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Google recently announced the newest version of its mobile operating system, Android 5 Lollipop. Here’s a look back at Android versions over the years.
The Android operating system made its debut as a Google property in late 2008 on the T-Mobile G1. This version was known as Android 1.0, and was lauded for its pull-down notification system. Android 1.1 was released early 2009 and mostly dealt with bug fixes and minor improvements. Android 1.0 was also known as “Alpha,” and Android 1.1 was also known as “Beta.”
Android 1.5 Cupcake
Android 1.5, also known as “Cupcake,” was the first version to carry the dessert name theme. The main features of Android 1.5 were the on-screen keyboard, video capabilities, and the ability for developers to create their own widgets.
Android 1.6 Donut
Google released Android Donut late in 2009, introducing features and updates that were mostly under the hood. Android 1.6 introduced the ability of Android to run on different aspect ratios and resolutions, and opened it up to CDMA devices.
Android 2.0 Eclair
Android 2.0 launched on the original Motorola Droid on Verizon very shortly after the launch of Android Donut. The new UI design was the most dramatic visual change to the OS, and Eclair brought support for multiple Google accounts on a single device. Eclair ran from version 2.0u20132.1.
Android 2.2 Froyo
Summer 2010 saw the introduction of Android 2.2 Froyo, first available for update on the Nexus One device. With Froyo, the phone and browser were no longer separate widgets, but were anchored to the bottom on the home screen. Froyo ran from version 2.2u20132.2.3.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Android 2.3 launched in tandem with the Samsung-produced Nexus S phone. Gingerbread provided support for front-facing cameras, as well as providing many minor changes in design and performance. Gingerbread ran from version 2.3u20132.3.7.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Honeycomb was Google’s first real attempt at a tablet OS, and it was met with mixed reviews. The main noticeable features of Android 3.0 were its UI design and widget layout, as they were quite a departure from past Android versions. Honeycomb ran from version 3.0u20133.2.6.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Face Unlock and Android Beam were among the key features announced with the rollout of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Roboto took the place as the default text and a customizable favorites tray made its way to the bottom of the home screen. Ice Cream Sandwich ran from version 4.0u20134.0.4.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
The 2012 I/O developer conference saw Google announce Jelly Bean, Android version 4.1. Google Now was, without a doubt, the biggest feature of this Android version, which also introduced some minor design tweaks and predictive text. Android 4.2 introduced multiple user profiles on a single device and was around the same time as the release of Google Play edition smartphones. Jelly Bean ran from version 4.1u20134.3.1.
Android 4.4 KitKat
KitKat was yet another Android version to launch alongside a new Nexus device, this time being the Nexus 5. Google Now landed on the home screen and the dialer got a refresh, as well as some other changes to design and productivity. KitKat ran from version 4.4u20134.4.4.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Android Lollipop will be the first Android version to make use of Google’s new Material Design. It also adds some new security features, notification updates, and enhanced multiple user access.