Today Android has taken the world by storm, literally! While it is a well know fact that Google acquired Android way back in 2005, little is known about Android prior to 2005. I was very curious to know more about it. My search lead me to various articles and websites, the most helpful being Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
The domain was registered for the first time in mid-’97 (1997-06-23, to be precise), I couldn’t find any screenshot of the website for 1997, the earliest I could find was of March 2000. At that point, the domain was owned by GreatDomains.com. Apparently, the company wanted to sell it for $75,000+, outrageously overpriced if you consider it for “Just Another Domain” at that point in time but dirt cheap if you consider its value now! 🙂
Let me quickly run you through few screenshots with the corresponding years I found.
Now a film and television development company called Android Creative acquired Android.com. You can see the Logo showing “ANDROID,” stylized in all caps.
Now the site featured a sparse design with a man’s silhouette and the phrase “a digital construction company.”
The site now offered an apology for its ongoing construction, which was never to be completed by the then owner!
Finally, Andy Rubin, we know about; acquired Android.com. Rubin started using the Android.com domain as a personal Web page of sorts, featuring links to various projects, photos, and other items of interest.
Rubin’s “work” link pointed to the website for Danger (A Sidekick-developing company he co-founded).
Rubin replaced the personal page with the image of a metallic man and the only text on the page said “Android.com”. He also provided an email address for contact.
The new update showed a curious cartoon about unproductive ants on clicking the head.
Those crawly little fellows do love their lounging.
Just four months prior to Google’s acquisition of Android, the site showed 3 Google Maps (Seattle, Boston & Palo Alto).
That play button at the bottom-right had an embedded MP3 of “All Robots Report to the Dance Floor.” Hmm… seems to be an industrial rock fan!
Post Google’s acquisition, Android.com reverted back to Andy’s personal page design, the only difference being, the link for “work” led to a page filled with business cards showcasing Rubin’s work history. Notice that large question mark on top? It lead to bajobs.com, a job search site.
Interestingly, the business card page and the home page link labeled “me” pointed to at a domain called robot.net. It led to a photo at robot.net of “nerdy” Rubin standing on the beach and using a phone.
It was registered on 1998-08-08; and Rubin owns it till 2021-08-07. Interestingly the records have been modified this August (2011-08-07 to be precise). Something running through his mind? :p No use of checking the domain, its offline! The last archived version of the site was captured in May of 2008, which looks very similar to the page, Andy had on Android.com during 2004.
Android.com started redirecting users to the site of the Open Handset Alliance.
The launch of the very first Android phone. The Andoid Logo we Love, was seen for the first time. The Android logo was designed along with the Droid font family made by Ascender Corporation.
The custom typeface of Android is called Norad.
“Android will enable a richer, more powerful user experience on mobile phones,” the site promised.
Well , the rest is History!
I wonder how much the Ex-owners would be repenting for having sold such a domain! (Or had they not sold it, would it have been “Just Another Domain”?)