Android Version History, Launch Timeline and Key Features

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Android versions timeline

Android was first unveiled in 2007 though it first started in 2005 when Google acquired Android Inc. The first Android smartphone that was publicly announced was HTC Dream, which was first released on October 12, 2008. Today, we'll be sharing with you various progress and upgrades of this mobile platform, ofcourse, there are so many things to talk about but we'll make it brief and hit the major key features and changes in each Android version upgrade.

Android 1.5 Cupcake

Introduced: April 30, 2009

Key features: Integration of homescreen widgets, support for folders on home screen, stereo Bluetooth support, copy/paste in web browser video recording and playback.

Notable devices of the day: HTC Hero, T-MobileG1, T-MobileCliq, Samsung Moment, LG Eve, Motorola Backflip.

Android 1.6 Donut

Introduced: September 15, 2009

Key features: Quick search box, updated interface for camera, camcorder, and gallery, updated Google Play (Android Market), battery usage indicator, text-to-speech engine (tts).

Notable devices of the day: LG Optimus, Motorola Devour, Samsung Behold II, Samsung Galaxy, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, Garminfone.


Android 2.0 - 2.1 Eclair

Introduced: October 26, 2009

Key features: Google Maps Navigator (beta), updated browser, support for multiple accounts, improved keyboard, SMS search, Exchange support.

Notable devices of the day: Motorola Droid, Motorola Charm, Motorola Flipout, Samsung Galaxy S, Acer Liquid E, HTC Desire.

Android 2.2 - 2.3 Froyo

Introduced: May 20, 2010

Key features: Support for Adobe Flash, portable hotspots, multiple keyboard languages, speed and performance improvements, enhanced Microsoft Exchange support.

Notable devices of the day: Nexus One, HTC EVO, Droid Incredible, Droid X, Samsung Droid Charge, Sidekick 4G.

Android 2.3 - 2.3.7 Gingerbread

Introduced: December 6, 2010

Key features: UI refinements, NFC support, native support for SIP VOIP, faster/more intuitive text input, enhanced copy and paste.

Notable devices of the day: Nexus S, HTC Sensation, HTC EVO 3D, Motorola Droid Razr, Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Xperia Play.

Android 3.0 - 3.2 Honeycomb

Introduced: February 22, 2011

Key features: Revamped (holographic) UI designed specifically for tablets, action bar, improved multi-tasking, updated standard Android apps, better copy/paste, redesigned keyboard.

Notable devices of the day: Motorola Xoom, Eee Pad Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Introduced: October 19, 2011

Key features in this version of Android: improved multi-tasking, face unlock, resizeable widgets, Android beam, enhanced email options, improved text and voice input, soft buttons can replace hard keys.

Notable devices of the day: Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Motorola Droid Razr M, Sony Xperia T.

Android 4.1 - 4.3 Jelly Bean

Introduced: July 9, 2012

Key features: larger, rich, and actionable notifications, Google Now, offline voice dictation, streamlined UI, performance improvements "Project Butter", smart widget placement, multi-user profiles for tablets (4.2), lock screen widgets (4.2), daydream (4.2), OpenGL S 3.0 (4.3), Bluetooth Smart Ready (4.3), restricted user profiles for tablets (4.3).

Notable devices of the day: Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Motorola Moto X, LG G2, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, Motorola Droid Razr Ultra.


Android 4.4 KitKat

Introduced: September 2013

Key features: Faster multitasking, improved Google smart, Smarter Caller ID identification, Emoji Smilies preloaded, Newly optimized Quickoffice, Improved Google Now, Cloud storage integrated, Lock Screen art.

Notable devices of the day: LG L Series III, Moto G, Nexus 5.

Android 5.0/5.1 Lollipop

Introduced: November 2014/March 2015

Key features: Supports of Android TV, Smart Lock via wireless connection such as Bluetooth, supports of RAW image processing via embedded cameras, Android at work, Pop up notification system, Device Protection.

Notable devices of the day: Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, HTC One M8, LG G4, Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Introduced: October 2015

Key features: Fingerprint sensor officially supported for biometric authentication, Android Pay, Dope feature for battery saving, USB Type-C support added, Apps Permission updated.

Notable devices of the day: Sony Xperia X, Xperia XA, Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7, HTC One A9 and X9, OnePlus 3
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