Quick: In a couple of words, what is Android? How would you characterize it?

If you said an "operating system," you're technically right, of course. Android is indeed the Google-made software that powers countless phones and mobile devices.

But increasingly, that's just one small part of what Android represents. At its core, Android is an ecosystem — one that's already an integral element of two major operating systems and is about to dip its toes into a third.

[Get fresh tips and insight in your inbox every Friday with JR's Android Intelligence insider's newsletter. Exclusive extras await!]

Android apps are immensely important to Android-running phones, of course — the Galaxy this-and-thats, Pixel here-and-theres, and so on. And over the past couple years, they've grown ever more important to devices running Chrome OS — a platform that itself is feeling more like an extension of Android with every passing week.

To read this article in full, please click here