20 Interesting Facts About Android You Didn’t Know

 

The Android operating system has been dominating our phones and markets since 2008 and even more so as phones get smarter and more powerful. And for good reason – the interface is easy to navigate, vastly customizable, and there are a plethora of apps for all sorts of uses ranging from secure banking apps to fun games. Android is here to stay for sure!

For many, Android may be just an operating system, but there is much more to it that you may not be aware of. For instance, did you know that Google unofficially knows the little green alien in the logo as “Bugdroid”? Delve deeper into the world of Android with us and dive into these interesting facts about Android that you might not have been aware of

#1. What’s in the name?

The word ‘Android’ refers to a robot that has an appearance similar to a human. It was coined from the Greek root andr, which means “man”.

#2. Wait – Android Wasn’t for Phones at First?

According to Andy Rubin, one of the original Android Inc. co-founders, the operating system was essentially built for digital cameras initially.

#3. Android was not Google’s company originally!!

Android was initially developed by the company Android Inc., which was founded in 2003 by Andy Rubin, Chris White, Nick Sears, and Rich Miner. Interestingly, at that time it was not known what they were working on since the company functioned under a “cloak of secrecy”.

Related: How to Switch From Android to Apple iOS

#4. Android OS is Open-Source

The Android OS is open-source. Open source refers to the fact that the source code is available publically for individuals, who are provided the right to alter and distribute the source code. Many developers use the source code to add various features or customize the software in other ways.

#5. Google Bought Android Inc.

In July 2005, Google purchased Android Inc. for a sum of $50 million and under the new management, the founding members continued to develop the OS.

#6. The First Android Device

The first-ever real “Android device” was the Google Sooner or the HTC EXCA 300, which was never officially released and served as a reference

#7. The HTC Dream Device

HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1 was the first commercially available smartphone ever to feature the Android OS on it. It was officially introduced in the United States in 2008 along with the United Kingdom. It ran the Android 1.6 (Donut) version, and had a TFT capacitive touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 3.15 MP camera, a dedicated MicroSD slot, and a whopping 192MB of RAM – compare that to today’s feature-filled phones!

#8. Current Android OS Developers

Currently, Google, as well as the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), continually develops Android.

#9. Android in Space

Who isn’t fascinated by space? NASA has used Android for its robots used within the International Space Station (ISS). More specifically, the Human Exploration and Telerobotics Project (HET) prepared a trio of robots with a Nexus S device installed with Android Gingerbread. These are called “Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites” or SPHERES.

#10. Formats and Files

You might have installed several apps using their APKs instead of from the Play Store. APK is the format for file packaging used by the Android OS for installing mobile apps and games. It stands for Android Package Kit.

#11. Building Android OS With Linux

Android OS is built upon the Linux operating system, which is popular with power users.

#12. Desserts or Devices?

All past Android versions –except Android 1.0 and 1.1– follow the convention of being named for desserts and sweets. A phone running on Jelly Beans or having an Ice Cream Sandwich sounds delicious!

#13. What’s in a (trademarked) Name?

Android version 4.4 is the first release of the OS that uses a formerly trademarked name. It was previously going to be named “Key Lime Pie”. However, John Langerling, who directed the global partnerships for Android, decided to go with something more familiar and got permission for the use of the brand by Nestle. Android 8.0 followed with the use of the trademarked name Oreo.

#14. Going Sugar-Free

For the future android versions, Google has already announced that it will not use dessert names for android versions. The officially released version would be simply named according to their number publicly. Android version 10 would have been given the name of “Queen Cake”, and the follow-up was merely named Android 11.

#15. Androids and Alphabetical Order

Android versions in the past were named in alphabetical order. Astro, Bender, Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo, and finally Pie, the last to be named after a dessert.

#16. Paper-like UI for Lollipop

Android 5.0, or Lollipop, was the first of the OS to utilize Google’s freshly developed Material Design language. It made substantial use of shadow and lighting effects as well as other features to mimic the look of paper for the user interface.

Related: How to Transfer Data to a New iPhone From Your Previous iPhone

#17. It Came from the Toilet Sign!

Irina Blok created the iconic green Bugdroid logo in 2007. You may find it surprising that she was inspired by the image meaning “for men” on toilet doors. However, the logo has become symbolic of the Android OS and has popped up all over the world in the form of plushies, stickers, keychains, and other artworks.

#18. Android Logo is also Open-Source for all to Use

The Android logo itself is also an open-source design. Google allows the modification of the logo under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. So we can see the little robot in various forms everywhere.

#19. Skipping the Honeycomb

In 2011, Google released Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) only for use on tablets and other devices with larger screens than the smartphones of that time. Ultimately, Honeycomb was not necessary and was not released publically. Since Google integrated much of its code in its upcoming Android 4.0, or the Ice Cream Sandwich version.

Last but not the least, this fact will give you oodles of fun and make you feel like an Android explorer:

#20. Sweet (tapping) Secrets

Every version of Android comes bundled with a secret activity! Navigate to Settings > About Phone > Device Information, and tap repeatedly on the “Android version” option. Depending on the version, you will see a logo, and tapping again on the logo takes you to a game. Android 10 might have ditched the sweet name, but it still offers this easter egg in the form of a nonogram game, where you fill numbers in a grid.

Found these facts interesting? Stay tuned for more!

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