The version history of the Androidmobile operating system began with the public release of the Android beta on November 5, 2007. The first commercial version, Android 1.0, was released on September 23, 2008. Android is continually developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance, and it has seen a number of updates to its base operating system since the initial release.
Global Android version distribution according to Google Play Store usage, charted between Q4 2009 and Q1 2019. (Click or tap for a larger version.)
Versions 1.0 and 1.1 were not released under specific code names, although Android 1.1 was unofficially known as Petit Four.
Android code names are confectionery-themed and have been in alphabetical order since 2009's Android 1.5 Cupcake. The most recent version of Android is Android 9 Pie, which was released in August 2018.
The development of Android started in 2003 by Android, Inc., which was purchased by Google in 2005.
There were at least two internal releases of the software inside Google and the OHA before the beta version was released.
To avoid confusion, the code names "Astro Boy" and "Bender" were only known to be tagged internally on some early pre-1.0 milestone builds, and thus were never used as the actual code names of the 1.0 and 1.1 release of the OS, as many people are mistakenly calling and repeating on the web. Dan Morrill created some of the first mascot logos, but the current Android logo was designed by Irina Blok. The project manager, Ryan Gibson, conceived the confectionery-themed naming scheme that has been used for the majority of the public releases, starting with Android 1.5 Cupcake.
The beta was released on November 5, 2007, while the software development kit (SDK) was released on November 12, 2007. The November 5 date is popularly celebrated as Android's "birthday". Public beta versions of the SDK were released in the following order:
November 12, 2007: m3-rc20a (milestone 3, release code 20a)
November 16, 2007: m3-rc22a (milestone 3, release code 22a)
December 14, 2007: m3-rc37a (milestone 3, release code 37a)
February 13, 2008: m5-rc14 (milestone 5, release code 14)
March 3, 2008: m5-rc15 (milestone 5, release code 15)
The following tables show the release dates and key features of all Android operating system updates to date, listed chronologically by their official application programming interface (API) levels.
The main hardware platform for Android is the ARM architecture (ARMv7 and ARMv8-A architectures; formerly also ARMv5), with x86[c] and MIPS[d] architectures also officially supported in later versions of Android, but MIPS support has since been deprecated and support was removed in NDK r17.
Unofficial Android-x86 project used to provide support for the x86 and MIPS architectures ahead of the official support.
In 2012, Android devices with Intel processors began to appear, including phones and tablets. While gaining support for 64-bit platforms, Android was first made to run on 64-bit x86 and then on ARM64. Since Android 5.0 Lollipop, 64-bit variants of all platforms are supported in addition to the 32-bit variants.
Requirements for the minimum amount of RAM for devices running Android 7.1 depend on screen size and density and type of CPU, ranging from 816MB–1.8GB for 64-bit and 512MB–1.3GB for 32-bit meaning in practice 1GB for the most common type of display (while minimum for Android watch is 416MB). The recommendation for Android 4.4 is to have at least 512 MB of RAM, while for "low RAM" devices 340 MB is the required minimum amount that does not include memory dedicated to various hardware components such as the baseband processor. Android 4.4 requires a 32-bitARMv7, MIPS or x86 architecture processor (latter two through unofficial ports), together with an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible graphics processing unit (GPU). Android supports OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.2 and since Android 7.0 Vulkan (and version 1.1 available for some devices). Some applications may explicitly require a certain version of the OpenGL ES, and suitable GPU hardware is required to run such applications.
^The 2.3.6 update had the side-effect of impairing the Wi-Fi hotspot functionality of many Canadian Nexus S phones. Google acknowledged this problem and fixed it in late September.
^For Canadian consumers, 4.0.2 reportedly created a bug on the Galaxy Nexus that crashed the application market when users attempted to view details of any Android application. It also inadvertently reduced the NFC capabilities of the Nexus phone.
^Mithun Chandrasekhar (February 2, 2011). "Google's Android Event Analysis". AnandTech. Retrieved February 5, 2011. I confirmed this with Google; Honeycomb, at least in the current form, will not be coming to non-tablet devices.
^Tate, Christopher (November 21, 2014). "Commit 4f868ed to platform/frameworks/base". Android Git Repositories. Google. Retrieved December 27, 2017. The current heuristics depend on devices being alive at midnight+ in order to run periodic background fstrim operations...If the device goes a defined time without a background fstrim, we [now] force the fstrim at the next reboot. Once the device hits the midnight+ idle fstrim request time, then we already aggressively attempt to fstrim at the first available moment thereafter...'Available' here means charging + device idle.
^"Android Lollipop". developer.android.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014. It's supported on ARM, x86, and MIPS architectures and is fully 64-bit compatible.
Android "Donut" is the fourth version of the open source Android mobile operating system developed by Google that is no longer supported. Among the more prominent features introduced with this update were added support for CDMA smartphones, additional screen sizes, a battery usage indicator, and a text-to-speech engine.After the public release of Donut—its official dessert-themed code name the convention employed by Google to designate major Android versions—carriers were quick to follow with its roll out to customers in the form of an over-the-air (OTA) update for compatible smartphones.
Android "Eclair" is a codename of the Android mobile operating system developed by Google and the fifth operating system for Android, and for the no longer supported versions 2.0 to 2.1. Unveiled on October 26, 2009, Android 2.1 builds upon the significant changes made in Android 1.6 "Donut".
Android "Froyo" is the sixth update of Android and is a codename of the Android mobile operating system developed by Google, spanning versions between 2.2 and 2.2.3. Those versions are no longer supported. It was unveiled on May 20, 2010, during the Google I/O 2010 conference.
One of the most prominent changes in the Froyo release was USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality. Other changes include support for the Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) service, enabling push notifications, Additional application speed improvements, implemented through JIT compilation and displayed within applications as top-of-the-screen banners.
Android "Gingerbread" is the 7th system of Android and a codename of the Android mobile operating system developed by Google and released in December 2010, for versions that are no longer supported. The Gingerbread release introduced support for near field communication (NFC)—used in mobile payment solutions—and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)—used in VoIP internet telephony.Gingerbread's user interface was refined in many ways, making it easier to master, faster to use, and more power-efficient. A simplified color scheme with a black background gave vividness and contrast to the notification bar, menus, and other user interface components. Improvements in menus and settings resulted in easier navigation and system control.
The Nexus S smartphone, released in December 2010, was the first phone from the Google Nexus line that ran Gingerbread, and also the first one from the line with built-in NFC functionality.Gingerbread uses version 2.6.35 of the Linux kernel.
As of October 2018, statistics issued by Google indicate that 0.2% of all Android devices accessing Google Play run Gingerbread.
Android 3.2.6 "Honeycomb" is a codename for the Android platform that was designed for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets and the 8th system of Android. It is no longer supported (newer versions are). Honeycomb debuted with the Motorola Xoom in February 2011. Besides the addition of new features, Honeycomb introduced a new so-called "holographic" user interface theme and an interaction model that built on the main features of Android, such as multitasking, notifications and widgets.
Android "Pie" is the ninth major release and the 16th version of the Android mobile operating system. It was first released as a developer preview on March 7, 2018 and released publicly on August 6, 2018.
Android "Q" is the upcoming tenth major release and the 17th version of the Android mobile operating system. The first beta of Android Q was released on March 13, 2019 for all Google Pixel phones. The final release of Android Q is scheduled to be released in the third quarter of 2019.
BigQuery is a RESTful web service that enables interactive analysis of massively large datasets working in conjunction with Google Storage. It is a serverless Platform as a Service (PaaS) that may be used complementarily with MapReduce.
The Chromebit is a dongle running Google's Chrome OS operating system. When placed in the HDMI port of a television or a monitor, this device turns that display into a personal computer. Chromebit allows adding a keyboard or mouse over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The device was announced in April 2015 and began shipping that November.
G Suite Marketplace (formerly Google Apps Marketplace) is a product of Google Inc. It is an online store for web applications that work with Google Apps (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, etc.) and with third party software. Some Apps are free. Apps are based on Google APIs or on Google Apps Script.
Gayglers is a term for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees of Google. The term was first used for all LGBT employees at the company in 2006, and was conceived as a play on the word "Googler" (a colloquial term to describe all employees of Google).The term, first published openly by The New York Times in 2006 to describe some of the employees at the company's new Manhattan office, came into public awareness when Google began to participate as a corporate sponsor and float participant at several pride parades in San Francisco, New York, Dublin and Madrid during 2006. Google has since increased its public backing of LGBT-positive events and initiatives, including an announcement of opposition to Proposition 8.
"Google: Behind the Screen" (Dutch: "Google: achter het scherm") is a 51-minute episode of the documentary television series Backlight about Google. The episode was first broadcast on 7 May 2006 by VPRO on Nederland 3. It was directed by IJsbrand van Veelen, produced by Nicoline Tania, and edited by Doke Romeijn and Frank Wiering.
Google Dataset Search is a search engine from Google that helps researchers locate online data that is freely available for use. The company launched the service on September 5, 2018, and stated that the product was targeted at scientists and data journalists.
Google Dataset Search complements Google Scholar, the company's search engine for academic studies and reports.
Google Fit is a health-tracking platform developed by Google for the Android operating system and Wear OS. It is a single set of APIs that blends data from multiple apps and devices. Google Fit uses sensors in a user's activity tracker or mobile device to record physical fitness activities (such as walking or cycling), which are measured against the user's fitness goals to provide a comprehensive view of their fitness.
Google Guice (pronounced "juice") is an open-source software framework for the Java platform released by Google under the Apache License. It provides support for dependency injection using annotations to configure Java objects. Dependency injection is a design pattern whose core principle is to separate behavior from dependency resolution.
Guice allows implementation classes to be bound programmatically to an interface, then injected into constructors, methods or fields using an @Inject annotation. When more than one implementation of the same interface is needed, the user can create custom annotations that identify an implementation, then use that annotation when injecting it.
Being the first generic framework for dependency injection using Java annotations in 2008, Guice won the 18th Jolt Award for best Library, Framework, or Component.
Material Design (codenamed Quantum Paper) is a design language that Google developed in 2014. Expanding on the "card" motifs that debuted in Google Now, Material Design uses more grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows.
Google announced Material Design on June 25, 2014, at the 2014 Google I/O conference.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Google:
Google – American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.
Android 1.0 (API 1)
Android 1.0 (API 1)
Android 1.0, the first commercial version of the software, was released on September 23, 2008. The first commercially available Android device was the HTC Dream. Android 1.0 incorporated the following features:
September 23, 2008
Android Market allowed application downloads and updates through the Market application
On February 9, 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. The update resolved bugs, changed the Android API and added a number of features:
February 9, 2009
Details and reviews available when a user searches for businesses on Maps
Longer in-call screen timeout default when using the speakerphone, plus ability to show/hide dialpad
On April 27, 2009, the Android 1.5 update was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.27. 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:
Open Accessory Library support. Open Accessory was introduced in 3.1 (Honeycomb) but the Open Accessory Library grants 2.3.4 added support when connecting to a USB peripheral with compatible software and a compatible application on the device
Switched the default encryption for SSL from AES256-SHA to RC4-MD5.
July 25, 2011
Improved network performance for the Nexus S 4G, among other fixes and improvements
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. The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, was released on February 24, 2011. The update's features included:
Disallows applications from having write access to secondary storage (memory cards on devices with internal primary storage) outside of designated, application-specific directories. Full access to primary internal storage is still allowed through a separate application-level permission.
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. Ice Cream Sandwich was the last version to officially support Adobe Systems' Flash player. The update introduced numerous new features:
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.
July 9, 2012
Smoother user interface:
Vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework, including application rendering, touch events, screen composition and display refresh
Google was expected to announce Jelly Bean 4.2 at an event in New York City on October 29, 2012, but the event was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Instead of rescheduling the live event, Google announced the new version with a press release, under the slogan "A new flavor of Jelly Bean". Jelly Bean 4.2 was based on Linux kernel 3.4.0, and debuted on Google's Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, which were released on November 13, 2012.
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 application 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 applications, allowing users to respond to certain notifications within the notification bar and without launching the application directly
Google released Jelly Bean 4.3 under the slogan "An even sweeter Jelly Bean" on July 24, 2013, during an event in San Francisco called "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai". Most Nexus devices received the update within a week, although the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet was the first device to officially ship with it. A minor bugfix update was released on August 22, 2013.
Google announced Android 4.4 KitKat on September 3, 2013. Although initially under the "Key Lime Pie" ("KLP") codename, the name was changed because "very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie." Some technology bloggers also expected the "Key Lime Pie" release to be Android 5. KitKat debuted on Google's Nexus 5 on October 31, 2013, and was optimized to run on a greater range of devices than earlier Android versions, having 512 MB of RAM as a recommended minimum; those improvements were known as "Project Svelte" internally at Google. The required minimum amount of RAM available to Android is 340 MB, and all devices with less than 512 MB of RAM must report themselves as "low RAM" devices.
Storage Access Framework, an API allowing apps to retrieve files in a consistent manner. As part of the framework, a new system file picker allows users to access files from various sources (including those exposed by apps, such as online storage services).
New framework for UI transitions
Sensor batching, step detector and counter APIs
Settings application now makes it possible to select default text messaging and home (launcher) application
Audio tunneling, audio monitoring and loudness enhancer
Built-in screen recording feature (primarily for developers, as usage of ADB is required)
Android 5.0 "Lollipop" was unveiled under the codename "Android L" on June 25, 2014, during Google I/O. It became available as official over-the-air (OTA) updates on November 12, 2014, for select devices that run distributions of Android serviced by Google, including Nexus and Google Play edition devices. Its source code was made available on November 3, 2014.
Lollipop features a redesigned user interface built around a responsive design language referred to as "material design". Other changes include improvements to the notifications, which can be accessed from the lockscreen and displayed within applications as top-of-the-screen banners. Furthermore, Google made internal changes to the platform, with the Android Runtime (ART) officially replacing Dalvik for improved application performance, and with changes intended to improve and optimize battery usage, known internally as Project Volta.
Fixes a bug with TRIM support (introduced in Version 4.3), which prevented devices from running on-charger cleanups of file system allocations if the device was turned off at midnight, or if it was charged only when in use.
Changes how alarms wake the CPU, and how alarms compete for system resources.
Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" was unveiled under the codename "Android M" during Google I/O on May 28, 2015, for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 phones, Nexus 9 tablet, and Nexus Player set-top box, under the build number MPZ44Q. The third developer preview (MPA44G) was released on August 17, 2015 for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player devices, and was updated to MPA44I that brought fixes related to Android for Work profiles.
Android "Nougat" (codenamed N in-development) is the major 7.0 release of the Android operating system. It was first released as a developer preview on March 9, 2016, with factory images for current Nexus devices, as well as with the new "Android Beta Program" which allows supported devices to be upgraded directly to the Android Nougat beta via over-the-air update. Final release was on August 22, 2016. The final preview build was released on July 18, 2016, with the build number NPD90G.
On October 19, 2016, Google released Android 7.1.1 as a developer preview for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and the Pixel C. A second preview became available on November 22, 2016, before the final version was released to the public on December 5, 2016.
Android Oreo is the 8th major release of the Android operating system. It was first released as a developer preview on March 21, 2017, with factory images for current Nexus and Pixel devices. The final developer preview was released on July 24, 2017, with the stable version released in August 2017.
Android Oreo is the 8th major release of the Android operating system. It was first released as a developer preview on October 25, 2017, with factory images for current Nexus and Pixel devices. A second developer preview was made available on November 27, 2017 for Nexus and Pixel devices, before the stable version was released on December 5, 2017.
Android Pie is the ninth major version of the Android operating system. It was first announced by Google on March 7, 2018, and the first developer preview was released on the same day. Second preview, considered beta quality, was released on May 8, 2018. The final beta of Android P (fifth preview, also considered as a "Release Candidate") was released on July 25, 2018. The first official release was released on August 6, 2018.
August 6, 2018
New user interface for the quick settings menu
The clock has moved to the left of the notification bar.
The "dock" now has a semi-transparent background.
Battery saver no longer shows an orange overlay on the notification and status bars.
A "screenshot" button has been added to the power options.
A new "Lockdown" mode which disables biometric authentication once activated
Rounded corners across the UI
New transitions for switching between apps, or activities within apps
Richer messaging notifications, where a full conversation can be had within a notification, full scale images, and smart replies akin to Google's new app, Reply
Support for display cutouts
Redesigned volume slider
Battery percentage now shown in Always-On Display
Lock screen security changes include the possible return of an improved NFC Unlock.
Experimental features (which are currently hidden within a menu called Feature Flags) such as a redesigned About Phone page in settings, and automatic Bluetooth enabling while driving
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