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Android is a Linux-based operating system, which can be found on devices by dozens of mobile manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, and many others. It is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Android be used in other devices?
Yes. At the time of this writing, the Android operating systems is primarily used for phones and tablets, but it has also expanded to some media players, televisions, smart watches, and even cars. While it is not officially designed for desktop and laptop computers, it is possible to run Android on those devices as well.
In the future, we will likely see Android powering a number of devices, particularly as more of our household and everyday items become connected to each other and the Internet.
Do all smartphones and tablets run Android?
Android is currently the most popular operating system for mobile devices by a large margin, but there are several other options available. The best known competitors to Android include Apple’s iOS (which runs on iPhones and iPads), Windows, and Blackberry. A number of Linux-based mobile operating systems are also available, including Firefox OS and Ubuntu Phone, but you probably won’t find these offered by your favorite mobile carrier.
What does open source mean?
Open source means that anyone can download, use, make changes to, and even redistribute the code for a piece of software. In the case of Android, that means that phone makers can install Android on their device for free (unlike an OS such as Windows, which requires a licensing fee). They can also make changes to the OS or customize it to work uniquely for their device. Since the software itself is free to use, companies like Google find other ways to profit from open source software, such as from the apps you purchase from the app store on your Android device.
How do I access to the Internet on Android?
Like a traditional PC operating system, Android uses web browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, to view webpages and web content. However, like other mobile devices, Android also uses specialized apps, available from Google Play and other app stores, to create a tailored web experience specific to one service, store, or function. For example, rather than using a web browser to go to Facebook, Android users can download the Facebook app, which gives them access to everything on the webpage, but through a custom application.
Do I have to install Android?
The Android operating system comes pre-installed on Android devices. It is unlikely you will ever need to install Android yourself. In fact, most upgrades happen automatically, so the most you will ever have to do is accept the upgrade.