Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Lollipop. What do all these delicious words mean? Well, if you have ever owned an Android device, then you’ve probably ran one of these operating systems on your device.
But what did they all bring to the party that was so revolutionary? Well, for starters it was thanks to Google that Android is now the most used OS in the world, and it will just keep getting better as the years go by.
Let us take a look back at the most memorable features of the major Android updates.
Android 1.0 G1
G1 had no fancy name to it, it actually never landed in the delicious descriptions at all, rather it was the beginning of Android as we know today. G1 boasted some pretty basic features, but back then, these were industry changers.
G1 released in 2008 and gave phones basic functionality like GPR, multitasking, YouTube, and the Android Market, which at the time had 40 apps available on the store. G1 shipped on the G1, a smartphone that was based on Android technology
Android 1.5 Cupcake – April 2009
Android 1.5 was released in 2009 and further enhanced the OS by adding in camera toggles between photo and video, a new Android Market, and a virtual keyboard
Devices – HTC Magic
Android 1.6 Donut – September 2009
Just 6 months after the launch of Andriod 1.5, Android 1.6 Donut was released to add the support of copy and paste, home screen folders and widgets, and stereo Bluetooth. We really take things for granted these days hey! Donut also introduced the iconic search bar that is present on almost every Android device on the market today.
Devices – G1
Android 2.0 Éclair – October 2009
If Donut was not enough, just a month later Android 2.0 released, dubbed Éclair. This OS was probably the biggest release since the 1.5 and added multiple accounts, Microsoft Exchange support, camera digital zoom, and predictive text.
Devices – Motorola Droid
Android 2.1 Éclair – January 2010
Although Android 2.0 was a massive release that brought the tech world to its doorstep, it was also the OS that triggered Google’s move into the spotlight. Google works closely with Motorola to bring Android 2.0 to life on the Motorola Droid, but that led to Google on a new device, a device we still use and love today, the HTC Nexus. This device was powered by a raw stock version of Android and paved the way for the future of the OS and the product range.
Devices – Nexus One, Motorola Droid
Android 2.2 Froyo – May 2010
The fastest Android OS to date was also the first to revamp the look and feel of it. Froyo brought with it new a redesigned gallery app, and for the very first time, the ability to tilt the phone and the screen would rotate in that direction too. The OS also brought the release of hotspot support, and traditional 3 pin passcodes, a change from the mandatory pattern that was present before.
Devices – Nexus One, Motorola Droid
Android 2.3 Gingerbread – December 2010
Android 2.3 was the first Android OS to feature on the brand new, never before released Samsung Galaxy S. This move was huge for the OS as it had a brand new tech giant on board which led to Google teaming up with Samsung to make the next device in the Nexus range, the Nexus S. The OS on the other hand brought with it a few new tweaks like a new clock, inverted status bar, and reduced battery drain.
Devices – Samsung Galaxy S, Google Nexus S
Android 3.0 Honeycomb – February 2011
Bring on the games! Android 3.0’s biggest feature was its introduction of 3D graphic support. Honeycomb also introduced virtual buttons on the OS, like we know today. This meant that the inclusion of physical buttons was now a thing of the past.
Devices – Samsung Galaxy S2, Motorola Xoom
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – October 2011
If you thought that any of the past releases brought with it a few changes, they had nothing on Ice Cream Sandwich, which was by far the biggest Android release in the industry. The new OS brought with it over 100 new features and tweaks, some great and some that have been removed since then.
Roboto font was introduced to the OS for the first time, a dedicated Android font that everyone would be familiar with soon. The camera was tweaked to add new features like the ability to take a picture with your smile.
Another major feature was the revamp of the notification panel which could now be edited and you could remove a notification with a simple swipe. A few other features included the ability to track your data usage in a dedicated tab, and NFC support dubbed as Android Beam.
Devices – HTC One S, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, HTC Vivid, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Nexus S 4G, Samsung Galaxy S2
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – November 2012
Dubbed as the fastest Android OS to date, Jelly Bean tweaked everything we loved about the OS to make is faster and more responsive. Predictive text was reworked, widgets were added to the lock screen, and for the first time, a unified interface was implemented across all devices.
Devices – HTC One S, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, HTC Vivid, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3
Android 4.4 KitKat – October 2013
KitKat was yet another stable and unified release of the OS. It brought with it a ton of new features while improving on the old ones.
Full screen apps, a new dialler for the phones, translucent status bar, and a new home screen design for Nexus models. Wireless printing, and the support for sensitive touch screens.
Devices – Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z3, HTC Evo, Nexus One X
Android 5.0 – Lollipop – October 2014
If you own an Android device that you have bought in the last 18 months, chances are you are running Lollipop, the latest and greatest Android OS.
Lollipop has a brand new UI called Material, it also brings all the support you need for additional accessories like Samsung Gear and Sony Smart watches. Screen Share is faster and more reliable, there is a new guest mode that locks personal information out of your device, and most of all, it has great batter life.
Device – Sony Xperia Z4, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G4, HTC One X, Nexus One
What will Android bring to the world next? Well one thing is for sure, it’s an OS that has stood the test of time and come out victorious. We cannot wait to see where it goes next.