customizing on top of Android

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
The company has been able to saturate markets with handsets running its operating system, and device-makers have managed to carve out a space for themselves among industry leaders such as Research In Motion, Apple and Microsoft by customizing on top of Android. The Washington Post

Dear all,

I've looked "on top of something" up in the dictionary but still fail to understand the bold part. Could you please explain to me? Thanks.


LQZ

P.S. I know Android is an operating system running in some handsets.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I read it as using Android as the foundation and customizing on top of that foundation to create different structures/buildings (to continue the "foundation" analogy).
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I read it as using Android as the foundation and customizing on top of that foundation to create different structures/buildings (to continue the "foundation" analogy).
    Thanks, Mr Copyright. But I am still confused about what "customizing on top of something" means. Could you please explain further?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    If we think of Android as concrete, then we will use it to build concrete foundations for all our buildings (and you won't see the foundation). On top of those foundations, we will build a restaurant, a residential home, a barber shop, and a shoe store. They all have the same foundation, but each building is different.

    The same is true here: Companies are building on (on top of) Android, but they are creating different devices for different purposes: some trendy, some business-oriented, some with additional music features, some with small screens, some with larger screens, etc. This is unlike Apple, for example, that builds on top of the Apple iOS to create iPhones and iPads and nothing else.

    If you want the Apple iOS (operating system), you get an iPhone or an iPad. If you want the Android OS, then you have a much larger range of products to choose from -- and that ability to create a variety of different products using the same foundation gives device-makers an advantage, a creative flexibility, that they don't have with iOS (which is a closed system, so device-makers have zero flexibility -- they're not allowed to build on that platform/foundation at all).
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    If we think of Android as concrete, then we will use it to build concrete foundations for all our buildings (and you won't see the foundation). On top of those foundations, we will build a restaurant, a residential home, a barber shop, and a shoe store. They all have the same foundation, but each building is different.

    The same is true here: Companies are building on (on top of) Android, but they are creating different devices for different purposes: some trendy, some business-oriented, some with additional music features, some with small screens, some with larger screens, etc. This is unlike Apple, for example, that builds on top of the Apple iOS to create iPhones and iPads and nothing else.

    If you want the Apple iOS (operating system), you get an iPhone or an iPad. If you want the Android OS, then you have a much larger range of products to choose from -- and that ability to create a variety of different products using the same foundation gives device-makers an advantage, a creative flexibility, that they don't have with iOS (which is a closed system, so device-makers have zero flexibility -- they're not allowed to build on that platform/foundation at all).
    Thanks, Mr Copyright, for your great explanation that is really helpful :)
     
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