Google Inc. said Wednesday its Android operating system has reached a milestone by powering 2 billion monthly active devices around the world.
Dave Burke, Google's vice president of engineering, told Google I/O, an annual conference for computer programmers, in Mountain View, Northern California, where the technology company is headquartered, that Android has "the largest reach of any computing platform of its kind."
Based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices, Android was first unveiled in 2007. It is now the operating system, namely the software platform that manages hardware and software resources, including applications, or apps, for more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones.
With its latest version released in August 2016, Android has been claimed by Google officials to be "across all screens:" watches, cars, television sets, Internet of Things (IoTs) and chromebooks, a class of low-coast laptop computers comprising nearly 60 percent of laptops sold to K-12 schools in the United States.
Promising to make Android "even more useful," Burke announced a beta release of the operation system's newest version, Android O. Its formal release is scheduled for "later this year."
Also at the Wednesday event, Google said its voice-powered digital assistant, known as Google Assistant, is available on Apple Inc.'s iPhones starting immediately, in addition to its availability on more than 100 million devices.