Android is an operating system for mobile phones developed by the search provider Google. Used in a wide variety of smartphones, Android is currently the best-selling mobile operating system in the world. Android is an open source operating system that allows anyone to develop their own software (such as applications or games) to run on Android platforms. The Android operating system is also used on tablets, the latest version being Android 3.0. While the Android operating system has been in use since 2008, regular updates and support for Google keep Android as the state-of-the-art system that it is today.

All mobile phones running the Android operating system have a similar set of functions provided by the operating system. The Android operating system is designed to run on smartphones, phones that can run a variety of Java-based applications that give the phone additional functionality. In addition to the basic phone and text / multimedia messaging service, Android phones have a variety of web-based applications and services. Android phones are connected to the owner’s Google account, allowing access to Gmail and Google Calendar, as well as a variety of other applications. In addition to wireless Internet and Bluetooth, Android phones allow wireless connection, using the phone as a modem to connect a laptop to the Internet. All Android phones allow video streaming, and the latest models can connect to the 4G network and video conferencing using Google Talk. The best known aspect of the Android platform is access to the Android Market. Similar to Apple’s App Store, Android Market allows users to download applications and games for their phone, many of which are free.

The first Android phone to be released was the G1, developed by HTC and released in 2008. With Android 1.0, this phone had many of the features found on Android phones today, including syncing with the user’s Google account and the Android Market to download the phone. Applications. Since then, there have been many updates to the Android operating system; major updates are called dessert. The latest version of Android for mobile phones is Android 2.3.4, Gingerbread. Designed for use in 4G phones with higher performance and speed, Gingerbread provides better video playback and support for front-facing cameras for video conferencing.

The Android operating system allows many manufacturers to produce phones. With the current generation of 4G phones, the main producers are Motorola and Samsung. Motorola is the creator of the Droid line of phones, a series made popular by its availability with Verizon service in the United States. The Droid X2, the latest model in the Droid series, includes a multi-touch interface, 8GB of memory along with an 8GB micro SD card for storage, and an 8-megapixel camera with a built-in video recorder. Samsung is the other major producer of Android phones and has collaborated with Google on the Nexus S. The Nexus was the first phone to use the new Gingerbread operating system and included a powerful processor and 512MB of RAM. The Nexus S has 16GB of internal storage and can access the 4G network using a Sprint service plan. Other companies, such as HTC, also produce Android phones, giving the consumer a wide variety of options when trying to choose the best Android phone for their needs.