Android is a powerful, advanced smartphone platform that has reshaped the mobile industry around the world. The platform boasts over a billion total users, and is growing quickly on every continent. By the end of last quarter, five out of every six smartphones used on Earth ran a version of Android.
It’s hard to believe that it was just eight short years ago today, on November 5th, 2007, Android development was announced publicly for the first time. Work on the platform had been going on for some time, and so the first beta build of Android was also released that day. One week later, the first software development kit was released, allowing developers from all walks of life the opportunity to build software for Android.
At the time, nobody could have foreseen what the web, and mobile apps, would become by 2015. Eric Schmidt, Google CEO at the time, seems prescient in retrospect, saying “Our vision is that the powerful platform we’re unveiling will power thousands of different phone models.” Today, there are tens of thousands of distinct devices running Android, and about 1.6 million apps available on the platform.
Android has come a long way since the first Android phone on the market, the T-Mobile G1. Phones have become more powerful, faster, and are only occasionally used as telephones. Given everything we didn’t see coming eight years ago, I’m extremely excited to see what we’re not expecting eight years from now.