The History of Android
Learn the history of the most used operating system in smartphones in the world. Let’s analyze everything that happened, from the launch of Android 1.0, back in 2008, to Android Pie 9.0, which is coming to current smartphones.
The Android operating system was launched in February 2009 and is currently one of the largest operating systems in the world. Since Android is open-source software, some devices have a customized version of the operating system, but most look similar and share the same functionality. Each version of the operating system has a corresponding number, and since the launch of Android 1.5 Cupcake, in April 2009, a dessert name attached to it.
Below, you’ll find a history of the operating system, including the names of Android versions, when each one was released, and what news each version brought to users.
The History of Android – Android Versions List A to Z
Here we’ve mentioned all the Android Versions List A to Z from the recent release of Android 11 beta to Android 1.0.
Android version 11 (Beta)
The software was released as a public beta in early June and is expected to be ready for official release in late summer or early fall.
Thus, the most significant changes revolve around privacy. Therefore, the update is based on the expanded permissions system introduced in Android 10 and allows users to grant apps certain limited, single-use permissions.
Android 11 also pushes background location permission further into the system and makes it difficult to request apps. Therefore, users are less likely to activate “unintentionally”. On the other hand, there is a new feature in which applications that have not been opened for a few months will have their permissions automatically revoked.
Also, Android 11 removes an app’s ability to see what other apps are installed on your phone. This limits how applications can interact with your local storage.
Android 11 also “refines” the system’s notification area to emphasize and simplify chat-related alerts. Besides, it features a new media player that contains controls for all audio and video playback applications in a single space. There is also a new contextual menu of connected device controls for any smart product associated with your account.
Last but not least, Android 11 marks the long-awaited debut of Bubbles – a new type of multitasking system first discussed in 2019, but later put on the back burner. Therefore, Bubbles will allow you to chat in floating windows that appear over whatever you are doing and that can be condensed into small floating bubbles that remain easily accessible for expansion.
Android version 10
Google launched Android 10 in September 2019. This was the first version of Android to abandon its “letter” and be known simply by a number, without the nickname of dessert. It is the version of Android now available on most new devices and is slowly but surely reaching existing phones worldwide.
The software creates a completely re-imagined interface for Android gestures, this time eliminating the playable Back button and relying on a completely slide-oriented approach to system navigation. Android 10 also includes the popular Android three-button navigation system as an option.
Android 10 introduces a new configuration for hot-fix updates that will eventually allow faster and more consistent releases of small fixes with a narrow focus. Also, the software has many other quietly important improvements, including an updated permission system that offers more control over exactly how and when applications can access location data, as well as an expanded system to protect unique device identifiers. That way, it can be used to track a device’s activity over time.
Also, Android 10 includes a system-wide dark theme, a new Focus Mode that lets you limit distractions from specific apps at the touch of a button on the screen, and a long-overdue review of the Android sharing menu. It also lays the foundation for a new live subtitle feature that allows you to generate subtitles on-the-fly for any media played on your phone.
Android 9.0 Pie
Released: July 25, 2018
The latest version of Android, 9.0 Pie, adds a variety of features aimed at helping you fight addiction on your smartphone, including a new panel that helps you monitor smartphone usage and several ways to turn off notifications when you’re busy or trying to sleep. It also has features that learn from your behavior, such as offering to disable notifications that you frequently dismiss, and giving the apps you use most often the priority of battery usage.
See our article showing the details of Android Pie features to better understand this operating system update.
Main news :
- Intelligent responses to messages;
- Mute notifications (except emergencies) when turning the phone down;
- Automatically activate “Do not disturb” at bedtime;
- The interface turns gray at bedtime, to discourage use;
- Multitasking/overview button removed;
- Screen capture button added to power options;
- Screen annotation;
Android 8.0 Oreo
Released: August 21, 2017.
The launch of Android 8.0 Oreo coincided with the Go Edition, the company’s lightest operating system, specially formulated for low-cost devices and “weak” hardware. The Android Go brought was a perfect version for cheaper devices, which did not have internal memory to store the complete operating system. It also added some usability improvements and fixed a controversial emoji.
Main news :
- Android Oreo Go Edition launched;
- Bluetooth battery level for associated devices, in quick settings;
- Navigation buttons darkened when not in use;
- Automatic light and dark themes;
- The cheese in the hamburger emoji was moved from bottom to top of the steak;
Android 7.0 Nougat
Released: August 22, 2016.
Android 7.0 Nougat is the added support for split-screen functionality, a feature that organizations like Samsung already offered. He also added more inclusive emojis, with more skin and hair color options.
Main new features :
- Native split-screen support;
- Emojis with additional skin colors and new hairstyles;
- Ability to add an emergency message to the lock screen;
- Introduction of the Daydream virtual reality platform;
- Picture-in-picture support for Android TV;
- Fingerprint sensor to open/close the notification bar;
- GIFs on the standard keyboard ;
- Battery usage alert.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Released: October 5, 2015.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow introduced the “Do not disturb” mode, previously known as priority mode. It was a huge improvement, as it allowed users to ignore all notifications for a specified period, or to only allow priority alarms or alerts.
Do Not Disturb was a boon for those who have many meetings or just want to sleep without being interrupted by WhatsApp notifications. Another major advance was that application permissions were no longer “8 or 80”; Users could now choose which permissions to give, and which to block, to better protect their privacy. Android Marshmallow was the first version of Android to support Android Pay, now known as Google Pay.
Top New Ages :
- “Do not disturb” mode;
- Android Pay (currently Google Pay);
- Google Now, the precursor to Google Assistant;
- Feature that prevented applications from draining the battery in the background;
- Native fingerprint reader support;
- Application permissions granted individually;
- Automatic backup and restore for applications;
- Search bar for apps and favorites;
- USB support -C.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Released: November 12, 2014.
Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced Google’s material design language, which controlled the appearance of the interface and spanned applications. He also added a new way to transfer data between smartphones, and a security feature in which a device remains locked until the owner signs in to the Google account, even if the thief formats the device with factory settings.
Finally, Smart Lock prevented the device from being locked when you are in a trusted location, such as at home or work, or when you are connected to a trusted device, such as a smartwatch or a Bluetooth speaker.
Top new ages :
- Access to notifications on the lock screen;
- Application and notification settings accessible on the lock screen;
- Smart Lock prevented the smartphone from blocking certain scenarios;
- Application search in settings;
- Recently used applications remembered after a restart;
- Transferring data from one device to another;
- Support for multiple SIM cards;
- Native support for Wi-Fi calls;
- Flashlight app;
- Support for widgets on the lock screen;
Android 4.4 KitKat
Released: October 31, 2013.
The name of Android KitKat at first was supposed to be Key Lime Pie, But the Android team found that Key Lime Pie (lemon pie) was a little difficult for people, and so it switched to KitKat.
Android and Nestlé partnered, and the process was so secret that many Googlers didn’t know it until the company revealed the KitKat statue on the company’s Silicon Valley campus.
The KitKat update included the device support compared to previous versions of the operating system and included the launch of Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) by Google.
Wear OS updates (4.4W) were exclusive to smartwatches and released on June 25, 2014. The latest update (4.4W.2) was released on October 21, 2014.
- The operating system for smartwatches (4.4W);
- Music, GPS and Bluetooth support for smartwatches (4.4W.2);
- Possibility to change the default text messaging applications;
- Wireless printing.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Released: July 9, 2012.
Android Jelly Bean continued the trend to improve notification options, including personalized app notifications. It also added actionable Notifications for more apps, which allowed users to respond to notifications without having to open the app.
The update also included several accessibility enhancements, such as triple touch to enlarge the screen, two-finger gestures, text-to-speech output, and gesture navigation for visually impaired users.
- Expandable notifications;
- Ability to disable notifications, application by application;
- Third-party apps can add widgets without root access;
- Slide the lock screen to start the camera;
- Multiple users account for tablets;
- Group messages;
- Support for native emoticons;
- New clock application with world clock, stopwatch, and timer;
- Support for Adobe Flash.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Released: October 18, 2011.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich added some features, which are now ubiquitous, such as the screen capture, the Face Unlock feature, and an integrated photo editor.
Android Beam was also launched, allowing users to share photos, videos, contact information, and other data using NFC.
On March 6, 2012, the Google Play app store was announced, merging the Android Market, Google Music, and Google eBookstore. This update was released on devices running Android 2.2 or later.
- New features in the calendar;
- Print Screen;
- Applications accessible on the lock screen;
- Facial unlocking;
- Definition of data limit;
- Built-in photo editor;
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Released: February 22, 2011.
Android Honeycomb was an operating system for tablets only, with additional features to make the Android interface compatible with larger screens; Some features are still available today, such as recent apps.
- First operating system update for tablets only;
- Quick access to notifications and other information at the bottom of the screen;
- Navigation, widgets and other content at the top of the screen ;
- Recent Applications button, in the System Bar, aided by multitasking ;
- Redesigned keyboard for larger screen sizes ;
- Browser guides and incognito mode ;
- Resizable Home screen widgets.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Released: December 6, 2010.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread brought several improvements, including NFC and support for multiple cameras. This update also brought us Google Talk, often called Google Chat, Gchat, and some other names.
- Faster and more accurate virtual keyboard;
- NFC support;
- Support for multiple cameras, including front camera (selfie);
- Google Talk voice and video chat support;
- More battery efficiency.
Android 2.2 Froyo
Released: May 20, 2010.
Android Froyo has added a very important function to this day: Push notifications, in which an application can send an alert, regardless of whether it is in use or open or not.
- Push notifications;
- USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality;
- Adobe Flash support;
- Ability to disable mobile data services.
Android 2.0 Eclair
Released: October 26, 2009.
Android 2.0 Eclair added support for a variety of screen sizes and resolutions, and some basic functionality, such as touching a contact to make a call or compose a text message.
- Touch a contact to make a call or send a text
- Several camera features, including flash support and scene mode
- Live wallpaper
- Searchable SMS and MMS history
- Microsoft Exchange email support
- Bluetooth 2.1 support
Android 1.6 Donut
Released: September 15, 2009.
Android Donut added some improvements related to usability in the operating system, including improvements in search and the photo gallery.
- Enhanced search functions across the operating system ;
- More integrated photo gallery and camera ;
- Text-to-speech functionality .
Android 1.5 Cupcake
Released: April 27, 2009.
Android 1.5 Cupcake is the first version of the operating system to have an official name for a dessert, and introduced a virtual keyboard, in addition to some interface improvements.
- Touch-screen keyboard and support for third-party keyboard applications ;
- Support for widgets;
- Copy and paste available in your web browser.
Android 1.0 Petit Four
Released: February 9, 2009.
The first Android smartphone, the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1 in the United States, was launched with Android 1.0, which did not yet have an official nickname.
The HTC Dream also hit the market in September 2008; in the USA it was exclusive to T-Mobile. It had a sliding keyboard instead of one on the touch screen and a clickable trackball for navigation. At the time, the Android Market was where you downloaded apps.
- Open-source operating system ;
- Notifications panel.
Conclusion of Android Versions List A to Z
So, Explore all the above-mentioned Android’s evolution with timeline of these Android Versions List A to Z.