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May 17, 2021

What is Android? All your questions about the operating system answered

It’s difficult to imagine a world without Android. It’s been nearly a decade for the reason that first reputable release, and the operating system has risen from humble beginnings to emerge as the most popular telephone running machine within the world, with more than 2 billion users.

But notwithstanding its overwhelming presence, “what is Android?” isn’t a query with an easy solution. Far from being as trustworthy as Apple’s range of iPhones, in which an iPhone is an iPhone, Android appears to exist as a veritable galaxy, with smartphones from all around the international and from many exceptional producers all powered by means of the identical operating system. And yet, they often look so distinct. What offers?

Developed by Google, Android can be perplexing, however, it doesn’t must be. We’ve rounded up the maximum common questions which you might have about the now-ubiquitous running gadget, and we’ve were given the answers you’re searching out. If you’re stressed with the aid of Nougat, don’t understand what an Android Go is, and are questioning why such a lot of human beings need to recognize while an Oreo is due to hit their phone, examine on.

What is Android?
Google android one use inventory telephone smartphone

Android is an open supply running gadget (OS) — “open source” due to the fact the simple code is loose to use and may be utilized by everyone who wants to adapt it for their use. Because of its open source nature and its familiar and solid base, Android has visible use in a good sized wide variety of personal gadgets outside of smartphones — you may find Android strolling in TV streaming bins, online game consoles, to your vehicle, and elsewhere.

What’s the distinction between an Android telephone and an iPhone? Outside of any personal choice, you’re probably to find little distinction among the two in phrases of daily obligations, considering the fact that each takes care of all the same old smartphones tasks in a similar manner. But if you’re inquisitive about taking your manage a bit further, then you’ll find Android isn’t constrained with the aid of the needs of Google inside the identical way that iOS may be restrained by way of Apple.

Android’s open nature doesn’t just mean that manufacturers can personalize Android for his or her devices (more on that later) — it also puts that customization into your arms. Most trendy Android gadgets additionally have the capability to run a “custom launcher” — that’s an app that runs as opposed to your usual domestic display screen and permits you to trade the look and feel of your device, from something as easy because the appearance of your app icons, all of the way to determining how your app drawer scrolls and what number of icons healthy onto one screen.

What is stock Android?
You would possibly have previously heard of “inventory Android” either as the OS a tool is walking or as a contrast point. But what’s “stock” Android? It’s no longer a soup you’re making via boiling down vintage Android handsets — that would be an Android inventory, and please don’t do this. Instead, inventory Android refers back to the version of the OS utilized by Android’s owner and primary developer, Google, in its Pixel and Nexus smartphones. It’s typical concept of because the maximum simple model of Android to be had, and it represents the base layer of Android, coupled with Google’s widespread apps, like YouTube, Maps, and Google Drive. But don’t take that to intend it’s missing in capability — stock Android is widely taken into consideration one of the first-class working systems around.

While non-public choice is obviously key in choosing which version of Android you pick, stock Android has the benefit of being considered the quickest and least worrying version of Android. This is without a doubt because it has much less going on in the back of-the-scenes, and so is able to commit greater assets to something movements you’re undertaking. While the Pixel 2‘s easy and snappy performance isn’t just owed using stock Android, the narrow OS goes a long way in the direction of assisting the user experience. Stock Android is Android as Google meant.

What is Oreo?
Android oreo
Maybe you’re wondering: What’s the difference between “Nougat” and “Oreo”? Each Android replace that’s foremost enough to require its personal variety is also granted its own sweet-primarily based name (Android 7.Zero Nougat or Android eight.0 Oreo). Each new version brings some modifications, some refinements, and usually provides new capabilities. Because there’s no machine of regularly occurring updates for all Android devices, there’s an extensive variety of various variations of Android on extraordinary telephones, that is called Android fragmentation.

Android eight.Zero Oreo is the cutting-edge primary Android release, however, we’re awaiting an Android nine.Zero declaration at the upcoming Google I/O event in May 2018. Since Android releases continue alphabetically, and the closing release become “Oreo,” Android 9.Zero seems set to be something starting with “P”. Various clues in Google’s I/O declaration hint at “Pineapple,” perhaps even “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake,” however based totally at the snacks our personal Julian Chokkattu changed into provided at CES, we’re waiting for “Peppermint.”

What is “Android Go” or “Android One”?
If you’ve been within the budget marketplace in any respect, you’ve probably additionally come upon “Android Go,” or “Android One.” Android Go is a model of stock Android specifically tuned for lower-powered devices that may not be capable of running the modern day model of Android. Android Go changed into launched fairly these days, with an eye in the direction of low-quit devices inside the Indian and Brazilian markets. Android One, then again, turned into the precursor to Android Go and is a good extra bare version of stock Android. However, it’s no longer completely redundant after the discharge of Android Go, and you could still locate it on some price range smartphones, like the HTC U11 Life, and the Moto X4.

Manufacturer skins and UIs
Samsung Galaxy Note eight review app switch
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Google isn’t the most effective enterprise in town changing Android’s appears. Each manufacturer has the option of creating their very own look for Android on their gadgets, and it’s an alternative a lot of businesses utilize. Each producer’s tackle “reskinning” Android is exclusive, as is the extent to which they depart from the look of inventory Android. These reskin, or UIs (consumer interfaces), can cross from as simple as HTC’s Sense UI, which adds a few extra elements to stock Android, all the manner to Huawei’s Emotion UI (EMUI), which looks and feels extensively unique from most other variations of Android.

But don’t worry; it commonly doesn’t count number which model of Android you’re running — in view that all of them run on the identical underlying Android framework, you’ll nevertheless be capable of accessing the equal apps as absolutely everyone else. However, in case you’re partial to being updated with the present day safety and software program patches, then you definitely would possibly want to stay with a stock Android tool like a Google Pixel, or a phone with Android One, considering the one’s gadgets gain from updates instantly from Google. Phones with custom designed producer skins usually take longer to obtain updates and upgrades considering that every manufacturer has to update their software program to run the new OS, in addition, to run their personal checks. That’s why the Samsung Galaxy S8 acquired the Android 8.Zero Oreo replace in February 2018, despite that replace officially liberating in August 2017.

That’s horrific news from a protection point of view, however, manufacturer skins aren’t completely pointless. Each custom UI comes with benefits and functions that you won’t find in stock Android. For example, EMUI’s power-control software is superior to many other telephones, Galaxy telephones can get apps specially tweaked to paintings with Samsung hardware, and Motorola has geared up its budget line with a few a laugh extras. Much of that is the personal choice, so continually make certain you study a phone thoroughly before you purchase.

What is “Forked” Android?
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This isn’t a detail of Android you’re probably to ever want to consider, however, if all of the communicate of inventory Android and producer reskins has left you hungry for extra, you may want to listen to approximately Android “forks” as well.

As we’ve discussed, for the reason that Android is open source, the fundamental code that underpins most of its capabilities may be used and adapted by way of quite a great deal each person. That’s the reason we see such range in the Android ecosystem, and so many producers making their very own Android variations. However, although Android is free and open, Google’s offerings aren’t, and to get entry to the enormous repository of apps at the Google Play Store, you need to play by way of its rules — a charge that many producers are inclined to pay.

A few manufacturers don’t want to play by using Google’s policies. That’s where “forks” come in. A fork — so named because of its development “forks” away from the original development — is an independently advanced piece of software program that uses Android as its base, but doesn’t ought to be linked lower back to the Google environment. You’ve possibly used a forked model of Android and no longer realized it — Amazon’s Fire tablet OS turned into developed from a construct of Android but doesn’t have any of Google’s apps or offerings built into it. You’ll additionally locate Android forks on a few Chinese-constructed devices, with interfaces that appearance tremendously like Android, however, doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store.

While forks can be visible as a terrible aspect, it’s now not that easy. Forks are just some other piece of life the open supply software program photo, and considering Google has a take care of on its own software program, Android as we know it’s far nicely-covered.

Craig Bowen

Certified alcohol practitioner. Professional writer. Pop culture fanatic. Student. Explorer. Music scholar. Lifelong creator. Managed a small team developing strategies for puppets in Suffolk, NY. Spent high school summers building toy soldiers in Africa. Spent the better part of the 90's getting my feet wet with magma in Africa. Practiced in the art of writing about heroin in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Earned praised for my work lecturing about bagpipes in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Spent several months working on heroin for farmers.

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