25.04.2017 - Tuesday

A History Of Android Versions: Since Initial Release To Till Date


A mobile app is a software program that runs on a handheld devices like phone, tablet etc. Android mobile application is a rapidly growing operating system which has been widespread with its each update. The features like versatility, user friendly and flexibility has made it more favourite for the current mobile users. Android provides its users a lot of various features and functions, in which some features, are inbuilt and some others are accessible through thousands of applications. Android market which is popularly known as Google Play Store is the place from where you can download the Android mobile apps and have filled with millions of apps with over 50 Billion downloads.

List Of Android Versions

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In today’s date Android is known to be the most used and preferred OS. Android operating system history began with the release of Android beta in November 2007. Here we are going to see about all the android versions since initial release to till date.

  • Android 1.0 Alpha
  • Android 1.1 Beta
  • Android 1.5 Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 Donut
  • Android 2.0/2.1 Eclair
  • Android 2.2 Froyo
  • Android 2.3 Ginger Bread
  • Android 3.0/3.1/3.2 Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Android N Nougat (announced in June 2016)

Android 1.0 Alpha –2008

The first commercial version of Android 1.0 was launched on September 2008. This version had 4 revolutionary features, which are imperative even today:

I. The Google Maps

II. The Gmail integration

III. App store -The Market

IV. Scroll Down Notification Bar

Other features included were Youtube, Google calendar, Google browser, Google contacts and Google talk. It was revolutionary for the users to experience on their smart phones when it was released.

Yet there were many gaps in functionality. Hardware buttons and physical keyboards were mandatory as Android handsets were not permitted to be sold without a trackball.

Android 1.1 Beta - 2009

The 1.1 update known as the T-Mobile G1 was released in February 2009.This version resolved issues that were encountered in the 1.0 build as well as implementing some API changes. The Maps app was enhanced to display details and reviews for venues and locations. Added functionality enables users to click on businesses to view detailed information.

Android 1.5 Cupcake - 2009

From Cupcake Android version it started the tasty treat naming tradition for Android releases. This version was launched in April 2009. Cupcake version supported for third party keyboards, including text prediction and user dictionaries. And had live widgets -an analogue clock, a music player, a calendar, a picture frame and a search function. Video recording and playback also played a significant step in 1.5, featuring support for MPEG4 and 3GP formats.

Android 1.6 Donut – 2009

This version arrived on September 2009. Donut announced Top paid, Top free, and newly released apps and also screenshot capability. Camera and gallery interfaces have been enriched and camera usage speed was made quicker and more responsive. Ability to select multiple photos in the gallery for deletion is added. WVGA resolution support was added for handset displays and location services improvement brought a free turn-by-turn navigation feature.

Android 2.0/2.1 Éclair - 2009

Eclair was launched just a month after Donut in November of 2009. Expanded Account sync is an important feature which allowed adding multiple accounts to a device for synchronization of e-mail and contact. Microsoft e-mail support with combined inbox to browse e-mail from multiple accounts in one page was also added. New camera features like flash support, scene mode, digital zoom, white balance, color effect and macro focus were added. Live Wallpapers, animated wallpapers are also introduced. Android 2.1 Eclair mainly brought bug fixes and stability improvements.

Android 2.2 Froyo – 2009

Android 2.2 Froyo was introduced in May 2010. Some of the features included in this version. The major update with Froyo version was the addition of Flash. Enhanced Bluetooth compatibility with docks and car speakers and Portable WiFi hotspot for sharing 3G connection with other gadgets are some of the cool features in this version.

Android 2.3 Ginger Bread - 2010

Android Gingerbread version was released in 2010. Standard keyboard has been improved in Android Ginger bread with faster input and more intuitive typing. Front facing camera support for video calling and Download manager were added in this version.

Android 3.0/3.1/3.2 Honeycomb - 2011

Honeycomb was released in May 2011 specifically for tablets. One notable difference in this version was that this no longer a need for hardware buttons, they had built into the OS itself. Web browser presented tabbed browsing. Hardware buttons are introduced in favour of on-screen buttons.

Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich - 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) was introduced in May 2011. Android 4.0's Web browser closely matched the desktop Chrome browser experience. Snapshot obtained by holding down the power button and the volume down is an added feature. One of the most ambitious features is new Face Unlock feature that allows users to unlock the handsets just by looking into the front-facing camera. Ice Cream Sandwich version widgets are resizable and more robust than earlier versions.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – 2012

Android Jelly Bean version was announced in June 2012. Following are the features that came with it.

  • Google Now which displays relevant information based on your search history.
  • Project Butter - supports higher frame rates when swiping through menus and home screens.
  • Widgets realign themselves when adding new ones.
  • Expandable notifications.
  • New gestures and accessibility features.
  • Voice Search – By simply saying “Google” out loud on the Google Now screen you can ask your question or speak your search.

Android 4.4 Kitkat - 2013

Android 4.4 KitKat which was the last 4.x release brought some major improvements internally and visually to Android was released in November 2013. Some of the features of this version are.

  • Emojis – A fun feature to add cartoonish ideograms and smileys in text messages was added.
  • Contact Prioritization - prioritize the contact list by sorting by the people with whom they chat the most often.
  • Smarter Caller ID - The dialer has a search field which can use to search for a business’s contact info listed in Google Map

Android 5.0 Lollipop - 2014

Android 5.0 Lollipop was announced in May 2014, and this has been the biggest redesign for Android.

  • Better Sound profiles - Android 5.1 allows you set your phone to silent or the "None" setting till your next alarm.
  • Notifications can be flicked away – App notifications appear on the lock screen, can swipe to dismiss and a double tap gets into the relevant tap
  • Better device protection - Android Smart Lock pairs your device with other recognized devices by verifying your identity.
  • Built-in battery saver feature elongates the battery life by up to 90 minutes.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow – 2015

Marshmallow showcased in 2015 made the experience of Lollipop even better. Some of notable features are.

  • Google Now - When within an app, by pressing and holding the home button Now on Tap will "scan" it for related information, and display as cards.
  • Clear permissions system - Previous versions forced the user to configure app settings while install, downloading apps seems an overly complex, drawn-out process. But, Marshmallow asks for your permission only when it needs to.
  • Smart Lock for Passwords - "Smart Lock" allows "the passwords for the Android apps to be saved to the Google account." This feature allows storing the app passwords on the cloud and can access whenever moving to a new device.

Android N Nougat – Announced in 2016

Nougat version announced in March 2016 is yet to come in India has expected with below features.

  • Doze on the Go for better standby time.
  • Multi Window feature for using two apps simultaneously.
  • Better Settings app.
  • Clear all feature in the recent apps screen.
  • Can reply direct to notifications.
  • Quick Settings toggles customization.

Android platform has evolved significantly since its launch in 2008. This powers more than 1 Billion users who use the Android app daily. Android apps have become one of the biggest sources of revenue and driven the smartphone era forward. Every Android version release brings improvements and fixes, which makes phone more secure from hackers and add new, useful features.