Android is an operating system developed by Google primarily for mobile devices, but has also been incorporated into a wide array of general electronic devices. It was first released on 2008-09-23 and, in only two years, became the most popular mobile OS on the market, and currently retains that title by a huge margin. The OS is built on a modified Linux kernel written in C and C++ with its user interface layer written in Java.
I didn't get an Android device until around 2007. I had great expectations for the OS since it was made by Google, whose Web apps I love, but I very quickly found Android to be an obnoxious OS. Although not as bad as Apple, Google takes a similar approach where they try to force all users into using Android the same way requiring everyone who finds the default way cumbersome or annoying to spend hours trying to find ways to bypass the OS, if they can at all.
- The OS is written generically enough that it can be used on thousands of different platforms.
- The swipe-able icon-driven interface is very easy to use, and looks great.
- By default, the user has a fair amount of control over the many settings on each device (although this control can be, and often is, revoked by the OEM).
- The Google Play store offers a huge variety of additional software to load. Many of which are free.
- The source code for much of Android is and remains open-source.
- I like how programs must inform the user which aspects of your device they require access to before installing.
- Google isn't as quick at identifying and stopping malicious software on their Play store as they could be.
- There are multiple annoying messages that pop up when you plug in a device through USB. On pops every time I plug my phone into any device that can attempt to read data through USB, the other if the device can't specifically read MTP. As far as I know, these messages cannot be removed without installing extra software.
- The headphone jack starts too quiet, doesn't remember your previous volume level, and has an annoying nag message that can't be bypassed when you try to raise the volume to a useful level. From what I've read, this is the fault of government interference.
- Google allows OEMs to easily and irrevocably alter the OS at the expense of the user. Most devices are sold with loads of useless, dangerous, or unwanted software which wastes space, drains the battery, and often spies on the user. This software cannot be removed or even prevented from running.
- Android prevent the removal of many Google apps, even if they're are not necessary for the operation of the OS.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system) - Wikipedia.