Hello Mi Fans,
The operating system has developed a lot in last 15 years. Starting from black and white phones to recent smartphones or mini computers, mobile OS has come far away. One of the most widely used mobile OS these days is ANDROID. Android is a fully-fledged operating system that's broken free of its smartphone roots, now appearing on tablets, TV streamers and plenty of other devices. In the ten years of its life, Android has evolved a huge amount. What a long, strange trip it's been. From its inaugural release to today, Android has transformed visually, conceptually and functionally — time and time again.
Today, we are going to see a brief history of Android and its various versions, which are now named alphabetically after sweet treats.
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After Android 1.0 and 1.1, Android 1.5 Cupcake was released on 30 April 2009. It was the first release officially use a codename based on a “dessert item” which is known as Cupcake. Finally, a sweet name for an increasingly sweet mobile OS. It brought in widget support, animated transitions when skipping through your desktops, the ability to automatically rotate the screen when you turn your phone and a stock boot animation. 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.
In 2009 we had Cupcake's successor, nicknamed Donut which was released on Sep 15, 2009. Donut gave us improved search functionality, a speedier all-round experience, and support for super-sharp (at the time) 480x800 pixel screens. Donut filled in some important holes in Android's center, including the ability for the OS to operate on a variety of different screen sizes and resolutions — a factor that'd be critical in the years to come. It also added support for CDMA networks like Verizon, which would play a key role in Android's imminent explosion. Other features included the introduction of the Quick Search Box, and quick toggling between the Camera, Camcorder, and Gallery to streamline the media-capture experience. Donut also introduced the Power Control widget for managing Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc.
Android 2.0 Codenamed Eclair was released on Oct 26, 2009. Android Eclair brought a number of important changes, hence the boost to version number 2.0. Personalisation was a key component, with the likes of live wallpapers and support for multiple desktops introduced. Eclair was the first Android release to enter mainstream consciousness thanks to the original Motorola Droid phone and the massive Verizon-led marketing campaign surrounding it.The release's most transformative element was the addition of voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic info — something previously unheard of (and still essentially unmatched) in the smartphone world.
Android 2.2 Froyo was released on May 20, 2010. Froyo allowed Android users to control their phones without touching them, using voice typing and search. You could also now install apps on a memory card, which was a massive relief as most phones packed a measly 4 to 8GB of storage space. Notably, Froyo also brought support for Flash to Android's web browser — an option that was significant both because of the widespread use of Flash at the time and because of Apple's adamant stance against supporting it on its own mobile devices. Smartphones with Froyo installed could take advantage of several new features, including Wi-Fi mobile hotspot functions, push notifications via Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) service, and more.
Android's first true visual identity started coming into focus with 2010's Gingerbread release. Android 2.3 Gingerbread SDK was released on Dec 6, 2010. Selfie camera support paved the way for endless Facebook glamour shots, while improved performance meant Android was slicker than ever. Gingerbread also added NFC, gyroscope and barometer support. Bright green had long been the color of Android's robot mascot, and with Gingerbread, it became an integral part of the operating system's appearance. Black and green seeped all over the UI as Android started its slow march toward distinctive design. Gingerbread also laid the groundwork for the selfie, by adding in support for multiple cameras and video chat support within Google Talk.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb was released on Feb 22, 2011. Honeycomb stands out in Android history as the only version developed specifically for tablets. Interface elements like the virtual keyboard were optimised for bigger screens and you had support for multi-core processors, which soon became the norm. Under the guidance of newly arrived design chief Matias Duarte, Honeycomb introduced a dramatically reimagined UI for Android. It had a space-like "holographic" design that traded the platform's trademark green for blue and placed an emphasis on making the most of a tablet's screen space. In the end, Honeycomb ended up being a version of Android that was not really needed, as Google decided to integrate most of its features in its next major 4.0 version, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released on Oct 19, 2011. Google’s Gabe Cohen Started this Android 4.0 Version with “theoretically compatible” which production on any Android 2.3.x device. You could also now close apps with a quick swipe, shoot 1080p video and unlock your phone with your face, where supported. The release refined the visual concepts introduced with Honeycomb and reunited tablets and phones with a single, unified UI vision. Android 4.0 also made swiping a more integral method of getting around the operating system, with the then-revolutionary-feeling ability to swipe away things like notifications and recent apps. And it started the slow process of bringing a standardized design framework — known as "Holo" — all throughout the OS and into Android's app ecosystem. Other notable changes with ICS included support for all on-screen buttons, swipe gestures to dismiss notifications and browser tabs, and the ability to monitor your data usage over mobile and Wi-Fi.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was announced on June 27, 2012, at the Google I/O conference by Google. This Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was released to the Android Open Source Project on July 9, 2012. It made Google's OS more responsive than ever, improving search functionality and introducing the ability to share files with your friends using Android Beam. The releases added plenty of poise and polish into the operating system and went a long way in making Android more inviting for the average user. Visuals aside, Jelly Bean brought about our first taste of Google Now — the spectacular predictive-intelligence utility that's sadly since devolved into a glorified news feed. It gave us expandable and interactive notifications, an expanded voice search system, and a more advanced system for displaying search results in general, with a focus on card-based results that attempted to answer questions directly.
Android 4.4 KitKat was announced on Sep 3, 2013, by Google. This Android 4.4 was optimised to run on a huge range of smartphone then oldest Android Version, Having 512 MB RAM. It introduced the 'OK Google' voice command for starting Google Now, as well as better message management, Emoji support and improved multi-tasking. As it turned out, Google’s director of Android global partnerships, John Lagerling, thought that “Key Lime Pie” would not be a familiar enough name to use for Android 4.4 worldwide. Instead, he decided to do something different. He contacted Nestle, the creators of the KitKat bar, and asked them if they could use the name for Android 4.4. Nestle agreed, and even released versions of its KitKat bar shaped like the Android robot mascot as part of a co-branding agreement with Google. It was an experiment in marketing that Google didn’t rekindle until the latest launch of Oreo.
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Android 5.0 Lollipop was released on Nov 12, 2014, and brought multiple profiles on one device, the 'no interruptions' feature to get some peace and an all-new notifications bar. You could also now unlock your phone with a trusted Bluetooth device. Lollipop launched the still-present-today Material Design standard, which brought a whole new look that extended across all of Android, its apps and even other Google products. The UI also got some other changes for Lollipop, including a revamped navigation bar, rich notifications for the lockscreen and much more. The subsequent Android 5.1 update made a few more under-the-hood changes. This included official support for dual-SIM, HD Voice calls, and Device Protection to keep thieves locked out of your phone even after a factory reset.
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Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released on May 28, 2015, during Google I/O. It was unveiled by Google in September 2015, improving battery life and adding cool new features like Now on Tap and fingerprint sensor support. Internally, Google used “Macadamia Nut Cookie” to describe Android 6.0 before the official Marshmallow announcement. It included features such a new vertically scrolling app drawer, along with Google Now on Tap, native support for fingerprint biometric unlocking of a smartphone, USB Type-C support, the introduction of Android Pay, and much more.
Android Nougat's features came first and the public helped pick the name, which was made official at the end of June 2016. As well as improving general performance and battery management thanks to a feature called Doze on-the-go, Nougat also brought handy features like native split-screen multitasking to the stock Android experience. Version 7.1 followed soon after with Google Assistant, Night Light, Daydream VR mode. Google's 2016 Android Nougat releases provided Android with a native split-screen mode, a new bundled-by-app system for organizing notifications, and a Data Saver feature. Nougat added some smaller but still significant features, too, like an Alt-Tab-like shortcut for snapping between apps. Google made a number of big changes behind the scenes too, like switching to a new JIT compiler to speed up apps, supported the Vulkan API for faster 3D rendering, and enabled OEMs to support its DayDream Virtual Reality platform.
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On 21 August 2017, Google released the name of Android 8.0, is Oreo. Notifications have been improved once again, while you can also look forward to a picture-in-picture video mode. This allows you to watch YouTube clips in a resizable box, while you're playing around with other apps. Google has made plenty of additional improvements to the likes of audio quality and text input, as well as resource management. Android Oreo added a variety of niceties to the platform, including a native picture-in-picture mode, a notification snoozing option, and notification channels that offer fine control over how apps can alert you. The 2017 release also included some noteworthy elements that furthered Google's goal of aligning Android and Chrome OS and improving the experience of using Android apps on Chromebooks, and it was the first Android version to feature Project Treble — an ambitious effort to create a modular base for Android's code with the hope of making it easier for device-makers to provide timely software updates.
The freshly baked scent of Android Pie, a.k.a. Android 9, wafted into the Android ecosystem in August of 2018. Pie's most transformative change was its hybrid gesture/button navigation system, which traded Android's traditional Back, Home, and Overview keys for a large, multifunctional Home button and a small Back button that appeared alongside it as needed. Pie included some noteworthy productivity features, too, such as a universal suggested-reply system for messaging notifications, a new dashboard of Digital Wellbeing controls, and more intelligent systems for power and screen brightness management. There’s also Slices, which provides a smaller version of an installed app inside Google Search, offering certain app functions without opening the full application
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Google released Android 10 — the first Android version to shed its letter and be known simply by a number, with no dessert-themed moniker attached — in September of 2019. The software brings about a totally reimagined interface for Android gestures, this time doing away with the tappable Back button altogether and relying on a completely swipe-driven approach to system navigation. As usual with any new Android release, Android 10 has a number of new features and improvements and a number of new APIs. That includes new support for the upcoming rush of foldable phones with flexible displays. Android 10 also has a system-wide dark mode, along with new gesture-navigation controls, a more efficient sharing menu, smart reply features for all messaging apps, and more control over app-based permissions.
Android has come a long way from its humble beginnings, as the product of a small start up, all the way to becoming the leading mobile operating system worldwide. Google’s introduction of Project Treble in Android Oreo should make it easier for phone makers to update their devices faster, but it remains to be seen if those efforts will be effective in the long run.
It would seem reasonable to predict that Android will continue to dominate the mobile OS market, even with its problems providing swift updates. That flexibility, combined with yearly updates, will ensure Android will remain the leader in this industry for years to come.
From 1.0 to 10: The Versions of Android, Which One Has Been Your Favorite?
Source: Computerworld, google