“Android,” the word that contributed huge in the era of Smartphones. You might be using an Android phone right now to read this article or you might have had an android phone some day; but do you know the story behind android and different android versions? If not, get ready to learn some interesting facts about android and its versions.
Android is a mobile operating system whose parent is none other than the internet giant, Google. It was initially developed by Android.Inc and then later in 2005, bought by Google. Android works not just on mobile and tablets, but also on various other devices. Google has specially developed Android TV for television, Android Auto for automobiles, and Android Wear for watches. In short, Android helps in transforming the digital parts of our lives into pretty smart ones.
The first commercial android device was released in 2008 and since then, android has been through major evolution. Google announced in May, 2017 that android is used by over 2 billion monthly active devices. Since years, android has the largest installed base of any operating system. Now, let’s move on to the long journey of different android versions.
- 1 Evolution of the android versions
- 1.1 Android 1.5 Cupcake
- 1.2 Android 1.6 Donut
- 1.3 Android 2.0 Eclair
- 1.4 Android 2.2 Froyo
- 1.5 Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 1.6 Android 3.0 Honeycomb
- 1.7 Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich
- 1.8 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 1.9 Android 4.4 Kitkat
- 1.10 Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 1.11 Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- 1.12 Android 7.0 Nougat
- 1.13 Android 8.0 Oreo
Evolution of the android versions
The first android version wasn’t android cupcake. It had two pre-commercial release versions which were Android Alpha and Android Beta. Version 1.0 of android which was the first version in the list of its API (Application [rogramme Interface) versions, was released in September, 2008. It did not have any particular code name. The next version, Android 1.1 with API 2, didn’t have a code name either. However, this version was known as “Petit Four” internally and was released only for HTC Dream.
Android 1.5 Cupcake
In April 2009, the first version in our “sweet little things” list was released- Android 1.5 Cupcake. From this version onwards, Android versions were named after desserts. It introduced a lot of new features such as third party keyboards with predictions without which our texting experiences would have been a disaster.
This version introduced widgets on our phone, allowed copy and paste tools to be used in the browser, auto-pairing for bluetooth, and a lot more.
Android 1.6 Donut
The second in the line of android versions, Android Donut was released on September 15, 2009. This version saw improvements in many areas of android like search in web browser, gallery, camera and camcorder. Also, it introduced the ability to select multiple photos so that you can delete them together. It supported WVGA screen resolutions.
Android 2.0 Eclair
This version of android was released just a month later after the release of Android Donut. This version allowed multiple accounts to be saved in order to synchronize your e-mail, contacts, and other information. A huge leap was taken towards better phone camera with the introduction of flash support, digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, color effect and macro focus.
Androi Eclair added live wall papers to indicate better graphics and motion on your device. Also, it improved the speed of keyboard typing and the ability of the prediction to get customized according to the frequent words you type. This version was followed by Android Eclair 2.0.1 and Android Eclair 2.1 which was just for some bug fixes and minor API amendments.
Android 2.2 Froyo
Android Froyo was released on May 20, 2010. This version concentrated on improving the speed and performance of android. It allowed numeric and alphanumeric password usage.
Froyo improved support for for Bluetooth-enabled car and desk dock, file upload fields in the Browser application, installing applications to the expandable memory, and view picture stacks using a zoom gesture.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
This version of android was released on December 6, 2010. It made the user interface simpler and faster. It improved the ability to play videos with higher resolutions and also supported extra large screen sizes. This version supported the use of multiple cameras which lead into mobile phones with front cameras. We should definitely agree that Android Gingerbread is one among the best android versions because it gifted us selfies!
Later, and extended version of Gingerbread, Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread was released which aimed at several improvements in the API. It supported voice and video calls using Google Talk and fixed bugs regarding battery and camera performance.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Honeycomb was released on February 22, 2011 and it was the first version exclusively designed for tablets. The first tablet to feature this android version was Motorola Zoom tablet. It had an optimized holographic user interface especially designed for tablets. This version added system bar and action bar which are meant for easy and fast access of notifications, status, soft navigation buttons, contextual options, navigation, widgets, and many other types of content that you see at the bottom of the screen.
Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich
Ice cream sandwich version of android was released on October 9, 2011. It improved copy-paste functionalities, making our life much easier than it used to be! It let us access apps directly from the lock screen. Also, this version was the first one which let us unlock our phones with our faces using a facial recognition software.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Jelly Bean was released on July 9, 2012. It enhanced the accessibility of the device and started supporting multiple languages. It introduced an option to turn off notifications of individual apps of our choice. Also, this version let us to adjust and resize the notifications and widgets.
Android 4.4 Kitkat
Kitkat was released by Google along with Nexus 5 on October 31, 2013. Audio tunneling, audio monitoring and loudness enhancer were among the best new features offered by this version. It introduced wireless printing capability, making our printing experience smoother.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Lollipop, one of the yummiest of all android versions, was released on November 2, 2014. Google re-designed the user interface based on “material design” which was a responsive design language. This version focused on improving the way you see notifications from a top bar, especially when you’re already using anther app.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
On August 7, 2015, Android Marshmallow was released for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player devices. It introduced contextual search of keywords in different apps. It also added Direct Share feature for target-specific sharing between apps and native fingerprint reader support.
Android 7.0 Nougat
Android Nougat was released to the public on December 5, 2016. It majorly focused on touch screen improvements and enhancements of user interface. It supported keyboard image insertion, finger print sensor to open and close apps, circular app icons, and much more.
Android 8.0 Oreo
The latest among all the android versions, Android Oreo was released in August, 2017. It offers us picture in picture support, Google Play protection, WiFi Assistant, Notification Snoozing and much more. To know more about android Oreo read Android Oreo: What’s New in This Latest Android 8.0 Version