I know by the headline you are probably saying aloud, “I already know this”. However, the two entities have two completely different goals and can operate separately from each other. This piece is a start of a small series deciphering the differences and purpose of Google and Android. I’ll also go into explaining why both are important.
What is Android?
Answering the question isn’t as easy as it sounds. A lot of people mistaken Samsung for being Android, or LG, Sony, or Google for that matter. Those people are halfway right. Android is software for mobile phones, tablets and a growing range of devices encompassing everything from smartwatches to in-car entertainment systems. In 2003, Google bought the Android company to allow for many other companies to use it for making devices.
You see, before Android, everyone had their own separate software that didn’t work well with one another. For example, imagine if you had a Sony smartphone that could only connect to a Sony Bluetooth wireless speaker. Even though you strongly prefer the nice LG Bluetooth wireless speaker that features that matched your preference, your smartphone was only compatible with Sony devices, apps, etc… That was the state of the world before Android came into the picture. It’s as if your newly purchased Honda vehicle could only go to a Honda branded dealership to get gas and maintenance.
Android’s purpose was to fix that issue. This is why, when you walk into a wireless carrier’s store such as Verizon, there are many different Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S9, LG G7, OnePlus 5, HTC U11, and Google Pixel on the displays. All of these phones are together, but not the same.
Android smartphones come in so many different shapes, sizes, designs, and experiences. It’s all about choice for the consumer and opportunities for the smartphone manufacturers that can’t afford to create their own mobile software. Hence, Google making Android an open-source platform. Open-source meaning anyone can freely download Android and make changes to it as they see fit. A good analogy for this would be water. Water is free and you can do what you want with it. Go to your local restaurant, ask for water, and put your own lemon, lime, or whatever you want in it.
If that’s Android, then what is Google?
According to Wikipedia and Google’s own company site, Google is a technology company whose sole purpose is to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. Wither that comes from an internet searching tool, productivity tools for businesses, designing a free open-source operating system (see above), or creating a smartphone that does all of the above. As many of you know, Google used to just be a search engine; google.com. However, the company has grown to provide technological services for schools, governments, families, friends, and practically anyone you can think of. This falls in line with Google’s reasoning for purchasing Android and why both Android and Google are important.
Why do we need both?
Answering this is pretty easy, but I’ll try to decipher it as much as possible. As you now know, Android is the free software that can be placed onto any smartphone. If you want to buy all of the parts for a smartphone and make your own, you can do that. All without having to worry about having to develop and design your own operating system because Google created Android for that. Android provides the opportunity for small manufacturers and device makers.
We need Google because they have proven to be the only company capable of creating a universally accessible online search engine, incredibly affordable computers for anyone from all different financial demographics, and many more. If it weren’t for both of these two powerful technological entities, we would bask in a confusing mess of devices, having to swipe through Encyclopedia Britannica books for information.