Android, the Google-owned mobile operating system named after its creator, Andy Rubin, turned 8 today, marking November 5, 2007 as the date in which the world’s most popular OS came into existence.
Google has transformed Android from a mobile OS for geeks, and a budget-level OS for budget-level consumers, to a high-end operating system for high-end, tech-savvy consumers. The first device on Android was the HTC Dream or T-Mobile G1, with others to follow. Google decided to give Android updates “dessert” names, with everything from “doughnut,” to “honeycomb,” “ice cream sandwich,” “Jelly Bean,” and even “Lollipop” and “Marshmallow.” Each year, Google releases a new statue at its Mountain View headquarters, reminding those of us who pay attention that Android is still marching on. As of Google’s Nexus 6P announcement, Android now has over 1 billion active users according to new Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Android has been known for its customization, allowing users to set up their devices and use them the way they prefer — which is in stark contrast to iOS, a mobile operating system that restricts and controls what users can or cannot do with their devices. In recent years, even Apple has taken some inspiration for iOS from Samsung and Android itself (split-screen mode, low power mode, etc.). Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs considered Android to be a ripoff of iOS, and devoted his life to “stomping it out” at all costs. Yet and still, Android has survived because of its flexibility and customization. Apple has had success in the US with the iPhone and iOS, but the story is different around the world, where Android is winning and dominating in mobile (over 80% of the world uses Android instead of iOS).
Android turned 8 today, and that’s a marvelous thing. The company didn’t always have the worldwide commanding presence it does today, but its success goes to show that hard work, dedication, and perseverance can have satisfying, long-term consequences. Here’s to another 8 years with Android!