There is a sizable subset of today’s mobile phone consumers that relies heavily on Android devices. As a result of the COVID-19 era’s widespread upheaval, much of the world’s population has moved into the virtual realm. Today, Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system. When did anything like an android initially emerge, and who or what determined its path to maturity? How could we have been ready if we had known that Earth was going to embark on a socially isolating strike in 2020? Let’s address all of your concerns right now!
When did this begin?
Android Inc. was established in Palo Alto, California, in 2003 by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White. However, the corporation was later plagued with the paucity of money which brought Google into the picture. In 2005, Google paid $50 million to acquire Android because it saw “the potential the product carried within” and wanted to get in on it. All the four Co-founders soon moved to the Googleplex to continue to develop the OS further under their new masters. On November 5, 2007, the first public beta version of Android 1.0 was released.
Android, Initial Release Series
API versions 1 and 2 for Android 1.0 and 1.1
On September 23, 2008, Google released Android 1.0 (API 1). The HTC Dream (or T-Mobile G1 in the United States) smartphone has it built in. For this reason, it might be considered the first Android device. Google Maps, YouTube, an HTML browser, Gmail, a camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a plethora of other functions were all included. The availability of the Android Market, the forerunner to the modern Play Store, meant that users could install and update software for their devices beyond what came standard. Android 1.1 (API 2), an update for HTC Dream, was published by Google in February 2009. The goal this time around was to strengthen it and make it easier to use. There are four significant changes in this release:
The ability to store message attachments
Google Maps’ availability of information and user evaluations for local businesses
Improved speakerphone support, including a longer in-call screen timeout and a toggleable dial-pad.
The system layouts now have marquee support.
Cupcake, or Android 1.5.1 (API 3)
The first version to use Google’s dessert-themed naming scheme and be included into Samsung’s Galaxy phone line, this one debuted at the end of April 2009. Many features that are now considered standard were included in its original release. Features like auto-rotation, third-party keyboard support, widget support, video recording, enabling copy-and-paste for the browser, the ability to upload videos to YouTube, checking phone usage history, etc. were added or improved upon in these updates.
Donut (Android 1.6, API level 4)
Just after a few of months in September 2009, Donut was launched. The addition of CDMA-based networks was a game-changer since it allowed carriers all over the world to support it. Earlier just GSM technology were in use. A number of other significant enhancements were also introduced in this update, including support for devices with varying screen sizes, search boxes and bookmarks in web browsers, tighter integration of Gallery, Camera, and Camcorder with quicker camera access, an expansion of the Gesture framework, text-to-speech, etc.
Android, Second Generation
Versions of Android with API levels 5 and 6, as well as version 2.1 (API level 7), often known as Eclair
Version 2.0 was released in October 2009, over a year after the initial release of Version 1. Features such as voice-guided navigation in Google Maps, the ability to add multiple accounts on a single device, the display of live wallpapers, a lock screen with drag-and-drop unlocking functionality, the addition of camera services like Flash and digital zoom, a smarter dictionary for virtual keyboards that learned through word usages, support for more screen sizes, enhanced ability to track multi-touch emoji, and many more were all added in this update. Two updates, 2.0.1, and 2.0.2, were issued within three months of 2.0, in December 2009 and January 2010, respectively. The majority of these updates focused on minor API changes and other bug fixes.
Android 2.2, also known as Froyo (API 8)
It’s true that “frozen Yogurt” is the inspiration for the name “froyo.” In May of 2010, this version was released. Wi-Fi mobile hotspot support, push notifications via Android Cloud to Device Messaging, PIN/password protection, Adobe Flash support, USB tethering functionality, update in Android Market application with the automatic update of apps features, support for Bluetooth enabled car, etc. are just some of its more notable features. All of 2011’s other releases, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, and 2.2.3, focused on fixing various bugs and shoring up security. The most recent version, 2.2.3, was released in the month of November 2011.
Gingerbread (Android 2.3, API 9)
Gingerbread, released even before the later versions of Froyo, made substantial changes to the look and feel of smartphones. Nexus S, a phone built by Google and Samsung, was the first to use this version. In this edition, the user interface design was modified to bring in more simplicity and speed. Large display sizes and high resolutions are now fully supported. Additional improvements that stood out included support for near-field communication (NFC), an expanded keyboard, better multi-touch event support, various cameras (including a front-facing camera), and better copy/paste capabilities. The 2.3.2 update came out in January 2011, following the 2.3.1 release in December 2010. Major enhancements and bug fixes for the Nexus S were included.
Gingerbread (API 10) on Android, starting with version 2.3.3.
In February 2011, version 2.3.3 was released with a number of API enhancements and bug fixes. In April of that year, version 2.3.4 added Google Talk’s voice and video chat capabilities. In this release, RC4-MD5 replaced AES256-SHA as the default SSL encryption algorithm. Both 2.3.5 and 2.3.6 were released in 2011; both focused mostly on fixing bugs and improving performance. The Nexus S 4G’s Google Wallet support was included in version 2.3.7 in September 2011.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb was introduced in February 2011, however it was only compatible with tablets and large-screen smartphones due to its complex features. The most notable improvement offered by this update was the introduction of virtual buttons to replace the traditional physical ones for initiating the start, back, and menu operations. The original release of this version coincided with the debut of the Motorola Xoom tablet. The System Bar, which displays notifications and system status, was also improved to improve user experience. The Action Bar placed at the top of the screen allowed users to quickly access various contextual settings, navigational tools, widgets, and other material. In addition, this update made it simpler to transition between open programs or tasks. The user’s data could be encrypted, which was another useful function.
Honeycomb (Android 3.1, API 12)
The May 2011 release of this update included numerous more enhancements to the user interface. Its primary selling point was compatibility with common input devices including gamepads, keyboards, and mice. It also improved compatibility with USB devices.
Honeycomb (API 13) version of Android 3.2
Released in July 2011, version 3.2 primarily bolstered hardware compatibility and made it easier for programs to read and write to the SD card. Some displays support functions were also enhanced in this release to regulate the variation of display appearances on different Android devices more precisely.
Version 3.2.1, released in September 2011, addressed a number of issues and enhanced stability, security, and wireless connectivity. Google Books, Adobe Flash, and the Android Market all received updates as well.
Versions 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 were released on August 30, 2011, while version 3.2.5 was released in January 2012. The Motorola Xoom and Xoom 4G updates focused primarily on fixing various bugs and making various other minor improvements.
The Pay As You Go option for 3G and 4G tablets was included in the 3.2.4 version in December 2011. The data connectivity issues seen after turning off Airplane mode on the US 4G Motorola Xoom were resolved in the most recent version of this series, 3.2.6, which was released in February 2012.
It’s the Android Four Series.
Icecream Sandwich, Android 4.0 (API 14)
In October of 2011, Google unveiled Android 4.0. Many improvements from both the Honeycomb and Gingerbread versions were included. With version 4.0, smartphones finally have a way to unlock with a simple glance: Face Unlock. Notifications, browser tabs, and tasks can all be dismissed with a simple swipe, the Power and Volume buttons can be used to take screenshots, real-time speech to text dictation is available, certain apps can be used without unlocking the phone, and pre-fed text responses can be sent to incoming calls. A new explore-by-touch mode that allowed users to browse the screen with the use of aural feedback was another significant feature that substantially improved device accessibility for visually impaired persons. This rendered eye contact with the device’s screen superfluous. The latest update brings a slew of new and improved camera features, including the popular Pano mode. The ability to add live effects to videos in real time has also been implemented. Wi-Fi peer-to-peer (P2P) is a new technology introduced with this release that eliminates the need for an internet connection or tethered devices by allowing users to connect directly to other nearby peer devices over Wi-Fi. The release of Android 4.0.1 and 4.0.2 in October and November 2011 respectively included patches for certain minor bugs.
Both Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 and 4.0.4 (API 15) versions of Android
The December 2011 update of 4.0.3 included numerous repairs and optimizations to various features like databases, Bluetooth, graphics, the camera, and the Calendar provider. 4.0.4, published in March 2012, too included modest enhancements such as better camera performance and smoother screen rotation.
To be specific, Android 4.1 (API 16), 4.2 (API 17), and 4.3 (API 18) Jelly Bean.
Android 4.1, the initial Jelly Bean release, was the quickest and smoothest version available at the time. Bi-directional text, that is, left-to-right or right-to-left scripts, and support for numerous other international languages were introduced in this edition to further improve accessibility and provide aid to international users. After this update, the alerts will be able to provide more information, provide more options for how to respond, etc. Keyboard layouts that users can customize were also implemented. In order to make room for new widgets and shortcuts, the system can reorganize and resize the existing ones automatically. By touching two NFC-enabled phones together, users may be able to quickly share media using Android Beam.
In November of 2013, version 4.2 was released. This newer version was quicker, smoother, and more reactive. This was the first release to have the “one tablet, many users” functionality, which allows numerous users to share a single tablet while maintaining their own isolated data and applications. Widget support (display any content on the lock screen; reinstated in 2014) was another notable addition; the Daydream feature, an interactive screensaver mode that begins when a user’s device is docked or charging, was another; presentation functionality allowed users to represent a window for their app’s content on a specific external display; Wi-Fi Display allowed users to connect an external display over Wi-Fi on the supported devices; and presentation functionality allowed users to represent a window for their app’s content on
The performance enhancements introduced in earlier Jelly Bean versions were expanded upon in the July 2013 release of version 4.3. For the first time, games and other apps could take advantage of the highest-performing 2D and 3D graphics capabilities on devices that supported Khronos OpenGL ES 3.0. With this update, managing the privileges and accounts of several users on a single tablet is much simpler. Notification observation by apps, with user consent, and presentation in any way the app sees fit is another highlight of this edition. They may also broadcast similar alerts to nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Kitkat (Android 4.4, API 19)
In 2013, Google released Android 4.4 KitKat, which stood out in a number of ways. For example, the once-blue accents of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean became whiter, and the color palettes of several storage applications became brighter. With the ‘Ok Google’ command, a user could access Google at any time and could function on phones with a minimum RAM memory of 512MB. The most frequently dialed numbers could automatically take precedence in the user’s phone app. In this release, Google Hangouts was included so that users could access their SMS and MMS communications in a unified interface. Emoji was made also available on Google Keyboard.
Wearable-optimized version of Android 4.4.4 (API 20) KitKat.
3 Versions of Android KitKat unique to Android Wear devices were released between June 2014 to October 2014. These were made with the intention of being used with smartwatches and other wearables, and they incorporate Google Assistant technology and mobile notification functions.
Series 5 Android Latest Version
Lollipop, version 5 of Android (API 21)
The Nexus 6 was used to unveil Android 5.0 in the fall of 2014. In it, Google’s ‘Material Design’ philosophy was unveiled for the first time, ushering in a slew of UI enhancements like infinitely scalable Vector drawables. Android Runtime, which replaced VM Dalvik, significantly boosted app performance and responsiveness by providing some processing power for applications even before they were opened. The integration of Android TV support has made it possible to use any app on a large screen TV. The navigation bar was updated to make it more intuitive, user-friendly, and customizable. The A/V sync has been vastly enhanced. Quite a few novel ideas were also included in this release, such as the ‘Document-centric apps’ that let users take advantage of concurrent documents and gave them instant access to their content/services, ‘Android in the workplace’ that let apps in the launcher display a Work badge over their icon, which indicated that the app and its data are administered inside the work profile, and the ‘dumpsys batterystats’ command that would get information about the device’s battery life.
Android Lollipop 5.1 (API 21)
In March of 2015, Google released this version of Android. High-definition voice calls are now possible between compatible 4G LTE devices, and the release also officially supports multiple SIM cards. With the Device protection policy, the device remains locked in the event of theft or misplacement until the owner signs into their Google account.
Marshmallow 6.0 (API 23) for Android.
Among the many notable additions to the Android platform that the October 2015 release of Android Marshmallow heralded were support for biometric fingerprint unlocking and USB type C, the introduction of Doze mode (which reduces CPU speed while the display is off to improve battery life), a search bar for easy access to applications and the option to mark them as favorites, Android Pay, the introduction of the Memory Manager, Contextual search from keywords within apps, the polite suggestion feature, and Android Wear support. The Nexus 6P and 5X from Google were the first to ship with Android Marshmallow.
Android, 7th Generation
Nougat 7.0 (API 24) for Android
Google unveiled Android 7.0 Nougat in August 2016. It featured new ways to multitask, like as split-screen mode and quick program switching, that were especially useful on devices with larger displays. The ‘Doze now’ mode was also improved, and support for the Daydream virtual-reality platform was added. Data Saver can limit your device’s data usage, and you can make the text and icons on the screen bigger if you’d like. You can also rearrange the tiles in Quick Settings for easier access, reply to conversations directly from notifications, and view all notifications from a single app at once. The Google Assistant has taken the position of Google Now. The Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and LG V20 were the first smartphones to have this update.
API Level 25 (Android 7.1, 7.1.1, and 7.1.2 Nougat)
While Android 7.1’s October 2016 version mostly refined previously available capabilities and added some new ones, the Circular app icon support it provided was a particularly interesting design choice.
Emojis with new hairstyles and skin tones were included in version 7.1.1, released in December 2016. Moreover, it suddenly became possible to send GIFs directly from the default keyboard.
The battery consumption alerts were introduced in version 7.1.2, which was released in April 2017.
Android Series 8, Latest Release
Oreo, Android 8 (API 26)
The new update arrived in August of 2017 and included several significant improvements over the previous version. When tested on Pixel devices, the boot time improved by a factor of two compared to Nougat, supporting Google’s claim that it is a more powerful and quicker version. Autofill, picture-in-picture mode (using WhatsApp’s video calling window while using another app), and Notification dots allowed users to quickly catch up on new information, all signs that this version was smarter than its predecessors. This update also improved security by introducing Google Play Protect, which protected the device and its data from malicious software. Apart from this, attention was also focused towards visual details, e.g. the blob style for emojis was replaced with emojis that were consistent with other platforms, and Quick Settings and Settings were updated dramatically.
Oreo, Android 8.1.0 (API 27)
Android 8.1 released in December 2017, brought a variety of new capabilities for users and developers. In terms of importance to end users, the creation of Go Edition with its memory optimization settings, flexible targeting choices (new hardware feature constants that let users target distribution of their programs to normal or low-RAM devices), and Google Play Services stands out as the most noteworthy. Neural Networks API, Shared memory API, and WallpaperColors API are just a few of the many new APIs made available to programmers.
Pie (API 28) is Android’s newest version.
In August of 2018, Android 9 was released. It made great use of AI’s visual advancements and computational capacity, and it was a huge step forward in terms of presentation. The most obvious change was the elimination of the standard set of navigation buttons in favor of a single, elongated button in the middle that served as the new start screen and, by swiping up, displayed a summary of previously accessed apps, a search field, and five recommendations. The battery life was enhanced, a new feature called “Shush” was added that put the phone into “Do not Disturb” mode when it was placed face down, adaptive Brightness and Battery capabilities were embedded, and the option to view screentime details was added so that users could get a better sense of how often and for what purposes their phone was used.
Version 10 (API 29) of Android
Google has announced that beginning with Android 10 in September 2019, the operating system will be rebranded, moving away from the previous sweets-name based naming method. This release heralded the introduction of a brand-new logo and color palette. Support for foldable smartphones with flexible displays, Live Captions for all media, smarter replies to text (automated text and actions suggestions), ‘Focus mode’ to block distractions by selecting certain apps to pause temporarily, gesture navigation in place of buttons, system-wide dark mode, more granular control over app permissions, and the ability to see through bending screens are just a few of the new features.
Android 11 (API Level 30)
The newest version of Android, version 11, was launched on September 8, 2020. The slogan “The OS that gets to what’s important” was developed for this release, and it fits fairly well. With Android 11, users can now centrally manage their discussions across all of their messaging apps, digitally assigning higher priority to certain contacts and highlighting those conversations both in the notification shade and on the lock screen. Similarly to Facebook’s messenger, users can pin discussions from different messaging apps to chat bubbles, making them always visible on their screens. Finally, an option to capture screen activity without downloading a separate program has been incorporated. The intelligent response and voice access capabilities have been upgraded. The ability to manage all linked devices from a single location is an intriguing additional feature. The security of Google Play has also seen significant updates. To date, Android has released eleven major versions, each of which claims to improve upon its predecessor. What exciting new features might an operating system introduce?