3.1 Android: Introduction
The Android operating system (OS), which powers the majority of the smartphones sold in the world today, is a relatively new phenomenon. The Android platform was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance™ (OHA)—a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunications companies. Most of the major semiconductor manufacturers and handset makers are part of the OHA. The first Android phone was sold in 2008.
Android can be said to have originated in 2003 at Android Inc., a startup cofounded by Andy Rubin, then reportedly working on a mobile OS. The phonetic correlation between “Android” and “Andy Rubin” is most likely not a coincidence. Google acquired the 22-month-old Android Inc. in 2005. Andy Rubin led the development on the Android platform for about a decade, taking it from nothing to an impressive position, in a relatively short span of time. Android Inc. continues to be a separate company that is owned by Google Inc. This separation between Google and Android extends into the SDKs and API namespaces.
Although Android is a relatively new platform, Android’s origins go way back in time and have a close connection with the Linux/Unix family of OS as well as the widely used Java programming language—which are technologies that have been around since several decades. The Android OS is derived from Linux, a free and “Open Source” OS.
3.2 Linux: “*nix” or Unix-like OS