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Android is popular with technology companies that require a ready-made, low-cost and customizable operating system for high-tech devices.Its open nature has encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open-source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which deliver updates to older devices, add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems.In June 2014, Google announced Android One, a set of "hardware reference models" that would "allow [device makers] to easily create high-quality phones at low costs", designed for consumers in developing countries.However, Recode reported in June 2015 that the project was "a disappointment", citing "reluctant consumers and manufacturing partners" and "misfires from the search company that has never quite cracked hardware".Android has been the best-selling OS on tablets since 2013, and runs on the vast majority, Android has two billion monthly active users, and it has the largest installed base of any operating system.
Internal hardware, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and proximity sensors are used by some applications to respond to additional user actions, for example adjusting the screen from portrait to landscape depending on how the device is oriented, Android devices boot to the homescreen, the primary navigation and information "hub" on Android devices, analogous to the desktop found on personal computers.
Google marketed the platform to handset makers and carriers on the promise of providing a flexible, upgradeable system.
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".
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".
In 2010, Google launched its Nexus series of devices, a lineup in which Google partnered with different device manufacturers to produce new devices and introduce new Android versions.