The initial step to launch Android was taken by the Android company, however, it was later taken over by Google. It has begun with very basic features and has evolved dramatically with time. After taking over the Android Google had launched the first beta version of Android OS on November 5, 2007. On the other hand, the software development kit was introduced on November 12, 2007. After making the necessary developments in the system Google had launched the first Android mobile with Android 1.0 version in October 2008. This release had taken place with the release of the T-Mobile G1.
The initial versions of Android were not given any specific codenames, which means that Android 1.0 and 1.1 did not have a specific codename. Later, with the introduction of different versions, they started using code names for each version. Although the first few versions of Android were basic it did include Youtube, Maps and Calendar- all of these were integrated into one system which could easily be updated. In order to understand how the Android versions have evolved over time, we need to get an idea about the features that have been added to each version which has made it so compatible.
Android Versions 1.0-1.1 (No Codename)
Version 1.0 is one of the oldest versions of Android released on September 23, 2008. The version 1.1 was released on February 9, 2009. These initial versions of Android do not have a specific codename because by then there was no such system of applying codenames. In the beginning years, there were not many features in Android. Some of the features of this version are:
- It had a pop-up QWERTY keypad and a touch screen display.
- It supported web browsers, cameras and Google maps.
- Even the youtube application was present in it.
- The API level of the 1.0 version is 1.
- In the 1,1 version, the MMS attachment feature was added.
- You could even hide or show the numeric keyboard.
- The API level of 1.0 version is 1.
- The API level of 1.1 version is 2.
- The other features of this version are 2.
Android Version 1.5 (Cupcake)
This is the third version of Android introduced by Google on April 30, 2009 and was based on Linux kernel 2.6.27. There were several new features included in this version and it was much more advanced than the earlier versions. Some of the added features of cupcake version are:
- It supported the Widgets and received periodic updates.
- It also had an animated screen transition option.
- You could even download the videos on Youtube in this version.
- It also introduced the edit features which allowed you to edit whatever you want.
- The copy paste features were added to the web browsers.
- It even supported video recording and playback in different formats.
- The one-touch access to the contact card from the call log event.
- The API level of this version is 3.
Android Version 1.6 (Donut )
This version of Android was introduced on September 15, 2009, based on Linux kernel 2.6.29. With each new version, there were new features added to the older version. Some of the advanced features of donut version are:
- It allowed the users to delete multiple pictures at once.
- The searching became much easier and the user could even view the screenshots of the apps in the Android Market.
- There were improvements even in the speed of searching and camera applications.
- It had free Google-powered turn by turn navigation.
- The gallery, camera and camcorder were fully integrated and functioned faster than before.
- Even the multilingual speech synthesis was added to it.
- Bookmark history, contacts and web were included in voice and text entry search.
- The API level of this version is 4.
Android Version 2.0 (Eclair )
In this version of Android, the system was completely updated. It was released on October 26, 2009, and was based on the Linux kernel 2.6.29. The various bugs in the previous versions were fixed in this version. The alterations and additions made in the features of eclair version are:
- This version supported the HTML5 and consisted of a new browser user interface.
- It had an in-built flash for the camera application.
- The virtual keyboard was also improved.
- It even supported the Bluetooth 2.1.
- The new contact lists were introduced.
- There were improvements in Google Maps.
- New features were also added in the calendar.
- The API level of this version is 5.
Android version 2.2 ( Froyo)
This is an updated version of 2.0 released on May 20, 2010, and was based on Linux kernel 2.6.32. Some alterations were made to make your Android device more convenient. Here are some features of froyo Android version:
- It supported the Voice Actions which allows you to perform the basic functions just by tapping the icon.
- It offered access to the full web without any black holes.
- It even supported the USB tethering and Wifi hotspot.
- The Bluetooth enabled car and desk docks were also introduced.
- The zoom gesture in the gallery was also improved.
- The API level of this app is 8.
Android version 2.3/2.3.7 (Gingerbread )
The visual identity of the Android came into focus with the Gingerbread. This version was released on December 6, 2010, and was based on Linux kernel 2.6.35. Android’s robot mascot became an integral part of the Android operating system. Some of the features of the gingerbread version are:
- The new audio effects such as bass boot, headphone and reverb were introduced.
- The new feature of this version is Download Manager.
- Multiple camera features such as the front-facing camera were also supported.
- The copy/paste function was enhanced to a great extent.
- The power management was also enhanced and improved.
Android version 3.0/3.2 (Honeycomb)
This version was introduced as a tablet. This version was released on February 22, 2011, and was based on the Linux kernel 2.6.36. It was basically designed for devices with large screens. Some of the features of honeycomb version are as follows:
- The gallery- the app could be viewed on the full-screen mode.
- The keyboard was also redesigned and made such that it could be easily operated on the large screens.
- A ‘holographic’ user interface theme had been introduced in this version.
- To enable multi-tasking a Recent App view was also introduced.
- It even enabled the users to customize your home screen.
Android version 4.0 ( Ice cream sandwich )
With the introduction of this version of Android multi-tasking became quite easy. This version was released on October 19, 2011, and was based on the Linux kernel 3.0.1. There were several unique features like customizable home screens, resizable widgets and many more. Some of the features of ice cream sandwich version are:
- The users could access the apps directly from the lock screen.
- New font systems were introduced in this version.
- The users could even capture the screenshots.
- This even supported the instant voice recording feature.
- There were a lot of improvements on the home screen as well.
- The API level of this is 14.
Android version 4.1 (Jelly Bean )
This is a more responsive version of Android. It was released on June 27, 2012, and was based on the Linux kernel 3.0.31. All the functions of the device could be performed smoothly. Some of the amazing features of jelly bean version are:
- The biggest improvement in this version was Project Butter that smoothes the functioning of your Android.
- A new feature of Google Now was also added which gave the users correct information.
- There were few changes in the voice typing as you could even use it offline.
- The notifications displayed could also be expanded and collapsed with a single touch.
Android version 4.4 (Kitkat )
There were a number of improvements in this version of Android. This was released on September 3, 2013. There were a lot of changes in the Android device. Some of the features of KitKat version are:
- The memory management of the device was improved to a great extent.
- There were few features added to the Google Now as well such as you could activate it just by saying ‘OK Google’.
- The Hangouts were also upgraded improving the video calls, voice calls, SMS and many more. ‘
- It even supported the integration with the cloud storage which was not present in other versions.
- There were even in-built sensors in the version.
Android version 5.0/5.1 (Lollipop )
All the Nexus from 4 to 10 has this version of Android. It was released on November 12, 2014. There were several complaints in the previous versions of Android. In order to deal with those issues, Google had launched this version of Android. Some of the features of lollipop version are:
- It had completely changed the design of the home screen with its material design features.
- The Tap and Go were also introduced which transfers the information via Bluetooth.
- There were improvements in the notifications display which enabled the users to access the app directly from the notification.
- A new feature introduced in this was the ‘Priority Mode.’
- In this version, you could even view the estimated time left on the device before you have to charge it.
- The Quick settings were also reorganized in this version.
Android version 6.0 (Marshmallow )
This is one of the newest versions of Android introduced on May 28, 2015. The various improvements in this Android version gave the users more control over their devices. Some of the essential features of marshmallow version are:
- The application permission was introduced in this version where you had to grant individual permissions to different apps.
- ‘The most impressive feature of this version is Now on Tap that would give you the wanted information with a single press.
- It even supported the fingerprint scanning for various purposes.
- The app links were also supported in this version. In which tapping any link would ask you for choosing a particular app for opening the link.
- The automatic backup and restore feature was also added.
Android version 7.0 (Nougat)
It has some of the coolest features. This version of Android was released in 2016. The best of Android is present in this version. Some of the unique features of nougat latest version are:
- The multitasking became much easier with the split-screen mode.
- The notifications were quite enhanced in this version.
- It had a better doze feature which would automatically increase your battery life.
- The secret menu in it has various new options which enhances your functioning.
- Data saving and call blocking were also added to it.
Android version 8.0 (Oreo)
This version of Android was introduced on August 21, 2017. This version makes your apps compatible. Some of the features of oreo version are:
- It allows the various activities to launch in the picture-in-picture mode.
- The notifications were redesigned for easier and consistent management.
- The autofill feature makes your tasks simpler.
- You could even optimize your texts automatically in the latest version.
- In-app pinning of shortcuts and widgets were also introduced.
Android version 9.0 (Pie)
This version of Android was released on August 6, 2018. It uses the power of artificial intelligence so that you can get more from your mobile phones. Some of the smart features of Pie are:
- The navigation bar of the system was completely changed and using it became much easier.
- The messaging features are also enhanced in this version.
- The camera options were also updated and multi-camera features were also added.
- This version even supported the display cutouts.
- The battery is always shown on the display all the time.
Android versions 10.0
The latest version of Android introduced on September 3, 2019, is an advanced version. Some of the essential features of this version are as follows:
- The security features of the Android were updated.
- The background apps could not be displayed on the foreground.
- The new dark theme/mode was also introduced.
- It even allowed the sharing of the shortcuts.
- It allowed limited access to the resettable device identifiers.
All these versions of Android have their own unique features. Each version has outstanding features that makes the functioning of your smartphone much easier. Without any of these features, your mobile phone would not be as efficient as it is today. Considering the various need of the users’ Google has tried to make alterations in each of its versions.