Android is one of the leading mobile operating system (OS). It is based on the Linux kernel and is developed by Google. Currently, Android, Apple’s iOS, and Windows Mobile are the top mobile operating systems in the market.
Android is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. However, it does also have specialized user interfaces for televisions, i.e. Android TV, cars, i.e. Android Auto, and smartwatches, i.e. Android Wear. Additionally, Android has also been used in game consoles, digital cameras, regular PCs and other electronics.
Android One is a line of Android devices designed for first-time smartphone users in emerging markets. It was first introduced at Google’s I/O developer conference in 2014.
Android One devices are stock Android phones that partner OEMs manufacture. Google’s goal here is to facilitate the spread of Google-controlled Android via compelling products. Basically, it’s a little like the old Nexus programme, but rather than being flagship devices sold by Google, these are pure Android devices sold through other retailers.
That original aim has moved on slightly, with the most recent launches bringing Android One to the mid-range, and breaking out of the original “emerging markets” ambition, to offer Android One on a global scale. The aim is to be secure and stable and designed to run Google software, so you have that Android experience without any of the stuff that manufacturers like to bundle in – no skins, no duplicate apps, although there may be some other pre-installed software.
Android vs Android one
The biggest difference between Android and Android One is that the former is open source, and OEMs and manufacturers can make as many changes as they want to the operating system. Android OS can be tweaked heavily, adding more features and a customised skin to set the OEM apart from others. The software and security updates are also regulated by OEMs, and Google plays little part in it.
Android One platform essentially was launched to convert non-smartphone users into smartphone users. With that in mind, Google offers pure Android experience, and regular updates to compatible phones, limiting OEMs work. It sets a hardware standard as well for OEMs, reducing work there as well.
Google has also promised that all Android One phones will get software support for two years, while for Android OS users, it is left to the OEMs’ discretion.