In addition to touchscreen devices, Google has further developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Android Wear for wrist watches, each with a specialized user interface.
Variants of Android are also used on notebooks, game consoles, digital cameras, and other electronics.
An earlier prototype codenamed "Sooner" had a closer resemblance to a Black Berry phone, with no touchscreen, and a physical, QWERTY keyboard, but was later re-engineered to support a touchscreen, to compete with other announced devices such as the 2006 LG Prada and 2007 Apple i Phone.
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.
Its open nature has encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open-source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which deliver updates to older devices, add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems.
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Android's user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch gestures that loosely correspond to real-world actions, such as swiping, tapping and pinching, to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard for text input.
The success of Android has made it a target for patent (and copyright) litigation as part of the so-called "smartphone wars" between technology companies.The early intentions of the company were to develop an advanced operating system for digital cameras.Though, when it was realized that the market for the devices was not large enough, the company diverted its efforts toward producing a smartphone operating system that would rival Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile.At Google, the team led by Rubin developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel.Android has the largest installed base of all operating systems (OS) of any kind.
Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.