June 2013 Issue of Linux Journal: Android

Science-fiction geeks have very specific definitions for their (okay, “our”) jargon. A cyborg is a hybrid mechanical and organic creature. An AI (artificial intelligence) is a purely electronic device or program capable of thought. And an android is a purely mechanical and electronic device with a human appearance. In Star Trek terms, the Borg are cyborgs, and Data is an android. Then Google came and messed everything up. “Android” is now synonymous with the operating system on phones and tablets everywhere. Unless it’s an obscure social commentary on square shapes and human obesity, I think it’s safe to assume Google just went with a cool-sounding, futuristic name. This month, we focus on Google’s Android, the Linux-based operating system that’s taking over the planet