A tribute to 10 years of Android

On 23 September the Android Operating system turned 10 years old, for some reason I feel like we have been using it for much longer than 10 years. If you feel the same it could possibly be because the Android Operating system has gone through so many refinements over the years, to date there are 16 versions of the android operating system including the one that was released last month and if you have been keen on the versions, you will have noticed that each one is named after some kind of dessert.
In the spirit of celebration of Android, I decided to share the versions of the operating system simply because I can and also because it is information worth knowing.

  • Android 1.0

This was the very first version that had not code name besides Android 1.0 and was released on 23 September 2008, it had the core features that you can find on Android devices these days such as Gmail, Google calendar, contacts, media player, maps among several others, it was also on this version that the Google Play store opened. This OS was available on the HTC Dream.

  • Android 1.1 (Petit Four)

In February 2009, the original Android OS got an upgrade that was also meant to run on the HTC Dream. This version was known as Petit Four. A petit four is a small bite-sized confectionery. The name is French and means “small oven.” There were not many new features with this version but it refined the already existing ones.

  • Cup Cake

The third version of Android was released in April 2009 and was given the code name cupcake. Cupcake came with new features such as auto pairing for Bluetooth, copy and paste feature in the browser and the ability to upload YouTube video

  • Donut

Donut dropped in September 2009 and came with the ability to input data with text and voice. It also made it possible it possible for developers to add content in search results as well as making it possible for users to use voice to text in multiple languages.

  • Eclair

The Eclair came to devices in October 2009 with a User interface improvements, faster hardware speeds, Bluetooth 2.1, additional live wallpapers and improved Google mas among lots of other features. By this time, the OS was running on several devices such as Samsung, HTC etc

  • Froyo

The Froyo version was released on 20 May 2010. Froyo is short for Frozen Yogurt and it ad a host of new features and updates such as the ability to pair with Bluetooth enabled car audio docks. USB tethering and WiFi tethering were introduced in this version of the OS as well as the ability to store installed apps on external memory.

  • Android Ginger Bread

Ginger bread also known as Android 2.3 was released on 6 December 2010, it featured improvements from it predecessor and added features such as the download manager, support for larger screen sizes, support for multiple cameras on the phone such as a back and front facing camera and enhanced audio capabilities.

  • Honey Comb

The android version named Honey comb was released on 22 February 2011 and was made purposefully for tablets. It was around this time that tablets were a thing and the OS was designed to handle the larger displays, User interface and performance demands that came with tablet computers.

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  • Ice Cream sandwich

This version of android set the standard for many of the other versions that were to follow. Ice cream sandwich was released on 16 December 2011, it refined many of the previous features and added new ones such as the built in photo editor, ability to record 1080p(HD) videos, pinch to zoom for pictures, facial recognition and a new gallery layout similar to what we have on newer android versions. It is also on this version that screenshots could be taken without the use of a third party app.

  •  Jelly Bean

This version of Android was a refinement of the previous ice cream sandwich, it was released on 9 July 2012 but did not add very many new features but refined those that were already in place, such as better sound output, voice to text, camera, Bluetooth and language support. It also made it possible to manage notifications.

  • Kit-Kat

Named after the famous chocolate brand by the same name, this version of Android was released on 31 October 2013 and its greatest feature for me was the renewed User Interface. Along with this face lift came like wireless printing, the translucent appearance of apps in the navigation bar as well as support for wearables such the Samsung Gear and several other smart watches

  • Lollipop

Released on 12 November 2014, Lollipop featured the vector icons, a bunch of bug fixes, refinements of the previous features and some new ones such as the ability to have more than one account on a single device, smart lock, a new user interface and device protection that locks the phone when it is reported as stolen.

  • Marshmallow

On 5 October 2015, android marshmallow was released to the world making bold adaptations to lots of the trending hardware in the tech industry at that time. Some of the features it came with included support for USB-C, support for finger print readers, 4K display for more apps as well as doze mode which reduces the performance of the CPU when the battery is off so as to save battery.

  • Nougat 

Nougat like many versions that followed a revolutionary android version, majorly made refinements to what already existed. The most visible for this was the User interface, improved run time of application, battery saving as well as data saving features. It was released on 4 October 2016.

  • Oreo

Named after the famous Oreo cookies, this version of android was released 21 August 2017 and featured stuff like faster boot time, multi display support, downloadable fonts, new wallpapers and color management among other upgrades.

  • Pie

This is the latest version of android that was released on 6 August 2018. It focused a lot on the user experience and look of the operating system. It also integrated Google’s new Digital Well-being philosophy. Many tweaks have been made to things like the volume slider, capturing screenshots, battery management and a better do not disturb mode that has been called “Shush” mode.
Further read: Understanding Digital Well being: The case of YouTube

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