Google’s mobile operating system known as Android was officially unveiled on November 5th, 2007, making today Android’s 3rd birthday. It’s fair to say that this mobile platform has taken the world by storm – in just a few years time, it’s gone from a non-dominant player in the mobile OS market to the top smartphone platform in the U.S. and number two in the world. There are even predictions that it will overtake Nokia for the top slot worldwide by 2014.
Brief Android History
- In July of 2005, Google acquired Android, which was a very small mobile oriented startup.
- In the 2 year period following the acquisition, rumors regarding Google’s possible entrance into the mobile phone market were aplenty, but the confirmation didn’t arrive until November 5th, 2007.
- On November 5th, 2007, exactly 3 years ago, Google announced the birth of Android as a platform. The Open Handset Alliance, which included Google and 34 of its partners was established on the same day in order to provide a business backbone for the new platform.
- A week later, on November 12th, 2007, the first public early look version of the Android SDK was released for developers to dig their hands into. At this point, Android itself was not yet open sourced.
- Now, this is the source for much confusion, so let me clarify this. On October 21st, 2008, Android went open, i.e. its source code was published on the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) site. It is not the date of birth, as some may think – it is simply the first public code release date.
- A day later, on October 22nd, 2008, the first Android phone – the T-Mobile G1, of course, became available for $179.99.
Coming Soon: Gingerbread
Now we’re waiting on the first Gingerbread (Android 2.3) device to be revealed. We expect to see it next week at Samsung’s press event. Gingerbread will deliver WebM video playback, better social networking features and better copy-and-paste support. Rumored features include an Android Market music store, media streaming from a PC, a new UI, 3D games support, video calls, support for WebP images and Google TV support. We have our fingers crossed!