What is Android Operating System? Beginner’s Guide to Android

In this guide, we will tell you what an operating system is, how it works, and compare Android with iOS.

Android as operating system

Android is an operating system from Android Inc that is developed for mobile phones and tablets. Android is based on the Linux operating system but is being developed within the walls of Google.

An operating system is the software in your mobile that allows you to have apps, ensures that it works, and ensures that you can switch between several active application software at the same time.

Open source code

Android’s operating system is open, so-called open-source software. This means that they share the source code and that it is changeable. This allows developers to change the code to suit different devices. This is why Android’s operating system is used by various mobile manufacturers such as Sony, Motorola, Xiaomi, and Samsung.

It is therefore up to each mobile manufacturer that uses Android’s operating system to get them as compatible as possible, find bugs and make it as good as possible for the users. An open-source code allows developers to adapt, consumers have more freedom in the operating system and students can use open source code to study carefully and learn.

Google Play

The Google Play Store is Android’s app store where you download your apps to your Android device. In January 2021, the app store had over three million apps.

Android 11

Android’s operating system is constantly evolving and comes with new updates. The Android 11 update was released on September 8, 2020. The update focused mostly on the integrity of your data as you choose what to share and what not, more efficient chatting and sharing functions as well as screen recording. You can also connect your device to other smart devices in your home such as adjusting lighting and wirelessly connecting to a car that supports Android Auto. You get access to lots of smart features while driving and you have access to the mobile apps via the car’s display.


Android Inc was founded in 2003 in Palo Alto, California by, among others, a man named Andy Rubins. They were acquired by Google in 2005 and in 2007 the operating system was released. In 2008, the first Android device HTC Dream was launched.

Android has been the best-selling operating system for smartphones since 2011 and for tablets since 2013.

Compare Android and iOS

The biggest difference between Android and iOS (Apple’s operating system) is that Android is open-source software and iOS is closed source software.

What is meant by open and closed source code?

An open-source code is when you share the code. You let others see it and change it. Android is open to everyone and the developers for the various mobile manufacturers adapt the operating system so that it works for the individual brand.

A closed source code means that the code is secret from the public and can not be changed in any way. It is customized and limited to themselves (in this case Apple).

Advantages and disadvantages of Android

A big advantage of Android is that it is fully integrated with Google products, so if you use Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, for example, it can be a great advantage to choose Android as the operating system.

Android is best suited for those who are interested in technology and want more freedom in the operating system. But you should be careful with downloads as it is easier to get viruses with open source. Android, therefore, comes with more antivirus programs. Since many mobile manufacturers use Android operating systems, you can find a mobile that suits your price range.

Advantages and disadvantages of iOS

A big advantage of iOS is that it is extremely user-friendly and secure. For those who have never had an iPhone before, it is easy to use and learn how they work. There are constantly new updates and you can easily update even older products.

IOS is best suited for those who want a simple mobile with the latest technology. But since iOS is limited to only Apple, the other products also need to be from Apple in order for them to interact. There are also not the same choices when it comes to price range.


You could say that iOS is graphically refined, fast and easy, but in many areas limited, and that Android is the unpolished operating system with a lot of choice and opportunities for you as a user to customize. IOS and Android also differ when it comes to their app stores as Apple is tougher with app approval.

It is, therefore, more difficult for an app developer to meet the requirements for Apple and be on the App Store than on Google Play.

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