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Android (operating system) facts for kids

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Android robot 2014.svg
Android logo (2014).svg
The Android logo
Android 6.0-en.png
Android 6.0
Company / developer Google
Open Handset Alliance
Android Open Source Project
Programmed in C (core), C++, Java (UI)
OS family Unix-like, Linux (kernel)
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release 23 September 2008 (2008-09-23)
Latest stable release 6.0 "Marshmallow" / October 5, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-10-05)
Marketing target Smartphones, tablet computers, TVs, cars and wearable devices
Available language(s) Multi-lingual
Package manager Google Play, APK
Supported platforms 32- and 64-bit: ARM architectures, x86, x86-64, MIPS and MIPS64
Kernel type Monolithic (modified Linux kernel)
Default user interface Graphical (Multi-touch)
License Apache License 2.0
Linux kernel patches under GNU GPL v2

Android is an operating system for mobile devices. It is mostly used for Smartphones, like Google's own Google Nexus, as well as by other phone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung. It has also been used for tablets such as the Motorola Xoom and Amazon Kindle Fire. A modified Linux kernel is used as Android's kernel.

Google says that over 1.3 million Android smartphoness are sold every day. Most are running Android making it the most popular mobile operating system. It is also the most popular operating system in general.

It supports multitasking and two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics.

Android programs

Programs for Android, also called "apps", come from the Google Play store. The Android programs have an extension of .apk. Android programs are built inPython, C, C++, or Java programming languages but theUI is always made using Java and XML. There are over 1,600,000 apps available for Android.

Android version numbers and names

Samsung Smartphones
Samsung Galaxy with Android 5.0, 6.0, 7.0

Each version of Android has both a number and a name based on a dessert. The version numbers and names are:

  • Beta versions: Astro and Bender
  • 1.5: Cupcake
  • 1.6: Donut
  • 2.0 and 2.1: Eclair
  • 2.2: Froyo (FROzen YOgurt)
  • 2.3: Gingerbread
  • 3.x: Honeycomb (a tablet-only version)
  • 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3: Jelly Bean
  • 4.4: KitKat
  • 5.0 and 5.1: Lollipop
  • 6.0 and 6.0.1: Marshmallow
  • 7.0 and 7.1: Nougat
  • 8.0: Oreo


Irina Blok
Irina Blok, creator of the Android mascot
A giant Android mascot at Googleplex in 2008

The mascot of Android is a green android robot, as related to the software's name. Although it has no official name, the Android team at Google reportedly call it "Bugdroid". Due to Android's high popularity in the 2010s, it has become one of the most recognizable icons in the technology world.

It was designed by then-Google graphic designer Irina Blok on November 5, 2007 when Android was announced. Contrary to reports that she was tasked with a project to create an icon, Blok confirmed in an interview that she independently developed it and made it open source. The robot design was initially not presented to Google, but it quickly became commonplace in the Android development team, with various different variations of it created by the developers there who liked the figure, as it was free under a Creative Commons license. Its popularity amongst the development team eventually led to Google adopting it as an official icon as part of the Android logo when it launched to consumers in 2008.

Since then the robot figure has had plenty of other variations created.

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