This post was originally published on January 17, 2023
The latest update to this post was made 4 months ago.
Android Operating System History And Names
The Android operating system has been around since 2008 and over the years it has seen many major updates, each one with its own unique name. Android’s official naming system started with Cupcake in 2009, followed by Donut a year later. The names of these versions were chosen to be fun, creative and easy for people to remember. Thanks for reading our article on Android Operating System : History And Names, now on with the show!
The following version was Eclair, which was released in 2010 and named after a type of French pastry. It was followed by Froyo (Frozen Yogurt), Gingerbread and Honeycomb (which were both desserts-inspired). Ice Cream Sandwich combined elements from the two prior versions while Jelly Bean took inspiration from a type of candy. As new feature rich updates kept rolling out, KitKat came along in 2013 which had its own marketing campaign accompanying it. Below we list the Android OS versions, along with a little history on that release.
List Of Android Operating Systems : Names, Info And Release Years
Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system and has gone through many iterations since its first release. Knowing the names of all of the Android versions can be useful for understanding tech trends and device compatibility. Here is a complete list of Android Operating Systems, along with their respective release years:
Android 1.0 (AKA: Apple Pie) | Versions: 1.0
Android 1.0, also known as Android Alpha or Apple Pie was the first version of the Android operating system released in September 2008. It featured an Android logo with a green robot head and was designed to work on mobile phones. The main features of this version included a WebKit-based browser, an integrated camera application, support for third-party applications through Java APIs, and Google Maps integration with Street View. Android 1.0 had limited Bluetooth capabilities and no Wi-Fi support at the time of its release; however, users could access these features via third party apps from Google Play (previously known as Market). This initial version enabled developers to create applications that would run on multiple devices with different hardware configurations and adapt to various screen sizes.
Android 1.1 (AKA: Petit Four) | Versions: 1.1
Android 1.1, also known as Petit Four, is the second version of Android and was released in February 2009. This version brought several new features to the operating system such as the ability for developers to publish their applications directly to Market, support for folders on the home screen and an improved search feature that allowed users to find contacts from anywhere in the phone. Additionally, this was the first time users could upload videos directly from their phones. Other notable improvements included enhanced Bluetooth support with A2DP for stereo headsets and other devices as well as better Exchange support for both corporate email accounts and calendar synchronization. This release also marked a major milestone in Android’s evolution by introducing Google Maps Navigation Beta which provided free turn-by-turn navigation powered by Google Maps data.
Android 1.5 Cupcake | Versions: 1.5
Android 1.5 Cupcake was the third version of Android, released in April 2009. It brought several improvements to the Android user experience, from a redesigned home screen and support for widgets to an on-screen keyboard and improved thought-to-speech capabilities. The new version also included support for third-party keyboards, video recording, copy/paste functionality, and more. Notable features included being able to upload videos directly to YouTube from the phone’s camera app as well as support for AAC audio playback. One of the biggest improvements with Cupcake was its ability to automatically adjust screen orientation when the phone was tilted – something that had been missing since Android’s initial release in 2008. This feature made it much easier to use applications such as maps or web browsers while still giving users full control over their device’s display orientation settings.
Android 1.6 Donut | Versions: 1.6
Android 1.6 Donut was released in September 2009 and marked the fourth version of Android OS. It introduced a number of important features, such as voice search and an improved user interface for searching, sorting and browsing applications. Additionally, it included a range of new APIs to allow developers to create more sophisticated apps. Donut also supported CDMA networks such as Verizon Wireless’s network, allowing users to access the internet faster than on traditional GSM networks at that time. Moreover, it allowed users to stream videos from YouTube directly onto their phones and delivered improved support for multiple languages and screen sizes. Finally, it introduced text-to-speech capabilities which allowed users to listen to their emails or have the phone read aloud webpages or books out loud.
Android 2.0 Eclair | Versions: 2.0 / 2.0.1 / 2.1
Android 2.0 Eclair was released in October 2009 and is the fifth version of the Android operating system. It brought with it a number of major improvements, including better integration with Google services, an improved browser experience and support for HTML5 and Flash video playback. It also introduced API level 5, which enabled developers to access text-to-speech engines and other features like live wallpapers and Bluetooth profiles. One notable feature that Eclair added was the ability to recognize multiple screen sizes and resolutions, allowing users to easily switch between different devices without compatibility issues. Eclair was also the first version of Android to include voice recognition capabilities via its Voice Commands app, allowing users to make calls or send messages using their voice rather than typing them out manually.
Android 2.2 Froyo | Versions: 2.2 – 2.2.3
Android 2.2 Froyo was the sixth version of the Android operating system, first released in May 2010. It was among the first versions to support Wi-Fi hotspot functionality and Adobe Flash 10.1. It also included a range of performance improvements such as faster web browsing and improved application speed. Android Froyo has been superseded by many newer versions such as Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Pie but it remains a popular version for certain types of mobile devices such as tablets and media players that are not intended to run more recent software updates due to hardware limitations or other considerations. In addition, there are still some apps that are designed specifically for use with Froyo which means it is still used by some users today despite its age.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread | Versions: 2.3 – 2.3.2 / 2.3.3 – 2.3.7
Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released in December 2010 and is the seventh major version of the Android OS. It featured a user interface refresh, improved text input and copy-and-paste functionality, as well as speed improvements on graphics, memory management and screen orientation changes. The platform also introduced support for new technologies such as Near Field Communications (NFC) for exchanging data between devices, Wi-Fi Direct support for peer-to-peer communication, WebM/VP8 video playback capabilities and more. Gingerbread was one of the most popular versions of Android used at its time with over 300 million devices using it by June 2012.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb | Versions: 3.0 / 3.1 / 3.2 – 3.2.6
Android 3.0 Honeycomb was the eighth version of Google’s mobile operating system, and it was released in February 2011. This software update specifically targeted tablets, and it included significant user interface changes that made Android more suitable for larger devices. One of the most notable features of Honeycomb is its support for a powerful hardware acceleration engine, which allowed for smoother multitasking and faster response times. Additionally, this version introduced widgets to the Home Screen experience as well as an improved text input system with support for speech-to-text technology. It also featured a new notification bar that made information more accessible without having to open apps or navigate through menus. Lastly, Honeycomb included optimized versions of some popular Google Apps such as Gmail and YouTube so users could take advantage of the bigger screens on their tablets.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich | Versions: 4.0 – 4.0.2 / 4.0.3 – 4.0.4
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the nineth version of Google’s Android operating system, released in October 2011. The update was intended to bridge the gap between Android smartphones and tablets, introducing a more unified user experience across devices. Key features of Ice Cream Sandwich include voice input, Face Unlock facial recognition software, improved text input and spell-checking, new visual styling elements like holographic UI design and improved multitasking capabilities. It also included an enhanced camera experience with support for 1080p video recording and sharing options such as uploading content directly to YouTube or Picasa. Finally, Ice Cream Sandwich introduced robust data usage controls that allowed users to track their cellular data consumption on an app-by-app basis as well as set limits for individual apps or for all of them at once.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean | Versions: 4.1 – 4.1.2 / 4.2 – 4.2.2 / 4.3 – 4.3.1
Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean, was released in July 2012 – the tenth version of the Android operating system. It offered a smoother user experience compared to its predecessors, with faster response times and improved performance when running apps or games. This version is compatible with almost all existing Android devices and comes with Google Now integrated into the platform, giving users access to voice search and other features. Other features include improved notifications which can be managed either on the lock screen or within individual applications, as well as an upgraded camera interface that makes it easier for users to access settings like brightness or flash controls while taking photos. Finally, Jelly Bean brought new sharing capabilities like Bluetooth Smart Technology and NFC support which allow for simpler file sharing between devices.
Android 4.4 Kit Kat | Versions: 4.4 – 4.4.4 / 4.4W – 4.4W.2
Android 4.4 Kit Kat, released in October 2013, and is the eleventh version of the Android operating system. It was designed with a focus on optimization and performance improvements which make it more efficient than previous versions. This new version of Android also offers a redesigned user interface that is much simpler to navigate and use. One of the most exciting features of Android 4.4 Kit Kat was its support for Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that can answer questions and provide helpful information in response to spoken commands. Additionally, this version introduced a new multitasking feature that allows users to switch between apps quickly and easily as well as improved battery life through advanced power management options. Finally, Kit Kat contained several security enhancements such as improved encryption for data stored on external storage devices along with other features intended to improve user privacy.
Android 5.0 Lollipop | Versions: 5.0 – 5.0.2 / 5.1 – 5.1.1
Android 5.0 Lollipop, released in November 2014, the twelfth version of the Android operating system. This release was a significant milestone in the Android family of operating systems. With this version, Google reorganized its mobile platform to offer a new type of user interface called Material Design. This design language simplifies the overall look and feel of the system and provides attractive visuals for its users. It also included support for several new features such as multiple user accounts on one device, enhanced security against malicious software and better battery life through the use of advanced power management techniques. Additionally, it provided users with access to many more applications from the Google Play store than ever before due to its open source platform which allows developers to create applications without fear of restrictions or licensing issues from other software companies. Developers have since taken advantage of this freedom and created hundreds of thousands of unique apps for Android devices running Lollipop.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow | Versions: 6.0 – 6.0.1
Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released in October 2015 and it is the thirteenth major version of the Android operating system. This version focused on making improvements to the overall user experience, like introducing a new permissions model that allows users to manage app permissions at runtime, as well as Doze mode which increases battery life significantly by putting unused apps into deep sleep when the device is idle. It also included Google Now on Tap which gives contextual information based on what you’re doing without having to leave your current activity or app. Other notable features are fingerprint recognition support, native support for USB Type-C, and Direct Share which lets you quickly share content with contacts from other apps. Android 6.0 Marshmallow also introduced Google’s new Material Design language which gave an updated look across all apps and services. With its focus on improving stability and usability.
Android 7.0 Nougat | Versions: 7.0 / 7.1 – 7.1.2
Android 7.0 Nougat, released in August 2016, is the fourteenth major version of the Android operating system. It brought major updates to user interface elements and increased functionality for notifications, split-screen multitasking and improved battery life. One of its most popular features is the ability to customize quick settings tiles in the pulldown menu, allowing users to quickly access frequently used settings such as Bluetooth or location services. The Doze feature also allows devices running Android 7.0 Nougat to go into a low power state when not in use, saving battery life even further. Additionally, it introduced a new Vulkan API for improved graphics performance and support for Java 8 language features including lambda expressions which makes writing code easier and more efficient. Last but not least, it came pre-installed with Google Assistant voice control for hands-free operation of your device’s functions.
Android 8.0 Oreo | Versions: 8.0 / 8.1
Android 8.0 Oreo was released in August 2017, the fifteenth version the Android operating system. It boasted faster speeds, better battery life, and improved security. It also contained several other improvements such as picture-in-picture mode for multitasking, notification dots for easy access to notifications, and autofill for fast logins across apps. Additionally, Android 8.0 Oreo included support for Bluetooth 5 which enabled faster data transfer over longer distances than ever before. The updated version of Doze mode that came with Android 8.0 Oreo allowed devices to enter a low power state when the display was off instead of waiting until the device had been stationary for some time like in previous versions of Android. This helped users save battery by cutting down on background app activity while their phone was in use but not actively being used by them at any given moment – something that we all still find useful today!
Android 9.0 Pie | Versions: 9.0
Android 9.0 Pie was released in August 2018 and is the sixteenth version of the Android operating system. It included a range of new features, including improved battery life, adaptive brightness settings, gesture-based navigation, better notifications control and more. Pie also brought support for Android Instant Apps, which allow users to access apps without needing to install them on their device. In addition to this, Pie offered improved security and privacy protections with its Advanced Protection Program. With all these features plus many others included in the package, it’s no surprise that Android 9.0 Pie was well received by users since its launch.
Android 10 (AKA: Quince Tart) | Versions: 10.0
Android 10 was released in September 2019 making it the seventeenth version of the Android operating system. It offered a variety of new features designed to improve user experience as well as security, including enhanced notifications, smart reply, dark theme option, improved audio and video codecs for high-quality streaming media, gesture navigation, privacy controls for location data sharing, and support for foldable phones. Android 10 also introduces a number of enhancements related to digital wellbeing. These include Focus mode which helps users avoid distractions from their phone; Wind Down mode which encourages healthy bedtime habits; Parental Controls that give parents control over their children’s device usage; and Family Link which allows parents to manage their family’s devices remotely.
Android 11 (AKA: Red Velvet Cake) | Versions: 11.0
Android 11, released in September 2020, is the eighteenth version of the Android operating system. It featured improved user experience, better privacy and security options, more powerful messaging capabilities, enhanced 5G support, and a host of new features to improve performance. The new version also included a dedicated conversation section in the notifications tab that allows users to prioritize conversations over other notifications. Additionally, Android 11 came with a one-time permission feature that gives users more control over what apps can access their information. Other notable features include an improved dark theme mode for compatible devices as well as optimized background activities to conserve battery life while still being able to provide faster app launches and smoother overall performance. This version also supports wireless Android Auto so users can connect their device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for hands-free operation when driving.
Android 12 (AKA: Snow Cone) | Versions: 12.0
Android 12 was released in October 2021 marking the nineteenth version of the Android operating system. It boasts a host of features including an improved UI design, better privacy controls and support for 5G networks. Android 12 also includes a conversational voice assistant, new media playback options, improved battery life and app compatibility. The design changes made to Android 12 focus on improving user experience as well as making it easier to use. The home screen gives users quick access to their apps, while the notification panel offers shortcuts for tasks like taking screenshots or launching specific settings menus. The Quick Settings menu has also been redesigned with larger icons and more customization options available. Privacy controls have also been overhauled so that users can easily manage which apps have access to their data and when they can access it.
Android 13 (AKA: Tiramisu) | Versions: 13.0
Android 13 was released in August 2022, it is the twentieth version of the Android operating system. This released introduced several new features including a new notification center, support for multiple user accounts, improved performance, and improved security. It also added support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and NFC technology, allowing users to quickly share data between devices wirelessly. Additionally, it included an improved version of Google Now with voice recognition support and an updated interface for Google Maps navigation system. Overall, Android 13 provides a smoother experience with its increased speed and security features compared to previous versions of the operating system.
Android 14 (AKA: Upside Down Cake) | Versions: 14.0
Scheduled for release to selected devices in Q3 of 2023.
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