In Pictures: 8 things you might not know about Android

Some lesser-known facts about Google's mobile OS

  • Android factoids Being as popular as it is, much of Android is a relatively open book to those with even a passing knowledge of the smartphone world. But there's also plenty that the mobile user on the street probably doesn't know about the little green droid.

  • It wasn't Google's idea Android actually began life as the brainchild of Andy Rubin, who founded Android Inc. in October 2003 with the aim of creating a new mobile platform. Google bought Android Inc. and hired Rubin and several others in August 2005.

  • It almost didn't work out Android almost immediately ran out of cash after its founding, only to be saved, according to Businessweek, by technology legend Steve Perlman.

  • The Nexus line was a hot rumor years before the Nexus One People were predicting the "gPhone" (big whiff on the name there, guys) as early as 2007. The Nexus One came out in 2010.

  • Microsoft thought it would be a non-event Microsoft's Scott Horn, then head of the Windows Mobile marketing team, told Engadget after Android's release that "I don't understand the impact they are going to have." (Cue sad trombone sound.) (Image: Scott Horn now works for Seagate.)

  • Resolution scaling was introduced in Version 1.6 The ability to automatically scale images based on display size appeared in Donut, or Android 1.6. This paved the way for the huge range of device form factors on the Android market today.

  • There's an Android phone in space Just a month ago, a British firm launched a Nexus One into space, where it will actually control a satellite as part of an experiment to see how well consumer-grade electronics stand up to the rigors of space.

  • Every app you run on your Android phone gets its own virtual machine Each active app on an Android device runs in its own Dalvik VM, which keeps it safely separate from core functions, improves battery life and boosts performance.

  • The first official version code name was NOT a dessert Google's Dan Morrill confirmed in January that the very first alpha version of Android released (in 2007) to internal developers was R2-D2.

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