General Informations about Android

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Android is a mobile operating system (OS) based on the Linux kernel and currently developed by Google. With a user interface based on direct manipulation, Android is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, with specialized user interfaces for televisions (Android TV), cars (Android Auto), and wrist watches (Android Wear). The OS uses touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions, like swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, and a virtual keyboard. Despite being primarily designed for touchscreen input, it also has been used in game consoles, digital cameras, and other electronics.

Android is the most popular mobile OS. As of 2013, Android devices sell more than Windows, iOS, and Mac OS devices combined, with sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014 close to the installed base of all PCs. As of July 2013 the Google Play store has had over 1 million Android apps published, and over 50 billion apps downloaded. A developer survey conducted in April–May 2013 found that 71% of mobile developers develop for Android. At Google I/O 2014, the company revealed that there were over 1 billion active monthly Android users (that have been active for 30 days), up from 538 million in June 2013.

The main hardware platform for Android is the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture. Android is developed in private by Google until the latest changes and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is made available publicly. This source code will only run without modification on select devices, usually the Nexus series of devices. The source code is, in turn, adapted by OEMs to run on their hardware.

The green Android logo was designed for Google in 2007 by graphic designer Irina Blok. The design team was tasked with a project to create a universally identifiable icon with the specific inclusion of a robot in the final design. After numerous design developments based on science-fiction and space movies, the team eventually sought inspiration from the human symbol on restroom doors and modified the figure into a robot shape. As Android is open-sourced, it was agreed that the logo should be likewise, and since its launch the green logo has been reinterpreted into countless variations on the original design.

Google provides major upgrades, incremental in nature, to Android every six to nine months, which most devices are capable of receiving over the air. The latest major release is Android 4.4 "KitKat".

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