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Since 2008, Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding new features and fixing bugs in previous releases.Each major release is named in alphabetical order after a dessert or sugary treat, with the first few Android versions being called "Cupcake", "Donut", "Eclair", and "Froyo", in that order.Beginning with the first commercial Android device in September 2008, the operating system has gone through multiple major releases, with the current version being 8.0 "Oreo", released in August 2017.Android applications ("apps") can be downloaded from the Google Play store, which features over 2.7 million apps as of February 2017.The extensive variation of hardware in Android devices causes significant delays for software upgrades, with new versions of the operating system and security patches typically taking months before reaching consumers, or sometimes not at all.The success of Android has made it a target for patent and copyright litigation between technology companies.A report from The Information in January 2017 stated that Google is expanding its low-cost Android One program into the United States, although The Verge notes that the company will presumably not produce the actual devices itself.Android's default user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions, like swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard.
In addition to touchscreen devices, Google has further developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Android Wear for wrist watches, each with a specialized user interface.
The response to user input is designed to be immediate and provides a fluid touch interface, often using the vibration capabilities of the device to provide haptic feedback to the user.
Internal hardware, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and proximity sensors are used by some applications to respond to additional user actions, for example adjusting the screen from portrait to landscape depending on how the device is oriented, Android devices boot to the homescreen, the primary navigation and information "hub" on Android devices, analogous to the desktop found on personal computers.
Steve Perlman, a close friend of Rubin, brought him ,000 in cash in an envelope, and shortly thereafter wired an undisclosed amount as seed funding.
Perlman refused a stake in the company, and has stated "I did it because I believed in the thing, and I wanted to help Andy." At Google, the team led by Rubin developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel.
Android is popular with technology companies that require a ready-made, low-cost and customizable operating system for high-tech devices.