Android Penetration Testing Tutorial

Introduction to Android, Its History and Different Versions

Table of Contents

  • What is Android?
  • Test your knowledge with a quick quiz!
  • History of Android
  • Android Version History
  • Test your knowledge with a quick quiz!

What is Android?

Android is the most preferred OS for mobile devices, powering over 3 billion devices around the world. It is an open-source OS based on Linux created in 2003 by the Open Handset Alliance, which is led by Google and several other organizations.

The top brands that use Android for their smartphones include Asus, HTC, Honor, Lenovo, Motorola, Nexus, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Samsung, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and more. 

The source code of Android is called the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is a repository of information and code for developing custom variations of the OS. It also allows the contribution of code to the documentation, report bugs, provide suggestions, etc. 

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Android is based on?

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History of Android

What is android os

  • In 2003, Android was initially developed as an operating system for digital cameras. 

  • In 2004, it was revamped as an OS for mobile devices because the market for digital cameras was not large.

  • In 2005, Google acquired the project for around $50 million and changed the base of the Android to Linux. 

  • In 2007, Google founded a new consortium named Open Handset Alliance. Many leading companies were part of this consortium, including Intel, Motorola, NVIDIA, LG Electronics, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, T-Mobile, Samsung, and Sprint Nextel. Open Handset Alliance aimed to speed up mobile platform innovation while promoting Android as an open-source and free OS that supports third-party apps.

  • In 2008, the first cell phone featuring Android was released, which was the HTC Dream (also known as T-Mobile G1).

Htc dream first android mobile

(image source:

  • In 2010, Google collaborated with a number of device manufacturers to launch the Nexus series and release new versions of Android. 

  • In 2012, Android became the most popular OS in the world, surpassing Apple’s iOS. This was also the year when Google Play was launched. 

Google play store logo

  • In 2014, Android One was launched. Its aim was to enable manufacturers to build high-quality devices at an affordable cost for people in developing countries. 

  • In 2019, Android was dragged to the disputes between the US and China. Huawei had then decided to abandon Android and develop its own OS. However, it still uses Android for its smartphones, but its own Harmony OS for IoT (internet of things) devices. 

  • In 2019, Android Q was released, which was the 10th version of Android. It was the first time Google had not named an Android version after desserts. 

  • In 2020, Android 11 was released, named Red Velvet Cake. The upcoming version will be Android Snow Cone. 

Android Version History

The first version of Android 1.0 was launched in 2008. Here is the list of all the Android versions to date:

Android version history

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What company decided to abandon Android and develop its own OS?

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