Android OS

Definition - What does Android OS mean?

The Android OS is an open source operating system primarily used in mobile devices. Written primarily in Java and based on the Linux operating system, it was initially developed by Android Inc. and was eventually purchased by Google in 2005. The Android operating system is symbolized by a green colored Android Robot logo.

Techopedia explains Android OS

The development of the Android OS was a result of the consortium of the initial members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) such as Google, HTC, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, LG, T-Mobile, Nvidia, and Wind River Systems back in November of 2007. The OHA is a business alliance of hardware, software and telecom companies dedicated to advance the cause of open sourcing for mobile phones.

Based on the modified version of the Linux kernel version 2.6, the Android code was released by Google under the Apache license which is also a free software and open source license.

The Android OS consists of numerous Java applications and Java core libraries running under the Java-based object oriented application framework and the Dalvik Virtual Machine (VM). Dalvik is integral for the Android to run in mobile devices as these systems are constrained in terms of processor speed and memory.

As for multimedia support, the Android OS can back 2D and 3D graphics, common audio and video formats. It may also support multi-touch input (depending on device) and carries in its browser Google Chrome’s V8 Javascript runtime.

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