If there is one operating system after Apple, that has rocked the world of mobiles; it is the Android operating system. The phenomenal growth and popularity it attained within five years of its inception leave a trail of incredible history! A customizable operating system, it has been a developer’s favorite and has seen many developments and versions of it from the time when it powered the T-Mobile G1 exclusively. With the latest versions of Android getting launched at a faster pace, we take a nostalgic journey and list out all Android versions from 1.0 to the most recent 8.0. While we go down the memory lane, do appreciate Google’s sense of humor and penchant for desserts as all its versions names are inspired by desserts! Stay hooked!
List of All Android Versions Till Date | Sugary Names
Android 1.0- September 2008
It was in July 2005 that Google purchased a company called Android which was headed by several mobile headshots. In 2007 Google created a sensation by announcing of working on a phone as well as a new operating system based on the Linux Kernel. In the month of September-October, it released its first T-Mobile G-1 in September 2008. It became famous as HTC Dream worldwide. The release of its updated version happened in February 2009. However, it did not have any high-calorie code attached to it and was not truly interactive. Nevertheless, it was the birth of the Android and showed the promise of Google apps like Google maps, Gmail, YouTube ; ability to list apps and games and widgets in their nascent stage.
Android 1.5 Cupcake- April 2009
The first version of Android to showcase the real power of the platform, it also initiated the tradition of sugary-code Operating System names. Showcasing some significant updates, few of its key features were:-
- The first taste of on-screen keyboards as an alternative to physical ones.
- Shorts cuts and widgets including third-party ones were present on the home screen. You could customize the screen to your taste.
- The camera could video record as well for the first time. You also gained the ability to upload videos to YouTube and photos to Picasa directly.
- Introduction of the Calendar and the Music widgets along with a separate app for Google Talk.
- Auto-rotation feature added for a smoother landscape-to portrait transition.
- Enhanced browser speed along with copy-paste support.
Android 1.6 SDK- Donut – September 2009
Released on end of September 2009, the donut version again showcased some noteworthy changes. The revolutionary feature was the addition of CMDA support which turned out to be a crowd-puller. A trending technology with American mobile networks of that time, it brought in various specialties like:
- Multiple screen resolution got introduced facilitating the availability of Android devices flaunting different screen sizes.
- The ‘Beta’ tag along with the original black theme was dropped to give way to a brighter white, green or gray palette
- Google map navigation along with the addition of turn by turn satellite navigation support.
- The Universal Search function was enhanced. You could pinpoint apps or contacts on the phone or quickly search the Web.
- Improved video aspects, text to speech support and enhanced user experience were other sugar coatings validating the dessert inspired OS names.
Android 2.0 and 2.1 Éclair- November 2009
It was released shortly after Donut in November 2009 and its improved version 2.1 Éclair introduced in January 2010. The improved version had bug fixes as well as new APIs to play with. While it did not add any significant features, its highlights included
- The Web browser was visually updated
- Multi-touch support mechanism introduced.
- The camera provided both flash and digital options.
- A unified box for Android and support for multiple Google accounts added.
- With bountiful animations, the gallery received a delightful update.
- Google voice got introduced.
- You could now search within text messages.
Android 2.2 Froyo- May 2010
The inclusion of Flash and sheer speed is what distinguishes this version. Noteworthy features of the release were:
- Ability to use the phone Flash function in videos as well.
- Bluetooth’s compatibility improved with docks and car speakers.
- Home screen was redesigned to enhance and streamline the functionality of the device.
- Portable Wi-Fi enables sharing of the device’s 3G connection with any other devices.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread- December 2010
This version release was a quiet affair. However, it was this version which paved the way for Android to move to the core of the mobility market. Looking new and fresh in numerous ways, some of its hallmark features are:
- The NFC (Near Field Communication) Support, introduced.
- SIP feature for internet calling introduced
- Video call support added via the front camera.
- An Intelligent User Interface added
- The on-screen keyboard enhanced for use along with more comfortable copy/paste option.
- An overhaul of the UI for better battery life and reduction of screen burn-in.
- Features related to social network introduced.
Android 3.0 and 3.1 Honeycomb- May 2011
This version of the Android was introduced merely to fit the OS on the large screen of the tablet. It never saw the mobile platform. Its features included:
- Improving and enriching the UI to maximize large screen usage.
- On-screen buttons replaced the hardware buttons.
- Widgets became bigger and bolder.
- Tabbed browsing added to the web browser. Private browsing added for enhanced security.
- Apps like Gmail and YouTube redesigned to look good on large screens.
- HTTP live streaming added.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich- May 2011
This OS version name was announced at the Google I/O conference in May 2011. Including several bug fixes, it synthesized the tablet platform (Honeycomb) with the mobile platform but the sci-fi look was toned down. It introduces several new and improved features like:
- Android was given a significant redesign with the Holo theme.
- On-screen navigation feature
- Phone feature unlocked via face recognition.
- A faster and smoother browser.
- Ability to resize widgets.
- Data traffic monitor introduced to help track data usage and set warnings and limits to it.
- Respond to the incoming call with a template or customized message.
- Enhanced storage space for apps.Get Latest Android Apps from Google Play Store
- Live video effects to make anyone look grotesquely disfigured for fun.
- Create folders on the Home screen by merely dropping apps atop one another.
- Keyboard, spell-checker, voice input, etc. all given an upgrade.
Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean- June 2012/ October 2012
This version added few updates to Android. The most innovative aspect of it was the introduction of ‘Google Now’. Going by the name of ‘Jelly Bean’, its predictive feature and highly interactive notifications made it immensely popular. Flaunting a buttery smooth interface and enhanced performance, its other leading features are:
- Unique voice search feature where search queries get displayed as answers instead of the usual list of Google web links.
- All-new gesture mode for better accessibility to blind users. It allowed free navigation using speech, touch and swipe gestures.
- Lock screen widgets
- 4K resolution support
- Auto-complete feature for dial pad.
- In the 4.2 version, high dynamic range photography is introduced.
- The ‘interactive screensaver mode,’ Daydream was debuted.
Android 4.4 KitKat- September 2013
Partnered with Nestle and launched after a special ad campaign, the KitKat version remains the most controversial release of the Android brand so far. The partnership with Nestle was done to get a trendy dessert name as the OS version name. The Jelly Bean feature was updated here. Despite not receiving many accolades, its hallmark features are:
- Translucent System UI
- Android’s performance was improved even on low-end hardware
- Google Hangout replaced the messaging app.
- Host Card Emulation (HCE) support introduced to make transactions more secure.
- Google Drive became a default app
- Numerous other performance and appearance improvements.
Android 5.0 Lollipop- November 2014
Android shed away the older DALVIK runtime with this version and introduced the new runtime Art with this version. Few of its hallmark features included:-
- The new design philosophy ‘Material design’ was adopted. The design continues as Android future even today.
- With the launch of Android TV, the OS moved to the big screen.
- Android gaming became more immersive and visually captivating.
- The debut of Android at Work.
- Smart Lock system introduced.
- Raw image support made available.
Android 6 Marshmallow-September 2015
Instead of focusing on makeovers, this version focused on maintenance. Nevertheless, it had some excellent additions. Few of its features are:-
- A highly improved version of ‘Google Now.’
- Official fingerprint sensor support.
- Doze mode enabled to improve battery life drastically.
- Opt-in app permission.
- Ability to use a formatted MicroSD card as an internal storage with same security features.
Android 7.0 Nougat -June 2016
With its features released beforehand, the public enjoyed playing their part in deciding on the operating system name. The name was made official in June 2016.Performance improvement and better battery management due to the Doze on-the-go feature was the crowd puller for this version. Other hallmark features are:-
- The native multi-windowed support improved to facilitate multitasking.
- Support for Pixel Launcher added to the Google Assistant
- Night-light feature introduced
- The enhancement of Daydream VR mode inculcated.
Android 8.0 Oreo- To be Released
Smarter and faster than ever, the yet to be launched version has already started creating ripples. Available for select devices, this version is primarily about speed and efficiency. Not only is the speed expected to double here but pesky background activity is also streamlined to save drain of battery and data power. It also packs in some visual tweaks. With people waiting for it fervently, it looks to be already attracting a loyal crowd. Know More About Android By Visiting Their official Website.
Source : Wikipedia
We hoped you enjoyed this sweet nostalgic journey and still have your sweet tooth intact for future treats. While Android has traveled a long way, the sky is the limit. We can’t wait for new gifts from them.