What is Android?

Android is the operating system (OS) which powers Android devices which includes tablets and smartphones and it’s a direct competitor of Apple’s iOS.  Popular Android devices include HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony and Google.  Android OS is Linux based and is an open source OS.  It all started when Google entered the mobile industry and formed the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) where Android was born.  Being an open source OS meant that anybody could download it and then modify it.  This meant that Android has been instrumental in allowing people to enjoy affordable devices.  In countries like India and Africa Google has formed partnerships with local manufacturers and provides high quality devices at very reasonable prices.

Bigger Choice

Android offers a wider range of choice.  If one were to look at all of the Android devices it would probably take around 3 weeks to get through all of them.  This means that there are over 24 000 different Android devices manufactured by almost 1300 manufacturers. Android has also helped to develop a smartphone that is affordable which was not possible until recently.  Android has made it possible for everyone to own a smartphone even on a limited budget.

The Play Store

What Android has to offer does not only include devices.  Android has more than 1 million apps on their Google Play Store and because of such a wide range of apps there is a whole new world of technology for Android users to access.  Learning languages for example is made easy with Android.  There are 270 different language learning apps on the Play Store and more than half of these are available for free download.  There are apps for every conceivable thing, including online real money pokies, and with an Android device anything is possible.

Google Apps

Every Android device is different and each one has various pre-installed apps which make it unique.  Some devices will not only have Google apps, but allow Android users to use other apps from companies such as Facebook and Microsoft.  Even when it comes to the basic Android functions users are not limited to only Google apps.  They can download third party apps for things like calling, texting and organising their photos.  The pre-installed apps can be removed and replaced with something else such as replacing Google search with something else.  Unlike other operating systems, the Android user has more control over their device allowing them to customise it and making it more user friendly.  For many users Android offers them the flexibility to have a device that is truly theirs.

Besides the Android users and the manufacturers the app developers play a big part in the Android family.  Developers have for many years had challenges and in the past they had to use their resources to develop experiences for a wide range of platforms which meant that reaching a wide audience was very costly.  But with the open-source platform the playing field has been levelled and all developers can now develop apps making it more cost effective for them.

Android users can now have access to all Google Play apps for a once off registration fee of $25. This fee is significantly less than other app stores.  There are more than 1 billion users making use of the Play Store and Android goes a long way to helping developers reach many more people.  Android has made it possible for app developers to distribute their apps by giving them the tools needed to do this.

Android has succeeded in bringing cost effective mobile devices to many parts of the world.