Android is an operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google.
Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005. The unveiling of the Android distribution on November 5, 2007 was announced with the founding of theOpen Handset Alliance, a consortium of 84 hardware, software, and telecommunicationcompanies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache License, a free software license.The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android.
Android consists of a kernel based on the Linux kernel, with middleware, libraries and APIswritten in C and application software running on an application framework which includes Java-compatible libraries based on Apache Harmony. Android uses the Dalvik virtual machinewith just-in-time compilation to run Dalvik dex-code (Dalvik Executable), which is usually translated from Java bytecode.
Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of the devices. Developers write primarily in a customized version of Java.There are currently approximately 300,000 apps available for Android, from a total of 500,000 apps over the life of Android. Apps can be downloaded from third-party sites or through online stores such as Android Market, the app store run by Google.