Android trivia: 10 questions to test how well you know Google's mobile operating system


Did you know that Android is the world's most popular mobile operating system? And its market share has kept on growing, reaching an astronomical more than 80% in the past couple of quarters, leaving Apple with a meager share of just around 12% of the total smartphone and all other competing platforms like Windows Phone with just tiny percentages.

Some would say Android's popularity is because how open it is and how much choice it gives to users in all price points, but with so many users out there, you might be asking yourself: do I know Android well? There is one way to get an answer: test your knowledge with the PhoneArena Android trivia!

We're starting you off with 10 questions of varying difficulty: some would be easy to long-time Android followers, while others might prompt you to search our website and Google for the answer. In the past few months we've been digging for interesting bits and pieces of information about Google's mobile operating system, and our loyal readers will be able to find the answer to some questions in some of our recent articles.

So with no further ado, let's get going with the questions (you can find the answers with a little backstory right after each question):

1. Before selling out to Google, Android co-founder Andy Rubin tried to sell the operating system to ... ?

Correct answer: Samsung.

The backstory: The Android team, consisting of eight people back then, having flown out all the way to Seoul, Korea, has gotten a first meeting with one of the largest phone makers of the time, Samsung. Encircled by 20 Samsung executives, Rubin pitches the Android idea relentlessly, but instead of enthusiasm and questions, the only response he gets is dead silence. Then, Samsung’s team of high-ranked executives voices what seemed obvious then: “‘You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom. This happened two weeks before Google acquired us,” Rubin later recollects.

2. How much did Google pay to acquire Android?

Correct answer: $50 million

The backstory: In early 2005, Larry Page would agree to meet with Andy Rubin, and after hearing about his work on Android, he not just helps get the money the cash-starved Android OS project needs - he decides that Google will acquire Android. The feeling that the mobile industry has had to change has already been irking Google's cofounders, and in Mountain View Larry Page and Sergey Brin had been looking for that change for a while, particularly concerned that it might be the then big giant Microsoft that will get there first. Luckily, Rubin came in at the right time. Google bought Android for around $50 million and incentives at the time, and by the middle of 2005 the whole 8-person Android team was transferred in Mountain View.

3. Andy Rubin, the father of Android, has keen interest in an area different than operating systems. Which one is it?

Correct answer: Robots

The backstory: Not tiny green mascots, mind you, but the industrial and time-saving kind that frees humans from the shackles of repetitive motions or delivery logistics, and can automate no-brainer tasks like the sensors that start your windshield wipers when rain pours down.

4. The first fully 64-bit-compatible version of Android is ... ?

Correct answer: Android 5.0 Lollipop

The backstory: In order to have a fully 64-bit platform, Google had to introduce a new runtime. This happens to be now known as ART (the Android Runtime), and while it is available as an option in Android 4.4 KitKat, it replaces the dated Dalvik fully only in Android version 5.0 Lollipop.

5. The first mass-market Android smartphone was ... ?

Correct answer: T-Mobile G1

The backstory: Google was the quickest to see the huge novelty of Apple's iPhone announcement, and it is said to have thrown in considerable effort to launch Android soon after Apple's release. Google picked T-Mobile as its carrier of choice, and the HTC Dream, aka T-Mobile G1, was the first Android handset to get into people's hands.

6. Support for custom keyboards like SwiftKey was enabled in Android version ... ?

Correct answer: Android 1.5 Cupcake

The backstory: Google launched the first Android phone, the HTC Dream, with a physical, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and did not support any virtual keyboards at first. Soon, the company overcame its fear that virtual keyboards are not good enough, and added its own with support for alternative, third-party keyboards in Android 1.5 Cupcake.

7. One of the main reasons why Android devices require more RAM memory is ... ?

Correct answer: Java's garbage collector

The backstory: Along with the use of Java comes a process called garbage collection. Once an Android user closes an app, the garbage collection process recycles the memory. The problem is that the garbage collectors require four to eight times the memory that it is using in order for the job to be done quickly. If the required amount of memory is not available, things slow down. Because iOS does not use these garbage collectors, Apple can get away with putting 1GB of RAM in the iPhone, and match or surpass the performance of Android phones.

8. Support for live wallpapers was enabled in Android version ... ?

Correct answer: Android 2.1 Eclair

The backstory: One of the biggest new features of the Android 2.1 release was live wallpapers. This neat customization option was a hallmark feature back then, but it did feel experimental and many of the first third-party live wallpapers had a negative effect on performance of hertz-deprived devices of the time. Still, it evolved nicely, and in fact, live wallpapers, remain a customization option that is not fully supported up to this day by any other operating system.

9. The first Android tablet was the ... ?

Correct answer: Samsung Galaxy Tab

The backstory: After Apple's release of the iPad in early 2010, the phone makers that have embraced Android found themselves in a rush: they had to find a response. The first massively sold Android tablet, however, only arrived in late 2010, and was nothing like the large, 9.7-inch iPad. It was the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and it featured a pocket size and a 7-inch screen.

10. Many say Android has ‘true’ multitasking in contrast to other mobile platforms, but in which version was multitasking actually enabled?

Correct answer: Android 1.0

The backstory: Multitasking was built in the very roots of Android, and it worked on even earlier versions before the public release, like the first 'Milestone' releases. However, if we're looking at the public releases only, Android 1.0 would be the one where the feature made its true debut to the public.

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