Up until recently, an Android – according to the dictionary – was simply ‘a robot with a human appearance’. These days, with lots of us taking our first steps into the world of smartphones, Android suddenly means much, much more.
When you go into a store, you’ll probably be asked if you’re looking for an ‘Android’ phone. So, if it’s not a human-like robot, what is it?
Android powers many smartphones and tablets.
An operating system controls what you see and do on-screen – and how fast this happens. The operating system is also important when it comes to apps – each operating system has its own place to download, where you can choose and download the stuff that’s of particular interest to you. The Android app store, called Google Play, currently features more than 400,000 apps.
The operating system has a big influence on how you use your phone – whether that’s for music, watching videos, taking photos, gaming, using the net or doing all these things at once.
Where did Android come from?
The Android system was developed by the Open Handset Alliance and it comes with loads of Google services, such as Gmail, Google search, Google Calendar and YouTube.
When you log into your Android phone, you can set up or log into your Gmail account and all your contacts and the info you’ve put in your calendar will automatically appear on your phone.
Every time you make any changes to your contacts or calendar on your PC or on your phone, the info will update on both gadgets immediately.
This also makes sure you don’t lose your contacts if you lose your phone, and it also makes switching to a new smartphone really easy – all you need to do is log in to get your stuff on your new model.
There isn't just one version of Android.
Android is being updated all the time. The different versions have sweet-themed nicknames. In date (and alphabetical) order, they are: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo and, the latest, Gingerbread.