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What Is Android™ Technology?

Android technology was developed by Google for use on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
Android tablet computer applications are generally more compatible with certain websites.
Android™ phones are smart phone which use the Google-developed Android™ operating system.
Woman using an Android™ phone.
An Android™ phone.
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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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Android™ is a computing platform designed for use in some smart phones and other devices. This technology, which is owned by Google, Inc., includes an operating system, software, and applications. The operating system is based on Linux®, which provides advanced computer processing. Android™ technology is maintained and continually developed by the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

History of Android™

Google purchased Android Inc., a 22-month-old Palo Alto, California, startup in July 2005. Android Inc. was co-founded by Andy Rubin, maker of mobile device Danger Inc.™ The purchase was key in Google's move into the wireless technology market. In 2008, Google introduced the HTC Dream™ as the first marketed phone to use Android™ technology. Since that time, this platform use has expanded to other smart phones, tablet computers, E-readers, netbooks, and other devices.

Android™ applications

Although Android™ technology is increasingly being used on a range of devices, the most common hardware to use this platform is mobile phones. A large community of developers regularly write applications (apps), including games, social networking, and business modules, for Android™ smart phones. There are a wide range of free Android™ apps, including games and productivity titles, and paid apps are even more common. Android™ products — which are used by thousands of developers because they are freely available for download — has given software developers the opportunity to sell their creations to a wide group of consumers.

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Programming for Android™

Android™ technology is based on Java® software applications. This technology requires the use of a special software development kit (SDK) to create applications for an Android™ device. The SDK is freely available for download from the Internet. For this reason, and because it will work on multiple operating systems, many software developers prefer Android™ products over those used in other smart phones.

Smart phones have evolved into devices that use touch screens for navigation. Android™ technology provides specific application programming interface (API) modules to developers that take advantage of this. The touch screen enables the user to select and scroll through information with the stroke of a finger.

How Android™ Is Different

One of the key differences between Android™ technology and other smart phone systems is that it is open for modification. This gives vendors the opportunity to change and enhance their products based on their own preferences. This has created many versions of Android™ phones, which can vary by vendor, as well as a range of other devices that use this platform. In 2011, Google introduced a new arena for Android™ when it announced plans to launch Android@Home, a network that could allow users to automate and control home appliances.

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Discuss this Article

anon311403
Post 8

is the android technology useful only for touch screen mobiles, tablets and laptop computers? Isn't it for mobile phones that have keypads?

Qohe1et
Post 3

@Armas1313

I think that computers can perform basic functions much faster than us, once they are programmed to do so, but computers will probably not be able to innovate for themselves. Innovation is a distinctly human function, and no android technology or breakthrough is going to change that.

Armas1313
Post 2

I worry that someday our phones will become smarter than us. As ubiquitous technology and computerization of everything begins to take shape, we will be seeing everything becoming automatic, including cars. What if these technologies surpass us and take on a mind of their own?

JavaGhoul
Post 1

The world is becoming connected, in the most basic form of handheld communication and sharing. Phones are becoming like computers, and soon we might use them for all kinds of functions. Management of businesses could even be carried out using a moderately sized handheld computer, with plans and functions being executed from a beach far away. This is where android technology is taking us, and it's looking good.

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