Android is a mobile operating system built on a Linux kernel. It was originally developed by Android, Inc., which was then acquired by Google. Today, the platform is supported and developed by the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), initiated by Google.
The first official version of the system was released in the Fall of 2008. In February of 2022, the Android 13 Developer Preview 1 was released for the Pixel 4 and later models. Android 13 was codenamed Tiramisu (after the famous dessert). The stable version of Android 13 is expected to be released in the fall of 2022.
Each new version of the operating system comes with more useful features while also yielding higher performance indicators and more battery life for the mobile device running it. Plus, Android not only works with smartphones, but also tablets, other “smart” systems, and even devices from different companies.
App developers can take advantage of the following features with the Android system:
Android has the Google Play Store for downloading and installing mobile apps. It usually comes preinstalled on the mobile device. The store features thousands of applications and games conveniently divided into categories, including free, paid, and shareware.
The platform is open source, which has its advantages and drawbacks. On one hand, this provides a wide variety of set-up options for the mobile device, but on the other hand, a user who doesn’t have sufficient knowledge of the system can accidentally break their device by changing its deep settings.
The open source code allows manufacturers to make changes to the interface and functionality of the platform, creating an Android skin.
Android’s open source code makes it more vulnerable to malware than Apple’s iOS (which is a closed source system). Android mobile devices can be “infected” with a virus to covertly control the device or steal sensitive information.
The operating system’s developers have built in a number of security features, plus the user can control permission settings for apps regarding access to the microphone, camera, the user’s location, and other information.
Android devices have a “safe browsing” mode built into the operating system, which is enabled by default. When using Google Chrome, this feature will alert the user before a suspicious site is opened.
If a user has doubts about their device’s security, they can install antivirus software for Android.
Learn more about selecting a platform for developing your mobile app.