Android comes from Greek, and is a composite word. The first part (Andro) is the genitive of the Greek word “man” (aner, andros), and the second part (id) comes from the Greek word eidos, meaning the form, class and appearance of something. Android means “resembling a man”, “man-like”.
Android, Inc. was founded in Palo Alto, California, United States in October, 2003 by Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire Communications, Inc.), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile), and Chris White (headed design and interface development at WebTV) to develop, in Rubin’s words “…smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s location and preferences”.
Google acquired Android Inc. on August 17, 2005, making Android Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Google Inc. Key employees of Android Inc., including Andy Rubin, Rich Miner and Chris White, stayed at the company after the acquisition.
The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is led by Google, and is tasked with the maintenance and development of Android. According to the project “The goal of the Android Open Source Project is to create a successful real-world product that improves the mobile experience for end users.”