October 3, 2011

The origin of the word "Android"

Anyone with a little sense of technology knows that Android is the name of the mobile operating system, distributed by Google. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance, formed by Google, HTC, Sony, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, LG, T-Mobile, Nvidia, and Wind River Systems. Many of us love Android!

If you go back a little to figure out the history Android, you will know that it started as a little company in Palo Alto in California in 2003, founded by Andy Rubin. Google acquired Android Inc in 2005, paving the way for it to become one of the world's best Mobile Operating Systems available.

Now, all of us are familiar with Andy, the little green guy who appears when ever Android is around. Ascender Corporation designed this logo. Most of us who are familiar with Android knows that it is a name we call robots. Ya, Android is a robot!

Android is a robot with a human appearance. I know, you are thinking what I was thinking - the word Android is a new word. We are wrong! The origin of the word Android dates back to the time of Albertus Magnus who lived between 1193 and 1280.

Albertus Magnus is a Catholic Saint. Albertus is recorded as having made a  brass head that would answer questions put to it. That is supposed to be our first Android. It was called Androides.  You find the word Android in Chapter XVI, Witchcraft and Spells: Transcendental Magic its Doctrine and Ritual by Eliphas Levi

French Writer Villiers popularized the term in his 1886 novel L'Ève future. The term "android" appears in US patents as early as 1863 in reference to miniature human-like toy automations.

Apparently, George Lucas coined the word 'droid' for the original Star Wars film. Philip K. Dick used the word "Andy" in his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

And now we have Andy and Android everywhere!


  1. Interesting background history.

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