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Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, developed by Google in conjunction with the Open Handset Alliance. The version history of the Android 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 is a mobile operating system developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance, and has seen a number of updates to its base operating system since its original release. These updates typically fix bugs and add new features.
Since April 2009, 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. The most recent update was Jelly Bean v4.1, which was announced in June 2012 and released into a month later. It's fair to say that this mobile platform has taken the world by storm - in just a few years time, it's gone from a non-dominant player in the mobile OS market to the top Smartphone platform in the U.S. and number two in the world. There are even predictions that it will overtake Nokia for the top slot worldwide by 2014.
SWEET DELIGHTS WHICH KEEP ANDROID USERS HAPPY
Distribution (October 2, 2012)
April 30, 2009
September 15, 2009
2.0, 2.1 Eclair
October 26, 2009
May 20, 2010
December 6, 2010
February 22, 2011
4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich
October 19, 2011
4.1.x Jelly Bean
July 9, 2012
Usage share of the different versions as of October 2, 2012
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.
Android 1.0 was the first commercial version of the software which was released on 23rd September, 2008. The first Android device-the HTC Dream has the following Android 1.0 features -
Android 1.0 has the Android Market application which downloads and updates through the Market app
It has the Web browser to show, zoom and pan full HTML and XHTML web pages - multiple pages show as windows ("cards")
It has full camera support. However, this version lacked the option to change the camera's resolution, white balance, quality, etc.
It has many folders which allows the grouping of a number of app icons into a single folder icon on the Home screen. So, it is quite helpful for the users.
It has an access to web email servers, supporting POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP.
It has a very good Gmail synchronization with the Gmail app, Google Contacts synchronization with the People app and Google Calendar synchronization with the Calendar app.
It has Google Maps with Latitude and Street View to view the maps and the satellite imagery. Also, it has a inbuilt feature which helps in finding the local business and obtaining the driving directions with the help of GPS.
It has Google Sync which allows management of over-the-air synchronization of Gmail, People and Calendar.
Google Search allows the users to search the Internet and phone apps, contacts, calendar, etc as and when required.
Android 1.0 includes Google Talk instant messaging with the help of which people can send instant message in any part of the world.
It also has features which allow instant messaging, text messaging and MMS.
It has a Media Player which enables management, importing, and playback of media files. However, this version lacked video and stereo Bluetooth support.
Timely Notifications appears in the Status bar with the options to set ringtones, LED or vibration alerts.
Voice Dialer allows dialing and placing of phone calls without typing a name or number of the person.
Wallpaper allows the user to set the background image or photo behind the Home screen icons and widgets
YouTube video player
Other apps include - Alarm Clock, Calculator, Dialer (Phone), Home screen (launcher), Pictures (Gallery) and Settings.
It has a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
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 API and added a number of features in it. Some of them are given below -
The new version of android has details and reviews available when a user searches for the businesses on the Maps.
Android 1.1 has longer in-call screen timeout default when using the speakerphone and it has the ability to show/hide dial pad.
It has the ability to save the attachments in messages.
It supports added for marquee in system layouts.
ANDROID 1.5 CUPCAKE
The Android Emulator default home screen (v1.5).
On April 30, 2009, the Android 1.5 update was released which was based on the Linux kernel 2.6.27. This was the first release to officially use a name based on a dessert ("Cupcake"). Even though, the cupcake was not the first version of Android, it is the first one with a sweet code name. It was the theme which would be used for all releases henceforth. The update included several new features and UI amendments -
Android 1.5 cupcake has a support for third-party virtual keyboards with text prediction and user dictionary for custom words.
It has support for Widgets - miniature application views that can be embedded in other applications (such as the Home screen) and receive periodic updates.
It includes Video recording and playback in MPEG-4 and 3GP formats.
It has Auto-pairing and stereo support for Bluetooth added (A2DP and AVRCP profiles)
It has copy and paste features which are added to the web browser.
It includes user pictures which are shown for Favorites in Contacts.
Android cupcake has specific date/time stamp shown for the events in call log and one-touch access to a contact card from the call log event.
It has animated screen transitions
It has added the auto-rotation option and the current stock boot animation.
It has the ability to upload videos to YouTube and ability to upload photos to Picasa.
Android 1.6 Donut
The Android 1.6 home screen.
This is the Android V1.6, released in September 2009. This version corrected earlier reboot errors in the previous operating system and added updated camera features while improving the search integration. Sweet donut also came around to adding support for a larger screen size and the first ever turn-by-turn navigation system by Google. This version has an API level 4. There were numerous new features that that given below-
This new version has voice and text entry search enhanced to include bookmark history, contacts and the web.
It has the ability for developers to include their content in the search results.
This version has a Multi-lingual speech synthesis engine to allow any Android application to "speak" a string of text.
It become easier to search and the ability to view app screenshots in Android Market.
It came with more fully integrated gallery, camera and camcorder with faster camera access.
It was helpful for users to select multiple photos for deletion.
This version has updated technology support for CDMA/EVDO, 802.1x, VPNs and a text-to-speech engine.
It has a support for WVGA screen resolutions.
This version has speed improvements in searching and more camera applications.
It has Expanded Gesture framework and new Gesture Builder development tool.
Android 2.0/2.1 Éclair
The Motorola Droid, running Android 2.0.
October 26th 2009, Android released the Eclair, version 2.0. This version was rich in features - not calories. It added an element created to fix previous bugs in December 2009 and also added Bluetooth 2.1 support along with enhanced camera capabilities and multi-touch support for live wallpapers. The API level is 7.
This version has a Expanded Account sync which allows the users to add multiple accounts to a device for email and contact synchronization.
Exchange email support, with combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page
It has Bluetooth 2.1 support.
It has the ability to tap a Contacts photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person.
It has the ability to search all saved SMS and MMS messages and deletes oldest messages in a conversation automatically when a defined limit is reached.
It includes numerous new camera features, including flash support, digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, color effect and macro focus.
It has an improved typing speed on virtual keyboard with smarter dictionary that learns from word usage and includes contact names as suggestions.
It has a refreshed browser UI with bookmark thumbnails, double-tap zoom and support for HTML5
It has a enhanced Calendar agenda view which shows attending status for each invitee and the ability to invite new guests to the events.
This version has optimized hardware speed and revamped UI.
It has a support for more screen sizes and resolutions with better contrast ratio.
It has an Improved Google Maps 3.1.2 and Motion Event class enhanced to track multi-touch events.
It has an addition of live wallpapers which allows the animation of home-screen background images to show movement.
Android 2.2.x Froyo
Google's Nexus One was the first smartphone to receive Android 2.2 Froyo.
Froyo or 'frozen yogurt' version 2.2 was released in May 20, 2010 with an API level of 7. An improved speed was demonstrated by Android as Google browser Chrome was added, as well as animated GIF support, Flash 10.1 support, improvements in USB capabilities and WiFi.
It has the following features -
Android 2.2 Froyo has speed, memory and performance optimizations.
It has an additional application speed improvements, implemented through JIT compilation.
This version supports the Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) service, enabling push notifications.
It has an Improved Microsoft Exchange support which includes security policies, auto-discovery, GAL look-up, calendar synchronization and remote wipe.
It has an improved application launcher with shortcuts to Phone and Browser applications.
It also includes USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.
It has an added an option to disable data access over mobile network.
It includes Updated Market application with batch and automatic update features.
There is a quick switching between multiple keyboard languages and their dictionaries.
One can have 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
Support for installing applications to the expandable memory
Adobe Flash support for extra-high-PPI screens (320 ppi), such as 4" 720p
It has a gallery that allows users to view picture stacks using a zoom gesture.
Android 2.3.x Gingerbread
Google's Nexus S introduced Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
This 2.3 version was released in December 6, 2010 with an API level of 9 - 10. Our gingerbread man allows for a host of additions such as download managers, compatibility with other devices and internet calling.
Updated user interface design with increased simplicity and speed
Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher)
Native support for SIP VoIP internet telephony
Faster, more intuitive text input in virtual keyboard, with improved accuracy, better suggested text and voice input mode
Enhanced copy/paste functionality, allowing users to select a word by press-hold, copy, and paste
Support for Near Field Communication (NFC), allowing the user to read an NFC tag embedded in a poster, sticker, or advertisement
New audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost
New Download Manager, giving users easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email, or another application
Support for multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available
Support for WebM/VP8 video playback, and AAC audio encoding
Improved power management with a more active role in managing apps that are keeping the device awake for too long
Enhanced support for native code development
Switched from YAFFS to ext4 on newer devices.
Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for game developers
Concurrent garbage collection for increased performance
Native support for more sensors (such as gyroscopes and barometers)
Android 3.x Honeycomb
The Motorola Xoom tablet introduced Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
This 3.0 version was released in February 22, 2011 with an 11 - 13 API level. It allows for the running of an Android-based tablet called the Motorola Xoom. Allows for video chat, multi-tasking with an action bar to access all your screens quickly and toggle back and forth.
The update's features included:
Optimized tablet support with a new virtual and "holographic" user interface
Added System Bar, featuring quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons, available at the bottom of the screen
Added Action Bar, giving access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other types of content at the top of the screen
Simplified multitasking - tapping Recent Apps in the System Bar allows users to see snapshots of the tasks underway and quickly jump from one app to another
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
New two-pane Contacts UI and Fast Scroll to let users easily organize and locate contacts
New two-pane Email UI to make viewing and organizing messages more efficient, allowing users to select one or more messages
Support for video chat using Google Talk
Support for multi-core processors
Ability to encrypt all user data
HTTPS stack improved with Server Name Indication (SNI)
Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE; kernel module)
Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus introduced 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
Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to apps
Easier-to-create folders, with a drag-and-drop style
A customizable launcher
Improved visual voicemail with the ability to speed up or slow down voicemail messages
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
Automatic syncing of browser with users' Chrome bookmarks
A new typeface family for the UI, Roboto
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
Refreshed "People" app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
Android Beam, a near-field communication feature allowing the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos and other data
Support for the WebP image format
Hardware acceleration of the UI
1080p video recording for stock Android devices
Android VPN Framework (AVF), and TUN (but not TAP) kernel module. Prior to 4.0, VPN software required rooted Android.
Android 4.1.x Jelly Bean
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Asus Nexus 7
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 on July 9, 2012, and the Nexus 7, the first device to run Jelly Bean, was released on July 13, 2012.
It has the following features -
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
Triple buffering in the graphics pipeline
Bi-directional text and other language support
User-installable keyboard maps
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
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
Ability for other launchers to add widgets from the app drawer without requiring root access