We thought we’d walk you through the evolution of the most widely used smartphone operating system in the world since the release of Android 13 is anticipated this month. The first version of Android OS, which Google acquired in 2005 and debuted in 2008, wasn’t given the codename “dessert” until the third upgrade. In this page, we outline the various Android iterations over time and describe what each one included.
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Android Version 1.0 to 1.1
Date of Publication: September 23, 2008.
Android’s first two iterations lacked a codename. When it first launched as an operating system, Android supported email and online browsing and included a camera. The most fundamental Google applications, including Google Maps, Google Search, Google Talk, and Google Calendar, were also included.
Android Version 1.5: Cupcake
Date of Publication: April 27, 2009.
The practise of naming subsequent Android versions after dessert items first appeared in Android 1.5. Android 1.5, code-named Cupcake, was the first version of the Android operating system to have an on-screen virtual keyboard and supported a few third-party apps in addition to those made by Google. Additionally, it offered a copy-paste feature and allowed users to upload videos to YouTube directly from their smartphones for the first time.
Android Version 1.6: Donut
Date of Publication: September 15, 2009.
Android gained capabilities like voice search, multiple select, a text-to-speech engine, and WVGA screen resolutions with the Donut version.
Android Version 2.0 to 2.1: Eclair
Availability: October 26, 2009
Just six weeks after Donut, Eclair was released, making Android more widely used and encouraging more smartphone manufacturers to use the OS. Account sync, Bluetooth 2.1, and compatibility for Microsoft Exchange email were included in Eclair.
Android Version 2.2 to 2.2.3: Froyo
Availability: May 20, 2010.
Android’s OS became faster and more responsive with Froyo. Adobe Flash and Android Cloud support were included with Froyo. The security patches also fixed a few problematic Eclair problems. On all fronts, the OS’s performance improved.
Android Version 2.3 to 2.3.7: Gingerbread
Availability: December 6, 2010.
With Gingerbread, Android debuted Near Field Communication (NFC) for the first time. It also included a number of other upgrades, including download manager, better copy-paste, and press-select.
Android Version 3.0 to 3.2.6: Honeycomb
Date of Publication: February 22, 2011.
Exclusively for tablets, Honeycomb saw Android change from its green appearance to blue for the holographic design. With Honeycomb, performance was improved, and features like WiFi lock, Google Books, and gamepad and joystick support were included.
Android Version 4.0 to 4.0.4: Ice Cream Sandwich
Availability: October 19, 2011.
Although Ice Cream Sandwich did not support Adobe Flash Player, it did provide widgets, screenshot capture capabilities, a photo editor, and spell checking.
Android Version 4.1 to 4.3.1: Jelly Bean
Availability: June 27, 2012.
With Jelly Bean, Android offered one-finger gestures, multiple user accounts for tablets, 4k support, and native emoji support.
Android Version 4.4 to 4.4.4: KitKat
Release Date: September 3, 2013.
Initially named Key Lime Pie,KitKatwas the first Android with OK Google voice assistant. It also introduced new features like wireless printing and screen recording. With KitKat, Android switched the darker theme for brighter colours.
Android Version 5.0 to 5.1.1: Lollipop
Release Date: November 12, 2014.
WithLollipop, Android integrated card support into its UI. Cards showed up as app notifications on the lock screen and even on the Recent Apps screen.
Android Version 6.0 to 6.0.1: Marshmallow
Release Date: May 28, 2015.
First launched for Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 phones, and Nexus 9 tablet,Marshmallowwas later launched for all Android devices on October 5, 2015. Marshmallow came with fingerprint reader support and added an update to preserve battery life in standby mode.
Android Version 7.0 to 7.1.2: Nougat
Release Date: August 2022, 2016
Nougat was the first Android OS with a split screen mode and data saver feature. It also offered picture-in-picture mode, battery usage alert, and allowed users to send gifs directly from the keyboard.
Android Version 8.0 to 8.1: Oreo
Release Date: July 24, 2017
Oreooffered users more control over the notifications, native picture-in-picture mode, faster boot time, and Google Play Protect.
Android Version 9.0: Pie
Release Date: August 6, 2018.
Piefeatured an alternative hybrid gesture/navigation system, which allowed users to switch between apps with just one swipe. It also came with auto-suggested replies for messages, Digital Wellbeing mode, and privacy enhancements.
Android Version 10
Release Date: September 3, 2019.
With its 10th version, Android stopped the trend of naming its OS after dessert items. Simply namedAndroid 10, the OS offered improved touch gestures, a floating setting panel, and support for biometric authentication.
Android Version 11
Release Date: September 8, 2020.
Android 11came with big privacy updates, which allowed users to grant permissions related to camera, microphone, and location to apps. Users can choose to grant access to apps only while they are in use, only once, or outright deny it. Android 11 also made it hard for apps to request location data while working in the background. Permissions were automatically removed from dormant apps.
Android Version 12
Release Date: October 4, 2021.
Android 12is the latest Android iteration and will be replaced by Android 13 later this year. Integrating Material You into its UI, the Android 12 reimagined how the OS looks on the surface. With Material You, users can set the colour theme for their phone and design it according to their taste.
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These were the different Android versions through the years. Android 13 was previewed earlier this year and will be released in the coming months. Google has already published four beta versions ofAndroid 13. It will likely expand on Material You and give users more control over the theme of the OS.
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