Full access to primary internal storage is still allowed through a separate application-level permission. Quick access to camera exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and other camera features. FeaturesImage3.0February 22, 2011Optimized tablet support with a new “holographic” user interface (removed again the following year with version 4.2). Open Accessory was introduced in 3.1 but the Open Accessory Library grants 2.3.4 added support when connecting to a USB peripheral with compatible software and a compatible application on the device. New Download Manager, giving users easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email, or another application.

In the summer of 2019, Huawei announced it would create an alternative operating system to Android known as Harmony OS, and has filed for intellectual property rights across major global markets. Under such sanctions Huawei has long term plans to replace Android in 2022 with the new operating system, as Harmony OS was originally designed for internet of things devices, rather than for smartphones and tablets. Android has been the best-selling OS worldwide on smartphones since 2011 and on tablets since 2013. As of May 2021, it has over three billion monthly active users, the largest installed base of any operating system, and as of January 2021, the Google Play Store features over 3 million apps. Android 12, released on October 4, 2021, is the latest version.

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The one-handed mode makes it easier to reach basically anything one-handed on taller phones. For instance, the Internet tile always opens a prompt now and houses both mobile and Wi-Fi data information. On the plus side, the larger tiles are much easier to read and house more information. Users who use toggles heavily will no doubt need multiple pages. The Quick Settings received a rather large overhaul as well. The smaller toggles are gone, replaced by larger, rounded rectangle buttons.

  • In the latest versions, LDPlayer has optimized the smoothness of Free Fire & Mobile Legends and fixed the device restriction on Moonlight Sculptor.
  • Most people will probably have an easier time using dedicatedtax software, but more ambitions filers or those with simple tax returns can get away with using a mobile app.
  • Android skins are user interfaces that are particular to a manufacturer, such as HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s TouchWiz.
  • IOS continues to be its only viable foe, particularly in the United States with where it claims a 43 percent market share.

There is also a beta version specifically for low-end computers as well. This isn’t nearly as common because Chromebooks are cheaper and better for using Android apps on something other than a phone and most productivity tools are cross-platform. In this day and age, we recommend going with a Chromebook if you want to run productivity apps in a laptop or computer environment. It’s also worth noting that Windows 11 has native Android apps support. You can read a tutorial on how that works here and you can even use the Play Store if you want to go through the effort. Google also launched Google Play Games on Windows 11 in beta.

Android is developed by Google until the latest changes and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is made available to the Android Open Source Project , an open source initiative led by Google. The AOSP code can be found with minimal modifications on select devices, mainly the former Nexus and current Android One series of devices. Requirements for the minimum amount of RAM for devices running Android 7.1 range from in practice 2 GB for best hardware, down to 1 GB for the most common screen. Android supports all versions of OpenGL ES and Vulkan (and version 1.1 available for some devices).


The first release under the numerical order format was Android 10, which was released September 2019. The version history of the Android mobile operating system began with the public release of the Android beta on November 5, 2007. The first commercial version, Android 1.0, was released on September 23, 2008. Android is continually developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance , and it has seen several updates to its base operating system since the initial release. YouWave, a once-popular option, has fallen out of favor because it runs much older versions of Android than most of its competitors.

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This How-To Geek School course aims to teach you how to use android effectively, showing you the most important settings and methods needed to really become an Android pro and get the most out of your device. Android Donut adds some usability-related enhancements to the OS, including better search and photo gallery improvements. Bluetooth battery level for connected devices in Quick Settings. Finally, if you haven’t used an app in a long time, Android 11 automatically resets the app’s permissions. Molly K. McLaughlin has been a technology writer since 2004. Her work has appeared on many tech sites across the web including PCMag, Dealnews, Wirecutter and many others.