Yesterday, Android has released its latest version as Pie. Pixel devices have already started to get over-the-air updates and others that have participated in the beta program are expected to get their official update soon.

From at least 10+ years we have been experiencing Android OS. Not one or ten million but it has more than two billion monthly active users, across the world. Even Android Inc. would have not expected this much popularity but it is their hard work and innovation that is paying off for them. Before knowing the facts and history of Android OS let us briefly know about what actually Android is?

Android Pie Statue at GooglePlex

What is Android?

What is Android?

Android is an open source, Linux based Operating System developed by Google for Smartphones, Watches, TVs and a few others. Means their source code is publicly available. You or me anyone can use that code, modify it and produce another OS. There will be no restrictions on using their source code and that is why it is called Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It is this feature that made it as the most popular and widely used Operating System in Smartphones.

In Addition to Android in Smartphones, Google is also developing Android TV for Televisions, Wear OS for Wrist Watches, Android things for Smart Things and Internet of Things (IoT), Chrome OS for PCs and Android Auto for cars with each of them having their own interface. Android is also used in Gaming Consoles, Digital Cameras, PCs, VRs, and other electronics.

Why Android is so much popular?

There are many reasons for this. Everyone has their own opinions. But now I am only going to tell my opinion, may vary with your choices or thinking.

a. Affordable (close to the common man)

Not everyone in this world could buy an iPhone but can afford an Android Smartphone. It is this feature that makes Android to have 85% + smartphone market though not having heavy profits. It is enough for people like us to have a smartphone that meets the minimum of our requirements (these days they are providing more). So in my point of view, it is open to everyone who can spend little but not much. Android's open source has led many developers in designing low cost, variety of devices. So it is one factor for its popularity.

b. Variety

Samsung, Realme, HTC, Sony, Google Pixel, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, and many others to choose from. It is the openness that led the way for others to join and make Android a big success. A person can choose his Smartphone from a variety of manufacturers who are always going to provide multiple choices. Manufacturers provide their own interface (modified from Android OS) so there is no chance to feel bored. Even if you are bored after a month or two then you can simply download one of the available Launcher or Theme and install it. This way you can change the interface as per your requirement. So we can say there is a variety in an Android Smartphone.

c. Customizable

Every part of Android can be customized. This is made possible with a different set of devs working on Android Jailbreaking, through which you can change the CPU clock speed, Swap memory (RAM), Charging speed and others. That is possible only for the rooted devices. For non-root users, they have Launchers, themes, and other applications to change or customize their Android. It is always in your hands to feel or modify your Smartphone.

d. Millions of apps from Play Store

This is the major factor that made most people to love Android. There are millions of applications available in the Play Store as a Paid or Free version. Each app is categorized, you can download apps freely from whatever category you want. Each category has no of applications. So there will be no restrictions to have only these applications on your device. You only need to worry about RAM and Storage to have many applications.

These are few factors or features that made Android much popular. There are others too like the influence of Google, openness (major) and others. But for now this is enough and now we shall look at some of the facts about Android.

Facts about Android that you might not know

#Fact 1
Android was not originally developed by Google. Actually, it was from Android Inc. Android Inc., was founded in Palo Alto, California, in October 2003 by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White. Due to some reasons, Google acquired Android Inc in July 2005, for at least $50 million. Three of the co-founders except Nick joined Google as part of the acquisition.
#Fact 2
Samsung had the opportunity to acquire Android in late 2004.

You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom. This happened two weeks before Google acquired us

Rubin quoted, from the book Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution.
#Fact 3
The first prototype of Android had a close resemblance to a BlackBerry phone, with no touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard.
#Fact 4
The first commercially available smartphone running Android was the HTC Dream, also known as T-Mobile G1, announced on September 23, 2008.
#Fact 5
Each version of Android is named after a dessert or sugary treat.
#Fact 6
The special version of Samsung Galaxy S4 runs on Stock Android, was announced by Google in May 2013.
#Fact 7
Android was originally developed for Digital Cameras, later they moved to Mobile OS as the Co-founders thought that the market was not good enough for their Goals (before acquisition).
#Fact 8
Android has both Open source and proprietary software. The source code is Open Source and G-Suite (Google Apps: Youtube, Maps, Youtube), along with some other softwares are proprietary.
#Fact 9
Google, in 2010 started Nexus series devices, in 2014 announced Android One, in October 2016 introduced Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.
#Fact 10
As of July 23, 2018; nearly 45% of Android devices run Marshmallow and Nougat combined. With their numbers as 23.5% and 21.2% respectively.
#Fact 11

Android versions and Distribution

Code Name Version Distribution
Apple Pie | (no codename)1.0*
Petit Four | Banana Bread1.1*
Eclair2.0 - 2.1*
Froyo2.2 - 2.2.3*
Gingerbread2.3.3 -
Ice Cream Sandwich4.0.3 -
Jelly Bean4.1.x1.2%
* distribution is not calculated or not existed or less than 0.1

Android Versions distribution as of May 7, 2019
Data collected during a 7-day period ending on May 7, 2019 
Any versions with less than 0.1% distribution are not shown.

#Fact 12
The Mascot of Android has no official name. But the Android developers at Google call it as "Bugdroid".
#Fact 13
Android logo (launched in 2008) was designed by Irina Blok. Blok confirmed in an interview that she independently developed it and made it open source.
#Fact 14
There are no of legal issues between Android and other companies (like Microsoft, Oracle). Some of them are:

  1. On August 12, 2010, Oracle sued Google over claimed infringement of copyrights and patents related to the Java programming language. (As of now Oracle wins. For more see this Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc.)
  2. In addition to lawsuits against Google directly, various proxy wars have been waged against Android indirectly by targeting manufacturers of Android devices, with the effect of discouraging manufacturers from adopting the platform by increasing the costs of bringing an Android device to market.
  3. In 2013, FairSearch, a lobbying organization supported by Microsoft, Oracle, and others, filed a complaint regarding Android with the European Commission, alleging that its free-of-charge distribution model constituted anti-competitive predatory pricing

#Fact 15
Android is available in 100+ languages.
#Fact 16
As of 2015 report see Android Fragmentation.
#Fact 17
Android platform has generated upto now 1.2 million jobs in Europe alone.
#Fact 18
The mobile platform contributes over $3 trillion to global GDP across 236 Countries.
#Fact 19
As of today, nearly 1,300 brands have developed 24,000+ Android devices. Between 2015 and 2016, manufacturers have launched 600+ devices. Additionally, there are now dozens of global Android app stores and multiple regional app stores.
#Fact 20
Android’s open-source platform has enabled manufacturers of all types and sizes to innovate and produce a wide range of Android devices. Over the last decade, the number of unique Android devices available worldwide has skyrocketed from just 38 in 2009 to over 20,000 in 2016.

#Fact 21
Google has released 24 versions of the Android operating system since 2008 and continues to make substantial investments to develop, grow, and improve the OS.
#Fact 22
No one is ever required to pre-install Google’s suite of proprietary apps to access, use, or distribute the Android operating system. For example, the Amazon Fire tablet runs on an operating system that was built using Android, yet ships with no Google apps pre-installed.
#Fact 23
Microsoft has partnered with 74 Android manufacturers based in 25 countries to preload its popular productivity apps and services on many Android tablets and phones including the Samsung Galaxy S6, Sony Xperia Z4, and the LG G Pad 2.
#Fact 24
Even if a phone has Google’s suite of proprietary apps pre-installed, device makers and mobile operators often choose to pre-install similar apps on a device-by-device basis—such as email, messaging, browsers, and media players.
#Fact 25
Android apps have more distribution opportunities than on any other mobile platform. In addition to the Play Store, there are dozens of other app stores on Android, such as GetJar, Yandex, LG’s Smart World, and Samsung’s Galaxy Apps store.
#Fact 26
While users on other platforms can’t download alternative app stores without “jailbreaking” their phones, Google doesn’t restrict other stores from Android—making it the only major mobile OS to enable multiple app stores.
#Fact 27
Because third-party app stores don’t always adhere to the strict Google Play Store security checks for apps, Google Play doesn’t allow other app stores to be downloaded directly through the Play Store.
#Fact 28
90% of Android apps on Google Play use Android’s “intents” system, which allows developers to designate other apps to perform certain actions. This lets Android users set any app they want as the default for tasks like search or web browsing including UC Browser, Opera, or Chrome.
#Fact 29
Google Play Services is a framework of features that give Android developers the ability to build additional features into their apps—like adding a map, inserting a leaderboard in their game, or the ability to cast a video from their app to a TV.

#Fact 30
As of May 2017, it has over two billion monthly active users, the largest installed base of any operating system, and as of June 2018, the Google Play store features over 3.3 million apps.
#Fact 31
At one time or other Android has support from many hardware platforms. Some of them are ARM (the ARMv7 and ARMv8-A architectures), x86, x86-64, ARMv5TEv, MIPS32/64, Intel and others.
#Fact 32
Due to variations in hardware, Android updates to various devices either delay or do not get at all but except Google Nexus and Pixel.
#Fact 33
The word Android refers only to a male robot, whereas a female robot is called Gynoid.
#Fact 34
Android Logging System has a method called wtf() which stands for What a Terrible Failure.
#Fact 35
Android devices sell more than Microsoft Windows, iOS, and Mac OS X devices combined.


These are some of the facts about Android, the leading platform in the Mobile market. Hope at least a few of them are interesting or to be known facts. Check in this page from Android, you'll love it.