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As a result, technical obstacles including locked bootloaders and restricted access to root permissions are common in many devices. However, as community-developed software has grown more popular, and following a statement by the Librarian of Congress in the United States that permits the " jailbreaking " of mobile devices,  manufacturers and carriers have softened their position regarding third party development, with some, including HTC ,  Motorola ,  Samsung   and Sony ,  providing support and encouraging development.
As a result of this, over time the need to circumvent hardware restrictions to install unofficial firmware has lessened as an increasing number of devices are shipped with unlocked or unlockable bootloaders , similar to Nexus series of phones, although usually requiring that users waive their devices' warranties to do so.
Internally, Android identifies each supported device by its device codename , a short string,  which may or may not be similar to the model name used in marketing the device.
For example, the device codename of the Pixel smartphone is sailfish. The device codename is usually not visible to the end user, but is important for determining compatibility with modified Android versions.
It is sometimes also mentioned in articles discussing a device, because it allows to distinguish different hardware variants of a device, even if the manufacturer offers them under the same name.
The device codename is available to running applications under android. They are reportedly able to read almost all smartphone information, including SMS, location, emails, and notes.
GCHQ has, according to The Guardian , a wiki -style guide of different apps and advertising networks, and the different data that can be siphoned from each.
The documents revealed a further effort by the intelligence agencies to intercept Google Maps searches and queries submitted from Android and other smartphones to collect location information in bulk.
Leaked documents published by WikiLeaks, codenamed Vault 7 and dated from to , detail the capabilities of the Central Intelligence Agency CIA to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare , including the ability to compromise the operating systems of most smartphones including Android.
Research from security company Trend Micro lists premium service abuse as the most common type of Android malware, where text messages are sent from infected phones to premium-rate telephone numbers without the consent or even knowledge of the user.
Other malware displays unwanted and intrusive advertisements on the device, or sends personal information to unauthorised third parties. In August , Google announced that devices in the Google Nexus series would begin to receive monthly security patches.
Google also wrote that "Nexus devices will continue to receive major updates for at least two years and security patches for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store.
Google was starting from scratch with zero percent market share, so it was happy to give up control and give everyone a seat at the table in exchange for adoption.
As such, security has become a big issue. Android still uses a software update chain-of-command designed back when the Android ecosystem had zero devices to update, and it just doesn't work".
And a bunch of broken promises". They also wrote that "About half of devices in use at the end of had not received a platform security update in the previous year", stating that their work would continue to focus on streamlining the security updates program for easier deployment by manufacturers.
Patches to bugs found in the core operating system often do not reach users of older and lower-priced devices. For example, Samsung has worked with General Dynamics through their Open Kernel Labs acquisition to rebuild Jelly Bean on top of their hardened microvisor for the "Knox" project.
Android smartphones have the ability to report the location of Wi-Fi access points, encountered as phone users move around, to build databases containing the physical locations of hundreds of millions of such access points.
These databases form electronic maps to locate smartphones, allowing them to run apps like Foursquare , Google Latitude , Facebook Places , and to deliver location-based ads.
In , Norwegian security firm Promon has unearthed a serious Android security hole which can be exploited including to steal login credential, access messages, and track location, which the vulnerability could be found in all versions of Android, including Android The vulnerability came by exploiting a bug in multitasking system and enabling malicious app to overlay legitimate apps with fake login screens that the users did not aware when handing security credentials.
The users can also be tricked into granting additional permissions to the malicious apps, which later enable the apps to perform various nefarious activities, including interception of texts or calls and bank robbery.
Some of the preinstalled malwares can commit ad fraud, or even take over its host device. In , the Which? This conclusion stemmed from the fact that no security updates were issued for the Android versions below 7.
Google refused to comment on the watchdog's speculations. On August 5, , Twitter published a blog urging its users to update their applications to the latest version with regards to a security concern that allowed others to access direct messages.
Twitter confirmed that updating the app will restrict such practices. Android applications run in a sandbox , an isolated area of the system that does not have access to the rest of the system's resources, unless access permissions are explicitly granted by the user when the application is installed, however this may not be possible for pre-installed apps.
It is not possible, for example, to turn off the microphone access of the pre-installed camera app without disabling the camera completely.
This is valid also in Android versions 7 and 8. Since February , Google has used its Google Bouncer malware scanner to watch over and scan apps available in the Google Play store.
Before installing an application, the Google Play store displays a list of the requirements an app needs to function. After reviewing these permissions, the user can choose to accept or refuse them, installing the application only if they accept.
An opt-in system is used instead, in which users are prompted to grant or deny individual permissions to an app when they are needed for the first time.
Applications remember the grants, which can be revoked by the user at any time. Pre-installed apps, however, are not always part of this approach.
In some cases it may not be possible to deny certain permissions to pre-installed apps, nor be possible to disable them. The Google Play Services app cannot be uninstalled, nor disabled.
Any force stop attempt, result in the app restarting itself. Permissions can still be revoked for those apps, though this might prevent them from working properly, and a warning is displayed to that effect.
Nova wrote that "The Android operating system deals with software packages by sandboxing them; this does not allow applications to list the directory contents of other apps to keep the system safe.
By not allowing the antivirus to list the directories of other apps after installation, applications that show no inherent suspicious behavior when downloaded are cleared as safe.
The study by Fraunhofer AISEC, examining antivirus software from Avast , AVG , Bitdefender , ESET , F-Secure , Kaspersky , Lookout , McAfee formerly Intel Security , Norton , Sophos , and Trend Micro , revealed that "the tested antivirus apps do not provide protection against customized malware or targeted attacks", and that "the tested antivirus apps were also not able to detect malware which is completely unknown to date but does not make any efforts to hide its malignity".
In August , Google announced Android Device Manager renamed Find My Device in May ,   a service that allows users to remotely track, locate, and wipe their Android device,   with an Android app for the service released in December.
On October 8, Google announced new Google Play store requirements to combat over-sharing of potentially sensitive information, including call and text logs.
The issue stems from the fact that many apps request permissions to access user's personal information even if this information is not needed for the app to function and some users unquestionably grant these permissions.
Alternatively, a permission might be listed in the app manifest as required as opposed to optional and app would not install unless user grants the permission; user can withdraw any, even required, permission from any app in the device settings after app installation, but few users do this.
Google promised to work with developers and create exceptions if their apps require Phone or SMS permissions for "core app functionality".
The new policies enforcement started on January 6, , 90 days after policy announcement on October 8, The API level requirement might combat practice of app developers bypassing some permission screens by specifying early Android versions that had more coarse permission model.
The source code for Android is open-source : it is developed in private by Google, with the source code released publicly when a new version of Android is released.
Google publishes most of the code including network and telephony stacks under the non-copyleft Apache License version 2. Associated Linux kernel changes are released under the copyleft GNU General Public License version 2, developed by the Open Handset Alliance , with the source code publicly available at all times.
The reason, according to Andy Rubin in an official Android blog post, was because Honeycomb was rushed for production of the Motorola Xoom ,  and they did not want third parties creating a "really bad user experience" by attempting to put onto smartphones a version of Android intended for tablets.
These applications must be licensed from Google by device makers, and can only be shipped on devices which meet its compatibility guidelines and other requirements.
Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation have been critical of Android and have recommended the usage of alternatives such as Replicant , because drivers and firmware vital for the proper functioning of Android devices are usually proprietary, and because the Google Play Store application can forcibly install or uninstall applications and, as a result, invite non-free software.
In both cases, the use of closed-source software causes the system to become vulnerable to backdoors. It has been argued that because developers often require to purchase the Google-brand Android license, this has turned the theoretically open system into a freemium service.
Google licenses their Google Mobile Services software, along with the Android trademarks, only to hardware manufacturers for devices that meet Google's compatibility standards specified in the Android Compatibility Program document.
In , Google also began to require that all Android devices which license the Google Mobile Services software display a prominent "Powered by Android" logo on their boot screens.
Moreover, open-source variants of some applications also exclude functions that are present in their non-free versions. Apps that do not use Google components would also be at a functional disadvantage, as they can only use APIs contained within the OS itself.
In turn, third-party apps may have dependencies on Google Play Services. Alibaba Group defended the allegations, arguing that the OS was a distinct platform from Android primarily using HTML5 apps , but incorporated portions of Android's platform to allow backwards compatibility with third-party Android software.
Indeed, the devices did ship with an application store which offered Android apps; however, the majority of them were pirated.
Android received a lukewarm reaction when it was unveiled in Although analysts were impressed with the respected technology companies that had partnered with Google to form the Open Handset Alliance, it was unclear whether mobile phone manufacturers would be willing to replace their existing operating systems with Android.
Since then Android has grown to become the most widely used smartphone operating system   and "one of the fastest mobile experiences available".
As a result, it has been described by technology website Ars Technica as "practically the default operating system for launching new hardware" for companies without their own mobile platforms.
These have been cited as among the main advantages of Android phones over others. Despite Android's popularity, including an activation rate three times that of iOS, there have been reports that Google has not been able to leverage their other products and web services successfully to turn Android into the money maker that analysts had expected.
Android has suffered from "fragmentation",  a situation where the variety of Android devices, in terms of both hardware variations and differences in the software running on them, makes the task of developing applications that work consistently across the ecosystem harder than rival platforms such as iOS where hardware and software varies less.
For example, according to data from OpenSignal in July , there were 11, models of Android device, numerous different screen sizes and eight Android OS versions simultaneously in use, while the large majority of iOS users have upgraded to the latest iteration of that OS.
They maintain this forces Android developers to write for the "lowest common denominator" to reach as many users as possible, who have too little incentive to make use of the latest hardware or software features only available on a smaller percentage of devices.
Research company Canalys estimated in the second quarter of , that Android had a 2. By the third quarter of , Gartner estimated that more than half Android market share varies by location.
In April , Android had 1. Android devices account for more than half of smartphone sales in most markets, including the US, while "only in Japan was Apple on top" September—November numbers.
Three billion Android smartphones are estimated to be sold by the end of including previous years.
According to Gartner research company, Android-based devices outsold all contenders, every year since According to StatCounter , which tracks only the use for browsing the web, Android is the most popular mobile operating system since August According to StatCounter, Android is most used on mobile in all African countries, and it stated "mobile usage has already overtaken desktop in several countries including India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia",  with virtually all countries in Africa having done so already except for seven countries, including Egypt , such as Ethiopia and Kenya in which mobile including tablets usage is at According to a January Gartner report, "Android surpassed a billion shipments of devices in , and will continue to grow at a double-digit pace in , with a 26 percent increase year over year.
Gartner expected the whole mobile phone market to "reach two billion units in ", including Android. According to a Statistica 's estimate, Android smartphones had an installed base of 1.
In the second quarter of , Android's share of the global smartphone shipment market was According to an April StatCounter report, Android overtook Microsoft Windows to become the most popular operating system for total Internet usage.
In September , Google announced that Android had 1. Despite its success on smartphones, initially Android tablet adoption was slow. Due to the lack of Android tablet-specific applications in , early Android tablets had to make do with existing smartphone applications that were ill-suited to larger screen sizes, whereas the dominance of Apple's iPad was reinforced by the large number of tablet-specific iOS applications.
This approach, such as with the Dell Streak , failed to gain market traction with consumers as well as damaging the early reputation of Android tablets.
An exception was the Amazon Kindle Fire , which relied upon lower pricing as well as access to Amazon's ecosystem of applications and content.
As of the end of , over It can now be as integral to your mobile portfolio as Apple 's iOS devices are".
In virtually all countries is Android 8. Android 9. One in four devices run on version older than Android 8. On tablets, Android 5.
Android 10 has grown its share over fold in 8 weeks. Australia and India, some European countries, and Oreo 8. At the same time In general, paid Android applications can easily be pirated.
In , Google released a tool for validating authorized purchases for use within apps, but developers complained that this was insufficient and trivial to crack.
Google responded that the tool, especially its initial release, was intended as a sample framework for developers to modify and build upon depending on their needs, not as a finished piracy solution.
The success of Android has made it a target for patent and copyright litigation between technology companies, both Android and Android phone manufacturers having been involved in numerous patent lawsuits and other legal challenges.
On August 12, , Oracle sued Google over claimed infringement of copyrights and patents related to the Java programming language.
They said that Android's Java runtime environment is based on Apache Harmony , a clean room implementation of the Java class libraries, and an independently developed virtual machine called Dalvik.
In December , Google announced that the next major release of Android Android Nougat would switch to OpenJDK , which is the official open-source implementation of the Java platform, instead of using the now-discontinued Apache Harmony project as its runtime.
Code reflecting this change was also posted to the AOSP source repository. In , FairSearch , a lobbying organization supported by Microsoft, Oracle and others, filed a complaint regarding Android with the European Commission , alleging that its free-of-charge distribution model constituted anti-competitive predatory pricing.
On October 16, , Google announced that it would change its distribution model for Google Mobile Services in the EU, since part of its revenues streams for Android which came through use of Google Search and Chrome were now prohibited by the EU's ruling.
Google Search will be licensed separately, with an option to include Google Chrome at no additional cost atop Search. European OEMs can bundle third-party alternatives on phones and devices sold to customers, if they so choose.
OEMs will no longer be barred from selling any device running incompatible versions of Android in Europe. In addition to lawsuits against Google directly, various proxy wars have been waged against Android indirectly by targeting manufacturers of Android devices, with the effect of discouraging manufacturers from adopting the platform by increasing the costs of bringing an Android device to market.
Google has publicly expressed its frustration for the current patent landscape in the United States, accusing Apple, Oracle and Microsoft of trying to take down Android through patent litigation, rather than innovating and competing with better products and services.
Google has developed several variations of Android for specific use cases, including Android Wear, later renamed Wear OS , for wearable devices such as wrist watches,   Android TV for televisions,   and Android Things for smart devices and Internet of things.
The open and customizable nature of Android allows device makers to use it on other electronics as well, including laptops, netbooks ,   and desktop computers,  cameras,  headphones,  home automation systems, game consoles,  media players,  satellites,  routers ,  printers ,  payment terminals ,  automated teller machines ,  and robots.
In , Google demonstrated "Android Home", a home automation technology which uses Android to control a range of household devices including light switches, power sockets and thermostats.
Google, he said, was thinking more ambitiously and the intention was to use their position as a cloud services provider to bring Google products into customers' homes.
Parrot unveiled an Android-based car stereo system known as Asteroid in ,  followed by a successor, the touchscreen-based Asteroid Smart, in In December , one reviewer commented that Android's notification system is "vastly more complete and robust than in most environments" and that Android is "absolutely usable" as one's primary desktop operating system.
The software is available for developers, and was released in The mascot of Android is a green android robot , as related to the software's name.
Although it has no official name, the Android team at Google reportedly call it "Bugdroid". It was designed by then-Google graphic designer Irina Blok on November 5, when Android was announced.
Contrary to reports that she was tasked with a project to create an icon,  Blok confirmed in an interview that she independently developed it and made it open source.
The robot design was initially not presented to Google, but it quickly became commonplace in the Android development team, with various variations of it created by the developers there who liked the figure, as it was free under a Creative Commons license.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Android disambiguation. Mobile operating system. Android 11 home screen with Pixel Launcher.
Apache License 2. See also: Android version history. See also: List of features in Android. See also: Android software development and Google Play.
See also: Android hardware requirements. Main article: Usage share of operating systems. Main article: Android version history.
Further information: Smartphone patent wars and Patent troll. Main article: Oracle v. Main article: European Union vs. A giant Android mascot at Googleplex in Free and open-source software portal Computer programming portal.
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The Data Binding Library enables you to write declarative layouts. Android Test helps you build and run test code for your app.
The Google Play Billing Library provides a simple interface for sending billing requests and managing billing transactions with Google Play.
Developer Tools. You can install and run your app on the Android Emulator faster than with a physical device. It simulates various device configurations and hardware sensors, and it uses a snapshot to quickly resume exactly where you left off.
Run your app. Android Studio uses Gradle, an advanced build toolkit, to automate the build process, while allowing you to define flexible, custom build configurations.
Configure your build. Android Studio includes a layout editor that allows you to build and preview your app UI by dragging elements into a visual design editor instead of writing layout XML by hand.
Learn about the layout editor. Poor app performance can ruin the user experience and destroy your app's reputation.
If it ever responds slowly, shows choppy animations, freezes, crashes, or consumes a lot of power, your users will notice.