Android version history

Android logo

The version history of the Android operating system began with the release of version 1.0 in September 2008. Android is a mobile operating systemdeveloped by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. Android has seen a number of updates since its original release. These updates to the base operating system typically fix bugs and add new features. Generally, each version is developed under a code name based on a dessert item. The code names are in alphabetical order (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich).




Released 5 November 2007[1] Conference Call transcript SDK Released 12 November 2007[2]


HTC Dream (G1) introduced Android 1.0

Released 23 September 2008.[3] The first Android device, the HTC Dream (G1),[4] had these Android 1.0 features:
  • Android Market application download and updates through the Market app
  • Web browser to show, zoom and pan full HTML and XHTML web pages – multiple pages show as windows (“cards”)Video [5][6]
  • Camera support, but no way to change resolution, white balance, quality, etc.[7]
  • Folders allow the grouping of a number of app icons into a single folder icon on the Home screen.[8]
  • Email provides access to email servers commonly found on the Internet and supports POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP.[6]
  • Gmail synchronization with the Gmail app
  • Google Contacts synchronization with the People app
  • Google Calendar synchronization with the Calendar app
  • Google Maps with Latitude and Street View to view maps and satellite imagery, as well as find local business and get driving directions using GPS[7]
  • Google Sync allows management of over-the-air synchronization of Gmail, People, and Calendar
  • Google Search of the internet and phone apps, contacts, calendar, etc
  • Google Talk instant messaging
  • Instant messagingtext messaging, and MMS
  • Media Player enables managing, importing, and playing back but lacked video and stereo Bluetooth support[6][7]
  • Notifications appear in the Status bar – drag down to see details, also ringtone, LEDs and vibration options.[5][6][9]
  • Voice Dialer allows dialing and placing of phone calls without typing a name or number[6]
  • Wallpaper allows the user to set the background image or photo behind the Home screen icons and widgets.
  • YouTube video player[10]
  • Other apps include: Alarm Clock, Calculator, Dialer (Phone), Home screen (launcher), Pictures (Gallery), and Settings.
  • Other supported features include: WiFi, and Bluetooth.


On 9 February 2009, Android 1.1 update for Android was released for T-Mobile G1 only. Included in the update were resolved issues, API changes and:[11]
  • Maps: Adds details and reviews when a user does a search on Maps and clicks on a business to view its details.
  • Dialer: In-call screen timeout default is now longer when using the speakerphone, Show/Hide Dialpad
  • Messaging: Saving attachments
  • System: Adds support for marquee in layouts.

[edit]1.5 Cupcake

The Android Emulator default home screen (v1.5).

Based on Linux kernel 2.6.27. On 30 April 2009, the official 1.5 (Cupcake) update for Android was released.[12][13] There were several new features and UI updates included in the 1.5 update:[14]
  • Virtual keyboard: Support for 3rd party keyboards with text prediction & user dictionary for custom words
  • Widgets: Are miniature application views that can be embedded in other applications (such as the Home screen) and receive periodic updates[15]
  • Camera: Video recording
  • Gallery: Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats)
  • Bluetooth: Stereo support added (A2DP and AVRCP profiles), Auto-pairing
  • Browser: Copy and paste features added
  • Contacts: Shows user picture for Favorites
  • Dialer: Specific date/time stamp for events in call log and one-touch access to a contact card from call log event
  • System: Animated screen transitions
  • Upload videos to YouTube
  • Upload photos on Picasa

[edit]1.6 Donut

Based on Linux kernel 2.6.29[16] On 15 September 2009, the 1.6 (Donut) SDK was released.[17][18] Included in the update were:[16]
  • Search: Voice Search & text entry search enhanced to include bookmarks & history, contacts, the web, and more
  • Search: Developers can now include their content in search results
  • Text to speech: Features a multi-lingual speech synthesis engine to allow any Android application to “speak” a string of text
  • Android Market: Allows easier searching, app screenshots, etc.
  • Camera, camcorder, and Gallery: Updated integrated with faster camera access
  • Gallery: Now enables users to select multiple photos for deletion
  • System: Updated technology support for CDMA/EVDO802.1xVPNs, and a text-to-speech engine
  • Display: Support for WVGA screen resolutions
  • Speed improvements in searching and camera applications
  • Expanded Gesture framework and new GestureBuilder development tool
  • Google free turn-by-turn navigation

[edit]2.x Eclair


Based on Linux kernel 2.6.29[19] On 26 October 2009, the 2.0 (Eclair) SDK was released.[20] Changes included:[21]
  • Sync: Expanded Account sync. Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization
  • Email: Exchange support, Combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.
  • Bluetooth: 2.1 support
  • Contacts: Tap a contact photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person.
  • Messaging: Search all saved SMS and MMS messages. Auto delete oldest messages in a conversation when a defined limit is reached.
  • Camera: Flash support, Digital zoom, Scene mode, White balance, Color effect, Macro focus
  • Virtual keyboard: Improved typing speed, smarter dictionary learns from word usage and includes contact names as suggestions.
  • Browser: Refreshed UI, Bookmark thumbnails, Double-tap zoom, Support for HTML5
  • Calendar: Agenda view enhanced, Attending status for each invitee, Invite new guests to events.
  • System: Optimized hardware speed, Revamped UI
  • Display: Support for more screen sizes and resolutions, Better contrast ratio
  • Maps: Improved Google Maps 3.1.2
  • MotionEvent class enhanced to track multi-touch events[22]
  • Live Wallpapers: Home screen background images can be animated to show movement


The 2.0.1 SDK was released on 3 December 2009.[23]
  • Android 2.0.1 is a minor platform release deployable to Android-powered handsets starting in December 2009. This release includes minor API changes, bug fixes and framework behavioral changes.[24]


The 2.1 SDK was released on 12 January 2010.[25]
  • Android 2.1 is a minor platform release deployable to Android-powered handsets starting in January 2010. This release includes new API changes and bug fixes.[26]

[edit]2.2 Froyo

2.2.2 latest release.[27] Based on Linux kernel 2.6.32.[28] On 20 May 2010, the 2.2 (Froyo) SDK was released.[27] Changes included:[28]
  • System: Speed, memory, and performance optimizations[29]
  • Additional application speed improvements courtesy of JIT implementation[30]
  • Integration of Chrome‘s V8 JavaScript engine into the Browser application
  • Improved Microsoft Exchange support (security policies, auto-discovery, GAL look-up, calendar synchronization, remote wipe)
  • Improved application launcher with shortcuts to Phone and Browser applications
  • USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
  • Added an option to disable data access over mobile network
  • Updated Market application with batch and automatic update features[29]
  • Quick switching between multiple keyboard languages and their dictionaries
  • Voice dialing and contact sharing over Bluetooth
  • Support for numeric and alphanumeric passwords
  • Support for file upload fields in the Browser application[31]
  • Support for installing applications to the expandable memory
  • Adobe Flash support[32]
  • Display: Support for extra high DPI screens (320 dpi), such as 4″ 720p[33]

[edit]2.3.x Gingerbread

Google Nexus S introduced Android 2.3 “Gingerbread”


Based on Linux kernel 2.6.35.[34] On 6 December 2010, the 2.3 (Gingerbread) SDK was released.[35] Changes included:[34]
  • System: Updated user interface design for simplicity and speed
  • Display: Support for extra-large screen sizes and resolutions (WXGA and higher)[33]
  • Internet calling: Native support for SIP VoIP telephony
  • Virtual Keyboard: Faster, more intuitive text input, improved accuracy, better suggested text. Voice input mode
  • Copy/Paste: Enhanced. Select a word by press-hold, copy, and paste
  • Near Field Communication lets the user 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
  • Camera: Access multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available
  • Media: Support for WebM/VP8 video playback, and AAC audio encoding
  • System: Improved power management with a more active role in managing apps that are keeping the device awake for too long
  • System: Enhanced support for native code development
  • System: Switched from YAFFS to ext4 on newer devices[36][37]
  • 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 2.3.3 is a small feature release that adds several improvements and APIs to the Android 2.3 platform.[38]



25 Jul 2011
  • Brought improved network performance for the Nexus S 4G, among other fixes and improvements.
  • Fixed Bluetooth bug on Samsung Galaxy S
  • Improved Gmail application


  • Voice search bug fixed.


[edit]3.x Honeycomb


3.0.1 .[40] Based on Linux kernel 2.6.36.[41] On 22 February 2011, the 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK was released for tablets.[42] This is a tablet-only release of Android.[43] The first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, was released on February 24, 2011.[44]
Changes include:[41]
  • Optimized tablet support with a new virtual and “holographic” user interface
  • System Bar: Quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons available at the bottom of the screen
  • Action Bar: Access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other types of content at the top of the screen
  • Multitasking: Tap Recent Apps in the System Bar, to see snapshots of the tasks underway and quickly jump from one app to another
  • Redesigned keyboard: To make entering text fast and accurate on larger screen sizes with greater accuracy and efficiency
  • Copy/Paste: Simplified, more intuitive
  • Browser: Multiple tabs replace browser windows, form auto-fill, and a new “incognito” mode allows anonymous browsing
  • Camera: Quick access to exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, time-lapse, and more
  • Gallery: View albums and other collections in full-screen mode, with easy access to thumbnails for other photos
  • Contacts: New two-pane UI and Fast Scroll to let users easily organize and locate contacts
  • Email: New two-pane UI to make viewing and organizing messages more efficient. The app lets users select one or more messages
  • Support for video chat using Google Talk
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Support for multi-core processors


The 3.1 SDK was released on 10 May 2011.[45] Changes included:
  • UI refinements
  • Connectivity for USB accessories
  • Expanded Recent Apps list
  • Resizable Home screen widgets
  • Support for external keyboards and pointing devices
  • Support for joysticks and gamepads
  • Media: Support for FLAC audio playback.[46][47]
  • High-performance Wi-Fi lock maintains high-performance Wi-Fi connections when device screen is off
  • Support for HTTP proxy for each connected Wi-Fi access point


The 3.2 SDK was released on 15 July 2011.[48] Changes included:
  • Improved hardware support, including optimisations for a wider range of tablets
  • Easier access for apps to files on the SD card, e.g. for synchronisation
  • Compatibility display mode for apps that have not yet been optimized for tablet screen resolutions
  • New display support functions that give developers more control over the look and feel on different Android devices.

[edit]Ice Cream Sandwich

As officially announced during the 2011 Google I/O, the upcoming version of Android is called Ice Cream Sandwich,[49] a combination of Gingerbread and Honeycomb into a “cohesive whole”.[50] It will be released in October or November 2011.[51] Android Head of Engineering, Mike Claren called it the company’s “most ambitious release to date.” [52] Features include facial recognition and new APIsto reduce fragmentation.[53]
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