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(in science fiction) a robot resembling a human being


An operating system for smartphones, tablets and laptops from the Google-sponsored Open Handset Alliance. With myriad models to choose from, Android is the leading mobile platform with approximately 85% of the worldwide smartphone market. Android is a Linux OS, and apps are programmed in Java. Users download applications from Google's Play Store (formerly Android Market), the Amazon Appstore and other online sources (see Google Play and Amazon Appstore).

The first Android smartphone came out in 2008 and quickly became a major competitor to the iPhone, due to its availability from multiple carriers and handset manufacturers. In addition, Androids could multitask, whereas iPhones could not at that time. By 2011, Android outsold every other smartphone. Android phones were the first with large screens that eventually inspired Apple to offer phablet-sized devices. See phablet.

Like Windows Vs. Mac
Like Windows computers, Android hardware is made by many different manufacturers. Also like Windows, Android vendors can add their own set of apps and different interface features to their phones (see app launcher). In contrast, like the Mac, the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are made only by Apple. They feature one interface, one set of included apps and only two or three current models. See iPhone vs. Android, how to select a mobile device, Open Handset Alliance, AOSP, Android fragmentation, mobile compatibility and mobile device vendor control.

The Google Phone
In 2005, Google acquired Android, Inc. and two years later unveiled smartphone specifications for third-party manufacturers. In 2010, Google began to offer "pure Android" versions, devoid of vendor add-ons (see Google Nexus). When it acquired Motorola Mobility in 2012, Google became a phone manufacturer itself. However, in less than two years, Google sold the company to Lenovo while retaining numerous patents. See Android camera, Android rooting, Android laptop, Android antivirus program, Chromecast, Android TV, HTC G1 and smartphone.

Early Models
After T-Mobile introduced the first Android phone in 2008, other carriers and vendors followed, eventually introducing more than a thousand models. See GSM and CDMA.

No Phones on These Androids
In 2009, the ARCHOS entertainment center (top) and Barnes & Noble e-book reader were some of the first Androids sans phone. Soon after, myriad Android tablets and devices were introduced. (Images courtesy of ARCHOS and

No Phones on These Androids
In 2009, the ARCHOS entertainment center (top) and Barnes & Noble e-book reader were some of the first Androids sans phone. Soon after, myriad Android tablets and devices were introduced. (Images courtesy of ARCHOS and
References in periodicals archive ?
The application allows users to print JPEG photos and PDF documents straight from any Apple iPhone, Google Android and Windows Phone 7 mobile devices, while at the same time scan an image directly onto the same set of devices.
The licence includes an unlimited number of MobiForms clients running on Tablet PC, Pocket PC, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Windows Smartphone, Google Android and Apple iOS iPhone, iPad and iPod.
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Online video platform provider VMIX today announced that it has extended its open source Mobile Video Software Development Kit (SDK) to support application development for Google Android based devices.
Chinatrust Bank, for instance, announced yesterday (June 2) a plan to roll out, one step ahead of peers, a number of mobile-banking services on the two platforms of iPhone and Google Android in July, including individual account information, money transfer, fee payment, conversion from demand to time deposits, and preferential treatment offered by contract stores.
Dubai: Etisalat on Wednesday launched a new smartphone by HTC Corporation based on the Google Android platform called HTC Magic.
Spotify apps for the iPhone and handsets running Google Android have been made publicly available.
Omniture rolled out a new mobile application giving customers the ability to check SiteCatalyst information with Google Android.
Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) has announced that its mobile-banking application would be available through the Google Android marketplace.