Project Mainline for Android Q: What it is, what it isn’t, and how it works

Android is a fantastic bit of software. It brings a good mix of convenience and security features to the table as well as power-user features that nobody would have ever imagined having on a phone just a few years ago. It really is a leap forward towards having a complete personal computer in your pocket.

A lot of cooks from companies that know mobile bake an Android dessert.

A big part of the reason it can do this is because of the smart people who write the code. Google maintains Android’s code, but the project is open source and filled with juicy features and functionality from names like Samsung, Motorola, LG, Huawei, and even Microsoft and Apple. From the low-level code that crunches all the numbers to make all the things work to the rounded icons and animations, Android is the product of the people and companies who know mobile best.

The open source nature of Android has also accomplished something else; a thing that’s not so elegant and pretty: fragmentation. When 100 different companies grab the source code and build 100 slightly different versions of Android, keeping the devices all up to date is a mountain of work. It also depends on the company who made a phone…

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