What is Android?
(from an article in the SeniorNet Nelson Newsletter 80, May 2015 by Carl Horn)
Android is often mentioned - as is Samsung - at SeniorNet, and in the media, and often refers to the same thing. Android is the system that runs many tablets, mostly made by Samsung, but also by many other brands. The same system is in more than half of the mobile phones being sold worldwide, and by now more than half of the tablets, surpassing iPads in sales. It is reported to have over 80% of the market. You are in good company if you have one.
Technically speaking, many programs (software) can be run simultaneously on modern computers, each performing a specific function. A program which controls all the internal functions of a computer, such as its keyboard for input, its touch screen for input and output, its connection with the Internet for both input and output, and its connection with the mobile phone system, is called an operating system.
There are many different brands of operating system. The Android operating system was developed by Google. If your phone or tablet was manufactured by Samsung, it is using a version of the Android operating system. If your device is an i-phone or an i-pad, then it was manufactured by Apple and its operating system was developed by Apple. I-phones and i-pads do not use the Android operating system.
Even though a manufacturer may use a basic version of the Android operating system as their base program to control their device, they frequently program the next layer of the operating system themselves. The result is that the appearance of the home screens and the location of icons on them will probably look different, not only from the Android devices of other manufacturers but also different from other models of the same manufacturer.