U.K.-based Android software developer Android Ltd.
says it will offer a smartphone operating platform called Android One, in partnership with Apple Inc. The new OS, expected to be available in early 2018, is based on Google’s Android operating system and will be available on tablets, smartphones, wearables and connected devices.
The software will be used to run apps on smartphones and other devices, said James Turner, the head of the Android One initiative at Android Ltd., a subsidiary of Google Inc. in the U.L.I.A. The company said it would make the software available for free for all Android users.
The Android One platform is designed to be a “next generation” operating system.
Android One is not yet available in the United States.
The first smartphones and tablets running the new Android OS will ship later this year, with more devices to follow.
Android software will have a more flexible user interface, making it easier for users to customize their devices.
“This new Android One software platform is an important step for us as we move to a new era of the mobile world, and we are delighted to be working with Apple to deliver it for Android devices,” said David Drummond, Android Ltd.’s chief executive.
Android’s operating system is already available on a number of Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad.
The smartphone operating systems are designed to run on phones, tablets and laptops, and include some features that Apple does not offer.
Android has been widely embraced as a computing platform, with Apple and Google releasing a version of the operating system that runs on the latest Apple mobile devices and smartphones.
Google and Microsoft also have versions of their own operating systems.
The U.k.-based firm has been offering Android operating systems for about five years, including for Apple’s Nexus and Google’s Windows Phone operating systems, for free.
The move is likely to add to pressure on Microsoft, which has been under pressure from U.N. trade officials to release a free operating system to run in the Microsoft ecosystem.