Google is celebrating the tenth birthday of Android, its mobile operating system which is now powering over 2 billion active devices. Of course, Android has officially been around for longer than 10 years, and it was originally rolled out on September 23, 2008. But as with all things Google, the actual birthday is the cause for some confusion.
Now, Google has posted October 22, 2018 as officially marking ten years of Android. Even Google CEO Sundar Pichai wished Android a Happy Birthday for October 22, 2018. But as we noted early on, Android did technically turn 10 back in September, if one goes with the date of when the original version and source code was released.
Others also consider November 5, 2007 as the original birthday for Android, since that’s when the beta was released, though the software development kit (SDK) was rolled out later on November 12. By that logic, Android already turned 10 years last year.
So why is Google going with October 22? As the official blog post notes, October 22 marks ten years of the “first version of the Android operating system with the T-Mobile G1,” and when Android Market (the original name for the Google Play Store) were launched. This T-Mobile phone with Android 1.0 went on sale in the US on October 22, 2008, which explains the logic for picking this date.
However, Android Market launched on September 23, 2008. The full fledged Google Play Store, actually came much later in March 2012.
The Google blog post also takes a look at all the variants of Android from Cupcake (version 1.5) right down to Android Pie. The post notes, “the operating system itself has gone through some major transformations, too. The G1 ran on Android 1.0—a version so early, we didn’t even name it after a dessert. The debut included features that you know and love today like pull-down notifications, sharing content across apps and multitasking between apps.”
Check out tweets wishing Android a Happy Birthday below.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) October 22, 2018
— Android (@Android) October 22, 2018
Happy birthday, @Android!
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) October 23, 2018
Officially Android is now ten years old, but as we noted the software was around much before, back in 2003. Google officially acquired Android in 2005. While the confusion over Android’s birthday might continue, there’s no doubt that it has come to dominate the smartphone world and also ensured that anyone can afford a smartphone, no matter what the price point.