Android is an operating system based on Linux with a Java programming interface. It provides tools, e.g. a compiler, debugger and a device emulator as well as its own Java Virtual machine (Dalvik Virtual Machine - DVM). Android is created by the Open Handset Alliance which is lead by Google.
Android uses a special virtual machine, e.g. the Dalvik Virtual Machine. Dalvik uses special bytecode. Therefore you cannot run standard Java bytecode on Android. Android provides a tool "dx" which allows to convert Java Class files into "dex" (Dalvik Executable) files. Android applications are packed into an .apk (Android Package) file by the program "aapt" (Android Asset Packaging Tool) To simplify development Google provides the Android Development Tools (ADT) for Eclipse . The ADT performs automatically the conversion from class to dex files and creates the apk during deployment.
Android supports 2-D and 3-D graphics using the OpenGL libraries and supports data storage in a SQLite database.
Every Android applications runs in its own process and under its own userid which is generated automatically by the Android system during deployment. Therefore the application is isolated from other running applications and a misbehaving application cannot easily harm other Android applications.