Android™ has emerged with growing popularity in the handheld arena, from smartphones to tablets to other devices, it’s here to stay. Since its notable growth, Google has been working toward making various forms of Android available for enterprise devices as well as other device types such as Internet of Things. In the world of rugged handhelds, device manufactures have been turning to Android to participate in the Android “ecosystem” and provide users with an easy-to-use, versatile operating system.
To avoid confusion, it’s important to understand the differences between Android Open Source Project (AOSP) devices and Android Google Mobile Services (GMS) devices, as many individuals have the misconception that all Android operating systems have the same capabilities. The key to differentiating between the two is first recognizing that AOSP is the basis for all Android devices. Sponsored and lead by Google, AOSP provides the source code necessary to build an Android-compatible operating system. GMS is added to select “authorized” Android devices. GMS is generally enticing to consumers/end users because it allows access to a large quantity of applications through the Google Play Store. It also provides several other applications including Gmail, Chrome browser, Google Maps, etc. If it is an “authorized” Android device, it will include GMS with all associated apps preinstalled.