Android OS Full History Android 1.0 To Android 10
Android 1.0 (2008)
Android made its official public debut in 2008 with Android 1.0 — a release so ancient it didn’t even have a cute codename.
Things were pretty basic back then, but the software did include a suite of early Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Calendar, and YouTube, all of which were integrated into the operating system
Android 1.5 Cupcake (2009)
With early 2009’s Android 1.5 Cupcake release, the tradition of Android version names was born. Cupcake introduced numerous refinements to the Android interface, including the first on-screen keyboard — something that’d be necessary as phones moved away from the once-ubiquitous physical keyboard model.
Android 1.6 Donut (2009)
Android Donut gave users a pretty big update — a much more significant update than the 0.1 version number increase suggests. For example, Donut brought Android to millions of people by adding support for CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint, and many big networks in Asia.
Donut was targeted at making Android more user-friendly, but some of the most significant updates were under the hood. For example, Donut was the first version of Android to support different screen sizes, meaning that manufacturers could create devices with the display sizes they wanted and still run Android.
Android 2.0 Eclair (2009)
While the updates to Android so far were outstanding, they were still incremental refinements of the same operating system. Around a year after Android was first released, Android 2.0 Eclair made its debut, bringing some massive changes to the operating system, many of which are still around today.
The first smartphone with the Android 2.0 version was the Motorola Droid, which was also the first Android phone that was sold by Verizon wireless.
Android 2.2 Froyo (May 20, 2010)
The next version, Froyo, short form for Frozen Yogurt was launched in May 2010. It was in this version that Wi-Fi mobile hotspot functions was introduced. It also included many other features such as flash support, push notifications via Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) service, and more.
Google’s Nexus one earlier had Android 2.1 but quickly it was updated to Android 2.2 Froyo.
Froyo did deliver some important front-facing features, though, including the addition of the now-standard dock at the bottom of the home screen as well as the first incarnation of Voice Actions, which allowed you to perform basic functions like getting directions and making notes by tapping an icon and then speaking a command.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread (2010)
The Nexus program was finally coming into its own, and the release of Gingerbread confirmed that. Google chose the Samsung-built Nexus S for this one. However, one phone derived from Samsung’s highly successful Galaxy S. Gingerbread was another great Android refinement, and it saw a redesign of Android’s stock widgets and home screen.
Gingerbread also came with an improved keyboard, which offered new coloration for the keys, as well as improved multitouch support, which allowed users to press multiple keys to access a secondary keyboard. Last but not least is that Gingerbread added support for the front-facing camera — what would us selfie-lovers do without that?
Android 3.0 Honeycomb (February 22, 2011)
The next version was something special. Android version 3.0 Honeycomb was launched to be installed only for tablets and mobile devices with larger screens. It was launched in February 2011. Androids rival, Apple launched iPad in 2010. Honeycomb was a direct response to Apple. Google aimed for features that could not be handled by smartphones with smaller screens. But Honeycomb ended up as a version that not really required. Most of the features of Honeycomb were integrated with the next major version of Android.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (October 18, 2011)
Ice Cream Sandwich was launched in October 2011. It had many features. Features of the previous version, Honeycomb, were integrated with the Ice Cream Sandwich version. This version was the first to introduce the support the feature to unlock the phone using its camera. This feature will evolve a lot in the upcoming years. Other notable changes with Ice Cream Sandwich included support for all the on-screen buttons, the ability to monitor the mobile and Wi-Fi data usage, and swipe gestures to dismiss notifications and browser tabs.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (2012)
Android Jelly Bean signaled a new era for the operating system, even if the OS seemed more or less the same as its predecessor. If you dug a little deeper, you would have seen some significant changes. The most important of which was Google Now, which could be accessed with a quick swipe from the home screen and brought information — i.e., calendar events, emails, weather reports — all to a single display. The feature was Google’s first major stab at a digital assistant, and it laid the groundwork for future versions of digital assistants, including Google Assistant.
Apart from Google Now, several other significant additions featured in Jelly Bean such as Project Butter, designed to drastically improve Android’s touch performance by tripling buffering graphics. Said project update eliminated a lot of the stutter in Android and made it a much smoother experience overall. Refreshed font, expandable notifications, greater widget flexibility, and other features were also added in Jelly Bean, rendering it one of the most significant updates to Android at the time.
Android 4.4 KitKat (2013)
The launch of Android 4.4 KitKat coincided with the premiere of the Nexus 5, and it came with many great features. For example, KitKat represented one of the most significant aesthetic changes to the operating system to date, modernizing the look of Android. The blue accents found in Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean became a more refined white accent, and several redesigned Android stock apps displayed lighter color schemes.
Apart from a new look, KitKat also brought things like the “OK, Google” search command, which allowed the user to access Google Now at any time. It also brought a new phone dialer, full-screen apps, and a new Hangouts app, which offered SMS support along with support for the Hangouts messaging platform.
Android 5.0 Lollipop (November 12, 2014)
Android 5.0 Lollipop was launched in June 2014. Google’s new Material Design language was first introduced in Lollipop, which brought some major aesthetic changes to Android UI. It included changes in UIs like a revamped navigation bar and better-style notifications for the lock-screen etc. It brought the Flat Design concept into play. Google created more enhancements to Android devices’ battery life with a Doze mode where background apps are killed once the show is turned off.
Google’s Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 tablets were the first to use Lollipop.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow (October 5, 2015)
First, the Android 6.0 version was to be called Macadamia Nut Cookie, but it was released as Marshmallow in May 2015. It included many new features like an app drawer which was vertically scrolling, along with Google Now available on Tap. This was the first version that had native support for unlocking of the smartphone with biometric; fingerprint authentication. USB Type C support was included and Android pay was also introduced in Marshmallow.
Google’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X smartphones were the first smartphones that had Marshmallow.
Android 7.0 Nougat (2016)
Android 7.0 Nougat arguably marked one of the most significant upgrades to Android in its ten years — primarily because of how smart the operating system got. Perhaps the largest impact on Android in Nougat was that Google Now was replaced with the now much-respected Google Assistant.
Along with Assistant, Nougat brought an improved notifications system, which tweaked how notifications looked and acted within the OS. Announcements were presented from screen to screen, and unlike previous iterations of Android, they could be grouped for easy management. Multitasking also got a boost with Nougat. Whether you’re using a phone or a tablet, you’ll be able to use split-screen mode, allowing you to use two apps at once without having to exit out of each app every few minutes.
Android 8.0 Oreo (2017)
This was the second time Google used a trademark name for it’s Android version, first being KitKat. Android 8.0 Oreo was released on August 2017. It included many visual changes such as native support for picture-in-picture mode, new autofill APIs that could help in better managing the passwords and fill data, notification channels, and much more.
Android 9.0 Pie (August 6, 2018)
he next major version was released in August 2018. It came with a lot of new features and improvements. The new home-button was added in this version. When swiped up, it brings the apps used recently, a search bar and suggestions of five apps at the bottom. There was a new option added of swiping left to see the currently running apps. Improvements in battery life were also made in this version. Shush, a new feature was also added. It automatically puts the smartphone in Do not disturb mode. Many more features were also added.
Android 10 (September 3, 2019)
Finally, Google opted to drop the tradition of naming the Android version after sweets and desserts. It was launched in September 2019. A number of features were added such as support for the upcoming foldable smartphones with flexible displays. Android 10 also has a system-wide dark mode, along with the newly introduced navigation control using gestures, the feature for smart reply for all the messaging apps, and a sharing menu that is more effective. The control over app-based permissions is also more in it.