Are Android and Droid the Same Thing?

An engine powering a sports car. A brain spurring creative thought. The script behind a critically acclaimed film.

What do these pairings have in common? No, they’re not just the makings of your typical, big shot Hollywood writer. The sports car, creative thought, and film wouldn’t exist without the core element preceding it. Much is the same between the aptly confused Android Operating System and Verizon Droid prototype. Even if they are like two peas in a smartphone pod, Android and Droid couldn’t be more different.

What is Android?

It’s a Linux-based operating system released by Google in 2008 to compete with Apple’s iOS. Like the engine to the sports car, Android is what separates mobile devices from absurdly expensive paper weights. It manages the memory, processes, software and hardware on your phone or tablet.

What is Droid?

It’s Verizon’s most popular line of smartphones distributed by manufacturers Motorola, HTC, and Samsung. The American carrier actually had to purchase licensing rights for the term from Star Wars director George Lucas, who coined it way back when Luke was still looking for his father. The Droid brand exclusively runs the Android OS, which is where the name mix-up stems from. That said, you better believe the marketeers over at Verizon are having a field day with the crossover.

So Resource readers, consider this mobile myth busted. Droid isn’t short for anything; it’s a type of smartphone that functions thanks to the Android operating system. Yes, you can have Android without Droid, but you can’t have Droid without Android – unless your name is R2-D2 or C-3PO.