Android is a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. Google Inc. purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005. Android’s mobile operating system is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel. Google and other members of the Open Handset Alliance collaborated on Android’s development and release. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android. The Android operating system is the world’s best-selling Smartphone platform.
Android has a large community of developers writing applications (“apps”) that extend the functionality of the devices. There are currently over 150,000 apps available for Android. Android Market is the online app store run by Google, though apps can also be downloaded from third-party sites. Developers write primarily in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries.