A classic embedded device has a fixed function, argued Tim Bird, senior staff engineer for Sony Entertainment, in the panel discussion. “When you bake it at the factory that’s what it does forever.” By this definition, Android is not embedded Linux because it’s “more of a platform play,” he said.
Google custom-built Android as a mobile operating system that comes with its own ecosystem, separate from the classic Linux ecosystem. Its user interface is optimized for touch screen devices. It comes with a set of APIs that make for a more standardized application development environment. And Android devices can tap a slew of Google services.