Android (operating system) facts for kids
Android 13 home screen with Pixel Launcher
|Company / developer||Various (mostly Google)|
|Programmed in||Java (UI), C (core), C++ and others|
|OS family||Unix-like (modified Linux kernel)|
|Source model||Open source, freeware (most devices include proprietary components, such as Google Play Services or One UI)|
|Initial release||September 23, 2008|
|Latest stable release||Android 13 / August 15, 2022|
|Latest unstable release||Android 14: DP1 / February 8, 2023|
|Marketing target||Smartphones, tablet computers, smart TVs (Android TV), Android Auto and smartwatches (Wear OS)|
|Supported platforms||ARM64 (previous versions were also compatible with ARMv7, x86-64 and RISC-V unofficially supported via third-party solutions)|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux kernel)|
|Userland||Bionic libc, mksh shell, Toybox as core utilities|
|Default user interface||Graphical (multi-touch)|
Android is an operating system for mobile devices. It is mostly used for , 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.
The source code has been used to develop variants of Android on a range of other electronics, such as game consoles, digital cameras, portable media players, PCs, each with a specialized user interface. Some well known derivatives include Android TV for televisions and Wear OS for wearables, both developed by Google. Software packages on Android, which use the APK format, are generally distributed through proprietary application stores like Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore (including for Windows 11), Samsung Galaxy Store, Huawei AppGallery, Cafe Bazaar, and GetJar, or open source platforms like Aptoide or F-Droid.
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.
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
|Name||Internal codename||Version number(s)||API
|Latest security patch date||Latest Google Play Services version
|Android 1.0||N/A||Old version, no longer maintained: 1.0||1||September 23, 2008||N/A||N/A|
|Android 1.1||Petit Four||Old version, no longer maintained: 1.1||2||February 9, 2009|
|Android Cupcake||Cupcake||Old version, no longer maintained: 1.5||3||April 27, 2009|
|Android Donut||Donut||Old version, no longer maintained: 1.6||4||September 15, 2009|
|Android Eclair||Eclair||Old version, no longer maintained: 2.0||5||October 27, 2009|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.0.1||6||December 3, 2009|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.1||7||January 11, 2010|
|Android Froyo||Froyo||Old version, no longer maintained: 2.2 – 2.2.3||8||May 20, 2010||3.2.25 (October 2014)|
|Android Gingerbread||Gingerbread||Old version, no longer maintained: 2.3 – 2.3.2||9||December 6, 2010||10.0.84 (November 2016)|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.3.3 – 2.3.7||10||February 9, 2011|
|Android Honeycomb||Honeycomb||Old version, no longer maintained: 3.0||11||February 22, 2011|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.1||12||May 10, 2011|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.2 – 3.2.6||13||July 15, 2011|
|Android Ice Cream Sandwich||Ice Cream Sandwich||Old version, no longer maintained: 4.0 – 4.0.2||14||October 18, 2011||14.8.49 (February 2019)|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 4.0.3 – 4.0.4||15||December 16, 2011|
|Android Jelly Bean||Jelly Bean||Old version, no longer maintained: 4.1 – 4.1.2||16||July 9, 2012||21.33.56 (September 2021)|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 4.2 – 4.2.2||17||November 13, 2012|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 4.3 – 4.3.1||18||July 24, 2013|
|Android KitKat||Key Lime Pie||Old version, no longer maintained: 4.4 – 4.4.4||19||October 31, 2013||October 2017||22.45.16 (November 2022)|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 4.4W – 4.4W.2||20||June 25, 2014||?|
|Android Lollipop||Lemon Meringue Pie||Old version, no longer maintained: 5.0 – 5.0.2||21||November 4, 2014||November 2017|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.1 – 5.1.1||22||March 2, 2015||March 2018|
|Android Marshmallow||Macadamia Nut Cookie||Old version, no longer maintained: 6.0 – 6.0.1||23||October 2, 2015||August 2018|
|Android Nougat||New York Cheesecake||Old version, no longer maintained: 7.0||24||August 22, 2016||August 2019|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 7.1 – 7.1.2||25||October 4, 2016||October 2019|
|Android Oreo||Oatmeal Cookie||Old version, no longer maintained: 8.0||26||August 21, 2017||January 2021|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 8.1||27||December 5, 2017||October 2021|
|Android Pie||Pistachio Ice Cream||Old version, no longer maintained: 9||28||August 6, 2018||January 2022|
|Android 10||Quince Tart||Older version, yet still maintained: 10||29||September 3, 2019||November 2022|
|Android 11||Red Velvet Cake||Older version, yet still maintained: 11||30||September 8, 2020|
|Android 12||Snow Cone||Older version, yet still maintained: 12||31||October 4, 2021|
|Android 12L||Snow Cone v2||Older version, yet still maintained: 12.1||32||March 7, 2022|
|Android 13||Tiramisu||Current stable version: 13||33||August 15, 2022|
|Android 14||Upside Down Cake||Future release: 14||34||Q3 2023||N/A||N/A|
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.
Images for kids
Eric Schmidt, Andy Rubin and Hugo Barra at a 2012 press conference announcing Google's Nexus 7 tablet
Front buttons (home, menu/options, go back, search) and optical track pad of an HTC Desire, a 2010 smartphone with Android OS
Ouya, a video game console which runs Android
Android-x86 running on an ASUS Eee PC netbook
In Spanish: Android para niños
Android (operating system) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.