Android Versions till 2012

Android -

Ever thought which version of Android your are using ?
Or when was your version of Android released with which new features ?

In this post, I would be covering some unique features of all Android version till today.

Android is the world's most popular mobile platform.

Android versions have been developed under a codename and released in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. As of 2012, over 400 million active devices use the Android OS worldwide.

                         Android Versions -
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean -
Jelly Bean

So starting with the History of Android.

History of Android

Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tabletcomputers, developed by Google.

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, Inc. was founded in Palo Alto, California in October 2003 by Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire Communications, Inc.), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile),and Chris White (headed design and interface development at WebTV).

Android versions have been developed under a codename and released in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. As of 2012, over 400 million active devices use the Android OS worldwide.

Android Versions

Android 1.5 Cupcake
Android 1.5 Cupcake -
On April 30, 2009, the Android 1.5 update was released, based on Linux kernel. 

This was the first release to officially use a name based on a dessert ("Cupcake"), after the official release of Android beta.

The Android beta was released on November 5, 2007, while the software developer's kit (SDK) was released on November 12, 2007. The HTC Dream introduced Android 1.0, the first commercial version of the software, was released on September 23, 2008.

  • Android Market application download and updates through the Market app.
  • Web browser to show, zoom and pan full HTML and XHTML web pages .
  • Camera support – however this version lacked the option to change the camera's resolution, white balance, quality, etc.
  • Gmail synchronization with the Gmail app.
  • Google Talk instant messaging.
  • Instant messaging, text messaging, and MMS.
  • Media Player, enabling management, importing, and playback of media files – however, this version lacked video and stereo Bluetooth support.
  • Notifications appear in the Status bar, with options to set ringtone, LED or vibration alerts.
  • YouTube video player.
  • Other apps include: Alarm Clock, Calculator, Dialer (Phone), Home screen (launcher), Pictures (Gallery), and Settings.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
  • Copy and paste features added to web browser.
  • Ability to upload videos to YouTube.
  • Ability to upload photos to Picasa.
  • Ability to save attachments in messages.

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

  • Voice and text entry search enhanced to include bookmark history, contacts, and the web.
  • Multi-lingual speech synthesis engine to allow any Android application to "speak" a string of text.
  • Ability for users to select multiple photos for deletion.
  • Support for WVGA screen resolutions.

Android 2.0, 2.1 Eclair
Android 2.0, 2.1 Eclair -

On October 26, 2009, the Android 2.0 SDK – codenamed Eclair – was released. Changes included:

  • Exchange email support, with combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 support.
  • Ability to tap a Contacts photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person.
  • Ability to search all saved SMS and MMS messages, with delete oldest messages in a conversation automatically deleted when a defined limit is reached.
  • Numerous new camera features, including flash support, digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, color effect and macro focus.
  • Support for more screen sizes and resolutions, with better contrast ratio.
  • Improved Google Maps 3.1.2.
  • Addition of live wallpapers, allowing the animation of home-screen background images to show movement.

Android 2.2.x Froyo

Android 2.2 Froyo -

On May 20, 2010, the Android 2.2 (Froyo, short for Frozen Yogurt) SDK was released, which included :

  • Speed, memory, and performance optimizations.
  • Integration of Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine into the Browser application.
  • USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.
  • Added an option to disable data access over mobile network.
  • Voice dialing and contact sharing over Bluetooth.
  • Support for Bluetooth-enabled car and desk docks.
  • Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords.
  • Support for file upload fields in the Browser application.
  • Adobe Flash support.
  • Gallery allows users to view picture stacks using a zoom gesture.

Android 2.3.x Gingerbread

Android 2.3 Gingerbread -

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

  • Updated user interface design with increased simplicity and speed.
  • Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher).
  • Enhanced copy/paste functionality, allowing users to select a word by press-hold, copy, and paste.
  • New audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost.
  • Support for multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available.
  • Native support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers).

Android 3.x Honeycomb

Android 3.0 Honeycomb -

On February 22, 2011, the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK – the first tablet-only Android update – was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.36, it included a lot of major changes.

The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, was released on February 24, 2011. The update's features included:

  • Optimized tablet support with a new virtual and “holographic” user interface.
  • Redesigned keyboard, making typing fast, efficient and accurate on larger screen sizes.
  • Simplified, more intuitive copy/paste interface.
  • Multiple browser tabs replacing browser windows, plus form auto-fill and a new “incognito” mode allowing anonymous browsing.
  • Quick access to camera exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and other camera features.
  • Ability to view albums and other collections in full-screen mode in Gallery, with easy access to thumbnails for other photos.
  • Support for video chat using Google Talk.
  • Hardware acceleration.
  • Support for multi-core processors.
  • Ability to encrypt all user data.
  • Connectivity for USB accessories.
  • Resizable Home screen widgets.
  • Support for external keyboards and pointing devices.
  • Support for joysticks and gamepads.
  • High-performance Wi-Fi lock, maintaining high-performance Wi-Fi connections when device screen is off.
  • Support for HTTP proxy for each connected Wi-Fi access point.

Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich -

The SDK for Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), based on Linux kernel 3.0.1, was publicly released on October 19, 2011.

Google's Gabe Cohen stated that Android 4.0 was "theoretically compatible" with any Android 2.3.x device in production at that time. The source code for Android 4.0 became available on November 14, 2011.
The update introduced numerous new features, including:

  • Soft buttons from Android 3.x are now available for use on phones.
  • Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar.
  • Integrated screenshot capture (accomplished by holding down the Power and Volume-Down buttons).
  • Improved error correction on the keyboard.
  • Ability to access apps directly from lock screen.
  • Improved copy and paste functionality.
  • Better voice integration and continuous, real-time speech to text dictation.
  • Face Unlock, a feature that allows users to unlock handsets using facial recognition software.
  • New tabbed web browser under Google's Chrome brand, allowing up to 16 tabs.
  • Data Usage section in settings that lets users set warnings when they approach a certain usage limit, and disable data use when the limit is exceeded.
  • Ability to shut down apps that are using data in the background.
  • Improved camera app with zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode, and the ability to zoom while recording.
  • Built-in photo editor.
  • New gallery layout, organized by location and person.
  • Android Beam, a near-field communication feature allowing the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos and other data.
  • Wi-Fi Direct.
  • 1080p video recording for stock Android devices.
  • Stability improvements.
  • Better camera performance.
  • Smoother screen rotation.
  • Improved phone number recognition.

Android 4.1.x Jelly Bean

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean -

Google announced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) at the Google I/O conference on June 27, 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.
 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was released to the Android Open Source Project on July 9, 2012, and the Nexus 7 tablet, the first device to run Jelly Bean, was released on July 13, 2012.

Changes included:

  • Enhanced accessibility.
  • Bi-directional text and other language support.
  • User-installable keyboard maps.
  • Expandable notifications.
  • Ability to turn off notifications on an app specific basis.
  • Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized to allow new items to fit on home screens.
  • Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam.
  • Offline voice dictation.
  • New interface layout for tablets with smaller screens or phablets (whose screens more closely resemble that of a phone).
  • Improved voice search.
  • Improved camera app.
  • Google Wallet (for the Nexus 7).
  • High-resolution Google+ contact photos.
  • Google Now search application.
  • Multichannel audio.
  • USB audio (for external sound DACs).
  • Audio chaining (also known as gapless playback).
  • Stock Android browser is replaced with the Android mobile version of Google Chrome in devices with Android 4.1 preinstalled.
  • Abillity for other launchers to add widgets from the app drawer without requiring root access.


Android 5.0 (Key Lime Pie) to be released at the end of 2013.
For for information, click here.

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