Today Android sits as the most dominant mobile operating system on the planet, but would you believe that the platform’s original concept was aimed at cameras? Andy Rubin revealed the origins of Android as we know at an economic summit in Tokyo earlier this week, saying, “the exact same operating system we built for cameras…became Android for cellphones,” referencing the platforms humble beginnings in April of 2004.
At that time Rubin and company were presenting Android to investors as a smart camera platform that could connect to a home PC and then link up with an “Android Datacenter.” After realizing the opportunity in the camera industry was perhaps a bit small, the creators of Android turned to the growing field of smartphones to repurpose the operating system, keeping much of the Java-based core intact. In 2005 Android was acquired by Google and the rest is history.
Rubin said the goal was always to get Android out to as many people as possible, hence the decision to offer the platform to OEMs free of charge. It’s the reason Android currently sees 1.5 million activations per day and is well on its way to 1 billion total.
As for Andy Rubin, who recently stepped down from his position as Android chief at Google, he still plans to develop products geared towards consumers. What exactly his new work will involve, that still remains a bit of a mystery.