A new era started when mobile handsets manufactures began to think about introducing more capabilities for their devices, the post-PC era was coming. The post-PC era started when the same services that computers could offer such us web browsing were included in smartphones, when the new millennium arrived, the 2000s, the smartphone industry took advantage over the huge PC industry (PCMag.com, 2014).
As manufacturers decided to offer more productivity options to consumers in software hand to hand with more powerful hardware, satisfying the consumers became a major concern for these companies. Being Android the most used operating system of our time the research question “To what extent do Android OS custom ROMs benefit the final users and Google as the system developer company?” is focused on exploring the way users found a way of getting what they want at any cost, in this case a better user experience without losing the main capabilities provided by Google as the system developers, and how both parts, users and Google, can get the best and also be affected by the growth of custom ROM developing.
It is substantial knowing how Android and its large user community, as Google, is affected by the fact of these system being open source and the way manufacturer make clients feel satisfied with their handset offerings, and in the same way how can both be largely benefited by the same causes.
III. Android Operating System and its History
Android is a mobile operating system based on the Linux kernel, it has a marketshare of approximately the 80% being the most used mobile operating system now (Banerjee, 2013). Android was first developed by Android, Inc in 2003 founded by Andy Rubin. Almost two years later Google, Inc bought Android, Inc and its owner became part of the Google team. This operating system was not ready to go out so it was not launched until 2007, the first smartphone running in was the HTC Dream launched in 2008 (Salas, 2011).
Since its beginning Android was and still is a very flexible operating systems thanks to its Linux base, users got a lot of customization options like adding multiple homescreens, widgets and positioning icons in almost any way. The users were satisfied and Android began its expansion. As a Linux based operating system Android is an open source OS, Google releasees the code of each version when it is finished for the manufactures to include it in their devices. Each Android version is named after a desert or a confectionary.
Chang (2013) explains the Android version history starting with the 1.0 and 1.1 versions wich does not feature any codename, Cupcake (v 1.5), Donut (v 1.6), Eclair (v 2.0), Froyo (v 2.2), Gingerbread (v 2.3), Honeycomb (v 3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (v 4.0), Jelly Bean (v 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) and finally KitKat (v 4.4). When a new version of Android is launched it introduces new software and capabilities, new technologies support, tweaked user interface, developer tools, error...