Did you know that Android was not actually made by Google?


Android, the world’s most popular operating system, is a platform that nearly everyone would associate with Google nowadays. And that’s only natural - after all, the search giant has brought it to its global success. But did you know that Android was not conceived in the Googleplex?

In fact, it was not until 2005, a whole two years after the Android operating system was born, that Google took over the company. Interestingly, Android commenced way back in October 2003 as a platform targeting digital cameras, not phones.

A brainchild of engineer and avid robot lover Andy Rubin (hence, the name Android), in its early days, the OS was developed by just a handful of fellow engineers. The small team realized swiftly that the digital camera market is not the best fit for its effort, and changed the target to mobile phones. Rubin headed the project - he already had the experience at Danger, after all, a start-up that brought us the iconic T-Mobile Sidekick with its vintage slide-out keyboard. 

The platform was already well under way until one day, a year and a half after it was started, the Android start-up ran out of money. Rubin spoke with Samsung first, but the company laughed the idea of buying nascent Android out of court, so it was a lucky day for both Android and Google when they found each other in 2005. Google took on the project, and investment in it only grew with time, so today it's easy to forget that Google did not actually start Android. Its trust in the nascent Android, however, has certainly paid off, don't you think?

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126 Comments

125. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

PhoneArena... I... I just- You know these recent articles you've been posting? *insert ASCII Picard facepalm here*

122. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 895; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Yes We know..

114. sonisoe

Posts: 440; Member since: May 06, 2009

i knew that...but just glad coz i doubt samsung would ve made android open and its be samsung vs ios...

99. winter_hat

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

The genius of Android is that it's a trash heap of nothing and you add everything you need with apps or a skin in order to make it even usable.

100. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Says someone who clearly doesn't use Android.

101. winter_hat

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

No, I do. It takes me hours every time I get a new one just to make it functional. Replace the launcher, replace the keyboard, find and download BASIC functionality like task lists, memo app, etc. Replace the worthless dialer. Every dialer is worse than the last. I wish they would STOP with the 'improvements' of the dialer. It can be great, but it really starts out horrid.

102. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

"every time I get a new one." Riiiiiggggghhhhhttttt. So you hate Android but you keep getting Android devices? And I love these objective declarations. The dialer is fine for me. I actually like the new one. The search functionality is way better.

104. winter_hat

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

I'm not a hater. Have at least one of every major mobile OS. I have about 5 Androids, 2 are not too old (Moto X, S3.) I am objective though. Since I've moved beyond my little Android world, I've seen a lot of it's flaws. It's a strength that it's so modifiable, but it's a weakness that you HAVE to modify it just to make it usable.

106. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

5 Androids? Isn't that too much?

109. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You might have to, but I've never had to modify my phones just to make them usable. I've really messed around with them purely because I could.

124. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Actually I don't like android myself, yet I have 7 in total since the G1, my most recent purchase is a Note 3. Just cause you think it can be done better and imo has, doesn't mean you don't buy one. The note 3 has its usage, but it wasn't enough to become my daily driver.

110. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

"No, I do. It takes me hours every time I get a new one just to make it functional." I stopped reading right there.....hyperbole much? What you meant was...functional...for you...cuz I can go all stock or customize alot...and be fine either way. As of now...the ONLY things I change alot is launchers and keyboard....and keyboard is Swype only... I dont even mess with the lock screen that much anymore.

112. winter_hat

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

In 2014, on a smart phone, you don't need a note taking app? Or a to-do list? One that is integrated into the OS and syncs with your devices? Good for you. And the keyboard is the worst on any device. And the dialer on KitKat is ridiculous. Lots of flaws. But, as long as the masses of sheep keep swallowing everything Google shovels their way, there's no reason for them to change.

121. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea...because obviously my use and your use are different.. Like I said...functional...for you.

126. winter_hat

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Google nut snugglers, lol

118. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

"I stopped reading right there..." Hilarious! Exact same spot where I experienced uncontrollable eye rolling. +1

94. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

Yes, I know somewhere in the universe there are also a intelligent creature that create Android also !

91. TechDork

Posts: 405; Member since: May 10, 2010

The Sidekick did NOT have a "slide out" keyboard. It had a....a....um...a um....IT DIDN'T SLIDE OUT! It like, sidekick'd. See? :P Unless you refer to the Sidekick Slide but..

75. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Thanks for another article mentioning the birth date....2003. I would like that fact to stay in users on this site minds when they wanna mention copying... For the transition to go from buttons to all touch screen as quick as it did.....all touch screen was in the works... And Google, Android OEM's still have dev phones with the old Blackberry look. Or used to as late as 2010.

87. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

That, and capacitive screens were just starting to be available so full screen phones weren't being made previously like they are after the release of that technology. Anyone who really thinks Android was a copy of iOS is either in denial or suffers from some insecurity problems or jealousy. Android and iOS are so far apart in features and appearances, as well as functionality that the two could not have been made from the same sources. In reality, both were influenced by previous systems that were already in use for years.

67. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Did you know Steve Jobs had the same opportunity to purchase Android but passed? Imagine the impact of that decision should it of went the other way.

78. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

If thats true.....whew...a HUUUUGE bullet wad dodged....

65. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

We're back in 2008/9 where they're telling how to sideload apps and asking if you knew this.

31. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

So...this article is targeted at complete noobs who've never bothered to look up Android's history, right?

34. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Worse

35. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Worse

85. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

a fluff piece...

97. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Because if it isn't for the complete noobs who don't know anything about Android, then it's a flame bait article, plain and simple. Shame on Phonearena for doing this.

23. antifanboy14

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

so sammy laughed the idea out the door? haha! i can't believe this.

17. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Phonearena has been into DYKs lately.

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