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An early prototype had a close resemblance to a Black Berry phone, with no touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard, but the arrival of 2007's Apple i Phone meant that Android "had to go back to the drawing board".

On November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of technology companies including Google, device manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung, wireless carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile, and chipset makers such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, unveiled itself, with a goal to develop "the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices".

Since 2008, Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding new features and fixing bugs in previous releases.

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.

Variants of Android are also used on game consoles, digital cameras, PCs and other electronics.

Along the top of the screen is a status bar, showing information about the device and its connectivity.

This status bar can be "pulled" down to reveal a notification screen where apps display important information or updates.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", respectively.During its announcement of Android Kit Kat in 2013, Google explained that "Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert", although a Google spokesperson told CNN in an interview that "It’s kind of like an internal team thing, and we prefer to be a little bit — how should I say — a bit inscrutable in the matter, I’ll say".From 2008 to 2013, Hugo Barra served as product spokesperson, representing Android at press conferences and Google I/O, Google’s annual developer-focused conference.He left Google in August 2013 to join Chinese phone maker Xiaomi.The success of Android has made it a target for patent and copyright litigation between technology companies.

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