The word Android is used correctly in many contexts. Although the word still can refer to a humanoid robot, Android has come to mean much more than that in the last decade. In the mobile space, it refers to a company, an operating system, an open source project, and a development community. Some people even call mobile devices Androids. In short, an entire ecosystem surrounds the now wildly popular mobile operating system.
This chapter looks closely at the composition and health of the Android ecosystem. First you find out how Android became what it is today. Then the chapter breaks down the ecosystem stakeholders into groups in order to help you understand their roles and motivations. Finally, the chapter discusses the complex relationships within the ecosystem that give rise to several important issues that affect security.
Understanding Android's Roots
Android did not become the world's most popular mobile operating system overnight. The last decade has been a long journey with many bumps in the road. This section recounts how Android became what it is today and begins looking at what makes the Android ecosystem tick.
Android began as Android, Inc., a company founded by Andy Rubin, Chris White, Nick Sears, and Rich Miner in October 2003. They focused on creating mobile devices that were able to take into account location information and user preferences. After successfully navigating market demand and financial difficulties, ...