Released in September 2008, Android is an operating system based on the Linux kernel with a user interface that allows for direct manipulation. It was designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers with variants for television, cars and wristwear.
The operating system uses a virtual keyboard, as well as touch inputs that correspond to real-world actions, like swiping, tapping, pinching and reverse-pinching to manipulate on-screen objects. Although the Android operating system was designed primarily for touchscreen input, it has also been used in television, game consoles, digital cameras and other electronic devices.
Android’s source code is released by Google under open source licenses. The operating system was initially developed by Android, Inc., which Google backed financially and then bought in 2005. Since 2008, Android has been updated every six to nine months. In June 2014, Google announced that there were over 1 billion active monthly Android users.