Yesterday, Android officially celebrated its fifth birthday. On November 5, 2007, Android was officially announced, and its SDK was then made available seven days later on November 12. However, Android actually dates back further than that.

Android, Inc. was a company that Google snatched up in 2005, that was originally founded in Palo Alto, California in October 2003 by Andy Rubin. Until Google’s acquisition of the company – and for several years after – Android was actually developed mostly in secret. Speculation started to build about Google’s possible intentions to enter the mobile phone market in late 2006, and in September 2007, Google filed a few patents related to mobile telephony.

Finally, on November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance unveiled itself. This was a consortium of technology companies that included Google, HTC, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Android was revealed to the public as its first product, built on a Linux kernel with the goal of eventually expanding the open source operating system to run on thousands of different phone models.

The rest, as we know, is history. The HTC Dream, also known as the G1, was the first commercially available Android phone. It was released on October 22, 2008. Now, the Open Handset Alliance’s goal of Android running on a multitude of different devices has come true, and Android is still going strong, with over 700,000 apps available in the Google Play Store today.

Happy birthday, Android.

[Phandroid | Wikipedia]