The Android operating system is one of the two most popular smartphone and tablet platforms in the world. According to a study by research firm Strategy Analytics, it powers over 84% of devices shipped worldwide as of the second quarter of 2014.
Today, this OS is synonymous with Google, but it wasn’t always the giant contender to the iOS as it is today. In fact, its history extends as far back as 2003.
Let’s take a look at five important facts in its history that every Android user should know.
In 2003, the Californian startup company Android Inc. was first founded by a group of individuals: Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White. All of them had strong ties to T-Mobile.
After backing the startup in 2004, Google later acquired the company in 2005 for a reported price of $50 million, where they both developed the first working Android OS. Since then, they released new versions of the operating system for free.
To date, the released versions were named as: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, Kitkat, Lollipop and Marshmallow.
If you look at the sequence closely, you would notice that the first letters in the names follow the letters of the alphabet. While this does sound interesting, the whole idea started out as little more than an inside joke from within the company. There really was no focus group discussion with customers, or any other form of research, conducted to form the name. The Android team just ran with the idea.
In 2014, Google announced different applications for Android-based devices to be used in other devices. These include its AR-based Google Glass, watches, TVs, and even cars.
This was through Google's Nest Labs initiative, which has created a program that allows outside developers to fashion software and new platforms for its products. These developers ranged from tiny startups to large companies, such as Whirlpool and Mercedes-Benz.
While 2014 was the year when the Android OS began its expansion, Sony Ericsson already had a working smartwatch that ran the Android OS in 2010. This was known as the LiveView accessory that initially was meant for Android 2.0-compatible devices.
The LiveView watch allowed users to check incoming calls, control music, view calendar events, and manage social networking apps. It could also be attached to keychains, watch straps, and can be clipped to a laptop or a book.
Samsung is known as the most prominent manufacturer of Android-based devices, so it is a bit surprising to know that it initially rejected the OS back when it was still a startup in its planning stages.
They had flown to Seoul and pitched the idea to a meeting with 20 Samsung executives. But instead of enthusiasm and questions, the only response was dead silence. This happened two weeks before Google acquired the company, according to Rubin.
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