Android

Android turns 10: My experiences with Google’s mobile OS

Updated on December 10, 2021

Google’s Android mobile operating system turned 10 last month. Since its 2008 launch, the Android OS has gone from being part of a crowded marketplace of mobile OSes to becoming the most popular one.

In the interest of nostalgia, here’s a look back at some of what I’ve written about Android over the years.

Android OS versions

Android traditionally names its operating system versions after desserts. To wit:

One downside of Android: unlike iOS, its OS base is quite fractured, as manufacturers would prefer users buy a whole new phone versus upgrading existing devices. This infographic outlines the current fractured state of Android.

Infographic: What Sets iOS Apart From Android | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Android devices I’ve owned

My first Android based smartphone was bought in 2011, after a few years of using, and ultimately being disappointed by, the Palm Pre. The Pre ran WebOS, which is now defunct as a smartphone OS; it’s currently used in smart TVs and appliances.

Running down the various Android smartphones I’ve bought:

I feel I’m due for a newer phone, as the Moto G is growing long in the tooth.

Android’s also installed on tablets. Unlike smartphones, Android hasn’t proved as much of a success on tablets: apps for the OS are often designed only with phones in mind; the quality of Android tablets varies greatly; there’s the existence of Amazon’s Fire tablets (which run Fire OS, a modified version of Android); and the iPad is much better made than the vast majority of Android tablets.

Here’s a list of the Android (or Android-based) tablets I’ve owned:

My experiences with the Samsung tablet put me off on ever buying another Android tablet. While Fire’s Android-based, it seems better supported (so far) than the previous tablets I’ve owned… and when Amazon does stop supporting it, I won’t feel like I’ve wasted a ton of money. That said, I’m also open to switching to an iPad, if finances or circumstances permit.

Android’s market share

Android’s market share has grown from nearly non-existent almost a decade ago to becoming the world’s dominant mobile operating system. Here’s another infographic, this one outlining Android’s growth.

Infographic: Android's Rise to Smartphone Dominance | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Note the “other OS” for 2017 is basically iOS. As I wrote earlier this year, the only two mobile OS choices are now Android and iOS, a big shift from the multiple OSes at Android’s launch.

Photo by mammela. (Pixabay)

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