2015-12-10 20:11

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Android is a mobile operating system (OS) currently developed by Google,based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touch screenmobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android's user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch gesturesthat loosely correspond to real-world actions, such as swiping, tapping andpinching, to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtualkeyboard for text input. In addition to touchscreen devices, Googlehas further developed Android TV for televisions, Android Autofor cars, and Android Wear for wrist watches, each with aspecialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on notebooks,game consoles, digitalcameras, and other electronics. As of 2015, Android has the largest installedbase of all operating systems.

    Initially developed by Android, Inc.,which Google bought in 2005,Android was unveiled in 2007, along with thefounding of the Open Handset Alliance – a consortiumof hardware, software, and telecommunicationcompanies devoted to advancing openstandards for mobile devices. As of July 2013, the Google Playstore has had over one million Android applications ("apps")published, and over 50 billion applications downloaded. An April–May 2013survey of mobile application developers found that 71% of developers createapplications for Android, and a 2015 survey found that 40% of full-timeprofessional developers see Android as their priority target platform, which iscomparable to Apple's iOS on 37% with bothplatforms far above others. At Google I/O2014, the company revealed that there were over one billion active monthlyAndroid users, up from 538 million in June 2013.

    Android's source code is released by Google under open source licenses, although most Android devices ultimately ship with a combination of 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-techdevices. Its open nature has encouraged a large community of developers andenthusiasts to use the open-source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems. At the same time, as Android has no centralised update system most Android devices fail to receive securityupdates: research in 2015 concluded that almost 90% of Android phones in usehad known but unpatched security vulner abilities due to lack of updates and support. The success of Android has made it a target for patent litigation aspart of the so-called "smartphone wars" between technology companies.