17, 2017, May 17, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 17, 2017, WEB, Chris, Welch, Google’s app for lost Android phones is now called Find My Device,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, May 17, 2017, May 17, 2017, no,weblink May 17, 2017, a service that allows users to remotely track, locate, and wipe their Android device,WEB, Emil, Protalinski, Google announces Android Device Manager coming later this month, an app that helps you find your lost phone,weblink The Next Web, August 2, 2013, March 13, 2017, no,weblink March 14, 2017, WEB, Jacob, Kastrenakes, Google announces tool to track lost Android phones,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, August 2, 2013, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2017, with an Android app for the service released in December.WEB, Brian, Heater, Android Device Manager now available for your downloading pleasure on Google Play,weblink Engadget, AOL, December 11, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink June 2, 2017, WEB, Ryan, Whitwam, [New App] Google Releases Android Device Manager App In Play Store,weblink Android Police, December 11, 2013, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 14, 2017, In December 2016, Google introduced a Trusted Contacts app, letting users request location-tracking of loved ones during emergencies.WEB, Natt, Garun, Google’s new Trusted Contacts app lets you share your location during emergencies,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, December 5, 2016, April 4, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 4, 2017, WEB, Frederic, Lardinois, Google’s new Trusted Contacts app lets you share your location in emergencies,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, December 5, 2016, April 4, 2017, no,weblink June 22, 2017, On October 8, 2018 Google announced new Google Play store requirements to combat over-sharing of potentially sensitive information, including call and text logs. The issue stems from the fact that many apps request permissions to access user's personal information (even if this information is not needed for the app to function) and some users unquestionably grant these permissions. Alternatively, a permission might be listed in the app manifest as required (as opposed to optional) and app would not install unless user grants the permission; user can withdraw any, even required, permission from any app in the device settings after app installation, but few users do this. Google promised to work with developers and create exceptions if their apps require Phone or SMS permissions for "core app functionality". The new policies enforcement started on January 6, 2019, 90 days after policy announcement on October 8, 2018. Furthermore, Google announced a new "target API level requirement" (targetSdkVersion in manifest) at least Android 8.0 (API level 26) for all new apps and app updates. The API level requirement might combat practice of app developers bypassing some permission screens by specifying early Android versions that had more coarse permission model.WEB,weblink New Play Store policy will help prevent Android call and text data leaks, Bradshaw, Kyle, October 8, 2018, 9to5Google, en-US, January 16, 2019, WEB,weblink Providing a safe and secure experience for our users, Android Developers Blog, en, January 16, 2019,


The source code for Android is open-source: it is developed in private by Google, with the source code released publicly when a new version of Android is released. Google publishes most of the code (including network and telephony stacks) under the non-copyleft Apache License version 2.0. which allows modification and redistribution.NEWS,weblink eWeek, Google Open-Sources Android on Eve of G1 Launch, Clint, Boulton, October 21, 2008, February 17, 2012, WEB, Ryan, Paul, Why Google chose the Apache Software License over GPLv2 for Android,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, November 6, 2007, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, The license does not grant rights to the "Android" trademark, so device manufacturers and wireless carriers have to license it from Google under individual contracts. Associated Linux kernel changes are released under the copyleft GNU General Public License version 2, developed by the Open Handset Alliance, with the source code publicly available at all times. Typically, Google collaborates with a hardware manufacturer to produce a flagship device (part of the Nexus series) featuring the new version of Android, then makes the source code available after that device has been released.WEB,weblink Frequently Asked Questions: What is involved in releasing the source code for a new Android version?, Android Open Source Project, February 16, 2012, yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 3, 2010, The only Android release which was not immediately made available as source code was the tablet-only 3.0 Honeycomb release. The reason, according to Andy Rubin in an official Android blog post, was because Honeycomb was rushed for production of the Motorola Xoom,WEB, Bray, Tim,weblink Android Developers Blog: I think I'm having a Gene Amdahl moment,, April 6, 2011, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 3, 2012, and they did not want third parties creating a "really bad user experience" by attempting to put onto smartphones a version of Android intended for tablets.WEB, Jerry Hildenbrand,weblink Honeycomb won't be open-sourced? Say it ain't so!,, March 24, 2011, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 1, 2012, Only the base Android operating system (including some applications) is open-source software, whereas most Android devices ship with a substantial amount of proprietary software, such as Google Mobile Services, which includes applications such as Google Play Store, Google Search, and Google Play Services{{snd}} a software layer that provides APIs for the integration with Google-provided services, among others. These applications must be licensed from Google by device makers, and can only be shipped on devices which meet its compatibility guidelines and other requirements.WEB, Google mandates ‘Powered by Android’ branding on new devices,weblink, March 28, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 28, 2014, Custom, certified distributions of Android produced by manufacturers (such as TouchWiz and HTC Sense) may also replace certain stock Android apps with their own proprietary variants and add additional software not included in the stock Android operating system. There may also be "binary blob" drivers required for certain hardware components in the device.Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation have been critical of Android and have recommended the usage of alternatives such as Replicant, because drivers and firmware vital for the proper functioning of Android devices are usually proprietary, and because the Google Play Store application can forcibly install or uninstall applications and, as a result, invite non-free software; although the Free Software Foundation has not found Google to use it for malicious reasons.NEWS,weblink The Guardian, Is Android really free software?, Richard, Stallman, September 19, 2011, September 9, 2012, London, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 26, 2013, WEB,weblink Android and Users' Freedom – Support the Free Your Android campaign, Richard, Stallman, Free Software Foundation,, August 5, 2012, September 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 5, 2012,

Leverage over manufacturers

Google licenses their Google Mobile Services software, along with Android trademarks, only to hardware manufacturers for devices that meet Google's compatibility standards specified in the Android Compatibility Program document.BOOK, Android Compatibility Definition Document, Google, January 11, 2015, 5.0, PDF, March 3, 2015,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink March 4, 2014, Thus, forks of Android that make major changes to the operating system itself do not include any of Google's non-free components, stay incompatible with applications that require them, and must ship with an alternative software marketplace in lieu of Google Play Store. Examples of such Android forks are Amazon's Fire OS (which is used on the Kindle Fire line of tablets, and oriented toward Amazon services), the Nokia X Software Platform (a fork used by the Nokia X family, oriented primarily toward Nokia and Microsoft services), and other forks that exclude Google apps due to the general unavailability of Google services in certain regions (such as China).WEB, Tom, Warren, This is Nokia X: Android and Windows Phone collide,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, February 24, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 12, 2017, WEB, Liau Yun, Qing, Phonemakers make Android China-friendly,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, October 15, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 13, 2016, In 2014, Google also began to require that all Android devices which license the Google Mobile Services software display a prominent "Powered by Android" logo on their boot screens. Google has also enforced preferential bundling and placement of Google Mobile Services on devices, including mandated bundling of the entire main suite of Google applications, and that shortcuts to Google Search and the Play Store app must be present on or near the main home screen page in its default configuration.NEWS,weblink New Android OEM licensing terms leak; "Open" comes with a lot of restrictions, Ars Technica, March 26, 2018, en-us, no,weblink March 26, 2018, Some stock applications and components in AOSP code that were formerly used by earlier versions of Android, such as Search, Music, Calendar, and the location API, were abandoned by Google in favor of non-free replacements distributed through Play Store (Google Search, Google Play Music, and Google Calendar) and Google Play Services, which are no longer open-source. Moreover, open-source variants of some applications also exclude functions that are present in their non-free versions, such as Photosphere panoramas in Camera, and a Google Now page on the default home screen (exclusive to the proprietary version "Google Now Launcher", whose code is embedded within that of the main Google application).WEB, Ron, Amadeo, "Google Now Launcher" hits Play Store, brings Google homescreen to GPE & Nexus devices,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, February 26, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, WEB
, Android 4.4 Factory Images Now Available for Nexus 4, 7 (2012 and 2013), and 10
, November 14, 2013
, November 19, 2013
, Brian Klug
, AnandTech
, no
,weblink" title="">weblink
, November 19, 2013
, mdy-all
, WEB, Ron, Amadeo, The Nexus 5’s "exclusive" launcher suspiciously receives support for other devices,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, November 14, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, These measures are likely intended to discourage forks and encourage commercial licensing in line with Google requirements, as the majority of the operating system's core functionality (and in turn, third-party software), are dependent on proprietary components licensed exclusively by Google, and it would take significant development resources to develop an alternative suite of software and APIs to replicate or replace them. Apps that do not use Google components would also be at a functional disadvantage, as they can only use APIs contained within the OS itself.NEWS,weblink Neither Microsoft, Nokia, nor anyone else should fork Android. It’s unforkable., Ars Technica, Condé Nast, March 12, 2018, en-us, no,weblink March 13, 2018, In March 2018, it was reported that Google had begun to block "uncertified" Android devices from using Google Mobile Services software, and display a warning indicating that "the device manufacturer has preloaded Google apps and services without certification from Google". Users of custom ROMs are able to register their device ID to their Google account to remove this block.NEWS,weblink Google starts blocking "uncertified" Android devices from logging in, Ars Technica, March 26, 2018, en-us, no,weblink March 26, 2018, Members of the Open Handset Alliance, which include the majority of Android OEMs, are also contractually forbidden from producing Android devices based on forks of the OS;WEB,weblink Android Open Source Project Frequently Asked Questions: Compatibility,, March 13, 2011, yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 3, 2010, in 2012, Acer Inc. was forced by Google to halt production on a device powered by Alibaba Group's Aliyun OS with threats of removal from the OHA, as Google deemed the platform to be an incompatible version of Android. Alibaba Group defended the allegations, arguing that the OS was a distinct platform from Android (primarily using HTML5 apps), but incorporated portions of Android's platform to allow backwards compatibility with third-party Android software. Indeed, the devices did ship with an application store which offered Android apps; however, the majority of them were pirated.WEB, Edward, Moyer, Alibaba: Google just plain wrong about our OS,weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, September 15, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, WEB, Jon, Brodkin, Google blocked Acer’s rival phone to prevent Android "fragmentation",weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, September 15, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, WEB, Jon, Brodkin, Pirated Android apps featured prominently on Aliyun app store,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, September 17, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017,


Android received a lukewarm reaction when it was unveiled in 2007. Although analysts were impressed with the respected technology companies that had partnered with Google to form the Open Handset Alliance, it was unclear whether mobile phone manufacturers would be willing to replace their existing operating systems with Android.NEWS,weblink Technology | Q&A: Google's Android, BBC News, November 6, 2007, November 9, 2012, The idea of an open-source, Linux-based development platform sparked interest,WEB, Marguerite, Reardon, Google Android prototypes debut at MWC,weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, February 11, 2008, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, but there were additional worries about Android facing strong competition from established players in the smartphone market, such as Nokia and Microsoft, and rival Linux mobile operating systems that were in development.NEWS,weblink Android's outing at Barcelona – BizTech – Technology, Sydney Morning Herald, February 12, 2008, November 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 8, 2013, These established players were skeptical: Nokia was quoted as saying "we don't see this as a threat," and a member of Microsoft's Windows Mobile team stated "I don't understand the impact that they are going to have."WEB, Paul, Miller, Symbian, Nokia, Microsoft and Apple downplay Android relevance,weblink Engadget, AOL, November 5, 2007, March 11, 2017, no,weblink April 19, 2017, Since then Android has grown to become the most widely used smartphone operating systemWEB, Jon, Brodkin, On its 5th birthday, 5 things we love about Android,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, November 5, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, NEWS, Reisinger, Don, January 16, 2015, Driverless Cars and Green Tech: What Google Is Doing Outside of Search, slide 2, eWeek,weblink and "one of the fastest mobile experiences available".WEB,weblink On its fifth birthday, Android is "closer to our actual vision" for mobile supremacy,, November 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 9, 2012, Reviewers have highlighted the open-source nature of the operating system as one of its defining strengths, allowing companies such as Nokia (Nokia X family),WEB,weblink Microsoft Selling Nokia X Android Phones, Business Insider, April 28, 2014, May 26, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 4, 2014, Amazon (Kindle Fire), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Ouya, Baidu and others to fork the software and release hardware running their own customised version of Android. As a result, it has been described by technology website Ars Technica as "practically the default operating system for launching new hardware" for companies without their own mobile platforms. This openness and flexibility is also present at the level of the end user: Android allows extensive customisation of devices by their owners and apps are freely available from non-Google app stores and third party websites. These have been cited as among the main advantages of Android phones over others.WEB,weblink Best Android apps for personalizing and customizing your phone,, July 13, 2012, November 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 12, 2012, Despite Android's popularity, including an activation rate three times that of iOS, there have been reports that Google has not been able to leverage their other products and web services successfully to turn Android into the money maker that analysts had expected.WEB, Adrianne, Jeffries, Disconnect: why Andy Rubin and Android called it quits,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, March 19, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 11, 2013, The Verge suggested that Google is losing control of Android due to the extensive customization and proliferation of non-Google apps and services{{snd}} Amazon's Kindle Fire line uses Fire OS, a heavily modified fork of Android which does not include or support any of Google's proprietary components, and requires that users obtain software from its competing Amazon Appstore instead of Play Store. In 2014, in an effort to improve prominence of the Android brand, Google began to require that devices featuring its proprietary components display an Android logo on the boot screen.Android has suffered from "fragmentation",WEB, Steve Kovach,weblink Android Fragmentation Report, Business Insider, July 30, 2013, October 19, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 7, 2013, a situation where the variety of Android devices, in terms of both hardware variations and differences in the software running on them, makes the task of developing applications that work consistently across the ecosystem harder than rival platforms such as iOS where hardware and software varies less. For example, according to data from OpenSignal in July 2013, there were 11,868 models of Android device, numerous different screen sizes and eight Android OS versions simultaneously in use, while the large majority of iOS users have upgraded to the latest iteration of that OS.WEB, Arthur, Charles, Android fragmentation 'worse than ever' – but OpenSignal says that's good,weblink The Guardian, August 1, 2013, July 30, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 1, 2013, Critics such as Apple Insider have asserted that fragmentation via hardware and software pushed Android's growth through large volumes of low end, budget-priced devices running older versions of Android. They maintain this forces Android developers to write for the "lowest common denominator" to reach as many users as possible, who have too little incentive to make use of the latest hardware or software features only available on a smaller percentage of devices.WEB, Eran, Daniel,weblink Strong demand of Apple's iPhone 5 series driving an "anti-fragmentation" of iOS,, October 16, 2013, October 19, 2013, no,weblink October 21, 2013, However, OpenSignal, who develops both Android and iOS apps, concluded that although fragmentation can make development trickier, Android's wider global reach also increases the potential reward.

Market share

Research company Canalys estimated in the second quarter of 2009, that Android had a 2.8% share of worldwide smartphone shipments.NEWS, Canalys: iPhone outsold all Windows Mobile phones in Q2 2009,weblink Prince, McLean, AppleInsider, August 21, 2009, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 17, 2012, By May 2010, Android had a 10% worldwide smartphone market share, overtaking Windows Mobile,WEB,weblink Subscribe to read, Financial Times, no,weblink August 18, 2017, whilst in the US Android held a 28% share, overtaking iPhone OS.WEB,weblink Android Overtakes iPhone Market Share in the US – Tug Agency,, no,weblink August 17, 2017, By the fourth quarter of 2010, its worldwide share had grown to 33% of the market becoming the top-selling smartphone platform,WEB,weblink Google's Android becomes the world's leading smart phone platform, Canalys, January 31, 2011, February 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2012, overtaking Symbian.WEB,weblink Android steals Symbian's top smartphone OS crown, Phone arena, May 14, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 9, 2013, In the US it became the top-selling platform in April 2011, overtaking BlackBerry OS with a 31.2% smartphone share, according to comScore.WEB,weblink Android surpasses BlackBerry as No. 1 U.S. smartphone OS – Mar. 7, 2011, By David Goldman, staff, writer,, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2017, By the third quarter of 2011, Gartner estimated that more than half (52.5%) of the smartphone sales belonged to Android.WEB,weblink Gartner Says Sales of Mobile Devices Grew 5.6 Percent in Third Quarter of 2011; Smartphone Sales Increased 42 Percent,, Gartner, November 15, 2011, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 16, 2012, By the third quarter of 2012 Android had a 75% share of the global smartphone market according to the research firm IDC.In July 2011, Google said that 550,000 Android devices were being activated every day,WEB, Greg, Kumparak, Android Now Seeing 550,000 Activations Per Day,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, July 14, 2011, June 25, 2017, no,weblink July 7, 2017, up from 400,000 per day in May,NEWS,weblink Google activates 500,000 Android devices a day, may reach 1 million in October, Yahoo News, Jeffrey, Van Camp, June 28, 2011, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 25, 2012, and more than 100 million devices had been activatedWEB,weblink Android: momentum, mobile and more at Google I/O, Hugo, Barra, The Official Google Blog, May 10, 2011, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 30, 2012, with 4.4% growth per week. In September 2012, 500 million devices had been activated with 1.3 million activations per day.WEB, 500 million devices activated globally, and over 1.3 million added every single day, official Android Engineering teams, September 12, 2012,weblink yes,weblink October 5, 2012, In May 2013, at Google I/O, Sundar Pichai announced that 900 million Android devices had been activated.WEB, Chris, Welch, Google: 900 million Android activations to date, 48 billion app installs,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, May 15, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2017, Android market share varies by location. In July 2012, "mobile subscribers aged 13+" in the United States using Android were up to 52%,WEB, Jon, Fingas, ComScore: Android tops 52 percent of US smartphone share, iPhone cracks the 33 percent mark,weblink Engadget, AOL, September 4, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, and rose to 90% in China.WEB,weblink Report: Android Rises to 90% of Smartphone Market in China,, November 24, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 22, 2012, During the third quarter of 2012, Android's worldwide smartphone shipment market share was 75%,WEB,weblink Android Marks Fourth Anniversary Since Launch with 75.0% Market Share in Third Quarter, According to IDC – prUS23771812,, November 3, 2012, yes,weblink" title="">weblink November 3, 2012, with 750 million devices activated in total. In April 2013 Android had 1.5 million activations per day.WEB, Donald, Melanson, Eric Schmidt: Google now at 1.5 million Android activations per day,weblink Engadget, AOL, April 16, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, {{As of|2013|5}}, 48 billion applications ("apps") have been installed from the Google Play store,NEWS, BBC Google activations and downloads update May 2013,weblink BBC News, May 16, 2013, May 15, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 16, 2013, and by September 2013, one billion Android devices have been activated.WEB,weblink Vic, Gundotra, Just back from a whirlwind trip to Asia visiting our…,, September 3, 2013, no,weblink October 3, 2013, {{As of|2017|2}}, the Google Play store has over 2.7 million Android applications published,WEB, Number of Android applications,weblinkweblink AppBrain, February 9, 2017, February 10, 2017, March 12, 2017, and {{as of|2016|5}}, apps have been downloaded more than 65 billion times.WEB, Nick, Statt, Android users have installed more than 65 billion apps from Google Play in the last year,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, May 18, 2016, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, The operating system's success has made it a target for patent litigation as part of the so-called "smartphone wars" between technology companies.WEB, Marguertite, Reardon, Google just bought itself patent protection,weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, August 15, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, WEB, Douglas, Perry, Google Android Now on 135 Million Devices,weblink Tom's Guide, Purch Group, July 16, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 20, 2017, Android devices account for more than half of smartphone sales in most markets, including the US, while "only in Japan was Apple on top" (September–November 2013 numbers).WEB, Lance, Whitney, iPhone market share shrinks as Android, Windows Phone grow,weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, January 6, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 11, 2017, At the end of 2013, over 1.5 billion Android smartphones have been sold in the four years since 2010,WEB,weblink Global smartphone sales by operating system 2009–2016, by quarter, Statista, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 17, 2014, WEB,weblink Gartner Says Annual Smartphone Sales Surpassed Sales of Feature Phones for the First Time in 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 14, 2014, making Android the most sold phone and tablet OS. Three billion Android smartphones are estimated to be sold by the end of 2014 (including previous years). According to Gartner research company, Android-based devices outsold all contenders, every year since 2012.WEB,weblink Gartner Says Worldwide Traditional PC, Tablet, Ultramobile and Mobile Phone Shipments On Pace to Grow 7.6 Percent in 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 19, 2014, In 2013, it outsold Windows 2.8:1 or by 573 million.PRESS,weblink Gartner Says Sales of Tablets Will Represent Less Than 10 Percent of All Devices in 2014: Smartphones to Represent 71 Percent of the Global Mobile Phone Market in 2014: Android Device Shipments to Reach One Billion in Emerging Markets in 2015, Gartner, October 15, 2014, October 19, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 17, 2014, WEB, Ingrid, Lunden, Tablet Sales Growth Plummets In 2014 As Android Smartphones Continue To Soar: Gartner,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, October 15, 2014, June 25, 2017, no,weblink November 27, 2016, WEB,weblink Global PC Shipments Exceed Forecast with Mild Improvement in Consumer Demand, While Apple Moves to #5 Spot, According to IDC,, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 11, 2014, {{As of|2015}}, Android has the largest installed base of all operating systems; Since 2013, devices running it also sell more than Windows, iOS and Mac OS X devices combined.According to StatCounter, which tracks only the use for browsing the web, Android is the most popular mobile operating system since August 2013.WEB,weblink Mobile/Tablet Browser Market Share by OS, September 13, 2015, no,weblink May 26, 2012, Android is the most popular operating system for web browsing in India and several other countries (e.g. virtually all of Asia, with Japan and North Korea exceptions). According to StatCounter, Android is most used on mobile in all African countries, and it stated "mobile usage has already overtaken desktop in several countries including India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia",PRESS,weblink Mobile internet usage soars by 67%, October 21, 2014, no,weblink October 13, 2014, with virtually all countries in Africa having done so already (except for seven countries, including Egypt), such as Ethiopia and Kenya in which mobile (including tablets) usage is at 90.46% (Android only, accounts for 75.81% of all use there).WEB,weblink StatCounter Global Stats – Browser, OS, Search Engine including Mobile Usage Share, StatCounter, November 30, 2016, no,weblink May 26, 2012, WEB,weblink StatCounter, Global Stats – Browser, OS, Search Engine including Mobile Usage Share, September 23, 2016, no,weblink May 26, 2012, While Android phones in the Western world commonly include Google's proprietary add-ons (such as Google Play) to the otherwise open-source operating system, this is increasingly not the case in emerging markets; "ABI Research claims that 65 million devices shipped globally with open-source Android in the second quarter of [2014], up from 54 million in the first quarter"; depending on country, percent of phones estimated to be based only on AOSP source code, forgoing the Android trademark: Thailand (44%), Philippines (38%), Indonesia (31%), India (21%), Malaysia (24%), Mexico (18%), Brazil (9%).WEB,weblink Google hoping to lure smaller manufacturers to Google’s Android, over AOSP, Andrew, Grush, October 21, 2014, Android Authority, October 22, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 22, 2014, /According to a January 2015 Gartner report, "Android surpassed a billion shipments of devices in 2014, and will continue to grow at a double-digit pace in 2015, with a 26 percent increase year over year." This made it the first time that any general-purpose operating system has reached more than one billion end users within a year: by reaching close to 1.16 billion end users in 2014, Android shipped over four times more than iOS and OS X combined, and over three times more than Microsoft Windows. Gartner expected the whole mobile phone market to "reach two billion units in 2016", including Android.WEB,weblink Gartner, Tablet Sales Continue to Be Slow in 2015: Tablet Sales to Reach 8 Percent Growth in 2015 While PC Market to Grow 1 Percent, January 5, 2015, January 23, 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 8, 2015, Describing the statistics, Farhad Manjoo wrote in The New York Times that "About one of every two computers sold today is running Android. [It] has become Earth's dominant computing platform."According to a Statistica's estimate, Android smartphones had an installed base of 1.8 billion units in 2015, which was 76% of the estimated total number of smartphones worldwide.WEB,weblink Installed base of smartphones by operating system in 2015 (in million units), Statistica, November 1, 2016, no,weblink October 12, 2016, WEB,weblink Market share of smartphone OS of total smartphone installed base in 2013 and 2014, Statistica, February 18, 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 18, 2015, {{Efn|To put the Statistica's numbers in context: by Strategy Analytics estimates, Windows the most popular "desktop" operating system, has an estimated installed base of about 1.3 billion at best;WEB,weblink Replacement Demand to Boost PC Sales in 2015, says Strategy Analytics: More than 70 percent of Developed Market Households Will Continue to Own PCs through 2018, Strategy Analytics, February 18, 2015, no,weblink February 18, 2015, they also estimate the overall tablet installed base to be already of comparable size to the PC market and predict tablets will have surpassed them by 2018.}} Android has the largest installed base of any mobile operating system and, since 2013, the highest-selling operating system overallNEWS,weblink This Chart Shows Google's Incredible Domination Of The World's Computing Platforms, Jay, Yarow, March 28, 2014, April 23, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 25, 2014, WEB,weblink Android Vs. iOS: What’s The Most Popular Mobile Operating System In Your Country?, Lisa, Mahapatra, November 11, 2013, January 30, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 22, 2014, NEWS,weblink Don't mistake Apple's market share for its installed base, CNN, Philip, Elmer-DeWitt, January 10, 2014, January 30, 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 30, 2014, WEB,weblink Samsung sells more smartphones than all major manufacturers combined in Q1, May 12, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 12, 2014, with sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014NEWS,weblink Global mobile statistics 2014 Part A: Mobile subscribers; handset market share; mobile operators, mobiThinking, May 2014, September 9, 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink September 6, 2014, close to the installed base of all PCs.WEB,weblink The Post-PC Era Begins In Earnest Next Year: In 2014, smartphones will most likely eclipse PCs in terms of the number of devices in use around the world, Dan, Rowinski, readwrite, December 10, 2013, September 9, 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 9, 2014, In the second quarter of 2014, Android's share of the global smartphone shipment market was 84.7%, a new record.WEB, Juan, Martinez, 84.7% of all global smartphone shipments run Android,weblink TechRadar, Future plc, August 14, 2014, October 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 11, 2017, WEB, David, Ruddock, IDC: Android Now Accounts For 84.7% Of All Smartphone Shipments, Grew 33.3% Year-Over-Year This Quarter,weblink Android Police, Illogical Robot, August 14, 2014, October 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 11, 2017, This had grown to 87.5% worldwide market share by the third quarter of 2016,WEB, Derek, Walter, Report: Nearly 90 percent of smartphones worldwide run Android,weblink Greenbot, International Data Group, November 3, 2016, October 11, 2017, no,weblink October 11, 2017, leaving main competitor iOS with 12.1% market share.WEB, Ananya, Bhattacharya, Android just hit a record 88% market share of all smartphones,weblink Quartz (publication), Quartz, Atlantic Media, November 3, 2016, October 11, 2017, no,weblink October 11, 2017, According to an April 2017 StatCounter report, Android overtook Microsoft Windows to become the most popular operating system for total Internet usage.WEB, Jon, Russell, Report: Android overtakes Windows as the internet’s most used operating system,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, April 3, 2017, September 3, 2017, no,weblink September 3, 2017, WEB, Emil, Protalinski, StatCounter: Android overtakes Windows as world’s most-used operating system,weblink VentureBeat, April 3, 2017, September 3, 2017, no,weblink September 3, 2017, It has maintained the plurality since then.WEB, Operating System Market Share Worldwide,weblink StatCounter, September 3, 2017, no,weblink August 31, 2017, In September 2015, Google announced that Android had 1.4 billion monthly active users.WEB, James, Vincent, Android is now used by 1.4 billion people,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, September 29, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 14, 2017, WEB, Natasha, Lomas, Android Now Has 1.4 Billion 30-Day Active Users Globally,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, September 29, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, This changed to 2 billion monthly active users in May 2017.WEB, Emil, Protalinski, Android passes 2 billion monthly active devices,weblink VentureBeat, May 17, 2017, May 17, 2017, no,weblink May 17, 2017, WEB, Alfred, Ng, Google's Android now powers more than 2 billion devices,weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, May 17, 2017, May 17, 2017, no,weblink May 17, 2017,

Adoption on tablets

File:Front view of Nexus 7 (cropped).png|thumb|150px|The first-generation Nexus 7 tablet, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean]]Despite its success on smartphones, initially Android tablet adoption was slow.WEB, Wilson Rothman,weblink Why iPad is stomping Android tabs 24 to 1 – Technology on,, October 24, 2012, November 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 26, 2013, One of the main causes was the chicken or the egg situation where consumers were hesitant to buy an Android tablet due to a lack of high quality tablet applications, but developers were hesitant to spend time and resources developing tablet applications until there was a significant market for them.WEB, Kevin C. Tofel,weblink What devs say about iPad (but not Android tablets),, March 19, 2012, November 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 15, 2012, WEB, James, Kendrick, Why there aren't more Android tablet apps, by the numbers,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, March 21, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 12, 2017, The content and app "ecosystem" proved more important than hardware specs as the selling point for tablets. Due to the lack of Android tablet-specific applications in 2011, early Android tablets had to make do with existing smartphone applications that were ill-suited to larger screen sizes, whereas the dominance of Apple's iPad was reinforced by the large number of tablet-specific iOS applications.NEWS,weblink Damon, Poeter, December 7, 2012, Goldman Highlights Microsoft's Shrinking Market Share, PC Magazine, December 10, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 12, 2012, Despite app support in its infancy, a considerable number of Android tablets, like the Barnes & Noble Nook (alongside those using other operating systems, such as the HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook) were rushed out to market in an attempt to capitalize on the success of the iPad. InfoWorld has suggested that some Android manufacturers initially treated their first tablets as a "Frankenphone business", a short-term low-investment opportunity by placing a smartphone-optimized Android OS (before Android 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets was available) on a device while neglecting user interface. This approach, such as with the Dell Streak, failed to gain market traction with consumers as well as damaging the early reputation of Android tablets.WEB, Gruman, Galen,weblink Why Google's tighter control over Android is a good thing | Mobile Technology, InfoWorld, April 5, 2011, March 14, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 3, 2013, WEB, Gruman, Galen,weblink Anatomy of failure: Mobile flops from RIM, Microsoft, and Nokia, Macworld, May 14, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 1, 2013, Furthermore, several Android tablets such as the Motorola Xoom were priced the same or higher than the iPad, which hurt sales. An exception was the Amazon Kindle Fire, which relied upon lower pricing as well as access to Amazon's ecosystem of applications and content.WEB, Hiner, Jason,weblink Why Android tablets failed: A postmortem, TechRepublic, January 5, 2012, November 9, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 17, 2012, This began to change in 2012, with the release of the affordable Nexus 7 and a push by Google for developers to write better tablet applications.WEB, Andrew, Cunningham, Google to Android devs: make nicer tablet apps, pretty please?,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, October 8, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, According to International Data Corporation, shipments of Android-powered tablets surpassed iPads in Q3 2012.WEB, Kovach, Steve, Android Now Ahead Of Apple's iOS In Tablet Market Share,weblink Business Insider, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 3, 2013, File:Nook Color Showing Wikipedia Index On Dolphin Browser HD.jpg|150px|left|thumb|Barnes & Noble Nook running Android]]As of the end of 2013, over 191.6 million Android tablets had sold in three years since 2011.WEB,weblink Gartner Says Worldwide Tablet Sales Grew 68 Percent in 2013, With Android Capturing 62 Percent of the Market, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 17, 2014, WEB,weblink Gartner Says Worldwide Media Tablets Sales to Reach 119 Million Units in 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 24, 2014, This made Android tablets the most-sold type of tablet in 2013, surpassing iPads in the second quarter of 2013.WEB,weblink Android Ecosystem Takes the Baton from Apple iPad in the Tablet Race, ABIresearch, September 27, 2013, September 10, 2014, According to StatCounter's web use statistics, {{as of|2017|August|15|lc=y|df=US}}, Android tablets represent the majority of tablet devices used in South America (57.46%)WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in South America,, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, and Africa (69.08%),WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in Africa, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, while being a distant second to iOS in North America (25.29%) and Europe (32.64%), despite having sizeable majorities in many Central American, Caribbean, and Eastern European states.WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in North America (map),, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in North America,, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, ) and representing the majority in Asia (51.25%)WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in Asia,, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, notably in India (65.98%)WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in India,, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, and Indonesia (82.18%).WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in Indonesia,, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, Android is an extremely distant second at 11.93% in Oceania as well, mostly due to Australia (10.71%) and New Zealand (16.9%), while in some countries such as Nauru over 80% of tablets are believed to use Android.WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in Oceania,, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, As well, Android is more often than not used by the minority of web users in Antarctica, which has no permanent population.WEB,weblink Tablet Operating System Market Share in Antarctica,, August 15, 2017, no,weblink August 16, 2017, In March 2016, Galen Gruman of InfoWorld stated that Android devices could be a "real part of your business [..] there's no longer a reason to keep Android at arm's length. It can now be as integral to your mobile portfolio as Apple's iOS devices are".WEB, Galen, Gruman, How to make Android a real part of your business,weblink InfoWorld, International Data Group, March 24, 2016, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 23, 2017, {{registration required}} A year earlier, Gruman had stated that Microsoft's own mobile Office apps were "better on iOS and Android" than on Microsoft's own Windows 10 devices.WEB, Galen, Gruman, Office Mobile: Better on iPads than on Windows 10 tablets,weblink InfoWorld, International Data Group, August 7, 2015, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 11, 2017, {{-}}

Platform information

Android Oreo 8.1 is the single most used Android version.WEB,weblink Mobile & Tablet Android Version Market Share Worldwide, StatCounter Global Stats, en, 2019-06-14, {| class="wikitable sortable"! Version! Code name! Release date! API level! Runtime! First devices to run version9Android Pie>Pie201806}}c sortKey=9.0}}Android Runtime>ARTEssential Phone, Google Pixel>Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, Oppo R15 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21UD, Vivo X21, Xiaomi Mi MIX 2SANDROID P BETA DEVICES WEBSITE=ANDROID DEVELOPERS, Google, 8.1 Oreo201705}}co sortKey=8.1}}Android Runtime>ARTPixel (smartphone)>Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X8.0201721}}co sortKey=8.0}}Android Runtime>ART| N/A 7.1 Nougat201604}}co sortKey=7.1}}Android Runtime>ART Pixel (smartphone)>Pixel, Pixel XL 7.0201622}}co sortKey=7.0}}Android Runtime>ART Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P 6.0Android Marshmallow>Marshmallow20155}}o sortKey=6.0}}Android Runtime>ART 5.1 Lollipop20159}}o sortKey=5.1}}Android Runtime>ART| Android One 5.020143}}o sortKey=5.0}}| ART 2.1.0| Nexus 6, Nexus 9 4.4Android KitKat>KitKat201331}}o sortKey=4.4}}Dalvik (software)>Dalvik (and ART 1.6.0)| Nexus 5 4.3 Jelly Bean201324}}o sortKey=4.3}}Dalvik (software)>DalvikNexus 7 (2013)>Nexus 7 2013 4.2201213}}o sortKey=4.2}}Dalvik (software)>Dalvik| Nexus 4, Nexus 10 4.120129}}o sortKey=4.1}}Dalvik (software)>DalvikNexus 7 (2012)>Nexus 7 4.0Android Ice Cream Sandwich>Ice Cream Sandwich201119}}o sortKey=4.0}}Dalvik (software)>Dalvik| Galaxy Nexus 2.3Android Gingerbread>Gingerbread20119}}o sortKey=2.3}}Dalvik (software)>Dalvik 1.4.0| Nexus S{{Version show=111111|sortKey=0.1}}{{As of|May 2019}}, 78.9% of devices have OpenGL ES 3.0 or higher.

Application piracy

In general, paid Android applications can easily be pirated.NEWS, Wired UK,weblink Op-Ed: Android Piracy Is Huge Problem for Game Devs | Game|Life,, May 3, 2012, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 6, 2012, In a May 2012 interview with Eurogamer, the developers of Football Manager stated that the ratio of pirated players vs legitimate players was 9:1 for their game Football Manager Handheld.WEB, Yin, Wesley,weblink Football Manager dev hopes to stick with Android despite 9:1 piracy rate,, April 24, 2012, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 16, 2012, However, not every developer agreed that piracy rates were an issue; for example, in July 2012 the developers of the game Wind-up Knight said that piracy levels of their game were only 12%, and most of the piracy came from China, where people cannot purchase apps from Google Play.WEB, Armasu, Lucian,weblink Wind-up Knight developer: Piracy rates on iOS and Android are comparable, China is the main source,, July 30, 2012, October 6, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 20, 2012, In 2010, Google released a tool for validating authorized purchases for use within apps, but developers complained that this was insufficient and trivial to crack. Google responded that the tool, especially its initial release, was intended as a sample framework for developers to modify and build upon depending on their needs, not as a finished piracy solution.WEB, Ryan, Paul, Android antipiracy cracked, Google says devs used it wrong,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, August 25, 2010, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, Android "Jelly Bean" introduced the ability for paid applications to be encrypted, so that they may work only on the device for which they were purchased.WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Update: Google posts DRM workaround for paid Android Wear apps,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, July 9, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink February 10, 2017, WEB, McAllister, Neil,weblink Android app DRM quietly disabled due to bug, The Register, August 8, 2012, June 10, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 11, 2012,

Legal issues

{{Further|Smartphone patent wars|Patent troll}}The success of Android has made it a target for patent and copyright litigation between technology companies, both Android and Android phone manufacturers having been involved in numerous patent lawsuits and other legal challenges.

Patent lawsuit with Oracle

On August 12, 2010, Oracle sued Google over claimed infringement of copyrights and patents related to the Java programming language.WEB,weblink Update: Oracle sues Google over Java use in Android, James, Niccolai, August 12, 2010, Computerworld, IDG, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 6, 2012, Oracle originally sought damages up to $6.1 billion,NEWS,weblink Oracle seeks up to $6.1 billion in Google lawsuit, Reuters, June 18, 2011, September 7, 2011, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 2, 2011, but this valuation was rejected by a United States federal judge who asked Oracle to revise the estimate.WEB,weblink Judge tosses Oracle's $6.1 billion damage estimate in claim against Google,, July 22, 2011, September 7, 2011, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 18, 2012, In response, Google submitted multiple lines of defense, counterclaiming that Android did not infringe on Oracle's patents or copyright, that Oracle's patents were invalid, and several other defenses. They said that Android's Java runtime environment is based on Apache Harmony, a clean room implementation of the Java class libraries, and an independently developed virtual machine called Dalvik.NEWS,weblink Calling Oracle Hypocritical, Google Denies Patent Infringement, Ryan, Singel, October 5, 2010, Wired, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 28, 2011, In May 2012, the jury in this case found that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents, and the trial judge ruled that the structure of the Java APIs used by Google was not copyrightable.WEB, Josh, Lowensohn, Jury clears Google of infringing on Oracle patents,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, May 23, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 23, 2017, WEB, Joe, Mullin, Google wins crucial API ruling, Oracle’s case decimated,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, May 31, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, The parties agreed to zero dollars in statutory damages for a small amount of copied code.WEB
, Oracle agrees to 'zero' damages in Google lawsuit, eyes appeal
, June 23, 2012
, James
, Niccolai
, June 20, 2012
, no
,weblink" title="">weblink
, November 17, 2012
, mdy-all
, On May 9, 2014, the Federal Circuit partially reversed the district court ruling, ruling in Oracle's favor on the copyrightability issue, and remanding the issue of fair use to the district court.WEB, Seth, Rosenblatt, Court sides with Oracle over Android in Java patent appeal,weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, May 9, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink April 19, 2017, WEB,weblink ORACLE AMERICA, INC., Plaintiff – Appellant, v. GOOGLE INC., Defendant – Cross – Appellant., Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, May 9, 2014, May 10, 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink June 1, 2014, In December 2015, Google announced that the next major release of Android (Android Nougat) would switch to OpenJDK, which is the official open-source implementation of the Java platform, instead of using the now-discontinued Apache Harmony project as its runtime. Code reflecting this change was also posted to the AOSP source repository. In its announcement, Google claimed this was part of an effort to create a "common code base" between Java on Android and other platforms. Google later admitted in a court filing that this was part of an effort to address the disputes with Oracle, as its use of OpenJDK code is governed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) with a linking exception, and that "any damages claim associated with the new versions expressly licensed by Oracle under OpenJDK would require a separate analysis of damages from earlier releases".WEB, Ron, Amadeo, Android N switches to OpenJDK, Google tells Oracle it is protected by the GPL,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, January 6, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, In June 2016, a United States federal court ruled in favor of Google, stating that its use of the APIs was fair use.WEB, Joe, Mullin, Google beats Oracle—Android makes "fair use" of Java APIs,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, May 26, 2016, March 11, 2017, no,weblinkweblink January 18, 2017,

Anti-competitive challenges in Europe

In 2013, FairSearch, a lobbying organization supported by Microsoft, Oracle and others, filed a complaint regarding Android with the European Commission, alleging that its free-of-charge distribution model constituted anti-competitive predatory pricing. The Free Software Foundation Europe, whose donors include Google, disputed the Fairsearch allegations.WEB,weblink FSFE objects to claims of 'predatory pricing' in Free Software, Free Software Foundation Europe, September 28, 2013, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 2, 2013, On April 20, 2016, the EU filed a formal antitrust complaint against Google based upon the FairSearch allegations, arguing that its leverage over Android vendors, including the mandatory bundling of the entire suite of proprietary Google software, hindering the ability for competing search providers to be integrated into Android, and barring vendors from producing devices running forks of Android, constituted anti-competitive practices.WEB, Google faces EU charge over Android 'abuse of dominance',weblink BBC News, April 20, 2016, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 20, 2016, In August 2016, Google was fined US$6.75 million by the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) under similar allegations by Yandex.WEB, Russia fines Google $6.75 million for preinstalling apps on Android,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, March 23, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 24, 2017, The European Commission issued its decision on July 18, 2018, determining that Google had conducted three antitrust operations related to Android: bundling Google's search and Chrome as part of Android, blocking phone manufacturers from using forked versions of Android, and establishing deals with phone manufacturers and network providers to exclusively bundle the Google search application on handsets (a practice Google ended by 2014). The EU fined Google for {{€|4.3 billion}} (about {{USD|5 billion}}) and required the company to end this conduct within 90 days.WEB,weblink Google fined a record $5 billion by the EU for Android antitrust violations, Tom, Warren, July 18, 2018, July 18, 2018, The Verge, Google filed its appeal of the ruling in October 2018, though will not ask for any interim measures to delay the onset of conduct requirements.WEB,weblink Google Appeals $5 Billion EU Fine in Android Case, Sam, Schechner, October 9, 2018, October 9, 2018, The Wall Street Journal, On October 16, 2018, Google announced that it would change its distribution model for Google Mobile Services in the EU, since part of its revenues streams for Android which came through use of Google Search and Chrome were now prohibited by the EU's ruling. While the core Android system remains free, OEMs in Europe would be required to purchase a paid license to the core suite of Google applications, such as Gmail, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. Google Search will be licensed separately, with an option to include Google Chrome at no additional cost atop Search. European OEMs are able to bundle third-party alternatives on phones and devices sold to customers, if they so choose. OEMs will no longer be barred from selling any device running incompatible versions of Android in Europe.NEWS,weblink Google will start charging Android device makers a fee for using its apps in Europe, The Verge, October 16, 2018, October 17, 2018, Jacob, Kastrenakes, Nilay, Patel,


In addition to lawsuits against Google directly, various proxy wars have been waged against Android indirectly by targeting manufacturers of Android devices, with the effect of discouraging manufacturers from adopting the platform by increasing the costs of bringing an Android device to market.WEB, Newman, Jared,weblink Microsoft-Samsung Patent Deal: Great News for Windows Phones, PCWorld, September 28, 2011, September 15, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 29, 2012, Both Apple and Microsoft have sued several manufacturers for patent infringement, with Apple's ongoing legal action against Samsung being a particularly high-profile case. In January 2012, Microsoft said they had signed patent license agreements with eleven Android device manufacturers, whose products account for "70 percent of all Android smartphones" sold in the USPRESS, Microsoft and LG Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android and Chrome OS Based Devices, January 12, 2012,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink April 20, 2012, and 55% of the worldwide revenue for Android devices.WEB, Jon, Brodkin, Microsoft collects license fees on 50% of Android devices, tells Google to "wake up",weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, October 23, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, These include Samsung and HTC.WEB,weblink Microsoft signs Android licensing deal with Samsung, Mikael Ricknäs, Computerworld, September 28, 2011, February 16, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 7, 2012, Samsung's patent settlement with Microsoft included an agreement to allocate more resources to developing and marketing phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. Microsoft has also tied its own Android software to patent licenses, requiring the bundling of Microsoft Office Mobile and Skype applications on Android devices to subsidize the licensing fees, while at the same time helping to promote its software lines.WEB, Trent, Rod, Microsoft Inside: 20 New Android Device Manufacturers Sign-on to Pre-Install Office and Skype,weblink SuperSite for Windows, Penton, August 23, 2016, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 28, 2016, WEB, Tom, Warren, Xiaomi will bundle Microsoft’s Office and Skype apps on its Android devices,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, June 1, 2016, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 16, 2017, Google has publicly expressed its frustration for the current patent landscape in the United States, accusing Apple, Oracle and Microsoft of trying to take down Android through patent litigation, rather than innovating and competing with better products and services.WEB, Jacqui, Cheng, Google publicly accuses Apple, Microsoft, Oracle of patent bullying,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, August 3, 2011, June 14, 2017, no,weblink February 26, 2017, In August 2011, Google purchased Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion, which was viewed in part as a defensive measure to protect Android, since Motorola Mobility held more than 17,000 patents.WEB, Casey, Johnston, Google, needing patents, buys Motorola wireless for $12.5 billion,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, August 15, 2011, June 14, 2017, no,weblink September 20, 2017, WEB, Robin, Wauters, Google Buys Motorola Mobility For $12.5B, Says "Android Will Stay Open",weblink TechCrunch, AOL, August 15, 2011, June 14, 2017, no,weblink June 9, 2017, In December 2011, Google bought over a thousand patents from IBM.WEB, Ryan, Paul, Google buys another round of IBM patents as its Oracle trial nears,weblink Ars Technica, Condé Nast, January 4, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017,

Other uses

File:OUYA-Console-set-h.jpg|thumb|right|Ouya, a video game consolevideo game consoleGoogle has developed several variations of Android for specific use cases, including Android Wear, later renamed Wear OS, for wearable devices such as wrist watches,WEB, Dante, D'Orazio, Google reveals Android Wear, an operating system for smartwatches,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, March 18, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2017, WEB, Brad, Molen, Google announces Android Wear, a Nexus-like platform for wearables,weblink Engadget, AOL, March 18, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, Android TV for televisions,WEB, Kwame, Opam, Google officially unveils Android TV,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, June 25, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 7, 2016, WEB, Josh, Ong, Google announces Android TV to bring ‘voice input, user experience and content’ to the living room,weblink The Next Web, June 25, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, and Android Things for smart devices and Internet of things.WEB, Jacob, Kastrenakes, Android Things is Google’s new OS for smart devices,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, December 13, 2016, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 17, 2017, WEB, Frederic, Lardinois, Google launches first developer preview of Android Things, its new IoT platform,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, December 13, 2016, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, Additionally, by providing infrastructure that combines dedicated hardware and dedicated applications running on regular Android, Google have opened up the platform for its use in particular usage scenarios, such as Android Auto for cars,WEB, Alex, Wilhelm, Google Announces Android Auto, Promises Enabled Cars By The End Of 2014,weblink TechCrunch, AOL, June 25, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink June 22, 2017, WEB, Tim, Moynihan, Google Announces Android Auto, Its Answer to Apple’s CarPlay,weblink Wired (website), Wired, Condé Nast, June 25, 2014, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 13, 2017, and Daydream, a Virtual Reality platform.The open and customizable nature of Android allows device makers to use it on other electronics as well, including laptops, netbooks,WEB, John, Herrman, Acer Planning an Android Netbook For Q3 of This Year,weblink Gizmodo, Univision Communications, June 2, 2009, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, WEB, Paul, Boutin, HP announces Android netbook,weblink VentureBeat, February 12, 2010, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, and desktop computers,WEB, Michael, Brown, Android on the big screen: We chew up and spit out three Jelly Bean all-in-one PCs,weblink PC World, International Data Group, May 8, 2014, December 4, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 8, 2017, cameras,WEB, Vlad, Savov, Samsung Galaxy Camera announced: 16 megapixels, 21x optical zoom, and Android 4.1,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, August 29, 2012, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, headphones,WEB, Rik, Myslewski, Android-powered touchscreen Wi-Fi headphones offered,weblink The Register, January 12, 2011, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2017, home automation systems, game consoles,WEB, Bogdan, Petrovan, Android Everywhere: 10 Types of Devices That Android Is Making Better,weblink Android Authority, February 26, 2012, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 1, 2017, media players,WEB, Will, G., Top Android MP3 Players for 2011,weblink Android Authority, December 1, 2011, March 12, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 20, 2017, satellites,WEB, Leah, Yamshon, Android Phones Will Power NASA's New Fleet of Mini-Satellites,weblink PC World, International Data Group, August 23, 2012, December 4, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2017, routers,WEB, Bertel, King Jr., Soap Android-Powered Smart Router With Touch Display Surpasses 80k Kickstarter Funding Goal,weblink Android Police, March 3, 2014, December 4, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 11, 2017, printers,WEB, John, Callaham, Samsung announces first Android-based printers for businesses,weblink Android Central, September 4, 2014, December 4, 2017, no,weblink November 11, 2017, payment terminals,WEB, Pan, Yue, Xiaomi-Backed Smart POS Terminal Developer Sunmi Raises New Funding Round,weblink China Money Network, September 6, 2017, December 4, 2017, no,weblink November 11, 2017, automated teller machines,WEB, Larry, Dignan, NCR launches Kalpana, an Android, cloud ATM,weblink ZDNet, CBS Interactive, April 15, 2015, December 4, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 3, 2018, and robots.WEB, Thuy, Ong, Sony's Xperia Hello robotic assistant can now be an expensive member of your family,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, October 24, 2017, December 4, 2017, no,weblink December 5, 2017, Additionally, Android has been installed and run on a variety of less-technical objects, including calculators,WEB, Ricardo, Trevizo, Android Ported Into TI Nspire CX Calculator,weblink Android Headlines, June 23, 2015, December 4, 2017, single-board computers,WEB, Christian, Cawley, 10 Operating Systems You Can Run With Raspberry Pi,weblink MakeUseOf, August 14, 2017, December 4, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 5, 2017, feature phones,WEB, This debit card-sized feature phone runs on Android; charges wirelessly,weblink Deccan Chronicle, November 7, 2017, December 4, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 27, 2017, electronic dictionaries,WEB, Christian, Crisostomo, Japan's magnificent electronic dictionary,weblink VRWorld, January 19, 2015, December 4, 2017, yes,weblink November 11, 2017, alarm clocks,WEB, Joe, Sirianni, Archos Shows Off Their Android Based Home Connect Alarm Clock and Internet Radio Device,weblink Talk Android, January 13, 2012, December 4, 2017, refrigerators,WEB, Dean, Takahashi, Samsung smart fridge: It runs Android apps like Evernote (video demo),weblink VentureBeat, January 11, 2013, December 4, 2017, no,weblink November 22, 2017, landline telephones,WEB, Richard, Devine, Archos Smart Home Phone now available – get Android on your landline,weblink Android Central, Mobile Nations, January 19, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 8, 2017, coffee machines,WEB, Al, Sacco, The Android-Powered Coffee Machine for Java Aficionados (UPDATED),weblink CIO magazine, CIO, International Data Group, March 24, 2014, December 4, 2017, no,weblink November 11, 2017, bicycles,WEB, Sean, O'Kane, LeEco’s new Android-powered smart bikes are coming to the US,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, January 3, 2017, December 4, 2017, no,weblink November 11, 2017, and mirrors.Ouya, a video game console running Android, became one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns, crowdfunding US$8.5m for its development,WEB,weblink OUYA interview: Julie Uhrman tackles consoles & critics, Destructoid, November 2, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 20, 2012, NEWS, Erik Kain,weblink An Interview With 'Ouya' Founder Julie Uhrman On A New Breed Of Video Game Console, Forbes, April 18, 2012, November 2, 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 4, 2012, and was later followed by other Android-based consoles, such as Nvidia's Shield Portable{{snd}} an Android device in a video game controller form factor.WEB, Sean, Buckley, NVIDIA Shield ships July 31st, barely meets delayed launch window,weblink Engadget, AOL, July 21, 2013, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink July 8, 2014, In 2011, Google demonstrated "Android@Home", a home automation technology which uses Android to control a range of household devices including light switches, power sockets and thermostats.WEB, Thomas, Ricker, Editorial: Android@Home is the best worst thing that could happen to home automation,weblink Engadget, AOL, May 11, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink March 12, 2017, Prototype light bulbs were announced that could be controlled from an Android phone or tablet, but Android head Andy Rubin was cautious to note that "turning a lightbulb on and off is nothing new", pointing to numerous failed home automation services. Google, he said, was thinking more ambitiously and the intention was to use their position as a cloud services provider to bring Google products into customers' homes.WEB, Nilay, Patel, Home in the clouds: Google's home automation platform to have major services integration,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, February 27, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 12, 2017, WEB,weblink Why the time has come for Android @Home to finally make a splash by Janko Roettgers, no,weblink" title="">weblink September 7, 2013, File:Android x86 on EeePC 701 4G.jpg|thumb|right|Android-x86 running on an ASUS Eee PC netbook]]Parrot unveiled an Android-based car stereo system known as Asteroid in 2011,WEB, Paul, Miller, Parrot Asteroid car receiver packs Android and apps into your dash,weblink Engadget, AOL, January 4, 2011, March 11, 2017, no,weblink June 16, 2017, followed by a successor, the touchscreen-based Asteroid Smart, in 2012.WEB, Michael, Gorman, Parrot unveils Asteroid Smart, Tablet and Mini car infotainment systems, we go hands-on,weblink Engadget, AOL, October 4, 2012, March 11, 2017, no,weblink June 16, 2017, In 2013, Clarion released its own Android-based car stereo, the AX1.WEB, Aloysius, Low, Clarion launches new Android-based AX1 car stereo,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink CNET, CBS Interactive, September 13, 2013, September 14, 2013, March 11, 2017, In January 2014, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google announced the formation of the Open Automotive Alliance, a group including several major automobile makers (Audi, General Motors, Hyundai, and Honda) and Nvidia, which aims to produce Android-based in-car entertainment systems for automobiles, "[bringing] the best of Android into the automobile in a safe and seamless way."WEB, Aaron, Souppouris, Google launches the Android-based Open Automotive Alliance with Audi, Honda, GM, and more,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, January 6, 2014, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2017, {{Anchor|DESKTOP}}Android comes preinstalled on a few laptops (a similar functionality of running Android applications is also available in Google's Chrome OS) and can also be installed on personal computers by end users.WEB,weblink Android-x86 – Porting Android to x86,, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 6, 2012, On those platforms Android provides additional functionality for physical keyboardsWEB,weblink Keyboard Devices,, no,weblink January 21, 2016, and mice, together with the "Alt-Tab" key combination for switching applications quickly with a keyboard. In December 2014, one reviewer commented that Android's notification system is "vastly more complete and robust than in most environments" and that Android is "absolutely usable" as one's primary desktop operating system.NEWS,weblink Bryan, Lunduke, The Linux desktop-a-week review: Android as a desktop environment, December 1, 2014, March 24, 2015, Network World, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 2, 2015, In October 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Android will serve as Google's future main laptop operating system, with the plan to fold Chrome OS into it by 2017.WEB,weblink Alphabet’s Google to Fold Chrome Operating System Into Android, Alistair Barr, October 30, 2015, WSJ, November 5, 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 6, 2015, WEB,weblink Chrome OS Will Be Merged Into Android – OMG! Chrome!, Sam Tran, OMG! Chrome!, November 14, 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 17, 2015, Google's Sundar Pichai, who led the development of Android, explained that "mobile as a computing paradigm is eventually going to blend with what we think of as desktop today." Also, back in 2009, Google co-founder Sergey Brin himself said that Chrome OS and Android would "likely converge over time."WEB, Sam, Byford, Google is 'very committed' to Chrome OS after Android merger reports,weblink The Verge, Vox Media, October 30, 2015, March 11, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2017, Lockheimer, who replaced Pichai as head of Android and Chrome OS, responded to this claim with an official Google blog post stating that "While we've been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS [which has] guaranteed auto-updates for five years".NEWS, Lockheimer, Hiroshi, Chrome OS is here to stay,weblink November 27, 2015, November 2, 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink November 26, 2015, That is unlike Android where support is shorter with "EOL dates [being..] at least 3 years [into the future] for Android tablets for education".WEB,weblink Android End of Life policy – Chrome for Work and Education Help, Google Help Center, March 12, 2017, no,weblink March 10, 2017, At Google I/O in May 2016, Google announced Daydream, a virtual reality platform that relies on a smartphone and provides VR capabilities through a virtual reality headset and controller designed by Google itself.WEB,weblink New Google Virtual Reality, Howley, Daniel, May 18, 2016, YahooTech, May 19, 2016, no,weblink May 19, 2016, The platform is built into Android starting with Android Nougat, differentiating from standalone support for VR capabilities. The software is available for developers, and was released in 2016.


File:Android-robot-googleplex-2008.jpg|thumb|150px|A giant Android mascot at GoogleplexGoogleplexThe mascot of Android is a green android robot, as related to the software's name. Although it has no official name, the Android team at Google reportedly call it "Bugdroid".WEB,weblink Archived copy, December 31, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 1, 2018, Due to Android's high popularity in the 2010s, it has become one of the most recognizable icons in the technology world.{{cn|date=June 2019}}It was designed by then-Google graphic designer Irina Blok on November 5, 2007 when Android was announced. Contrary to reports that she was tasked with a project to create an icon,WEB, Pagan, Kennedy, Who Made That Android Logo?,weblink The New York Times, October 11, 2013, March 13, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 14, 2017, Blok confirmed in an interview that she independently developed it and made it open source. The robot design was initially not presented to Google, but it quickly became commonplace in the Android development team, with various different variations of it created by the developers there who liked the figure, as it was free under a Creative Commons license.WEB,weblink Archived copy, December 31, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink January 1, 2018, WEB, Brand Guidelines, Android Open Source Project,weblink Android Open Source Project, en, Its popularity amongst the development team eventually led to Google adopting it as an official icon as part of the Android logo when it launched to consumers in 2008.

See also




External links

{{Commons category|Android (operating system)}} {{Android}}{{Android devices}}{{Google Inc.}}{{Alphabet Inc.}}{{Mobile operating systems}}{{Linux}}{{Authority control}}

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