Different versions of Android OS Briefly Explained!!

The version history of the Android operating system began with the public release of the Android beta on November 5, 2007. On September 23, 2008, the first commercial version of android was released with the name of Android 1.0. Android is developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Since the initial release, it has seen several updates to its base operating system.


In 2003, the development of Android started by Android, Inc., and in 2005, it was purchased by Google. There were two internal releases of the software inside the OHA and Google before the beta version was released. The beta was released on November 5, 2007, and the software development kit (SDK) was released on November 12, 2007. Several public beta versions of the SDK were released.

In October 2008, the first public release of Android 1.0 was with the release of the T-Mobile G1 ( HTC Dream). Android 1.0 and 1.1 were not released with specific code names. The code names “Astro Boy” and “Bender” were tagged privately on some of the early pre-1.0 milestones builds and were never used as the actual code names of the 1.0 and 1.1 releases of the Android OS.

Overview of all the versions of Android

Code NameVersion NumbersAPI levelRelease Date
No Codename1.01September 23, 2008
No Codename1.12February 9, 2009
Cupcake1.53April 27, 2009
Donut1.64September 15, 2009
Eclair2.0 – 2.15 – 7October 26, 2009
Froyo2.2 – 2.2.38May 20, 2010
Gingerbread2.3 – 2.3.79 – 10December 6, 2010
Honeycomb3.0 – 3.2.611 – 13February 22, 2011
Ice Cream Sandwich4.0 – 4.0.414 – 15October 18, 2011
Jelly Bean4.1 – 4.3.116 – 18July 9, 2012
KitKat4.4 – 4.4.419 – 20October 31, 2013
Lollipop5.0 – 5.1.121- 22November 12, 2014
Marshmallow6.0 – 6.0.123October 5, 2015
Nougat7.024August 22, 2016
Nougat7.1.0 – 7.1.225October 4, 2016
Oreo8.026August 21, 2017
Oreo8.127December 5, 2017
Pie9.028August 6, 2018
Android 1010.029September 3, 2019
Android 1111.030September 8, 2020

Android 1.0 (API 1)

Android 1.0 was the first commercial version of the software, released on September 23, 2008. HTC Dream was the first commercially accessible Android device. Android 1.0 came with the following features:

  • Android Market allowed the updates and application downloads through the Market application.
  • Web browser to zoom, show and pan full HTML and XHTML web pages – multiple pages show as windows.
  • Camera support – however, this version has no option to change the camera’s resolution, quality, white quality, etc
  • Folders allow the grouping of a number of application icons into a single folder icon.
  • Notifications appear in the Status bar, with options to set LED, ringtones, or vibration alerts.
  • Instant messaging, MMS, and text messaging
  • Voice Dialer allows dialing and placing of phone calls without typing a number or name.

Android 1.1 (API 2)

On February 9, 2009, the Android 1.1 update was released only for the HTC Dream. Android 1.1 was known as “Petit Four” internally, though this name was not used officially released. The update resolved bugs, changed the Android API, and added various features.

  • Reviews and details available when a user searches for businesses on Maps.
  • Longer in-call screen timeout by default when using a speakerphone, and the ability to hide/show the dial-pad.
  • Capability to save attachments in messages.
  • Support added for a marquee in system layouts.

Android 1.5 Cupcake (API 3)

On April 27, 2009, the Android 1.5 update was released, it was 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 used for all releases until the Android Pie, with Android 10 using a number system. The update involved several new specialties and UI amendments:

  • Support for third-party virtual keyboards with user dictionary for custom words. and text predictions.
  • Playback and Video recording in MPEG-4 and 3GP formats.
  • Support for Widgets – miniature application views that can be installed in other applications (such as the Home screen) and receive periodic updates.
  • stereo support and auto-pairing for Bluetooth (A2DP and AVRCP profiles).
  • Copy and paste features in a browser.
  • Animated screen transitions.
  • Auto-rotation option.

Android 1.6 Donut (API 4)

On September 15, 2009, Android 1.6 – named Donut – was released, based on Linux kernel 2.6.29. Included in the update were numerous new and interesting features.

  • Text entry and voice search enhanced to include bookmark history, contacts, and the web.
  • A multi-lingual speech synthesis engine allows any Android application to speak a string of text.
  • The ability for developers to include their content in the search results.
  • The camera, Gallery, and camcorder more fully integrated, with faster camera access.
  • Speed improvements in searching and camera applications.
  • The ability for users to select multiple photos for deletion.
  • Expanded the Gesture framework and a new GestureBuilder development tool.

Android 2.0-2.1 Eclair (API 5-7)

On October 26, 2009, the Android 2.0 SDK was released, it was based on Linux kernel 2.6.29 and was codenamed Eclair. Changes include the ones listed below.

  • Expanded Account sync, allowing users to add various accounts to a device for synchronization of contacts and emails.
  • Ability to tap a Contacts photo and select to SMS, call, or email the person.
  • Ability to search all saved MMS and SMS messages, with the added ability to delete the oldest messages in a conversation automatically deleted when a defined limit is reached.
  • Refreshed browser UI with double-tap zoom, bookmark thumbnail, and support for HTML5.
  • Revamped UI and optimized hardware speed.
  • Support for more screen resolutions and sizes, with a better contrast ratio.
  • MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch events.

Android 2.2 Froyo (API 8)

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

  • Memory, speed, and performance optimizations.
  • Additional application speed improvements and implemented through JIT compilation.
  • Improved application launcher with shortcuts to browser Phone applications.
  • Support for the Android Cloud to Device Messaging service, enabling push notifications.
  • Wi-Fi hotspot and  USB tethering functionality[
  • Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords.
  • The browser now shows all structures of animated GIFs instead of just the first frame only.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread (API 9-10)

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

  • Updated user interface design with increased speed and simplicity.
  • The native support for SIP VoIP internet telephones.
  • Support for very large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher)
  • Enhanced copy/paste functionality, allows users to select a word by press-holding, pasting, and copying.
  • Enhanced provision for native code development.
  • The native support for more sensors (such as barometers and gyroscope).
  • Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for hardcore game developers.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb (API 11-13)

On February 22, 2011, the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK – the first tablet-only Android update – was released, it was based on Linux kernel 2.6.36. The first device featuring this version was the Motorola Xoom tablet, released on February 24, 2011. The update’s features include:

  • Optimized tablet support with a unique holographic user interface.
  • Added System Bar, status, featuring quick access to notifications, and soft navigation buttons, available at the bottom of the screen.
  • came with a new Easter egg, an image of a Tron-themed bumblebee.
  • Redesigned the keyboard, making typing fast, accurate, and efficient on larger screen sizes
  • Ability to encrypt all of the user data.
  • Fast Scroll and New two-pane Contacts UI to let users easily organize and locate contacts.
  • Quick access to camera exposure, flash, focus, front-facing camera, zoom, time-lapse, and other camera features.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (API 14-15)

The SDK for Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), it was based on Linux kernel 3.0.1, it was publicly released on October 19, 2011. Google’s Gabe Cohen said that Android 4.0 was apparently compatible with any Android 2.3.x device in production. The source code for Android 4.0 became ready on November 14, 2011. Ice Cream Sandwich was the last version to formally maintain Adobe Flash player. The update introduced various new features:

  • Major refinements to the Holo interface with the Roboto font family.
  • Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to applications.
  • Soft buttons from Android 3.x are available for use on phones.
  • Easier-to-create folders, with an easier drag-and-drop style.
  • The Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the Calendar.
  • Improved visual voicemail with the ability to slow down or speed up voicemail messages.
  • Face Unlock, a feature that allows users to unlock handsets using facial recognition software.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (API 16-18)

Google declared Android 4.1 at the Google I/O conference on June 27, 2012. it was based on Linux kernel 3.0.31, Jelly Bean was an incremental update with the primary aim of improving the performance and functionality of the user interface. The performance improvement involved Project Butter, which uses triple buffering, touch anticipation, extended vsync timing, and a fixed frame rate of 60 fps to create a fluid and “buttery-smooth” UI.

  • Smoother user interface
  • Enhanced accessibility.
  • Bi-directional text and various language support.
  • User-installable keyboard maps.
  • Expandable notifications.
  • The technique to turn off notifications on an application-specific basis.
  • Widgets and shortcuts can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized to allow new items to fit on home screens.ware.

Android 4.4 KitKat (API 19-20)

Google declared Android 4.4 KitKat on September 3, 2013. Although initially under the Key Lime Pie codename, the name was changed because very few people know the taste of a key lime pie. Some technology bloggers also expected the Key Lime Pie release to be the Android 5 version. KitKat debuted on Google’s Nexus 5 on October 31, 2013, it was optimized to run on a greater range of devices than earlier Android versions,

  • Refreshed interface with white elements instead of blue.
  • The clock no longer displays bold hours; all digits are thin. The H, M, and S markings for the stopwatch and timer have been eliminated, leaving just the numbers.
  • The ability for applications to trigger transparency in the navigation and status bars.[152]
  • The ability for applications to use immersive mode to keep the navigation and status bars covered while maintaining user interaction.
  • Action overflow menu buttons are constantly visible, even on devices with a Menu key.
  • NFC host card emulation which enables a device to replace smart cards
  • Write access disabled to user-installed applications on external storage, except for their own directories inside Android/datas

Android 5.0 Lollipop (API 21-22)

Android 5.0 “Lollipop” was revealed under the codename Android L on June 25, 2014, during Google I/O. It became accessible as an official over-the-air update on November 12, 2014, for select devices that run divisions of Android maintained by Google, including Nexus and Google Play edition devices. Its source code was made available on November 3, 2014

  • Android Runtime with the ahead-of-time collection and improved garbage collection, replacing Dalvik that combines bytecode interpretation with the trace-based just-in-time collection.
  • Support for 64-bit CPUs.
  • OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android Extension Pack on supported GPU arrangements.
  • Recent activities screen with tasks instead of applications, up to a configured maximum of responsibilities per application.
  • Vector drawable, which scale without failing definition.
  • Support for print previews.
  • Material design, delivering a restyled user interface and “ripple effect” for buttons

Android 6.0 Marshmallow (API 23)

Android 6.0 Marshmallow was revealed 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 for Nexus Player set-top box, with the build number MPZ44Q. The third developer preview was released on August 17, 2015, for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and for Nexus Player devices,

  • A contextual search of keywords within apps.
  • Presentation of Doze mode, which degrades CPU speed while the screen is off in order to save battery life.
  • App Standby feature.
  • Alphabetically open vertical application drawer.
  • Application search bar and favorites.
  • Native fingerprint reader support.
  • Direct Share feature for target-specific sharing among apps.

Android 7.0 Nougat (API 24-25)

Android “Nougat” (codenamed N ) is the major 7.0 announcement of the Android operating system. It was first released as a developer show 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 immediately to the Android Nougat beta via an over-the-air update.

  • The Support for file-based encryption.
  • Unicode 9.0 emoji and skin tone transformer support.
  • The Ability to present color calibration.
  • Capacity to zoom in the screen.
  • Capability to switch to the last opened app by double-tapping the overview button.
  • Appended an Emergency information part.
  • Appended the Clear All button to the Overview screen.

Android 8.0 Oreo (API 26-27)

Android Oreo is the 8th main release of the Android operating system. It was first released as a developer show on March 21, 2017, with factory images for current Nexus and Pixel devices. The final developer preview was issued on July 24, 2017, with the stable version released in August 2017.

  • Project Treble, the biggest shift to the foundations of Android to date: a modular structure that makes it easier and faster for hardware creators to deliver Android updates.
  • Picture-in-picture support.
  • Support for Unicode 10.0 emoji and replacement of all blob-shaped emojis by round ones with gradients and outlines.
  • Redesigned Quick Settings and Settings with a white environment and sequentially black and Accent font colors.
  • Restructured Settings by regrouping parts into related entries.
  • Adaptive icons
  • 2 times faster boot time related to Nougat according to Google, testing on their Pixel devices.

Android 9 Pie (API 28)

Android Pie is the ninth main version of the Android operating system. It was first announced by Google on March 7, 2018, and the first developer show was released on the same day. The second show, considered beta quality, was released on May 8, 2018.

  • Unique user interface for the quick settings menu
  • The clock has shifted to the left of the notification bar.
  • The dock now has a semi-transparent environment.
  • The Battery Saver no longer shows an orange overlay on the notification and status bars.
  • A screenshot button has been appended to the power options.
  • A new Lockdown mode that disables biometric authentication once activated.
  • Rounded edges across the UI.

Android 10 (API 29)

Android 10 is the tenth main version of the Android operating system. Stable version of Android 10 was published on September 3, 2019.

  • Scoped storage limitations
  • New permits required to access location in the background and to access photo, video, and audio files.
  • Background apps can no longer fall into the foreground.
  • Restricted access to non-resettable device identifiers.
  • Background (idle) entrance to the camera, microphone, and sensors disabled for more privacy assurance with the side effect of disabling antitheft software.
  • Sharing shortcuts, which enables sharing of content with contact directly.
  • Hovering settings panel, that allows changing system settings straight from apps

Android 11 (API 30)

Android 11 is the eleventh main version of the Android operating system. It was first published by Google on February 19, 2020, and the first developer show released on the same day. Android 11 Beta was suspended from being launched on June 3, 2020, to June 10, 2020

  • Chat bubbles.
  • Screen recorder.
  • Notification history.
  • New permissions control.
  • API distinction among standalone 5G NR and non-standalone 5G.
  • One-time permission
  • Permissions auto-reset.


I hope I have given you all the necessary details about versions of Android OS and briefly explained each version. I have also provided some features of each versions of Android OS. Do you agree with me? Please leave a comment. Hope you like the content and the information shared by me. If you find this post knowledgeable and learned something new and interesting today then please share this post with your friends and family members and help the Optimistic Coder to spread informational contents. Thank You.

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