Which is your favourite OS now? Is it Windows, IOS or Android? But which OS was used before 2003? Android was first created and tested in 2003 to revolutionize the concept of using super touch smartphones. As of 2013, Android operating system became the most popular and widely used OS around the world with more than 78 per cent of total phones manufactured.
Andy Rubin, co-founder of Danger along with Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White founded Android Inc. in October 2003 at Palo Alto, California. The intention of founding this company was to build better operating system for cameras. When they found out low market segment for such products; they started creating smartphone OS to compete with Symbian and Windows OS popular back then.
After two years of establishment, Google grew interest in this company and was acquired in July 2005. After acquisition, the former team along with Googlers developed a platform for mobile computing in November 2007 with the release of very first Android OS, Alpha. This version was not commercialized, thus the name do not follow confectionery-themed name. Later in February 2009, the team released Android 1.1 named as Android Beta.
Android Alpha 1.0
Before beta version codes were developed, the alpha version was released within Google. This version was discussed and suggested to name it Astro Boy or Blender.
Android Beta 1.1
The beta version of Android was released on 5th November, 2004. This version was commercialized thus the day is celebrated as Android’s birthday.
Android Cupcake 1.5
Android with themed code name was released on 27 April 2009, as Android Cupcake with a greyish pink graphics. This version was released to Android powered devices in May 2009.
Android Donut 1.6
Android released this version at the end of the year 2009. The 1.6 update was developed by Google with additional new features than the older one. Android Donut is the first version to support text-to-speech function and supplementary screen sizes.
Android Éclair 2.0 – 2.1
The fifth update of Android, Éclair was released on 26th October 2009 with noteworthy changes. This version came up with changes in UI as well as functions. The camera app features for filters, gallery edit options, google search bar, and live wallpapers were introduced for the first time in history with this update.
Android Froyo 2.2
The sixth update next to Éclair was released on 20th May 2010 at Google I/O conference. Froyo was the upgraded version of Éclair with additional benefits. The USB tethering options, Wi-Fi hotspots, Android Cloud, Google chrome as default browser, Android shortcuts, etc. were included within this update. The most extraordinarily, this version of Android was customized to support installation of applications on secondary memory. Droid 2 was the first device to run on Android 2.2 Froyo.
Android Gingerbread 2.3.0 – 2.3.7
Google unveiled this version of Android in December 2010. This update was refined version of its precede Froyo. This version was optimized to work faster and be more efficient. The new improvements made were notification bar, menus, navigation system and other UI features. The first device to run Android Gingerbread was Nexus S, first phone of Google Nexus line.
Android Honeycomb 3.0 – 3.2
This version of Android was revealed in February 2011; was particularly designed for devices with larger screen. This update featured widgets, holographic UI and multi-tasking function. The first phone to run on Honeycomb was Motorola Xoom.
Android Ice-cream Sandwich 4.0.1 – 4.0.4
Android Ice-cream Sandwich was released next to Honeycomb in 19 October 2011 as Android 4.0. This version was developed combining the Honeycomb feature with Gingerbread version for smaller devices.
The features included in this update were changed home screen, updated chrome browser, background audio play, face recognition and tweaks to limit data usages. The first phone to run on Android 4.0 was Galaxy Nexus, Samsung nexus phone.
Android Jellybean 4.1 – 4.3
Android launched its featured OS framework on 27 June 2012 with similar UI of Android 1.0. The tweaks and changes were made in visual components, system settings and application support. The function to add shortcuts in home screen was first released with this version. Along with that, the function to expand notification panel, two-finger sensors, individual app notification, etc. features were released.
Android KitKat 4.4
Google launched Android KitKat version on 31st October 2013 with optimized UI, and default home screen. Initially, this version was codenamed as ‘Key Lime Pie’. With the discussion over name not being so fun and known to all, Google made a deal with Nestle for using KitKat as the name of new Android version.
This update came up with additional Google apps like Hangouts, Photos, etc. Apart from that, the OS version also came up with backdrop themed application drawer. The first phone to run Android KitKat is Nexus 5.
Android Lollipop 5.0 – 5.1.1
On 25th June 2014, at Google I/O conference, Android Lollipop was launched. However, the official update was available only on November 12 of same year. This update was optimized on interface and power efficiency. With high graphics rendering, Lollipop is not so power efficient. However, the software tweaks of Android Runtime replacing Dalvik is one major change made.
The major functional change made within the OS was the UI, which is known as Material design, animated app drawer, change in navigation style, change in notification panel, and some major tweaks for application runtime. The first phones to get Lollipop update was Nexus 6 and Android One.
Android Marshmallow 6.0 – 6.1
Android M was officially released on 5th October 2015. This update features ‘Google Now on Tap’ that allows users to search real time information shown in the display. Apart from that, the ‘Direct Share system’ allows users to interact with recent contacts info and applications. The very first smartphones to get Android Marshmallow updates were Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
Android Nougat 7.0
The latest release of Android version is named as Android Nougat. The alpha version is released on March 9 2016 and is expected to release its official update and the end of this year.
Nougat is termed as the android update with notable changes. For the first time, this version comes with split-screen display mode supporting multi-window multi-tasking. Apart from that, this version comes with Data saving mode and battery saving mode as seen on Samsung Galaxy series.
Google is updating Android system every year. So now for the forthcoming update, what would Android O refers to? We’ll know in time being.