Android is a Linux-based operating system for mobile phones and tablets. Or in simple words, we can say that Android is a piece of software installed in mobile devices like mobile phones, tablets etc that manages the hardware and the applications, which is responsible for memory allocation, process management and such type of activities .

Android operating system was developed by Open Handset Alliance, a group of 84 firms, which was organised for the development of open standards for mobile devices. The OHA includes members like Google, HTC, Dell, Sony, Intel, Motorola and more. Android was based on open source license to compete against mobile platforms from Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Research In Motion etc.

Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005.Google releases the Android code as open-source under Apache License. The Android Open Source Project is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android.

The applications that run on the Android operating phones can be downloaded from an online store- Google Play formerly known as Android Market run by Google.

The first Android phone was HTC Dream.

ANDROID VERSIONS

The android operating systems are developed under a codename based on a dessert or sweet treat name.  These versions have been released in the alphabetical order.

VERSION NUMBER

NAME

RELEASE DATE

1.0

Astro (cannot be used because of trade mark reasons)

23 September 2008

1.1

Bender (cannot be used because of trade mark reasons)

9 February 2009

1.5

Cupcake

30 April 2009

1.6

Donut

15 September 2009

2.0/2.1

Eclair

26 October 2009

2.2x (2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3)

Froyo

20 May 2010

2.3x (2.3.3, 2.3.4,2.3.5,2.3.6,2.3.7)

Gingerbread

6 December 2010

3x (3.0,3.1,3.2,3.2.1,3.2.2)

Honeycomb

22 February 2011

4x ( 4.0.1, 4.0.2,4.0.3)

Ice Cream Sandwitch

19 October 2011

The upcoming version of Android is JellyBeans.

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