Android (operating system)

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.Android's user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch gestures that loosely correspond to real-world actions, such as swiping, tapping and pinching, to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard for text input.In addition to touchscreen devices, Google has further developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Android Wear for wrist watches, each with a specialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on game consoles, digital cameras, PCs and other electronics.

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Android version history

Code name Version number Initial release date API level Support status
(No codename) 1.0 September 23, 2008 1 Unsupported
(Internally known as "Petit Four") 1.1 February 9, 2009 2 Unsupported
Cupcake 1.5 April 27, 2009 3 Unsupported
Donut 1.6 September 15, 2009 4 Unsupported
Eclair 2.0 – 2.1 October 26, 2009 5 – 7 Unsupported
Froyo 2.2 – 2.2.3 May 20, 2010 8 Unsupported
Gingerbread 2.3 – 2.3.7 December 6, 2010 9 – 10 Unsupported
Honeycomb 3.0 – 3.2.6 February 22, 2011 11 – 13 Unsupported
Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 – 4.0.4 October 18, 2011 14 – 15 Unsupported
Jelly Bean 4.1 – 4.3.1 July 9, 2012 16 – 18 Unsupported
KitKat 4.4 – 4.4.4 October 31, 2013 19 – 20 Supported
Lollipop 5.0 – 5.1.1 November 12, 2014 21 – 22 Supported
Marshmallow 6.0 – 6.0.1 October 5, 2015 23 Supported
Nougat 7.0 – 7.1.2 August 22, 2016 24 – 25 Supported
Oreo 8.0 August 21, 2017 26 Supported

Android's source code is released by Google under an open source license, although most Android devices ultimately ship with a combination of free and open source and proprietary software, including proprietary software required for accessing Google services. Android is popular with technology companies that require a ready-made, low-cost and customizable operating system for high-tech devices. Its open nature has encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open-source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which deliver updates to older devices, add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems. The extensive variation of hardware in Android devices causes significant delays for software upgrades, with new versions of the operating system and security patches typically taking months before reaching consumers, or sometimes not at all. The success of Android has made it a target for patent and copyright litigation between technology companies.
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