Android, the world’s most popular mobile platform
Android powers hundreds of millions of mobile devices in more than 190 countries around the world. It’s the largest installed base of any mobile platform and growing fast—every day another million users power up their Android devices for the first time and start looking for apps, games, and other digital content.
Android gives you a world-class platform for creating apps and games for Android users everywhere, as well as an open marketplace for distributing to them instantly.
Open marketplace for distributing your apps
Google Play is the premier marketplace for selling and distributing Android apps. When you publish an app on Google Play, you reach the huge installed base of Android.
As an open marketplace, Google Play puts you in control of how you sell your products. You can publish whenever you want, as often as you want, and to the customers you want. You can distribute broadly to all markets and devices or focus on specific segments, devices, or ranges of hardware capabilities.
You can monetize in the way that works best for your business—priced or free, with in-app products or subscriptions—for highest engagement and revenues. You also have complete control of the pricing for your apps and in-app products and can set or change prices in any supported currency at any time.
1.5 billion downloads a month and growing. Get your apps in front of millions of users at Google’s scale.
Beyond growing your customer base, Google Play helps you build visibility and engagement across your apps and brand. As your apps rise in popularity, Google Play gives them higher placement in weekly “top” charts and rankings, and for the best apps promotional slots in curated collections.
Preinstalled on hundreds of millions of Android devices around the world, Google Play can be a growth engine for your business.
Android has a growing selection of third party applications, which can be acquired by users either through an app store such as Google Play or the Amazon Appstore, or by downloading and installing the application’s APK file from a third-party site. The Play Store application allows users to browse, download and update apps published by Google and third-party developers, and is pre-installed on devices that comply with Google’s compatibility requirements.
The app filters the list of available applications to those that are compatible with the user’s device, and developers may restrict their applications to particular carriers or countries for business reasons. Purchases of unwanted applications can be refunded within 15 minutes of the time of download, and some carriers offer direct carrier billing for Google Play application purchases, where the cost of the application is added to the user’s monthly bill.As of September 2012, there were more than 675,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from the Play Store was 25 billion.
Applications are developed in the Java language using the Android software development kit (SDK). The SDK includes a comprehensive set of development tools, including a debugger, software libraries, a handset emulator based on QEMU, documentation, sample code, and tutorials. The officially supported integrated development environment (IDE) is Eclipse using the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin. Other development tools are available, including a Native Development Kit for applications or extensions in C or C++, Google App Inventor, a visual environment for novice programmers, and various cross platform mobile web applications frameworks.
Global partnerships and large installed base
Building on the contributions of the open-source Linux community and more than 300 hardware, software, and carrier partners, Android has rapidly become the fastest-growing mobile OS.
Android’s openness has made it a favorite for consumers and developers alike, driving strong growth in app consumption. Android users download more than 1.5 billion apps and games from Google Play each month.
Every day more than 1 million new Android devices are activated worldwide.
With its partners, Android is continuously pushing the boundaries of hardware and software forward to bring new capabilities to users and developers. For developers, Android innovation lets you build powerful, differentiated applications that use the latest mobile technologies.