Android Operating System History

The Android operating system has become extremely popular due to the success of Android phones in recent years.

Android Operating System

What Is The Android Operating System?


This operating system is a mobile operating system that was based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and some additional open-source software, it was designed specifically for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.


Who Developed The Operating System?


The operating system was developed by Google, it’s been a little over a decade since the first Android phone was launched by Google.


The main reason why this operating system became so popular among third-party Android smartphone manufacturers is due to the fact that Google made it open source.


Within a few years, after the Android 1.0 operating system was launched, there were smartphones everywhere that had the OS.


Shortly thereafter, it became the most popular mobile OS in the world, surpassing other competitors such as BlackBerry, Symbian, webOS, Windows Phone, and Palm OS.


Apple’s iOS is Android’s only serious competitor and I don’t think this will change anytime soon.


When Was The Operating System Founded?


The operating system was founded in October 2003, this is long before the term smartphone was coined, and four years before the first iPhone was released.


Who Founded The Operating System?


Founders Of The Android Operating System


Android Inc was founded by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White in Palo Alto, California.


At the time the company was founded, Rubin stated the following “there was tremendous potential in developing smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s location and preferences.”


The Operating System Was Originally Developed For Digital Cameras:


In 2013 Rubin gave a speech in Tokyo, Japan where he stated that the Android OS was originally developed to improve the operating systems of digital cameras, according to PC World.


In 2014, the company made sales pitches to investors that showed how the Android OS, installed on a camera, could wirelessly connect to a PC.


Then the PC would connect to an Android Datacenter where the owner of the camera could store their photos on a cloud server online.


When Android first came to fruition, the founders did not think about creating an amazing OS that could be used in our smartphones.


However, at that time, the sales of digital cameras were on the decline, within a few months, the founders of Android Inc thought it would be a good idea to use the OS inside mobile phones instead.


In 2013 Rubin stated, “The exact same platform, the exact same operating system we built for cameras, that became Android for cellphones.”


In 2005, Android Inc was acquired by Google but all the founders continue to develop the OS under the new ownership.


Shortly thereafter, a decision was made to use Linux as the foundation for the Android OS. This meant that Android could be offered to third-party phone manufacturers for free.


This was done because Google and the founders of Android felt as though the company had the potential to make money by offering other services that used the OS, such as apps.


Rubin continued to work as part of the Android team and he stayed on as head of the team until 2013.


In late 2014, Rubin left Google and launched a new venture called incubator. Three years later, in 2017 Rubin announced that he would be returning to the smartphone industry with the release of the Essential Phone, an Android-based phone.


Android 1.0


Google was secretly working on the first Android phone in 2007 when Apple launched the first iPhone.


In November 2007, Google mentioned its plans to compete with Apple and the other manufacturers.


Google used the Open Handset Alliance, which included Motorola, HTC, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and carriers such as T-Mobile.


It was reported that Google had two Android phones released internally before the public launch of the beta version 1.0 for developers on November 5, 2007.


Shortly thereafter Google announced the Open Handset Alliance. Google also developed its own internal phone, which was code-named “Sooner” this phone was never publicly released.


However, A few years later, Steven Troughton-Smith who’s a developer got a hold of one of these unreleased phones and he posted some photos of it.



The overall look and feel of this phone were similar to that of a BlackBerry phone instead of an iPhone.


This was due to the fact that many people did not find a touchscreen-only phone appealing at that time. Nevertheless, the first Android smartphone was announced in September 2008.


This was the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) this phone went on sale in the U.S. in October of that year.

Android Operating System
T-Mobile G1


This phone had a 3.2-inch pop-up touchscreen that was combined with a QWERTY physical keyboard, this wasn’t a very elegant design.


The phone received many bad reviews from the general public. However, the Android 1.0 OS integrated a number of Google’s additional products and services that used Google’s search services.


These products and services included YouTube, Google Maps, and an HTML browser this was pre-Chrome.


Google had also developed the very first version of the Android Market, this was the app store that Google stated would have lots of unique Android apps.


Sweet Code Names:


The first version of the Android OS 1.0 was released in September 2008, this version did not have a code name according to Android engineer Jean-Baptiste Quero.


Five months later Android 1.1 was released in February 2009. This version of Android didn’t have a public code name either.


However, it was reported that the code name “Petit four” was used internally while it was in the developmental stages at Google, that name refers to a French dessert.


A few months later in April of 2009 Android 1.5 was released, this was the first version of the OS that had a public code name which was “Cupcake”.


Ryan Gibson who’s the project manager at Google is the person who’s responsible for naming the Android versions after desserts and sweet candy.


Gibson never publicly stated why he choose that name. However, when Android 4.4 KitKat was released, Google offered an official statement on the various code names for versions of their OS.


Google stated that the reason for using desserts and sweet candy as code names is due to the fact that these devices make our lives sweet.


Who Designed The Android Logo?


Android Operating System
Irina Blok


The famous Android logo was designed by Irina Blok while she was a Google employee. In 2013, in an interview with The New York Times, Block stated that the instructions that was given to her design team by Google was to make a logo that looks like a robot.


She stated that the inspiration for the final design was inspired by looking at the familiar restroom logos representing Men and Women.


Blok and Google decided to make the Android robot an open-source project, this was a huge surprise to the general public because this is not something that large companies normally do.


As a result of this, the Android robot has been modified and used by lots of people because Google allows changes to be made under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.


Google Uses Statues To Signify New Android Releases:



When Google publicly announces its code name each year, it also places a new statue with the same code name on the lawn in front of its Visitor Center building in Mountain View, California.


Some years ago, the Nat and Friends YouTube channel discovered that an art team in New Jersey created all the statues that represent different versions of the Android OS from Cupcake to the present version.


All the statues are made from Styrofoam, then they’re sculpted and given a hard coat of plastic, then they’re painted.


After they’ve been painted they’re shipped off to California where they are put on public display on Google’s lawn.


Versions Of The Operating System:


  • Android 1.5 Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 Donut
  • Android 2.0-2.1 Eclair
  • Android 2.2 Froyo
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Android 10


The operating system has come a long way since the release of Android 1.0. Rumor has it that Google is in the early stages of developing a new OS called Fuchsia.


This OS is expected to support smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktop PCs. At the moment, Google has not made any public statements about its future plans for Fuchsia.


It’s not exed in stone, so there’s a possibility that it may be canceled.


The Future Of The Android Operating System:


It’s very obvious that Google is committed to further developing the Android OS. Google has tried to expand the OS that it uses on smartphones and tablets to other devices such as Android Auto, Android TV, and WearOS.


Recent studies have shown that Android’s smartphone market share is currently between 85 and 86 percent worldwide and iOS is between 14 and 15 percent.


The remaining mobile operating systems which consist of BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Tizen have less than 0.1 percent of the global phone market.


In 2017, Google stated that there are over two billion active phones worldwide that are running some version of the Android OS.


My Final Thought:


It’s likely that Android will continue to dominate the mobile OS market, unless Apple starts selling its new iPhones at a more economical price.


It’s hard for Apple to compete because the Android OS is being installed on a variety of phones, from the expensive flagship phones to the economical phones that are sold for less than $100.


The Android OS appeals to many more people worldwide in comparison to iOS thus the reason for its success.

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