Web Largest Houston-area website developers. Ranked by Local web development and integrated services revenue. Dec 09, Largest Houston-area cyber security companies Web12/10/ · Microsoft pleaded for its deal on the day of the Phase 2 decision last month, but now the gloves are well and truly off. Microsoft describes the CMA’s concerns as “misplaced” and says that WebHearst Television participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites Web26/10/ · Key Findings. California voters have now received their mail ballots, and the November 8 general election has entered its final stage. Amid rising prices and economic uncertainty—as well as deep partisan divisions over social and political issues—Californians are processing a great deal of information to help them choose state constitutional WebThe latest Lifestyle | Daily Life news, tips, opinion and advice from The Sydney Morning Herald covering life and relationships, beauty, fashion, health & wellbeing ... read more
For example, Samsung has worked with General Dynamics through their Open Kernel Labs acquisition to rebuild Jelly Bean on top of their hardened microvisor for the "Knox" project. Android smartphones have the ability to report the location of Wi-Fi access points, encountered as phone users move around, to build databases containing the physical locations of hundreds of millions of such access points.
These databases form electronic maps to locate smartphones, allowing them to run apps like Foursquare , Google Latitude , Facebook Places , and to deliver location-based ads. In , Norwegian security firm Promon has unearthed a serious Android security hole which can be exploited to steal login credentials, access messages, and track location, which could be found in all versions of Android, including Android The vulnerability came by exploiting a bug in the multitasking system enabling a malicious app to overlay legitimate apps with fake login screens that users are not aware of when handing in security credentials.
Users can also be tricked into granting additional permissions to the malicious apps, which later enable them to perform various nefarious activities, including intercepting texts or calls and stealing banking credentials. Some of the preinstalled malware can commit ad fraud or even take over its host device. In , the Which? This conclusion stemmed from the fact that no security updates were issued for the Android versions below 7. collaborated with the AV Comparatives anti-virus lab to infect five phone models with malware, and it succeeded in each case.
Google refused to comment on the watchdog's speculations. On August 5, , Twitter published a blog urging its users to update their applications to the latest version with regards to a security concern that allowed others to access direct messages.
A hacker could easily use the "Android system permissions" to fetch the account credentials in order to do so. The security issue is only with Android 8 Android Oreo and Android 9 Android Pie. Twitter confirmed that updating the app will restrict such practices. Android applications run in a sandbox , an isolated area of the system that does not have access to the rest of the system's resources, unless access permissions are explicitly granted by the user when the application is installed, however this may not be possible for pre-installed apps.
It is not possible, for example, to turn off the microphone access of the pre-installed camera app without disabling the camera completely.
This is valid also in Android versions 7 and 8. Since February , Google has used its Google Bouncer malware scanner to watch over and scan apps available in the Google Play store. Before installing an application, the Google Play store displays a list of the requirements an app needs to function.
After reviewing these permissions, the user can choose to accept or refuse them, installing the application only if they accept. An opt-in system is used instead, in which users are prompted to grant or deny individual permissions to an app when they are needed for the first time.
Applications remember the grants, which can be revoked by the user at any time. Pre-installed apps, however, are not always part of this approach. In some cases it may not be possible to deny certain permissions to pre-installed apps, nor be possible to disable them.
The Google Play Services app cannot be uninstalled, nor disabled. Any force stop attempt, result in the app restarting itself. Permissions can still be revoked for those apps, though this might prevent them from working properly, and a warning is displayed to that effect. In September , Jason Nova of Android Authority reported on a study by the German security company Fraunhofer AISEC in antivirus software and malware threats on Android.
Nova wrote that "The Android operating system deals with software packages by sandboxing them; this does not allow applications to list the directory contents of other apps to keep the system safe. By not allowing the antivirus to list the directories of other apps after installation, applications that show no inherent suspicious behavior when downloaded are cleared as safe.
If then later on parts of the app are activated that turn out to be malicious, the antivirus will have no way to know since it is inside the app and out of the antivirus' jurisdiction". The study by Fraunhofer AISEC, examining antivirus software from Avast , AVG , Bitdefender , ESET , F-Secure , Kaspersky , Lookout , McAfee formerly Intel Security , Norton , Sophos , and Trend Micro , revealed that "the tested antivirus apps do not provide protection against customized malware or targeted attacks", and that "the tested antivirus apps were also not able to detect malware which is completely unknown to date but does not make any efforts to hide its malignity".
In August , Google announced Android Device Manager renamed Find My Device in May ,   a service that allows users to remotely track, locate, and wipe their Android device,   with an Android app for the service released in December.
On October 8, , Google announced new Google Play store requirements to combat over-sharing of potentially sensitive information, including call and text logs. The issue stems from the fact that many apps request permissions to access users' personal information even if this information is not needed for the app to function and some users unquestionably grant these permissions.
Alternatively, a permission might be listed in the app manifest as required as opposed to optional and the app would not install unless user grants the permission; users can withdraw any, even required, permissions from any app in the device settings after app installation, but few users do this. Google promised to work with developers and create exceptions if their apps require Phone or SMS permissions for "core app functionality".
The new policies enforcement started on January 6, , 90 days after policy announcement on October 8, Furthermore, Google announced a new "target API level requirement" targetSdkVersion in manifest at least Android 8. The API level requirement might combat the practice of app developers bypassing some permission screens by specifying early Android versions that had a coarser permission model.
Dependence on proprietary Google Play Services and customizations added on top of the operating system by vendors who license Android from Google is causing privacy concerns. The source code for Android is open-source : it is developed in private by Google, with the source code released publicly when a new version of Android is released. Google publishes most of the code including network and telephony stacks under the non-copyleft Apache License version 2.
which allows modification and redistribution. Associated Linux kernel changes are released under the copyleft GNU General Public License version 2, developed by the Open Handset Alliance , with the source code publicly available at all times.
The reason, according to Andy Rubin in an official Android blog post, was because Honeycomb was rushed for production of the Motorola Xoom ,  and they did not want third parties creating a "really bad user experience" by attempting to put onto smartphones a version of Android intended for tablets.
Only the base Android operating system including some applications is open-source software, whereas most Android devices ship with a substantial amount of proprietary software, such as Google Mobile Services , which includes applications such as Google Play Store , Google Search, and Google Play Services — a software layer that provides APIs for the integration with Google-provided services, among others. These applications must be licensed from Google by device makers, and can only be shipped on devices which meet its compatibility guidelines and other requirements.
Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation have been critical of Android and have recommended the usage of alternatives such as Replicant , because drivers and firmware vital for the proper functioning of Android devices are usually proprietary, and because the Google Play Store application can forcibly install or uninstall applications and, as a result, invite non-free software.
In both cases, the use of closed-source software causes the system to become vulnerable to backdoors. It has been argued that because developers are often required to purchase the Google-branded Android license, this has turned the theoretically open system into a freemium service.
Google licenses their Google Mobile Services software, along with the Android trademarks, only to hardware manufacturers for devices that meet Google's compatibility standards specified in the Android Compatibility Program document.
In , Google also began to require that all Android devices which license the Google Mobile Services software display a prominent "Powered by Android" logo on their boot screens. Users of custom ROMs can register their device ID to their Google account to remove this block.
Some stock applications and components in AOSP code that were formerly used by earlier versions of Android, such as Search, Music, Calendar, and the location API, were abandoned by Google in favor of non-free replacements distributed through Play Store Google Search, Google Play Music, and Google Calendar and Google Play Services , which are no longer open-source. Moreover, open-source variants of some applications also exclude functions that are present in their non-free versions.
Apps that do not use Google components would also be at a functional disadvantage, as they can only use APIs contained within the OS itself. In turn, third-party apps may have dependencies on Google Play Services. Members of the Open Handset Alliance, which include the majority of Android OEMs, are also contractually forbidden from producing Android devices based on forks of the OS;   in , Acer Inc. was forced by Google to halt production on a device powered by Alibaba Group 's Aliyun OS with threats of removal from the OHA, as Google deemed the platform to be an incompatible version of Android.
Alibaba Group defended the allegations, arguing that the OS was a distinct platform from Android primarily using HTML5 apps , but incorporated portions of Android's platform to allow backwards compatibility with third-party Android software. Indeed, the devices did ship with an application store which offered Android apps; however, the majority of them were pirated. Android received a lukewarm reaction when it was unveiled in Although analysts were impressed with the respected technology companies that had partnered with Google to form the Open Handset Alliance, it was unclear whether mobile phone manufacturers would be willing to replace their existing operating systems with Android.
Since then Android has grown to become the most widely used smartphone operating system   and "one of the fastest mobile experiences available". As a result, it has been described by technology website Ars Technica as "practically the default operating system for launching new hardware" for companies without their own mobile platforms.
These have been cited as among the main advantages of Android phones over others. Despite Android's popularity, including an activation rate three times that of iOS, there have been reports that Google has not been able to leverage their other products and web services successfully to turn Android into the money maker that analysts had expected.
Android has suffered from "fragmentation",  a situation where the variety of Android devices, in terms of both hardware variations and differences in the software running on them, makes the task of developing applications that work consistently across the ecosystem harder than rival platforms such as iOS where hardware and software varies less.
For example, according to data from OpenSignal in July , there were 11, models of Android devices, numerous screen sizes and eight Android OS versions simultaneously in use, while the large majority of iOS users have upgraded to the latest iteration of that OS. They maintain this forces Android developers to write for the "lowest common denominator" to reach as many users as possible, who have too little incentive to make use of the latest hardware or software features only available on a smaller percentage of devices.
Research company Canalys estimated in the second quarter of , that Android had a 2. By the third quarter of , Gartner estimated that more than half In July , Google said that , Android devices were being activated every day,  up from , per day in May,  and more than million devices had been activated  with 4.
Android market share varies by location. In April , Android had 1. As of August , [update] the Google Play store had over 3 million Android applications published,   and as of May , [update] apps had been downloaded more than 65 billion times.
Android devices account for more than half of smartphone sales in most markets, including the US, while "only in Japan was Apple on top" September—November numbers. Three billion Android smartphones were estimated to be sold by the end of including previous years. According to Gartner research company, Android-based devices outsold all contenders, every year since According to StatCounter , which tracks only the use for browsing the web, Android is the most popular mobile operating system since August virtually all of Asia, with Japan and North Korea exceptions.
According to StatCounter, Android is most used on mobile in all African countries, and it stated "mobile usage has already overtaken desktop in several countries including India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia",  with virtually all countries in Africa having done so already except for seven countries, including Egypt , such as Ethiopia and Kenya in which mobile including tablets usage is at While Android phones in the Western world almost always include Google's proprietary code such as Google Play in the otherwise open-source operating system, Google's proprietary code and trademark is increasingly not used in emerging markets; "The growth of AOSP Android devices goes way beyond just China [..
According to a January Gartner report, "Android surpassed a billion shipments of devices in , and will continue to grow at a double-digit pace in , with a 26 percent increase year over year. Gartner expected the whole mobile phone market to "reach two billion units in ", including Android. According to a Statistica 's estimate, Android smartphones had an installed base of 1. In the second quarter of , Android's share of the global smartphone shipment market was According to an April StatCounter report, Android overtook Microsoft Windows to become the most popular operating system for total Internet usage.
In September , Google announced that Android had 1. Despite its success on smartphones, initially Android tablet adoption was slow,  then later caught up with the iPad, in most countries. One of the main causes was the chicken or the egg situation where consumers were hesitant to buy an Android tablet due to a lack of high quality tablet applications, but developers were hesitant to spend time and resources developing tablet applications until there was a significant market for them.
Due to the lack of Android tablet-specific applications in , early Android tablets had to make do with existing smartphone applications that were ill-suited to larger screen sizes, whereas the dominance of Apple's iPad was reinforced by the large number of tablet-specific iOS applications. This approach, such as with the Dell Streak , failed to gain market traction with consumers as well as damaging the early reputation of Android tablets.
An exception was the Amazon Kindle Fire , which relied upon lower pricing as well as access to Amazon's ecosystem of applications and content. This began to change in , with the release of the affordable Nexus 7 and a push by Google for developers to write better tablet applications. As of the end of , over There are countries on all continents where Android tablets are the majority, for example, Mexico.
In March , Galen Gruman of InfoWorld stated that Android devices could be a "real part of your business [.. It can now be as integral to your mobile portfolio as Apple 's iOS devices are". The recently released Android 12 is the most popular Android version on both smartphones and tablets. Android 12 is most popular in a few countries including the United States,  but Android 11 is most used in most countries, including India, while in many others, including China, Android 10 is the most popular version.
The usage share varies a lot by country: e. Android 9. most used in India, Canada, Australia, and most European countries, and others all over the world; Oreo 8. At the same time In general, paid Android applications can easily be pirated.
In , Google released a tool for validating authorized purchases for use within apps, but developers complained that this was insufficient and trivial to crack. Google responded that the tool, especially its initial release, was intended as a sample framework for developers to modify and build upon depending on their needs, not as a finished piracy solution.
The success of Android has made it a target for patent and copyright litigation between technology companies, both Android and Android phone manufacturers having been involved in numerous patent lawsuits and other legal challenges.
On August 12, , Oracle sued Google over claimed infringement of copyrights and patents related to the Java programming language. They said that Android's Java runtime environment is based on Apache Harmony , a clean room implementation of the Java class libraries, and an independently developed virtual machine called Dalvik.
In December , Google announced that the next major release of Android Android Nougat would switch to OpenJDK , which is the official open-source implementation of the Java platform, instead of using the now-discontinued Apache Harmony project as its runtime.
Code reflecting this change was also posted to the AOSP source repository. In April , the United Supreme Court ruled that Google's use of the Java APIs was within the bounds of fair use, reversing the Federal Circuit Appeals Court ruling and remanding the case for further hearing. The majority opinion began with the assumption that the APIs may be copyrightable, and thus proceeded with a review of the factors that contributed to fair use.
In , FairSearch , a lobbying organization supported by Microsoft , Oracle and others, filed a complaint regarding Android with the European Commission , alleging that its free-of-charge distribution model constituted anti-competitive predatory pricing.
The Free Software Foundation Europe , whose donors include Google, disputed the Fairsearch allegations. On October 16, , Google announced that it would change its distribution model for Google Mobile Services in the EU, since part of its revenues streams for Android which came through use of Google Search and Chrome were now prohibited by the EU's ruling.
While the core Android system remains free, OEMs in Europe would be required to purchase a paid license to the core suite of Google applications, such as Gmail, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. Google Search will be licensed separately, with an option to include Google Chrome at no additional cost atop Search. European OEMs can bundle third-party alternatives on phones and devices sold to customers, if they so choose.
OEMs will no longer be barred from selling any device running incompatible versions of Android in Europe. In addition to lawsuits against Google directly, various proxy wars have been waged against Android indirectly by targeting manufacturers of Android devices, with the effect of discouraging manufacturers from adopting the platform by increasing the costs of bringing an Android device to market.
Google has publicly expressed its frustration for the current patent landscape in the United States, accusing Apple, Oracle and Microsoft of trying to take down Android through patent litigation, rather than innovating and competing with better products and services.
Google has developed several variations of Android for specific use cases, including Android Wear, later renamed Wear OS , for wearable devices such as wrist watches,   Android TV for televisions,   Android Things for smart or Internet of things devices and Android Automotive for cars.
The open and customizable nature of Android allows device makers to use it on other electronics as well, including laptops, netbooks ,   and desktop computers,  cameras,  headphones,  home automation systems, game consoles,  media players,  satellites,  routers ,  printers ,  payment terminals ,  automated teller machines ,  and robots. In , Google demonstrated "Android Home", a home automation technology which uses Android to control a range of household devices including light switches, power sockets and thermostats.
Google, he said, was thinking more ambitiously and the intention was to use their position as a cloud services provider to bring Google products into customers' homes. Parrot unveiled an Android-based car stereo system known as Asteroid in ,  followed by a successor, the touchscreen-based Asteroid Smart, in Android comes preinstalled on a few laptops a similar functionality of running Android applications is also available in Google's ChromeOS and can also be installed on personal computers by end users.
In December , one reviewer commented that Android's notification system is "vastly more complete and robust than in most environments" and that Android is "absolutely usable" as one's primary desktop operating system. In October , The Wall Street Journal reported that Android will serve as Google's future main laptop operating system, with the plan to fold ChromeOS into it by The software is available for developers, and was released in The mascot of Android is a green android robot , as related to the software's name.
Although it has no official name, the Android team at Google reportedly call it "Bugdroid". It was designed by then-Google graphic designer Irina Blok on November 5, , when Android was announced.
Contrary to reports that she was tasked with a project to create an icon,  Blok confirmed in an interview that she independently developed it and made it open source. The robot design was initially not presented to Google, but it quickly became commonplace in the Android development team, with various variations of it created by the developers there who liked the figure, as it was free under a Creative Commons license.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mobile operating system. Android 13 home screen with Pixel Launcher. Apache License 2. See also: Android version history. Main article: List of features in Android. See also: Android software development and Google Play. See also: Android hardware requirements. Main article: Rooting Android.
See also: Mobile security and Comparison of open-source mobile phones. See also: WARRIOR PRIDE. See also: Behavioral targeting and DeGoogle. Main article: Usage share of operating systems. Main article: Android version history. Further information: Smartphone patent wars and Patent troll.
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GMS is only available through a license with Google [.. and That's a Good Thing". App Developer Magazine. Retrieved July 29, Android Open Source Project.
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Retrieved February 20, October 26, Retrieved October 26, Windows Latest. Retrieved June 28, While it's absolutely reasonable to worry about a world in which more and more properties are concentrated in the hands of singular, giant megacorps, it does look a bit odd if you're complaining about losing access to games while stopping them from joining competing services.
We'll find out if the CMA agrees when it completes its in-depth, "Phase 2" investigation opens in new tab into the Activision Blizzard acquisition, which is some way off yet. For now, we'll have to content ourselves with poring over these kinds of corporate submissions for more interesting tidbits like this one.
So far, we've already learned that Microsoft privately has a gloomy forecast for the future of cloud gaming opens in new tab , and that the company thinks Sony shouldn't worry so much since, hey, future COD games might be as underwhelming as Vanguard opens in new tab. Who knows what we'll learn next? Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since.
His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. Views are similar across education and income groups, with just fewer than half approving.
Approval in March was at 41 percent for adults and 36 percent for likely voters. Across regions, approval reaches a majority only in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Across demographic groups, approval reaches a majority only among African Americans. This map highlights the five geographic regions for which we present results; these regions account for approximately 90 percent of the state population.
Residents of other geographic areas in gray are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less-populous areas are not large enough to report separately. The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California. Coauthors of this report include survey analyst Deja Thomas, who was the project manager for this survey; associate survey director and research fellow Dean Bonner; and survey analyst Rachel Lawler.
The Californians and Their Government survey is supported with funding from the Arjay and Frances F. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1, California adult residents, including 1, interviewed on cell phones and interviewed on landline telephones.
The sample included respondents reached by calling back respondents who had previously completed an interview in PPIC Statewide Surveys in the last six months. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete.
Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from October 14—23, Cell phone interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. Additionally, we utilized a registration-based sample RBS of cell phone numbers for adults who are registered to vote in California. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection.
After a cell phone user was reached, the interviewer verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey e. Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household.
Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. Additionally, we utilized a registration-based sample RBS of landline phone numbers for adults who are registered to vote in California. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection. For both cell phones and landlines, telephone numbers were called as many as eight times.
When no contact with an individual was made, calls to a number were limited to six. Also, to increase our ability to interview Asian American adults, we made up to three additional calls to phone numbers estimated by Survey Sampling International as likely to be associated with Asian American individuals.
Accent on Languages, Inc. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt Associates used state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey NHIS and the ACS. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide.
The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. This means that 95 times out of , the results will be within 3. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1, registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.
For the sampling errors of additional subgroups, please see the table at the end of this section. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population.
Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less-populous areas are not large enough to report separately. We also present results for congressional districts currently held by Democrats or Republicans, based on residential zip code and party of the local US House member.
We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and no party preference or decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated per their responses to survey questions about voter registration, previous election participation, intentions to vote this year, attention to election news, and current interest in politics.
The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to due to rounding. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www. pdf and are available upon request through surveys ppic. October 14—23, 1, California adult residents; 1, California likely voters English, Spanish. Margin of error ±3. Percentages may not add up to due to rounding. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Gavin Newsom is handling his job as governor of California?
Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?
Thinking about your own personal finances—would you say that you and your family are financially better off, worse off, or just about the same as a year ago? Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline-to-state or independent voter? Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican?
Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? Which one of the seven state propositions on the November 8 ballot are you most interested in? Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
It allows in-person sports betting at racetracks and tribal casinos, and requires that racetracks and casinos that offer sports betting to make certain payments to the state—such as to support state regulatory costs. The fiscal impact is increased state revenues, possibly reaching tens of millions of dollars annually. Some of these revenues would support increased state regulatory and enforcement costs that could reach the low tens of millions of dollars annually.
If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 26? Initiative Constitutional Amendment. It allows Indian tribes and affiliated businesses to operate online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands. It directs revenues to regulatory costs, homelessness programs, and nonparticipating tribes.
Some revenues would support state regulatory costs, possibly reaching the mid-tens of millions of dollars annually. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 27? Initiative Statute.
It allocates tax revenues to zero-emission vehicle purchase incentives, vehicle charging stations, and wildfire prevention. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 30? Do you agree or disagree with these statements? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Joe Biden is handling his job as president? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Padilla is handling his job as US Senator?
Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as US Senator? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the US Congress is handling its job? Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? How satisfied are you with the way democracy is working in the United States?
Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open-source software, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android is developed by a consortium of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance and commercially sponsored by Google.
It was unveiled in November , with the first commercial Android device, the HTC Dream , being launched in September Most versions of Android are proprietary. The core components are taken from the Android Open Source Project AOSP , which is free and open-source software FOSS primarily licensed under the Apache License.
When Android is installed on devices, the ability to modify the otherwise free and open-source software is usually restricted, either by not providing the corresponding source code or by preventing reinstallation through technical measures, thus rendering the installed version proprietary. Most Android devices ship with additional proprietary software pre-installed,  most notably Google Mobile Services GMS  which includes core apps such as Google Chrome , the digital distribution platform Google Play , and the associated Google Play Services development platform.
Over 70 percent of Android smartphones run Google's ecosystem, some with vendor-customized user interfaces and software suites, such as TouchWiz and later One UI by Samsung and HTC Sense. However, the "Android" name and logo are trademarks of Google, which imposes standards to restrict the use of Android branding by "uncertified" devices outside their ecosystem. The source code has been used to develop variants of Android on a range of other electronics, such as game consoles , digital cameras , portable media players , and PCs , each with a specialized user interface.
Some well known derivatives include Android TV for televisions and Wear OS for wearables, both developed by Google. Software packages on Android, which use the APK format, are generally distributed through proprietary application stores like Google Play Store , Amazon Appstore including for Windows 11 , Samsung Galaxy Store , Huawei AppGallery , Cafe Bazaar , and GetJar , or open source platforms like Aptoide or F-Droid. Android has been the best-selling OS worldwide on smartphones since and on tablets since As of May [update] , it had over three billion monthly active users , the largest installed base of any operating system,  and as of January [update] , the Google Play Store featured over 3 million apps.
Android Inc. was founded in Palo Alto, California , in October by Andy Rubin , Rich Miner , Nick Sears, and Chris White. Rubin had difficulty attracting investors early on, and Android was facing eviction from its office space. Perlman refused a stake in the company, and has stated "I did it because I believed in the thing, and I wanted to help Andy. In , Rubin tried to negotiate deals with Samsung  and HTC. at the time, with the company having provided few details other than that it was making software for mobile phones.
Google marketed the platform to handset makers and carriers on the promise of providing a flexible, upgradeable system. Speculation about Google's intention to enter the mobile communications market continued to build through December The first commercially available smartphone running Android was the HTC Dream , also known as T-Mobile G1, announced on September 23, On November 5, , 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".
In September , InformationWeek covered an Evalueserve study reporting that Google had filed several patent applications in the area of mobile telephony.
Since , Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding new features and fixing bugs in previous releases.
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 ", in that order.
During its announcement of Android KitKat in , 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 , 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. The series was described as having "played a pivotal role in Android's history by introducing new software iterations and hardware standards across the board", and became known for its " bloat-free " software with "timely He left Google in August to join Chinese phone maker Xiaomi.
On Android 4. Writing access has been reinstated with Android 5 Lollipop through the backwards-incompatible Google Storage Access Framework interface. In June , 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. In May , the operating system became entangled in the trade war between China and the United States involving Huawei , which, like many other tech firms, had become dependent on access to the Android platform.
On August 22, , it was announced that Android "Q" would officially be branded as Android 10, ending the historic practice of naming major versions after desserts.
Google stated that these names were not "inclusive" to international users due either to the aforementioned foods not being internationally known, or being difficult to pronounce in some languages. In late , some users reported that they were unable to dial emergency services. Android's default user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation , using touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions, like swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard.
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,  or allowing the user to steer a vehicle in a racing game by rotating the device, simulating control of a steering wheel.
Android devices boot to the home screen , the primary navigation and information "hub" on Android devices, analogous to the desktop found on personal computers. Android home screens are typically made up of app icons and widgets ; app icons launch the associated app, whereas widgets display live, auto-updating content, such as a weather forecast , the user's email inbox, or a news ticker directly on the home screen.
Along the top of the screen is a status bar, showing information about the device and its connectivity. This status bar can be pulled swiped down from to reveal a notification screen where apps display important information or updates, as well as quick access to system controls and toggles such as display brightness, connectivity settings WiFi , Bluetooth, cellular data , audio mode, and flashlight.
Notifications are "short, timely, and relevant information about your app when it's not in use", and when tapped, users are directed to a screen inside the app relating to the notification. An "All Apps" screen lists all installed applications, with the ability for users to drag an app from the list onto the home screen.
The app list may be accessed using a gesture or a button, depending on the Android version. A "Recents" screen, also known as "Overview", lets users switch between recently used apps. The recent list may appear side-by-side or overlapping, depending on the Android version and manufacturer.
Many early Android OS smartphones were equipped with a dedicated search button for quick access to a web search engine and individual apps' internal search feature. More recent devices typically allow the former through a long press or swipe away from the home button.
The dedicated option key, also known as menu key, and its on-screen simulation, is no longer supported since Android version Google recommends mobile application developers to locate menus within the user interface. Depending on device, its long press may simulate a menu button press or engage split screen view, the latter of which is the default behaviour since stock Android version 7.
Native support for split screen view has been added in stock Android version 7. The earliest vendor-customized Android-based smartphones known to have featured a split-screen view mode are the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2 , the former of which received this feature with the premium suite upgrade delivered in TouchWiz with Android 4.
When connecting or disconnecting charging power and when shortly actuating the power button or home button, all while the device is powered off, a visual battery meter whose appearance varies among vendors appears on the screen, allowing the user to quickly assess the charge status of a powered-off without having to boot it up first.
Some display the battery percentage. Applications " apps " , which extend the functionality of devices and must be bit  , are written using the Android software development kit SDK  and, often, Kotlin programming language, which replaced Java as Google's preferred language for Android app development in May ,  and was originally announced in May The SDK includes a comprehensive set of development tools,  including a debugger , software libraries , a handset emulator based on QEMU , documentation, sample code, and tutorials.
Initially, Google's supported integrated development environment IDE was Eclipse using the Android Development Tools ADT plugin; in December , Google released Android Studio , based on IntelliJ IDEA , as its primary IDE for Android application development. In January , Google unveiled a framework based on Apache Cordova for porting Chrome HTML 5 web applications to Android, wrapped in a native application shell.
Android has a growing selection of third-party applications, which can be acquired by users by downloading and installing the application's APK Android application package file, or by downloading them using an application store program that allows users to install, update, and remove applications from their devices. Google Play Store is the primary application store installed on Android devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements and license the Google Mobile Services software.
Due to the open nature of Android, a number of third-party application marketplaces also exist for Android, either to provide a substitute for devices that are not allowed to ship with Google Play Store, provide applications that cannot be offered on Google Play Store due to policy violations, or for other reasons.
Examples of these third-party stores have included the Amazon Appstore , GetJar , and SlideMe. F-Droid , another alternative marketplace, seeks to only provide applications that are distributed under free and open source licenses. In October , Google removed several Android applications from Play Store , as they were identified breaching its data collection rules. At the Windows 11 announcement event in June , Microsoft showcased the new Windows Subsystem for Android WSA that will enable support for the Android Open Source Project AOSP and will allow users to run Android apps on their Windows desktop.
The storage of Android devices can be expanded using secondary devices such as SD cards. Android recognizes two types of secondary storage: portable storage which is used by default , and adoptable storage. Portable storage is treated as an external storage device. Adoptable storage, introduced on Android 6. This has the disadvantage of preventing the memory card from being used with another device unless it is reformatted.
Android 4. Apps are required to use the SAF to access any other part of the filesystem. Since Android devices are usually battery-powered, Android is designed to manage processes to keep power consumption at a minimum. When an application is not in use the system suspends its operation so that, while available for immediate use rather than closed, it does not use battery power or CPU resources.
Some settings for use by developers for debugging and power users are located in a "Developer options" sub menu, such as the ability to highlight updating parts of the display, show an overlay with the current status of the touch screen, show touching spots for possible use in screencasting , notify the user of unresponsive background processes with the option to end them "Show all ANRs", i.
Developer options are initially hidden since Android 4. Hiding developers options again requires deleting user data for the "Settings" app, possibly resetting some other preferences. The main hardware platform for Android is ARM the ARMv7 and ARMv8-A architectures , with x86 and x architectures also officially supported in later versions of Android.
While gaining support for bit platforms, Android was first made to run on bit x86 and then on ARM An unofficial experimental port of the operating system to the RISC-V architecture was released in Requirements for the minimum amount of RAM for devices running Android 7.
Android supports all versions of OpenGL ES and Vulkan and version 1. Android devices incorporate many optional hardware components, including still or video cameras, GPS , orientation sensors , dedicated gaming controls, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers , proximity sensors, pressure sensors , thermometers, and touchscreens.
Some hardware components are not required, but became standard in certain classes of devices, such as smartphones, and additional requirements apply if they are present. Some other hardware was initially required, but those requirements have been relaxed or eliminated altogether. For example, as Android was developed initially as a phone OS, hardware such as microphones were required, while over time the phone function became optional.
In addition to running on smartphones and tablets, several vendors run Android natively on regular PC hardware with a keyboard and mouse. Android is developed by Google until the latest changes and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is made available to the Android Open Source Project AOSP ,  an open source initiative led by Google. All releases are under the Apache License .
The AOSP code can be found with minimal modifications on select devices, mainly the former Nexus and current Android One series of devices. Android's source code does not contain the device drivers , often proprietary, that are needed for certain hardware components  , and does not contain the source code of Google Play Services , which many apps depend on. As a result, most Android devices, including Google's own, ship with a combination of free and open source and proprietary software, with the software required for accessing Google services falling into the latter category.
Google provides annual  Android releases, both for factory installation in new devices, and for over-the-air updates to existing devices. The extensive variation of hardware  in Android devices has caused significant delays for software upgrades and security patches. Each upgrade has had to be specifically tailored, a time- and resource-consuming process.
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