Android version history

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A chart showing global Android version distribution from November 2009 to December 2012

The version history of the Android mobile operating system began with the release of the Android beta in November 2007. The first commercial version, Android 1.0, was released in September 2008. Android is under ongoing development by Google and the Open Handset Alliance, and has seen a number of updates to its base operating system since its original release. These updates typically fix bugs and add new features.

Since April 2009, Android versions have been developed under a codename and released in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. As of 2013, over 500 million active devices use the Android OS worldwide.[1] The most recent major Android update was Jelly Bean 4.2, which was released on commercial devices in November 2012.[2][3]

Contents

Pre-commercial release versions (2007–2008)

Android alpha

There were at least two internal releases inside Google/OHA before the Android beta was released in November 2007. In a temporary naming scheme, the second of these releases was code-named "R2-D2".[4] Dan Morrill created some of the first mascot logos, but the current green Android logo was designed by Irina Blok. Ryan Gibson conceived of the confections naming scheme that has been used for the majority of the public releases, starting with Android 1.5 Cupcake in April 2009.

Android beta

The Android beta was released on 5 November 2007,[5][6] while the software development kit (SDK) was released on 12 November 2007.[7] The 5 November date is popularly celebrated as Android's "birthday".[8] Public beta versions of the SDK were released in the following order:

Version history by API level

Android 1.0 (API level 1)

Android 1.0, the first commercial version of the software, was released on 23 September 2008.[15] The first Android device, the HTC Dream,[16] incorporated the following Android 1.0 features:

Android 1.1 (API level 2)

On 9 February 2009, the Android 1.1 update was released, initially for the HTC Dream only. Android 1.1 was known as "Petit Four" internally, though this name was not used officially.[23] The update resolved bugs, changed the Android API and added a number of features:[24]

Android 1.5 Cupcake (API level 3)

On 30 April 2009, the Android 1.5 update was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.27.[25][26] This was the first release to officially use a codename based on a dessert item ("Cupcake"), a theme which would be used for all releases henceforth. The update included several new features and UI amendments:[27]

Android 1.6 Donut (API level 4)

On 15 September 2009, the Android 1.6 SDK – dubbed Donut – was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.29.[29][30][31] Included in the update were numerous new features:[29]

Android 2.0 Eclair (API level 5)

On 26 October 2009, the Android 2.0 SDK – codenamed Eclair – was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.29.[32] Changes included:[33]

Android 2.0.1 Eclair (API level 6)

Android 2.1 Eclair (API level 7)

Android 2.2–2.2.3 Froyo (API level 8)

On 20 May 2010, the SDK for Android 2.2 (Froyo, short for frozen yogurt) was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.32.[37]

Android 2.3–2.3.2 Gingerbread (API level 9)

On 6 December 2010, the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) SDK was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.35.[45][46] Changes included:[45]

Android 2.3.3–2.3.7 Gingerbread (API level 10)

Android 3.0 Honeycomb (API level 11)

On 22 February 2011, the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK – the first tablet-only Android update – was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.36.[55][56][57][58] The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, was released on 24 February 2011.[59] The update's features included:[55]

Android 3.1 Honeycomb (API level 12)

Android 3.2 Honeycomb (API level 13)

Most first -and second-generation Google TV-enabled devices utilize Honeycomb 3.2.[63]

Android 4.0–4.0.2 Ice Cream Sandwich (API level 14)

The SDK for Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), based on Linux kernel 3.0.1,[66] was publicly released on 19 October 2011.[67] Google's Gabe Cohen stated that Android 4.0 was "theoretically compatible" with any Android 2.3.x device in production at that time.[68] The source code for Android 4.0 became available on 14 November 2011.[69] The update introduced numerous new features, including:[70][71][72]

Android 4.0.3–4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (API level 15)

Support for Adobe Systems' Flash player ended with Ice Cream Sandwich.[81]

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (API level 16)

Google announced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) at the Google I/O conference on 27 June 2012. Based on Linux kernel 3.0.31, Jelly Bean was an incremental update with the primary aim of improving the functionality and performance of the user interface. The performance improvement involved "Project Butter", which uses touch anticipation, triple buffering, extended vsync timing and a fixed frame rate of 60 fps to create a fluid and "buttery-smooth" UI.[82] Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was released to the Android Open Source Project on 9 July 2012,[83] and the Nexus 7 tablet, the first device to run Jelly Bean, was released on 13 July 2012.[84]

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (API level 17)

Google was expected to announce Jelly Bean 4.2 at an event in New York City on 29 October 2012, but the event was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.[93] Instead of rescheduling the live event, Google announced the new version with a press release, under the slogan "A new flavor of Jelly Bean". The first devices to run Android 4.2 were LG's Nexus 4 and Samsung's Nexus 10, which were released on 13 November 2012.[3][94]

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
VersionRelease dateFeaturesImage(s)
4.213 November 2012[95]
  • "Photo Sphere" panorama photos
  • Keyboard with gesture typing
  • Lock screen improvements, including widget support and the ability to swipe directly to camera[96]
  • Notification power controls ("Quick Settings")
  • "Daydream" screensavers, showing information when idle or docked
  • Multiple user accounts (tablets only)
  • Support for wireless display (Miracast)
  • Accessibility improvements: triple-tap to magnify the entire screen, pan and zoom with two fingers. Speech output and Gesture Mode navigation for blind users
  • New clock app with built-in world clock, stop watch and timer
  • All devices now use the same interface layout, previously adapted from phones on 4.1 for smaller tablets (with centered software buttons, the system bar at the top of the screen, and a home screen with a dock and centered application menu), regardless of screen size
  • Increased number of extended notifications and Actionable Notifications for more apps, allowing the response to certain notifications within the notification bar and without launching the app directly
  • SELinux
  • Always-on VPN
  • Premium SMS confirmation[97][98][99]
Android 4.2 on the Nexus 4.png
Android 4.2 on the LG Nexus 4
4.2.127 November 2012[100]
  • Fixed a bug in the People app where December was not displayed on the date selector when adding an event to a contact[101]
  • Added Bluetooth gamepads and joysticks as supported HID devices
4.2.211 February 2013[102]
  • Fixed Bluetooth audio streaming bugs[103]
  • Long-pressing the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons in Quick Settings now toggles the on/off state
  • New download notifications, which now shows the percentage and estimated time remaining for active app downloads
  • New sounds for wireless charging and low battery
  • Removed option to show all calls in the phone app's call list
  • New Gallery app animation allows faster loading
  • USB debug whitelist
  • Bug fixes and performance enhancements

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie (API level 18)

On 3 December 2012, it was reported that Google was working on Android 5.0, its successor to Jelly Bean, and also confirmed that the OS version will sport the name of Key Lime Pie.[104]

See also

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