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(Android Open Source Project)

The open-source software that is the basis for the Android smartphone OS. AOSP is a fully-functioning smartphone OS by itself, but does not include Google apps or services.

See: Android

Most Android phones sold in the U.S. use the full Google version of Android, licensed from Google. Google requires that such phones include certain Google apps (like Gmail) and the Google Play Store for purchasing and downloading apps and content. This package of Google software also includes behind-the-scenes Google software that some third-party apps use. A phone that only runs AOSP does not come with any of that Google software.

Since it is open-source, any manufacturer can use AOSP, customize it as they wish, and ship it on their phone without Google apps and without needing Google's permission. This is common in many parts of the world, most notably China.

Last updated Jan 22, 2016 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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