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Who invented the Android operating system?

Has it always been a part of Google?

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Image: Google

Nowadays, when you think of mobile phones only two names typically pop up – iOS and Android. The rest of the market has pretty much been swallowed by these two giants, owned by Apple and Google, respectively.

But… has it always been like that? I mean, we know Apple has always owned iOS, and developed the operating system from scratch, in-house.

Was the same true for Android as well, or was Google’s mobile operating system just another acquisition that the company decided to not kill off? Did the operating system start life inside a subdivision of Google?

So, who invented the Android operating system?

Short answer: Android Inc

Ha, bet you thought this was going to be “Google,” right? I mean, the two names are synonymous nowadays, but way back in 2003, Android wasn’t aiming at the smartphone market (mainly because it didn’t exist yet). When Rich Miner, Nick Sears, Chris White, and Andy Rubin decided to found Android Inc, they set out to make Android a replacement for the terrible operating systems that digital cameras used.

Then came the decline of the stand-alone digital camera, and the company repurposed their operating system to work on mobile phones. A couple of years later, Google purchased the company, worked on the operating system in secret, and finally went public with the operating system shortly after Apple launched the first iPhone, forever cementing touchscreen-based mobile phones in the minds of the consumer.

What do you think? Surprised that Android was originally intended for digital cameras? Which operating system do you prefer? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at

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