By guest writer Kevin Gannon
Google’s Android operating system has revolutionized the mobile industry. It’s likely one of the reasons why Google was recently named by Fortune Magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute as the “Best Company Work For,” making this the fifth time the company has made it to the top of the list. Android has certainly provided great success for Google and helped in distinguishing itself from a branding perspective thanks to one little green robot: the Google Android logo. The small droid rarely gets much attention, so this article will focus on him (or her?). First, let’s discuss briefly the history behind Google and its acquisition of Android.
Seventeen years ago seems like a lifetime when it comes to the tech world. But that’s when the name “Google” was heard by many for the first time, at least those who were actively surfing the Internet and keeping up with tech trends at the time. Google.com was registered as a domain on September 15, 1997. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had met two years earlier at Stanford.
Nearly a year later, on September 4, 1998, Google filed for incorporation in California and opened a bank account in the company’s name. At that point, Google had officially started and continued to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Fast forward several years. As noted by Business Insider, Android started out as its own company in 2003 and was bought by Google in 2005, though it wasn’t officially announced until November two years later. Touted as being the first open platform for mobile devices, it soon became one of the most recognized brands in the mobile industry. In 2008, the first Android phone hit the market and many people got their first glimpse of one of the world’s most recognized logos.
An Android designer named Irina Blok originally created the logo, according to The Next Web.
She said that after discussions with Android’s founder, her team researched the theme of robots/androids, gaining inspiration along the way. In order to create a logo that related to the name, they started a massive board containing a multitude of various robots. From there, they decided where they wanted to go from a visual perspective, and they ended up choosing a sketch Blok did of a simple little android—one she says she “created in 5 minutes.” It wasn’t the most detailed or sophisticated robot she could have chosen, but she says the simplicity of her drawing “really made a statement … [and] became an international symbol of Android.”
And thus, the simple green bot we know today was born. The robot has come to symbolize the open platform, recognized for the quality and technological ingenuity it represents. And its popularity isn’t slowing down. For instance, Verizon Wireless will soon release one of the most talked about phones this year, the Samsung Galaxy S5, and it’s one that consequently runs on the Android operating system. As is to be expected, many more devices bearing an association with Android will be released in the coming years. It will be interesting to see if future products the little green robot is attached to will change consumers’ views of Android devices for better or for worse.
What’s your favorite Android device? Sound off in the comments below.
Kevin Gannon is an aspiring online journalist with a penchant for writing about the latest news in the tech industry, especially if it’s related to smartphones.