While it’s true that Google essentially controls Android, several businesses also contribute to the OS’s development; no single company is entirely responsible for the OS on every phone.
Who Owns Android
The OS’s main developer, Google, is responsible for work on important private components including Google Play Services and authorized programs like Gmail. The Android OS, except the hardware drivers, is almost entirely owned by Google if you purchase a Pixel phone.
The primary AOSP (Android Open Source Project) releases are additionally the responsibility of Google. Although it is permissible for external parties to alter or add to the AOSP source code, they are not the ones that create significant milestones. Even though Google does not own every single piece of code that makes up the Android operating system, unlike the decentralized Linux, Google ultimately controls it.
Who Owns Android Now
It might be harder than ever to answer the question, “Who Owns Android Now?” Several businesses are also responsible for the software, but Google is in charge of the fundamental code. It’s unclear who actually owns Android because no one business specifies the operating system for every phone. These are some of the learning methods. For the solution to this age-old query, continue reading! Moreover, if you are unsure of the solution, don’t worry.
Simply put, Google is the owner of the “AOSP” variant of Android. This indicates that while the platform is built using Google’s source code, OEMs are free to modify it to meet their own demands. Samsung offers its own version of Android called One UI, which has been substantially tweaked. Users of Android frequently ask this query. The company is in charge of creating and disseminating the software.
Who is the Real Owner of Android?
Therefore, the crucial query is: Who is the Actual Owner of Android? also, how can I tell? Here are some methods to tell. Beginning with a wide definition of “Android OS.
Google has a lengthy history with mobile operating systems because it created the Android platform. 2005 saw Google make the transaction. Rubin’s idea of a free mobile operating system captured the hearts of Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin, who were a little more circumspect about the initiative.
As a means of taking the lead in the worldwide movement, Google may assist push for innovation in phones. It is anticipated that the incoming CEO of Google will follow in the footsteps of the man who created Android.
Who else has a stake in Android OS?
Ownership becomes more challenging once Google releases an AOSP version. Although the OS on many Android devices is fundamentally controlled by Google, OEMs frequently heavily customize it. An excellent example is Samsung’s One UI, which is based on Android but mostly has Samsung’s design aesthetic and functionalities.
Additionally, some Android versions have a weak connection to Google. For instance, Amazon’s Fire OS is a clone of AOSP that uses none of Google’s non-free components and is essentially under Amazon’s control.
Additionally, it’s pretty typical for Chinese manufacturers like Huawei to create heavily modified Android versions with little to no input from Google because they aren’t allowed to utilize the company’s proprietary apps in their native country.
Google isn’t wholly cut off from this, though. Google’s updates are frequently the foundation for new OS releases from businesses like Amazon and Huawei. However, Google is not in charge of maintaining those platforms. Accordingly, the answer to the question of who owns Android depends on who uses the operating system.
Forked Android Versions
The fact is, though, that not all smartphones (or mobile device makers) use the same version of Android. Depending on the business, the phone manufacturer may choose to modify the OS and add a few custom features. Afterward, a forked version that is exclusively compatible with specific phones is created.
As an illustration, consider Samsung, whose Samsung One UI merely uses Android as a framework but makes use of exclusive features, elements, and design. To make it suitable for the Chinese market, Huawei also modifies the operating system. It is a forked version of the Android operating system that Amazon has created.
Because some businesses have customized versions that only vaguely match the original version, there is some misunderstanding over OS ownership. Who is the owner of these Android variants? The companies behind these forked variations are in charge of their platforms even though Google owns the original.
Developed especially for touchscreen mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, Android is a mobile operating system that is based on a modified Linux kernel and other open-source software. The Open Handset Alliance, a group of programmers, creates Android, with Google providing financial support. The HTC Dream, the first widely available Android handset, was released in September 2008 after its introduction in November 2007.
The majority of Android versions are proprietary. The main parts are derived from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), a free and open-source software (FOSS) project that is principally covered by the Apache License.
When Android is placed on hardware, the otherwise FOSS software’s capacity to be modified is typically limited, either because the related source code is withheld or because reinstallation is technically impossible, making the installed version proprietary.
The majority of Android smartphones come pre-installed with additional proprietary software, most notably Google Mobile Services (GMS), which contains essential programs like Google Chrome, the online store Google Play, and the related Google Play Services development platform.
The Google ecosystem powers more than 70% of Android handsets, some of which include UIs and software suites that have been specifically designed by manufacturers, such as TouchWiz and subsequently One UI by Samsung, and HTC Sense.
Amazon’s Fire OS, OPPO’s ColorOS, Vivo’s origins, Honor’s MagicUI, as well as custom ROMs like LineageOS are examples of competing Android ecosystems and forks. The “Android” name and logo, on the other hand, are Google trademarks, and as such, they enforce guidelines to prevent “uncertified” devices from using the Android branding.
With the help of the source code, Android variations have been created for a variety of other electronic devices, including gaming consoles, digital cameras, portable media players, and PCs.
Each of these devices features a unique user interface. Two well-known variants created by Google are Wear OS for wearables and Android TV for televisions. Android software packages, which use the APK file format, are typically distributed through either open source platforms like Aptoide or F-Droid or proprietary application stores like Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore (which includes a version for Windows 11), Samsung Galaxy Store, Huawei AppGallery, and Cafe Bazaar.
Since 2011 and since 2013 on tablets, Android has been the most popular operating system (OS) globally. The Google Play Store contains over 3 million apps as of January 2021, and as of May 2021, it has over three billion monthly active users, the highest installed base of any operating system. The most recent version is Android 13, which debuted on August 15, 2022.