|"A manager's guide to the business and organisational applications of open source technologies"|
This mobile operating system was first created by Android Inc. Following the company's purchase by Google Inc in 2005, development has moved to the Open Handset Alliance and Google. The first release of Android as open source (Android Open Source Project) was announced in a press release by the Open Handset Alliance on 21 October 2008 with the first handset - the HTC Dream - being released on 22 October 2008. A major release of the Android operating system happened on 5 January 2010 when Google and the HTC Corporation began shipping the Nexus One mobile internet handset. Google has reported that 60,000 Android handsets were being shipped per day in February 2010.
Android supports standard smartphone hardware, but can also manage larger VGA displays and other specialist hardware such as video and stills cameras, touchscreens, GPS, accelerometers and 2D/3D graphics. Communications protocols supported include GSM, UMTS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Android is written in C and is built upon a modified derivative of the Linux kernel version 2.6. Applications can be written in Java using Java libraries. Data is stored in an SQLlite database. Android will run on ARM, MIPS, Power and x86 architectures.
The software is released as open source under the Apache Software License 2.0 with Linux kernel patches under the GPL version 2 license.
In order to protect the Android Open Source Project, each contributor must sign an Individual or Corporate Contributor License Grant before their code is accepted as part of the project. By doing so the contributor grants the copyright of their code to the project and also grants any patent rights to the project. Additionally signing the Contributor License Grant is a statement that the contribution was created by the contributor themselves, which is important to prevent any future claims of copyright infringement.