Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Initially, the operating system was developed by Android, Inc., which Google later bought in 2005. The first Android-powered phone was sold in October 2008.
The opposite of iOS Android is open source, and Google releases the code under the Apache License. This open source code and permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers, wireless carriers, and enthusiast developers. Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing applications (“apps”) that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of the Java programming language.
These factors have allowed Android to become the world’s most widely used smartphone platform. Android’s open nature has further encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open source code as a foundation for community-driven projects.