Many of us can’t remember how phones used to look like with T9 keypads that had to be punched continuously before words can be typed this is because mobile efficiency and aesthetics has changed over the years appreciably and almost suddenly. Scrolling up or down to check a notification has become an almost involuntary action that the Android OS added to our every day human actions.
It started seven years ago (Sep, 2008) when Google announced the original release of the Unix-like open source mobile OS programmed in C/C++ and Java after an almost undisclosed purchase from Android inc. on July 2005 for about $50 million. The initial founders namely Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White wanted to develop an advance operating system for digital cameras but realized that the market for such devices were not large enough and so they converted it to a smart phone OS that can rival the Symbian & Windows mobile.
Google began work on this project after partnering with HTC, Sony, Samsung, Sprint Nextel, T-mobile, Qualcom and Texan Instrument to form the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) a group of Tech companies committed to provide an open standard for mobile devices. By 2007 the green logo was designed by Irina Blok after being inspired by the human symbol on restroom door, this was to meet Google’s request for a robot human-like logo. That same year Oct 22, Android 1.0 was unveiled on HTC dream as the first commercially available smart-phone running Android OS and since then different upgrades have been released, each named after desserts or sugary treats (Apple does hers after Big Cats).
Android 1.5 was released April 2009 was named Cupcake, 2.0 Éclair (Oct 2009), 3.0 Honeycomb (Feb 2011), 4.0 Ice-cream (Oct 2012), 4.2 Jelly beans (Nov, 2012), 4.4 Kit-Kat (Sept 2013), 5.0 Lollipop (Nov, 2014), and 6.0 Marsh-mellow (Oct, 2015). These upgrades are usually released every six to nine month and are customarily unveiled on the Nexus series of Devices or any OHA device. They don’t get to other tablet and mobile brands until a year or more due to the technological specifications of the older devices already in the market as a result the upgrades has to be tailored for compatibility with the various hard-wares.
One of Google’s goal as always been reaching out to low end devices or region’s that don’t have means of using expensive hardware but want to still run the self aware software. Android now powers phones, TV, wristwatches, tablets, automobiles and so much to come (culled from android.com). As of July 2015, according to statista.com Android application store, Playstore formally know as Android market had over 1.6 billion published apps and over 60 billion downloaded across various devices followed by Apple’s 1.5 Billion, Window’s 340,000 and Blackberry 130,000. This indicates the very vast and expanding foothold the OS is gaining.
Fortunately Android’s success as also attracted some legal issues, some from Oracles over patents related to Java programming (which is used to write programs on Android), also by Apple and Microsoft for patent infringement and according to Wikipedia.com, Google has publicly expressed her frustration over the current patent landscape in the United States, accusing this companies of trying to take down Android using patent litigation rather than innovating and competing with better products and services. This has made Google purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (17,000 patents) and also some patents from IBM as a defense for Android.
Considering the vast influence Android has and the huge improvement it has witnessed over the years, I can conclude that this is surely the future imagined for mobile devices and its becoming cheaper nowadays thanks to team Android for innovations and a mindset that want to share good quality tech to the world.